Midterms! How would you grade the California Golden Bears season at the midway mark and why?
Avinash: B+. There were very reasonable Bear fans out there who thought Cal would be 1-5 with plenty of no-shows down the line. Cal has won one game on the road, won one game at home, and was super competitive with the likely Pac-12 South champs. They got mauled in Oregon and still were within a touchdown in the 4th quarter.
The dam finally broke against Washington, but Friday is really the end of Cal's tough stretch. Every one of Cal's final five games is very much winnable.
Piotr T Le: B, above expectations with flashes of brilliance on the defense. A lot of injuries and poor showing by the o-line has been dragging down the grade. We are slightly ahead of schedule on the rebuild but it is going to be a painful process.
Berkelium97: B. I had higher expectations than most going into this season, as I expected 5 or 6 wins. I expected to be 3-3 at this point, so the team is meeting expectations. Separating the team by units, I'd give the defense an A- and the offense a C.
Except for the occasional big play and much of the Oregon game, the defense has been strong this year. They're generally in the right position, they swarm to the ball, and they're pretty good at disrupting the opposing offense through a combination of line penetration and disguised blitzes/coverages. The offense has had a couple pleasant surprises (Noa, Laird), but the QB play and offensive line have been much worse than I expected. Despite three-game losing streak, I'm much more optimistic about the future of the team than I was under the last couple years of the Sonny Dykes era.
Ruey Yen: B. Bears performed reasonably well to win the two winnable games vs. UNC and Ole Miss. Bears are still in line to make a bowl game, which I think the fanbase would have been very happy to take at the beginning of the year. Yes, the Bears will have to overcome some injury hardship in the 2nd half. Nevertheless, the first half has gone about as well as reasonably expected. The grade would have been an A (even with losses at Oregon and at Washington) if the Bears had been able to beat the vulnerable USC team.
boomtho: I'd go with a B, but with performing trending downward as head towards the final exam. I think very few people expected to come out of the first 6 games with 3 wins, including 1 road win. Because of that, it's hard for me to go much lower than a B. However, the trend is certainly worrisome. Worsened performance in games 4-6 was 100% predictable given the schedule, but the offense looking completely inept was probably a steeper falloff than what most expected.