Friday, September 9, 2011

Cal-Colorado: The Pac-12 Game That's Not a Pac-12 Game, but Really is a Pac-12 Game, Even Though its Not a Pac-12 Game

Wait, so Cal-Colorado is a non-conference conference game?
Alright, its Friday, I'm at Starbucks and there's a guy with a prosthetic leg sitting next to me, which can only mean one thing: time to make my weekly Cal pick.

If you know a bookie, this is the part where you call him, tell him to hold for five minutes, read my preview and then drop you're beer money, rent money or mortgage on the team I pick. 

I won't waste your time with a position by position breakdown because I only have 19 minutes to write this before my car gets towed. 

Lets look at the three quick keys to the game: 

Who'll take more hits Saturday: Hansen or this bowl?
1. Cal's D-line: The only thing on this planet deeper than a spiritual conversation with the Dalai Lama is Cal's D-line. Yes, it's that deep. Hawaii sacked CU QB Tyler Hansen seven times last week, which is seven more times than Hansen probably thought the Hawaii D-line would sack him. If Cal controls the line of scrimmage (and I think they will), then Hansen's going to get hit more often than an unsmoked bowl in a college dorm room occupied by four hippies.

2. Dominic Galas: There was a super weird play in last weeks game against Fresno State. You know the one I'm talking about, it was the one where Galas snapped it away from Zach Maynard in Cal's end zone. Isi Sofele then picked the ball up and tried the Reggie Bush lateral, only instead of lateraling it, he fumbled it, which led to a Fresno State touchdown. Galas said the error was 100 percent his fault. Maynard said the errant snap was simply a miscommunication caused by crowd noise.

The point here: If 20,000 Fresno State fans made enough noise to affect a snap, imagine how much noise 50,000 sloppy drunk Colorado students can make. Crowd noise will be a big factor Saturday: if Galas, Maynard and company can fight through the noise with minimal errors (delay of game, false start penalties, snaps that lead to big losses or turnovers), Colorado is going to be in more trouble than a Blood locked in Cripp's car trunk. 

3. Road Games: I'll keep this short and sweet. Cal didn't get their first road win until after Halloween last season. They were outscored 145-61 in their first four road games last season. They're 10-17 in road games since 2006. Vegas usually gives the home team 3 points when making the spread, if the home team is playing Cal, they should probably give them 90. 

That being said, I'll take the Bears this week.

Prediction: Cal 38-21 over Colorado

Last week's prediction: Cal 31-17 over Fresno State (Actual score: 36-21)

Do you want more Holy Cal? 

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(John Breech covers Cal football and basketball for

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