Cal Game Day Preseason Report

You are probably wondering what this is, why is it here, and who am I?  It’s the “irreverent” part of Cal Game Day, we’re required by some sort of mobile app regulations to have unique & original content, and I am The Roman.  At least that’s what my friends called me in grade school so it made sense for a pen name.  I’ve been writing these for our tailgate gang for the last couple of years so we figured it is time to go mobile.  So in the best tradition of the more light-hearted sportswriters, let’s plunge in.

Warning: the following is intended strictly for entertainment only – any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental and is not the responsibility of The Roman, Cal Game Day, or Phondini Partners.

At the beginning of every Pac-1x season (we’re not taking any chances anymore), we like to take a look at what could happen if the ball bounces strangely.  Otherwise, take $C and give 21 points for a sure-thing bet all season.

Sure, the Quacks could compete with $C, and the world could end in 2012 as well.  We put the same odds on each.  Now, if the Quacks had Mo Farah, totally different story, and they do have him, but at the adjacent Running Shoe Institute of Advanced Leg Performance, Salazar Division (and if you missed the Six-Ringed Games of Many Sports, google it).

‘furd goes in ranked #21 and we’ll see how far a team can go just on the strength of an O-line.  Sure, no defenders will ever get past the line of scrimmage, but will any ‘furdians ever get past line of scrimmage on offense.  Could see a lot of 3-2 and 7-6 games.  Or maybe I’m off by an order of magnitude.

The Dawgs are potential contenders in the Pac-1x Norris division except for the fact that the players seem to be spending all their time on Facebook and Twitter.   We play them at home.  On a Friday night,  With no on-campus parking available.  Which means that we apparently get to tailgate at Golden Gate Fields and take a shuttle bus.  Seriously.  I’m not making this up.

Five teams are in search of QBs (six if you count us – tip of the hat to Bob & John who don’t believe we have a QB, and back to five if you believe the Quacks can take just any old world-class sprinter and turn him into a QB – which they have).  Tough to contend in either Norris or Adams divisions without a QB.  Actually, tough to play at all.  So I think we can write-off the Devs, Buffs, Big Cats, and LA-State.

Which leaves the Oots, Large Brown Rodents and Small Cats.  Ok, so an Indian, a Beaver and a Cat walk into bar…

Cal, as always, has potential.   Looking at the season game-by-game.

Reno State – oh revenge would be sweet and the other Dawgs are probably as vulnerable as they’ve ever been.  Early in the season, a new stadium, lots of noise, and anything probably will happen.  Cal teams seem the least prepared in early season games so this is really more a test of preparation than talent.  The talent is there.   I’m an optimist.  Cal by 3.

Utah – no, not the Oooots, but the other state college – really?  Better than you think, this will be their first season in the Large Heavens conference (which I thought you either needed a religious affiliation or astronomy program to join), and I’m sure we’ll see dozens of trick plays. My high school fb coach was from SU, yet even I didn’t know that their mascot was that cheesy clay-mation Sci Fi show from the 60s.  It’s a close game for 3 quarters until a geography professor gives a pep talk on exactly where Cedar City is. Cal by 14.

The Flower State University – frankly I’ve lost track of the scandal count, dismissals, suspensions, inquisitions, and the Nuremberg trials held in front of 130,000 flowerites.  Some new guy is coaching these young guys in Columbus and we’re invited to the party along with 190,000 friends of the flower.  Who knows what will happen.  Game day prediction: Cal takes  the field in front of 240,000 screaming flower fans and thinks that they’ve arrived at a Stones concert instead of the game.   Scandals notwithstanding, stadium capacity is being increased weekly and is expected to reach 312,000 by game time.   Coin flip.

$C – take $C and 21 for a sure bet.  In the Coliseum (never could quite figure out how you end up with 8 different spellings of that) and early in the season $C is supposed to be vulnerable.  Yeah, vulnerable like a mountain lion holding a rattlesnake with a black widow spider balanced on its head.  Game changes if $C team gets food poisoning the night before.  Or maybe not.   Maybe we bust the spread.  Maybe team decides to go to Disneyland instead.  $C by 21.

A-State, LA-State, Wa-State – Two great home games and my birthday followed by the worst road trip in the country, fortunately early enough to avoid the ice storm tornado blizzards or whatever they have in the Palouse.   Should be 3 great games – probably all closely contested.  Winnable if Cal keeps their composure against their ex-high-school teammates from LA-state.  Sweep.

The Big Game – in October?  WTF?   Enuff said.  Another great game – if Cal makes steady improvements, they could be peaking, freshmen could be delivering, and its a home game.  BTW, Rally Comm needs our help since they have to do TWO bonfire rallies – and The Big Game rally can’t be held at the Greek.  Cal by 3 (but do we have a kicker???)

Oooooots – I hate road games around Halloween – weird stuff always happens.  This is the trap game of the season (along with the Palouse).  Could be difference between getting a bowl bid and decorating the Xmas tree.  Another close one – can we score in 4th Quarter?  Cal by 1

Dawgs, Quacks – again two great home games in a row.  If the Bears are healthy and coming off a couple of good wins, then these games will be competitive.  We get the Quacks after they’ve traveled to that other old Olympic Stadium for their grudge match with $C and before they take on ‘furd in another grudge match – so its a game that the Quacks could overlook. And we get to hold the Big Game Rally & Bonfire before the Quacks game.  Split.

Large Brown Rodents – the only thing I hate more than road games on Halloween, are road games in Corvallis.   Another trap game.  Giant Water Rats could be 1-10 going into the game and it won’t matter.  Going by past record – just ain’t going to happen.  Damned Rodents by 3.  Say it isn’t so.

So call me crazy but if the ball bounces our way, could be as strong as a 9-3 season, more likely 8-4 if we lose in Columbus in front of 432,000 frenzied flowerians.  The fact is that the Pac-1x is divided even more into haves and have-nots, with Cal positioned in the middle seemingly unable to break the glass ceiling that is $C/Quacks.  But who knows.