Cal Football: Lindy's Magazine Projects Bears to Finish 12th in ACC

Running back Jaydn Ott chosen to the All-ACC second team; transfer TE Corey Dyches gets first-team treatment
Jaydn Ott tries to elude USC defender
Jaydn Ott tries to elude USC defender / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Cal is picked to finish 12th among 17 teams in its first foray into the Atlantic Coast Conference next fall, according to the Lindy’s college football preview magazine.

“Probably a long year with long plane flights, but some intriguing pieces here,” the magazine said of the Bears’ prospects.

Florida State, Clemson and Miami are projected to finish 1-2-3 in the ACC while Stanford is slotted to wind up last.

Here are some other excerpts related to Cal from Lindy’s preview: 

WHERE CAL’S ACC RIVALS ARE RANKED NATIONALLY: 10. Florida State; 14. Clemson; 17. Miami; 22. NC State; 28. Louisville; 29. Virginia Tech; 32.SMU; 33. North Carolina; 42. Georgia Tech; 56. Syracuse; 58. Virginia; 61. Cal; 63. Boston College; 66. Pitt; 69. Wake Forest; 70. Duke; 75. Stanford.

WHERE CAL’S FORMER PAC-12 RIVALS ARE RANKED: 4. Oregon (Big Ten); 16. Utah (Big 12); 23. Arizona (Big 12); 26. USC (Big Ten); 39. Washington (Big Ten); 49. Colorado (Big 12); 54. UCLA (Big Ten); 61. Cal (ACC); 72. Washington State (Pac-12); 75. Stanford (ACC); 76. Oregon State (Pac-12); 77. Arizona State (Big 12). 

COREY DYCHES GETS THE NOD: Tight end Corey Dyches, a transfer from Maryland, was Cal’s lone selection to Lindy’s first-team All-ACC team. Dyches caught 49 passes last season and had 107 the past three years.

NO. 33 TRANSFER PORTAL CHOICE: While Dyches landed on the All-ACC first team as a transfer to Cal, it was cornerback Marcus Harris, an arrival from Idaho, who was the Bears’ only entry on the 75-player list of top transfer portal talent. Harris was ranked No. 33.

JAYDN OTT ON SECOND TEAM: Jaydn Ott, who rushed for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore last season, could do no better than a second-team All-ACC designation. Picked to the first unit were Miami’s Damien Martinez (formerly of Oregon State) and North Carolina’s Omarion Hampton.

OTT’S NATIONAL RANK: Among the top running backs in the country, Ott was slotted at No. 9, with Hampton and Martinez tabbed third and fifth, respectively. The No. 1 running back in the land, according to Lindy’s: Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon II, who rushed for 1,732 yards with 21 touchdowns last season.

DEFENSE GETS SOME RESPECT: The Bears struggled defensively last year, but sophomore linebacker Cade Uluave and senior safety Craig Woodson were placed on the All-ACC third team.

LINDY’S LAST WORD: The Bears’ preview wrapped up with an optimistic suggestion. “If the defense gets up to speed and (quarterback Fernando) Mendoza extends his flashes of promise from 2023, the Golden Bears are dark-horse contenders as a team — and Jaydn Ott is a dark-horse All-American contender.”

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Jeff Faraudo


Jeff Faraudo was a sports writer for Bay Area daily newspapers since he was 17 years old, and was the Oakland Tribune's Cal beat writer for 24 years. He covered eight Final Fours, four NBA Finals and four Summer Olympics.