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Pac-12 Predictions Week 10

Went 4-0 last week with my predictions! This week we get an early start on the Pac-12 action with ASU-WSU on Thursday and USC-OSU on Friday.

Last week: 4-0. Overall: 47-8

Arizona State @ Washington State: Even though this is an away game on a Thusrday night, ASU should be able to take care of business. Arizona State 34 – Washington State 14

USC @ Oregon State: OSU may have lost last week against Furd but they are still strong at home and should defeat a much weaker Trojan team. USC 17 – Oregon State 35

Colorado @ UCLA: As long as Hundley doesn’t turn over the ball, the Bruins should not have too much trouble with the Buffs. Colorado 10 – UCLA 42

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Poor GSR: Sandy Taking Responsibility

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is Sandy’s response to Cal’s terrible/worst GSR:


Dear Friend of Cal Athletics:

By now, you have most likely seen or heard about our Graduation Success Rate (GSR) numbers published by the NCAA last week. While the majority of our teams and student-athletes produced exceptional results, two of our programs fell short of our standards and expectations. Before I describe all that we are and will be doing to address this issue, I want to provide a few more details about the data.

Specifically, our football team had a GSR of 44 percent and our men’s basketball team was at 38 percent. Ultimately, I am accountable for these results, and it is my responsibility to identify and address short-comings that have contributed to this unacceptable level of academic achievement. With that said, since evidence surfaced of declining academic results for these two teams, we have been far from complacent. We have already begun to see the results of recent corrective actions that should produce higher scores in the coming years. And it’s not just about numbers. What we are really talking about is the extent to which we are recruiting and fully supporting the kind of young men and women who are ready, able and motivated to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by this university.

It is important to understand that the recent GSR figures do not suggest that our student-athletes are failing in their classwork; rather they are often choosing to pursue other interests, such as a professional athletic career, before meeting their academic requirements to graduate. All of us understand the value of a Berkeley degree, and it is up to us to establish the expectation and the culture that encourages our student-athletes to graduate.

The latest GSR data is based on freshmen who entered school between 2003-06. Given this lag in reporting, we were able to identify factors contributing to the decline in academic performance well before the data was released. As a result, it was two years ago that we began a concerted effort to address the issue through a number of measures designed to reverse what was a disturbing trend,  particularly within our football program. Among the steps already initiated are:

  • holding monthly meetings with athletic department leadership, the faculty athletic representative, academic advisors and the head coach to review the team’s academic improvement plan to understand and manage problems before they arise;
  • encouraging players to take more challenging classes earlier in their careers to avoid the distractions that can come in a final season that can keep them from finishing their degrees;
  • a heightened focus on recruiting prospects who are motivated and prepared to succeed academically and athletically at Cal;
  • the hiring of an additional academic specialist for football, bring that total to five full time personnel;
  • establishing policies for student-athletes in their final semester that they must graduate or leave school in good academic standing in order to continue to train at the Simpson Center or in Memorial Stadium.

Critical to this effort is the commitment from our coaching staff. From the first day Coach Dykes set foot on campus, he established standards of accountability for classroom performance. With a combination of these new expectations and our recent actions, we have seen 24 players graduate over the last year, and the team’s term GPA for the spring semester was its highest in five years and the GPA for the summer session was its highest in 10 years.

Similarly, Coach Montgomery has a long history of emphasizing the importance of academics throughout his career, and of the six seniors on the men’s basketball team the past three seasons, five have graduated and a sixth is taking one class this semester to earn his degree.

By no means should the attention on these two sports detract from the great work by so many of our student-athletes. We should all be proud that four of our teams – women’s lacrosse, women’s tennis, volleyball and women’s water polo – had perfect 100 percent graduation rates, that 16 of 23 measured sports had a GSR of at least 85 percent and that a record nine programs were over 90 percent.

These numbers provide a clear indication of where our priorities are and what can be accomplished, but it will take time to see the results of our current efforts reflected in graduation rate data.

In the months ahead I also plan on convening a university-wide task force consisting of students, faculty and leaders from Athletics and the campus administration for a review of all of the factors that impact the academic performance of our student-athlete population. While there is much that Athletics can and will do on its own, we must have a constructive and comprehensive partnership with the entire University to ensure that the admissions process, academic support programs and our campus culture are all supporting widely shared goals in terms of student-athlete achievement and experience. We cannot and will not be satisfied until we reach a 100 percent graduation rate with every one of our programs.

Your support plays a vital role and I thank you for helping to create a set of expectations that we use as guiding principles when developing programs and allocating resources for our student-athletes.  I’m proud to serve as the director of athletics at one of the most prominent universities in the world – both academically and athletically – a responsibility that I take very seriously. By working together, we can look forward to supporting and building a program that strives for comprehensive excellence now and into the future.

Go Bears!

Sandy Barbour
Sandy Barbour
Director of Athletics

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Pac-12 Predictions Week 9

Couple of huge Pac-12 matchups this week with UCLA @ Oregon and Stanfurd @ Oregon State. This should be a fun Saturday to watch in the Pac.

Last week: 5-1. Overall: 43-8

Utah @ USC: USC will bounce back at home and win a tough one at home. Utah 17 – USC 21

UCLA @ Oregon: I just don’t see Oregon losing any momentum especially at home. UCLA 21 – Oregon 48

Arizona @ Colorado: Arizona should get this win but the mile high conditions may make it a bit difficult. Arizona 45 – Colorado 17

Stanfurd @ Oregon State: This is a tough one. Oregon State at home going in with all the momentum but they have to face a tough Stanfurd team. If Stanfurd wants to be good this year this have to beat a good team on the road, and I think it happens here. Stanfurd 34 –  Oregon State 17

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Pac-12 Predictions Week 8

Huge matchup between UCLA and Stanfurd. Can Stanfurd bounce back from a disappointing loss against Utah?

Last week: 3-1. Overall: 38-7

Charleston Southern @ Colorado: This shouldn’t be a hard game for Colorado. Charleston Southern 17 – Colorado 34

UCLA @ Stanfurd: I’m predicting that Stanfurd will have a big bounce back game against a solid UCLA team. UCLA 20 – Stanfurd 45

Washington @ Arizona State: Calling the upset here. ASU will have a big game with their fans behind them. Washington 21 – Arizona State 27

USC @ Notre Dame: I hate Notre Dame but I just can’t see the Trojans pulling it off away from home. USC 21 – Notre Dame 32

Utah @ Arizona: I see Utah carrying their momentum from their huge win against Stanfurd and winning a close one at Arizona. Utah 28 – Arizona 24

Washington State @ Oregon: Oregon will continue their tear. This game should be over in the first half. Washington State 14 – Oregon 52

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Cal vs. UCLA Quick Preview

Brett Hundley

Brett Hundley

Still searching for their first FBS win, Cal (1-4) will be in Pasadena on Saturday to play UCLA (4-0).  For a quick preview of the Bruins – including QB Brett Hundley & LB Anthony Barr – check out the links below, courtesy of CGB:

– UCLA Scouting Report

– UCLA Offense Preview

– UCLA Defense Preview

The Golden Bears are a heavy underdog in this game, and an upset over the Baby Bears would be a shock.  While both teams are young and have suffered several key injuries, Cal has been affected worse on both counts.  The Bears are the 2nd youngest FBS team, and the inexperience has shown throughout the first 5 games, especially on defense.  Cal has also lost 7 players – including 4 starters – to season-ending injuries.

Despite their early-season struggles, the Bears remain confident and are hopeful that this game will be the start of a turnaround.  Players from Southern California – such as Bryce Treggs, Chris Harper, and Kam Jackson – will have extra motivation to pull off an upset.  Also, don’t miss Golden Bear Report‘s in-depth 1-on-1 interview with Sonny Dykes – LINK.

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Pac-12 Predictions Week 7

I was a bit busy this week so I didn’t have time to put in my USC-Arizona prediction. Sorry about that, but here is what I think will happen in the other games.

Last week: 3-1. Overall: 35-6

Oregon @ Washington: The way Oregon is playing, I don’t think Washington has a chance even though it’s in Seattle. Oregon 45 – Washington 17

Stanfurd @ Utah: Stanfurd just looks too good over a decent but not great Utah team. Stanfurd 48 – Utah 17

Colorado @ Arizona State: Even with a loss against Notre Dame, ASU still looks to be a major Pac-12 South contender and should be able to blow by Colorado. Arizona State 49 – Colorado 10

Oregon State @ Washington State: I wonder how Wazzu will play against a healthy secondary. Sigh. Oregon State 35 – Washington State 28


Cal vs. WSU Quick Preview

WSU Coach Mike Leach

WSU Coach Mike Leach

The California Golden Bears return to Memorial Stadium to face off against the Washington State Cougars at 1pm Saturday.  For a preview of the Cougars, visit our friends at CGB:

Scouting Report

WSU Offense Preview

WSU Defense Preview

Cal Coach Sonny Dykes and WSU Coach Mike Leach share common football roots, dating back to their days as assistant coaches at Kentucky in the late 90s.  Dykes also worked as an assistant (OC & WR coach) on Leach’s staff at Texas Tech.  Saturday’s game could end up being a shootout, matching up the Dykes/Franklin Bear Raid against the Pirate’s pure Air Raid.  The Cougars (3-2) are actually a slight favorite – 1.5 points – but the game is a must-win for the Bears (1-3), who are seeking their first victory versus a Pac-12 opponent.

In other news, senior safety Alex Logan retired from football this week and is no longer on the team, according to a report by Cal Rivals – LINK.


Pac-12 Predictions Week 6

It should be a fun game tonight in Utah and one with huge implications between Washington and Stanfurd this Saturday.

Last week: 3-1. Overall: 32-5

UCLA @ Utah: Bruins should be able to win this game with solid defense. UCLA 38 – Utah 14

Oregon @ Colorado: Oregon is looking too good. I don’t even think the thin air in Boulder will stop them. Oregon 52 – Colorado 20

Arizona State vs Notre Dame: This would be a huge win for Arizona State, especially after that big win against USC. This game might not be determined until the very end. Arizona State 38 – Notre Dame 35

Washington @ Stanfurd: I hate to keep picking our rivals, but that team is very solid right now. Washington 27 – Stanfurd 35