Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Five Question Cal Football Preview

San Francisco is Bear Territory in 2011
People have short attention spans. This is why losing your virginity, tweeting and shotgunning beers are so fun, they only require 11 seconds of your attention.

Short attention span? Can't Read? Then shotgun a beer!

What else only requires 11 seconds of your attention? This preview.

If you're a fast reader, this five paragraph Cal football preview will take you two minutes and 19 seconds to read. If you're a slow reader, this preview will take you two hours. If you can't read at all, that kind of sucks, but you're probably real good at shotgunning beers. 

On that note, lets start the preview. 

1. Is Jeff Tedford on the hot seat?
Does Jeff Tedford look like he's hot in this seat?

Is Ron Jeremy a virgin? Does Taco Bell sell Falafels? Is Rebecca Black ever going to win a Grammy?  No, no, no and no. Jeff Tedford is not on the hot seat. Tedford's seat right now is mildly warm, kind of like when you sit on the toilet seat right after someone else just used it. I don't know Cal AD Sandy Barbour personally (although I did pet her dog once), but my gut feeling is that four is the team's magic number. If Tedford gets to four wins, he definitely keeps his job. Three wins he probably keeps his job. Two or less and he's in trouble. Based on what I've seen from this team so far, I don't think he'll have to worry about losing his job.

2. Is Zach Maynard for real? 

Lets read Keenan Allen's mind real quick. Keenan came to Cal for two basic reasons: 1. he wanted to play with his brother 2. he wants to win. If Keenan thought Zach was a horrible QB, he wouldn't have gone to the same school as him, because, brother or not, nobody wants to catch passes from a horrible QB. Keenan has faith in Zach, which is why Cal fans should too. Now if Maynard throws eight interceptions against Fresno State and Keenan Allen decides to transfer four minutes after the game, that would be the cue to start worrying.

3. Does the O-line have any depth? 

This is a penthouse at the Wynn Hotel.
Imagine if you were staying in a penthouse suite at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas. Then, on the second night of your stay, hotel staff comes to your room and says, "Yea, so, we accidentally booked this room twice, we're going to have to move you, only we're at capacity, so we're actually going to have to move to you to a different hotel, only its not even a hotel we're moving you too, its actually a makeshift refrigerator box that we set up about three miles away and you'll probably have to fight a homeless person for it."

If I lost you somewhere in the above paragraph (and I probably did), lets just say the Wynn is the starting O-line and if you're a fan, you should keep your fingers crossed that the team is in the penthouse in the Wynn all season.

4. Is Tedford putting in a super secret offense (pistol, spread, single wing, etc)? 

Sometime in late August, there were three straight days during camp practice where Tedford kept the centers behind to work on shotgun snaps. I asked him about it. He said something to the effect of, "this is normal, we always stay behind and practice shotgun snaps." So I asked a few of the longer tenured beat guys if this was normal, bottom line: it's not normal. My personal take: I think Tedford has opened up the playbook to utilize Maynard's ability. I don't think this means they "installed" a pistol or spread offense, but I do think the playbook has a few new wrinkles in it and by a few, I mean a lot.

5. How many games will this team win? 

The Stephanie Tanner effect says Cal will win 8 games.
I had a crush on Stephanie Tanner as a kid, my favorite movie is the Rock and I made a 3/14 size replica of the Golden Gate Bridge out of drinking straws in sixth grade. The point here (I know, I know, it really doesn't seem like there is a point) is that Cal is playing in San Francisco. I like San Francisco. I think the Bears will surprise a lot of people this year. I was going to predict 7-5 (that's what I've been telling random Cal fans that I've talked too), but I got so excited writing this that I'm going with 8-4 because that's what Stephanie Tanner would want.

Basically, it comes down to this: if the offense can gel during the first three games (and win all of them) and the defense plays like everyone expects them too, this team is going to be tough to beat. Also, call me crazy or even call me Tom Holmoe, but I don't see Cal losing to both Stanford and Oregon. I think they pull the upset on one of the two.

***Note: there are no defensive questions in this preview because the defense is stacked. Finding a flaw with the defense is like looking for an ugly body part on Megan Fox, it can be done, but it would take all day, which I don't have because I have a Cal-Fresno State game to get too.  

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(John Breech covers Cal football and basketball for

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