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Cal is featured in USA Today’s way-too-early 2020 Top 25

Just let that hype simmer.

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NCAA Football: Oregon State at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 college football season ended yesterday evening with the Tigers named as National Champions.

Less than 12 hours later and it’s already time to look forward to the 2020 season.

USA Today released their absurdly-early Top 25 for the 2020 season with four Pac-12 teams in the rankings and two more having “[j]ust missed the cut”, so presumably akin to “others earning votes”. The California Golden Bears are one of these ranked teams—the second-highest-ranked team in the Pac-12 North.

Oregon is the favorite to win the Pac-12, though Southern California, California and Washington will play a factor in determining the conference championship. The Golden Bears return most of this year’s starting lineup and are an under-the-radar team to watch in the Rose Bowl chase.

Oregon is the main event on the west coast, coming in at #6. USC ranked #17 with California and Washington making the cut at #23 and 24; Utah and Arizona State fell just outside the top 25. Here’s their assessment of the Bears:

There’s a tremendous amount of experience coming back for coach Justin Wilcox, who did an admirable job slowly building the Golden Bears into a Top 25 contender. With few questions at all surrounding the defense, the biggest key may be keeping quarterback Chase Garbers healthy; he went unbeaten as a sophomore in games he started and finished.

Some of our writers are just too damn smart. Not all of us. But Nick sure is.