Evan Weaver, always comfortable pushing boundaries, laid out the challenge to the 2020 Cal football team.
The Bears' All-America linebacker won't be back, but suggested next year's team should aspire for the ultimate goal -- the Rose Bowl.
And coach Justin Wilcox certainly did not put the kibosh on heightened expectations.
“That’s the reason we sign up. I mean, if we’re not trying to win every game what are we even doing here,” Wilcox said. “We can talk about it, and that’s all great. What it takes is a lot of hard work, an investment by people in the program — not just players and coaches but the institution.
“We’ll have very high expectations for ourselves going forward. Now, what those are outside of our building, we don’t really control. But there’s no reason we can’t expect more out of ourselves and I think we’ve earned the right . . . to expect more. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Asked what the team’s ceiling is for next season on the heels of three straight victories to end the season, sophomore wideout Nikko Remigio said simply, “There is none.”
Cal has not played in Pasadena on New Year's Day since Jan. 1, 1959 (1958 football season), and for most of the past 60 years any talk of getting there was little more than wishful thinking by frustrated Old Blues.
Now, with virtually the entire offense returning and plenty of talent still on defense, it no longer feels like a ridiculous prospect. Yes, Oregon, Washington and Stanford aren't gong anywhere.
But Cal is moving in the right direction, and the players' confidence is growing.
"I think we're always aspiring to do the best we can, and if that lands us in the Rose Bowl, all the better," said junior offensive tackle Jake Curhan. "Coach Wilcox has goals for the team and it's winning the North, winning the conference and winning a bowl game.
"If we do the first two, there's a pretty good chance we end up in that game."