What do we know about $C this year? They squeaked by a now known-to-be-lousy ‘furd squad, dropped a shocker to BC, and then lost to the ‘devs and the Utes on last second TDs. A “signature” win against ‘zona was preserved when the ‘cats kicker missed his third field goal of the night so $C is one lousy kick away from also being 5-4. So why is $C a 14 point favorite? I think it is largely historical. Cal hasn’t won in the Coliseum since the Coolidge administration (or so it seems) and $C did demolish Wazoo last week, but the Golden Bears are coming off an emotional win at Corvallis where they hadn’t won since the Harding administration. Both teams have had almost two weeks to prepare which in my mind gives the edge to Cal which needed the time to get key players back into the lineup. On the other hand, will they over prepare for an $C defense which just isn’t that good? If Cal can put 30 points of their nearly 42 point average on $C, that may be enough to win as $C lost to teams scoring 35, 38 and 24 points and should have lost the game where they gave up 26 and 3 missed field goals. Can Cal deal with yet another instance where the opponents edge may be largely psychological? The game in Corvallis was a real gut check – and the impact on the OSU program could be substantial (like a coaching change). $C is playing for pride as they lose the tie-breaker to the ‘devs on head-to-head and they will be the underdog in the Bell game this year. This game will be tough and may come down to a final kick with Cal winning 38-35 on an over/under line of 72.
In the Norris division, the Quacks have wrapped up the title, but Cal can land second place by winning out against $C and ‘furd with a combined 11-7 record. In the Queen of England division, the ‘devs are in the driver’s seat with only ‘zona in their way to a second straight title and showdown with the Quacks. LA State owns the tie-breaker over the ‘devs but must itself win out against $C and ‘furd at home.
In national play, a berth in the Soft Drink Playoff is up for grabs as Miss State visits ‘bama with the question being which team will be lucky and which will be good? With two of the best defenses on the field, this could be another 9-6 game or, if Dan Mullen can pull an Urban Meyer, 35-6. I’m going with 35-6 as I don’t think ‘bama can keep up with the ‘dogs.