Bill Connelly’s preview of Cal Football was published a couple of weeks ago. What do you think the ceiling for this Cal team is next season?
Sam Fielder: I think it’s between 6-7 wins. There are at least 5 games that seem winnable on paper and throw in another toss up win and an upset and you get 7. Lose one of the 5 but still get the other 2 and you’re still bowling. I have a hard time seeing us get to 8 just given the difficulty of the schedule, so I really do see 7 as the ceiling.
Ruey Yen: With all the skill players back, QB Ross Bower and RB Patrick Laird are likely more seasoned now, and WR Demetris Robertson back, I think the ceiling for this team next year is quite high, even with a tough schedule. I would not put money on it, but I do think there is a chance for the Bears to win 9 games and go bowling at a big money bowl.
Berkelium97: I think 6 or 7 wins is likely, but the ceiling? The ceiling is what happens if the vertical passing game suddenly flourishes (thus further opening up the field for our running game and the shallow passing game), the defense takes another massive step forward, and special teams can account for some personnel losses. To achieve our ceiling we’ll probably need a little help from our conference mates: Oregon is only mediocre under the new coach, Chip Kelly can’t fix UCLA, Helton proves that he isn’t that great of a coach, and the November 2017 version of Khalil Tate shows up rather than the October version (i.e. the pretty good one rather than the phenomenal one who still gives opposing DCs nightmares).
Piotr T Le: I would go a ceiling of 8 wins + a 50/50 chance of winning a bowlgame. I am pretty bullish on the team, this is contingent on my faith in Bowers and the o-line being much better. Of course the defense needs to continue trending up towards good-ness as well. I can see Cal winning a lot of close games that we lost last year. Of course this prediction will change depending on how we look during the UNC-BYU-Idaho State stretch. Even if we go 3-0 but struggle along the way, we might be getting a much worse season than expected.
Nik Jam: As long as the team continues to improve there really isn’t a game the Bears can’t win. Obviously the odds of upsetting UW and USC, let alone both, are pretty low, but the team made such a quick leap last year that I don’t think I can say they’re sure losses either. I would say the only ceiling is, were the Bears to make it to the “real” post-season, they’re not going to stack up against an Alabama or Clemson. I realize this is very homerish but the question is about ceiling, not what record I think they’ll have (which is around 7-5).
Andy Johnston: I agree with Berkelium97, the ceiling should be about what happens if everything goes right. 9 wins sounds about right with three losses to the Washington, Washington State, Stanford, USC portion of the schedule. However even that seems like a reach. We STOMPED Washington State last year and they are resetting at quarterback, USC won’t be the same without Darnold, Stanford looked entirely beatable all of last year and we get them at home, and finally Browning loses several assets on offense for a team that lacked big play potential. You could really set the ceiling for this team at 10 wins and I wouldn’t argue one bit.
Rob Hwang: Pump the optimism straight into me veins. The ceiling for this team is winning the North. Thats right. We’re going to the Pac-12 Championship game, IF some 50/50 things fall our way. Who says we have to be realistic in June?