CBS Sports’ David Cobb has a prediction for Cal’s 2020 football season that could send Cal fans into a state of unbridled euphoria.
Most projections suggest the Bears will finish third or fourth in the Pac-12 North, with the most optimistic assessments suggesting the Bears could finish second behind Oregon.
But that was before this projection by Cobb. In stark contrast to the ESPN Football Power Index, which suggests the Bears will finish 6-6, Cobb predicts the Bears will win the Pac-12 North with an 11-1 record, including 8-1 in the conference.
The article is titled: “Predicting Pac-12 win totals: Cal poised to break out in 2020 college football season, challenge Oregon, USC”
Cobb predicts Cal will beat both Oregon and Washington in their games in Berkeley, with the Bears’ only loss coming at USC.
There is no prediction about the winner of the Pac-12 championship game, which, if these predictions are accurate, would be between Cal and USC at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Cal linebacker Evan Weaver noted after the Bears’ Redbox Bowl win over Illinois that Cal could make a run at a Rose Bowl bid in 2020, not realizing that the Rose Bowl in the 2020 season serves as a semifinal game in the College Football Playoff. But if Cal goes 11-1 and wins the conference title game, it could wind up in the national semifinal game in the Rose Bowl.
Here is CBS Sports.com’s analysis of Cal’s 2020 season:
Analysis: The Bears closed the 2019 season on a three-game winning streak with sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers slinging touchdowns and the defense playing some of its best football of the season. Now after three straight years of improvement under Justin Wilcox, Cal is poised for a breakout year. The Bears return more starters than any other team in the league and are giving an offense that struggled when Garbers was hurt last season a reboot under long-time NFL offense coordinator Bill Musgrave. The schedule is favorable, too, as the Bears play Utah, Oregon and Washington at home. A mid-season home showdown against the Ducks looms large as a potential swing game in the race for a division title.
Cal players and fans must now hope the 2020 season is played. There have been a number of scenarios put forth for a college football season, including games with no crowds, a shortened season and a season delayed until the spring.
The University of Iowa president said he expects the Hawkeyes' football team to get back on the field to practice on June 1, according to an ESPN story.
But is it possible that Cal could finish 11-1? That would give Cal the most wins in a season in school history and would virtually match the 2004 Cal team, which went 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference during the regular season before losing to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. (Don't bring up the name of Mack Brown to a Cal fan.) It also could land Cal in the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1958 season.
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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