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CBS Sports predicts Cal to finish 11-1 this year

They’re a bit bullish on the Bears, if I do say so myself

California v Stanford Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

It’s important to note right off the bat, I am very fond of the California Golden Bears football team for the 2020 season. I like Chase Garbers, and I really like the duo in the secondary. I even outlined the fact that there could be a ton of talent on this roster that has next-level chance.

Again, it’s important to note that I am fond of the California Golden Bears football team for 2020.

I am, however, not at all in a position to say that they can go 11-1 and challenge Oregon or USC for the Pac-12 title in 2020.

That is just what CBS Sports did, though.

In their recent ‘Pac-12 wins predictions’ piece by David Cobb, Cal is predicted to win the Pac-12 North with an 11-1 (8-1) record. Their full win-loss record even includes a prediction of a loss at the hands of USC, not Oregon, Washington, Arizona State, Utah or even Washington State — but USC.

We’ll get more to the full writeup on the Golden Bears, but I wanted to outline their other predictions before going too far.

They started it off by explaining how their predictions are done:

Predictions are based on talent returning, coaching turnover and recent recruiting success, among other factors. In some cases, the location of a game played a role in the prediction of who will win.

And with that, here’s how the conference is going to pan out in this prediction:

Pac-12 North

Cal: 11-1 (8-1)
Oregon: 10-2 (8-1)
Washington: 8-4 (6-3)
Stanford: 6-6 (4-5)
Oregon State: 5-7 (3-6)
Washington State: 3-9 (1-8)

Pac-12 South

USC: 10-2 (8-1)
Arizona State: 7-5 (5-4)
Utah: 8-4 (5-4)
UCLA: 6-6 (3-6)
Arizona: 4-8 (2-7)
Colorado: 3-9 (1-8)

There it is. The prediction for all 12 teams in the conference. Now, let’s get into the Cal part.

Wins: UNLV, TCU, Cal Poly, Utah, at Washington State, Oregon, at Oregon State, Washington, at Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA

Losses: at USC

Analysis: The Bears closed the 2019 season on a three-game winning streak with sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers slinging touchdowns and the defense playing some of its best football of the season. Now after three straight years of improvement under Justin Wilcox, Cal is poised for a breakout year. The Bears return more starters than any other team in the league and are giving an offense that struggled when Garbers was hurt last season a reboot under long-time NFL offense coordinator Bill Musgrave. The schedule is favorable, too, as the Bears play Utah, Oregon and Washington at home. A mid-season home showdown against the Ducks looms large as a potential swing game in the race for a division title.

Again, I am fond of this team. I am not 11 wins fond of a team’s success that is predicated so much on Chase Garbers’ success and health. Eleven wins in college football is tough to get to, especially in the Pac-12. I mean, come on, even Oregon’s talent-loaded team from last year had to use postseason play to get to 11 wins and they had the country’s best offensive line, a top-6 quarterback and an incredibly talented defense.

I don’t see 11 wins in the regular season from just about any one team in the conference and certainly not here, but that’s not even a slight towards the Bears. This conference is likely as close as it’s been in recent memory, in terms of preseason projections. But even still, I don’t see 11 wins.

How about you?