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Jason A.W.’s Pac-12 Predictions: Week 5


Wasn’t able to post picks last week since I was out of town. But I went 3-2. Didn’t see UCLA losing and Wazzou losing.

 

Overall: [26-12] Last week: [3-2]

 

Stanford 35 – Washington 28: Stanford is for real. It’s more than just Luck and Harbaugh as they will prove

Arizona State 14 – California 41: [D’Amato with the Game Winning FG! Tedford needs this win or his seat will be scorching] – My buddy Shawn is reliving 2009 when Cal squeezed out a 2 point victory on Halloween

UCLA 42 – Colorado 17: UCLA will win and bounce back.

Oregon State 17 – Arizona 38: Arizona is a lot more explosive than they showed on national TV in Eugene last week.

Oregon 42 – Washington State 24: Ugh, when will Oregon finally play a meaningful game.


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The State of Cal Football


“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”
Bill Shankly

As a hardcore Cal fan, Cal football IS life. It’s so sad that during the offseason most people didn’t expect too much out of the football team. Maybe an 8-4 and hopes for a 9-3 season. No one expected a Rose Bowl but no one expected this either. It’s so bad that Cal is actually doing worse than Ted Miller’s Worst Case Scenario. So what’s all the concern? Well here’s a few things on the laundry list of worries: Pendergast is now 1-6 against spread offenses and zone read offenses, Cal’s offensive line is getting torn up left and right every game, the running game both offense and defense is terrible, Bigelow seems like the next Jahvid Best but Tedford won’t play him because of “missed  assignments” (though I’m sure each offensive lineman has missed way more assignments than Bigelow), and overall the team looks lackluster and defeated. Where’s the motivation? Where’s the fire?

 “Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors.”
Frank Gifford

It seems like every single program in the Pac-12 is fighting to be relevant. Even though Washington State are looking pretty bad right now, at least they tried to change things up by hiring Leach and at least they are trying to rebuild. Oregon State had a terrible past two seasons but look at them now. Mike Riley knew he was on the hot seat so he brought back the intensity to Oregon State. What about Tedford? Sure Sandy Barbour have continuously supported him, but look where the program is now. Tedford has not brought any motivation to the team since 2006. He keeps trying to change things around him but really he’s been changing himself. He has lost his identity -  that Tedford from 2002-2006. He keeps looking for help from others, even studied plays under Bill Belichik, but really all he needs to do is look inward not outward. Tedford needs to know that it’s time to fight and it’s time to win. He has to take responsibility and blame for everything because right now only he himself can win the battle and ultimately, the war.

“We can’t run. We can’t pass. We can’t stop the run. We can’t stop the pass. We can’t kick. Other than that, we’re just not a very good football team right now.”
Bruce Coslet

Is it time to panic? Maybe. Fans on BearInsider have already started a thread on who should be our next Head Coach. Everyone is blaming everyone and everything, and only a couple more losses before all chaos lets loose. But hey you know what? The Bear Will Not Quit, The Bear Will Not Die! Cal is going to need one hell of a comeback to go 9-3 (if Cal does, I assure you we will be ranked at the end of the season). I’d even be happy with an 8-4 season. However, it all begins this Saturday against ASU. You want to know where this season is gonna go? Then watch the ASU game. We win this Saturday with certainty and just maybe we’ll get our mojo back, but if we lose look for pitchforks and torches outside of Tedford’s office.


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Pac-12 Predictions: Week 5


Overall: [25-13] Last week: [2-3]

Seems like I couldn’t pick anything last week. Well, I blame that pirate Leach for that. This week starts early with a great matchup between Stanford and Washington. I want both to lost bought unfortunately that’s not how sports work.

Stanford 35 – Washington 21: I don’t see how Washington can win against a tough and aggressive team like Stanford, much like how they got whooped over at LSU.

Arizona State 28 – California 31: D’Amato with the Game Winning FG! Tedford needs this win or his seat will be scorching.

UCLA 42 – Colorado 17: Sure the Buffs showed some heart against Washington State, but it was Washington State. They’ll have no luck against a Bruins team out for blood.

Oregon State 24 – Arizona 21: That Oregon State D looks damn good and Arizona QB Matt Scott is banged up after their loss to Oregon.

Oregon 52 – Washington State 7: Everyone knew that Oregon has an amazing offense, but now their D is unstoppable. Cougars have no chance against the Ducks.


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Keys to Victory – USC


There are not too many Cal fans that have no disdain for those wretched USC Trojans. That’s because Cal hasn’t defeated the Trojans since 2003! That’s 9 long aggravating defeats.

Every year, Cal seems to have a change against the Trojans but for some reason they always bring out their best against Cal. USC has always had the top athletic and toughest team yet sometimes they lose to middle of the Pac teams like Oregon State. However, that loss is never against Cal. What the hell is up with that?

Well, forgive me for ranting about how the hell Cal loses to USC all the damn time while Stanford manages to defeat them 4 years in a row. HOW??? Luckily, Cal may be able to observe what Stanford was able to do last week against the Trojans, and possibly mimic what Stanford did. This Saturday could be the best or worst timing to play the Trojans. Barkley and company could be so hungry and focused for a victory after their loss that they might come out fired up against the Bears, or they may still be struggling and confused after their big defeat against Stanford. Whatever the case is there are a few things that the Bears must be better at than the Trojans in order to win.

1. Establish a running game

This means that our beat up offensive line MUST create holes for our talented backs. With Tedford’s new revelation that Brendan Bigelow is the fastest and most balanced runner since Jahvid Best, Cal may have an easier time establishing a run game and also creating some interesting play action plays. If Cal can pound USC’s defensive line much like what Stanford did, Cal will definitely be toe to toe against USC.

2. Stop the running game

As important as it is to establish the running game, it might be even more important to stop USC’s running game. Yes, Barkley and his speedy receivers have ridiculous play making ability, but if Cal has to force the Trojans to pass more than they would like to, Cal can force Barkley to make just enough mistakes to steal the game.

3. Win the Turnover Battle

The last time Cal had less turnovers than USC was in 2003. Yeah, that’s the last game we actually defeated the Trojans. Cal just has to stay focused on the game plan without over doing everything and the ball may just bounce Cal’s way. Barkley tended to hint at where he threw the last three games so maybe our Defensive Backs can catch onto that but at the same time be cautious that Barkley may have fixed that problem after his loss last week.


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Pac-12 Predictions: Week 3


Overall: [23-10] Last week: [8-2]

Here comes the Pac-12 season! USC-Stanford officially started the league games last week with a bang. Let’s hope for more fireworks this weekend.

Oregon St. 14 – UCLA 38: I was tempted to pick Oregon State because they had a week of rest and Oregon State beat Wisconsin (though they don’t look that great this season), but UCLA just looks too good.

Colorado 17 – Washington St. 42: Colorado could quite possibly go 0-12 this season.

California 35 – USC 32: The Trojans will be hungry for this win and they match up very well against the Bears, but I never bet against my own team.

Utah 27 – Arizona St. 30: This is a really tough one, but I’m going to have to go with the Sun Devils over a Utes team with a banged up John White and no Jordan Wynn.

Arizona 27 – Oregon 52: You may not know this but Oregon actually has a very solid defense, and also they are pretty much unbeatable at home.


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Jason A. W’s Cal vs. Ohio State First Half Analysis


View from the shoe

Cal comes out in blue/white/white helmet/uniform/pants combination. Jeff Tedford is 6-0 against the Big-10. Let’s make it 7-0 today!

- Cal defense shows great sign of intensity on the first series. Marc Anthony with a nice breakup on 3rd down to force a punt.

- Maynard passes for a couple of first downs, but more accurate throws could have lead to more yards after the carry.

- Bears get a great punt and pin the Buckeyes inside the 5 and force a 3 and out. Ohio State wide receivers have gifted the Bears with a couple of drops and Keenan fair catches at midfield for great field position.

- Cal actually goes for it on 4th and 4 and Chris Harper drops a first down. Offensive line looks better and Maynard seems a bit more settled.

- Braxton Miller jukes out of a 3rd and 3. Marc Anthony and Alex Logan both had a great chance.

- Great response drive from the Bears. Isi gets a couple of nice runs and Keenan breaks out a 5 yard hitch route for 20 additional yards.

- Chris Harper trots in from a bubble screen and Cal leads 7-6! I’d love to see the missed extra point for OSU come back and haunt them! We might cover 16.5!

- Bucks take advantage of an overly aggressive secondary. Tim Tebow probably ran that play to perfection.

- Typical Tedford 3rd and long and we run a draw resulting in a 18 yard punt.

- Maynard takes a hit and almost gets picked off.

- Stevie Williams is getting picked on deep passes. Interesting analysis from the announcers that Marc Anthony is our best cornerback and should be covering Devin Smith. Nevertheless Cal is now down 20-7, we need a big response now.

- Maynard gets down, Cal punts, but we get a gift 15 yard unsportsmanlike. Let’s force a punt and get good field position.

- ESPN was nice enough to show some rugby highlights which might be the highlight for Cal fans. BTW we won 15-5.

- Finally a first down. Isi just seems so overmatched when he runs inside.

- Ugh Jacob Wark with a somewhat unnecessary hold negating a C.J. Anderson touchdown. Announcers don’t like the call. Hopefully we can still punch the ball in. Allen takes a shot, we might get that flag given back to us.

- Wow refs are making it even harder for us. Some of these calls are starting to get pretty ridiculous.

- I’m not surprised that the field goal didn’t go in. Just the type of call which always goes against Cal.

- Defense has been playing much better, but our offense (and refs) need to start helping them out.


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Jason A.W.’s Pac-12 Predictions: Week 3


Overall: [16-7] Last week: [8-4]

Washington St. 51 – UNLV 30: Wazzu will win again this year.
California 22 – Ohio St 34: I don’t think Cal wins, but I believe we hang close and cover the 16.5 point spread.
Tennessee Tech 13 – Oregon 52: Nobody will notice their defense is missing a few key guys.
Portland St. 19 – Washington 52: Might be the Dawg’s only win for a while given their upcoming schedule.
Arizona St 42 – Missouri 40: ASU won last year and it would be nice to get on the scoreboard against the SEC
USC 32 – Stanford 15: Stanford has won 4 out of the last 5 but I believe USC has too much talent this year.
Colorado 29 – Fresno St 27: Buffaloes got to win some time.
BYU 21 – Utah 38: Utes very tough to beat at Rice Eccles.
S. Carolina St. 16 – Arizona 54: Rich Rod flexes his muscle again.
Houston 37 – UCLA 42: Bruins have split the 2 for 1 series with the Cougars, but should be able to pull out a victory here.


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Pac-12 Predictions: Week 3


Overall: [15-8] Last week: [7-5]

How about them upsets last week?! Most of the Pac-12 looked pretty good expect Utah, Colorado, and our beloved Cal Bears. This week Stanford and USC kickoff the Pac-12 Conference games.

Washington St. 31 – UNLV 10: Tuel is out for WSU but Halliday is just as capable. Also, UNLV plain sucks so the Cougars should be able to roll by them.
California 27 – Ohio St 23: Why not? THE BEAR WILL NEVER QUIT! THE BEAR WILL NEVER DIE!
Tennessee Tech 17 – Oregon 72: Cover your eyes! This is going to be a massacre.
Portland St. 14 – Washington 42: After the Huskies get a huge beat down by LSU, they get a nice cupcake get before facing Pac-12 foes.
Arizona St 32 – Missouri 30: Yup, that’s right. I’m calling the upset in SEC territory.
USC 28 – Stanford 35: David Shaw always leaves his best trick in the bag for the Trojans.
Colorado 21 – Fresno St 27: I don’t believe in the Buffs anymore. They are currently shaming the Pac-12.
BYU 21 – Utah 38: The Utes may not have Wynn anymore and John White is questionable, but they are a tough team at home, nonetheless.
S. Carolina St. 16 – Arizona 34: Arizona is looking really really good right now and that offense with Matt Scott under shotgun looks quite efficient.
Houston 17 – UCLA 42: Without Case Keenum, Houston has no chance against the Bruins. RB Franklin of UCLA may again have a 200+ yard performance.


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Map of Cal’s Away Games and Top Eateries in Each Area


So here are all the away stadiums that the Cal Football team will be going to. At each location I have placed a few of the top eateries according to Yelp & Zagat. Each eatery’s marker  has a Yelp link with it so that you can judge yourself. Enjoy! And let me know if you want me to add any special locations!


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Jason A.W.’s Pac-12 Predictions: Week 2


Overall: [8-3]

Meh, got to learn to pick with my head and not my heart. It looks like the Pac-12 is going to be a two team top heavy league this year with a lot mediocrity unless a few teams can pull off some upsets this weekend.

Utah 35 – Utah State 14: Utah should be on upset alert. Keep in mind the Aggies almost upset Auburn last year if it wasn’t for an onside kick recovery.
Sacramento State 21 – Colorado 24: Colorado should have a better showing this week. Needless to say, the loss of Paul Richardson is hurting the Buffalo’s offense a ton.
Southern Utah 13 – California 55: I hope the stadium is at least half full.
Eastern Washington 21 – Washington State 37 : Home cooking should help the Cougars get back on their feet. Expect a lot of passing this game.
USC 35 – Syracuse 7: Probably the first of two trips for Matt Barkley to New York City this season.
Wisconsin 35 – Oregon State 12: Too much talent and too much Ball on one side. Plus not having a tune-up game last week hurts the Beavers. Oregon State probably starts slow again this season only to wreck BCS havoc later.
Fresno State 17 – Oregon 48: Lot of pushups on the schedule for Puddles today.
Washington 17– LSU 31: LSU hasn’t lost to a Pac-10/12 team since 1979 against USC. Granted there have been some close calls. What a huge win this would be if UW can pull this off.
Nebraska 24 – UCLA 35: Vegas really likes Nebraska so I’m going to go the other way. Two similar offenses should make for an exciting game.
Oklahoma State 31 – Arizona 27: Will the third time be the charm for Arizona? Oklahoma State doesn’t have Weeden or Blackmon, but Mike Gundy is still a man and can coach high octane offenses.
Illinois 24 – Arizona State 42: Illinois had two wins against Pac-12 teams last season and it would be nice for Sparky to get one back against the Big-10. Hopefully the Sun Devils aren’t looking ahead to Missouri next week.
Duke 16 – Stanford 31: I expect a better showing from the Cardinals this weekend. Duke has been making progress under new coach David Cutcliffe but it’s still a basketball school and will be first. Interesting note: Duke has two Rose Bowl appearances.

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