1. Get Bowl Eligible ASAP – After last year’s experience of waiting to the last minute, I am sure nobody wants to count on a date with Stanford, or an after Big Game date (Cal isn’t very good at these remember) with Arizona State in Tempe to get into a bowl game. Stanford and Oregon both looking like potential BCS bowl candidates. If the Cardinals and Ducks only have 1 or 2 losses, one will likely get the Rose Bowl birth (presuming them win the Pac-12 Championship Game) or if someone from the South wins it, the runner-up or team on the sideline might have the horses to qualify for the Fiesta Bowl. Remember, bowl games are nothing but exhibition games and the lure of Andrew Luck or Phil Knight and those wacky Oregon uniforms would give these teams the slight edge. What does this mean for Cal? Two BCS teams from the Pac-12, plus USC’s ineligibility to play means a double bump from the usual bowl positioning from most other years. Winning 3 out of the next 4 games which we will likely be favored to win anyways would go a long ways to closing out the season on a high note.
2. Mychal Kendricks , Sean Cattouse and Mitchell Schwartz finish strong – Likely Cal’s 3 year streak of players drafted in the first round will end in the upcoming draft (Alex Mack, Tyson Alualu, Jahvid Best, Cameron Jordan). But this does not mean we can’t elevate a couple of the seniors in the upcoming draft. Chris Conte, Cameron Jordan, and Tyson Alualu in recent drafts have proven Cal can produce talent on the defensive side of the ball as well. Kendricks and Cattouse were unfortunately highlights in a couple of long LaMichael James runs on national television, but they both possess NFL bodies and talent so hopefully a strong finish by Cal can elevate their draft status.
3. Have the young talent excite the crowd – Cal now employs both young starting cornerbacks in Stefan McClure and Steve Williams. But I’m sure the fans would be excited to see a little more Brendan Bigelow breaking off big runs, Gabe King getting a big sack, Tiny Moala clogging up the middle, or Chris McCain getting a big interception. With back to back top 20 rated classes, it would be nice to see someone outside of Keenan Allen begin to carry the banner. Regardless of how the season end, notable performances by freshmen and sophomore will get Cal fans excited moving into 2012 in the new Memorial Stadium.