2018 Football Preview – Pac 12 – Golden Bears
Looking for 2018 California Golden Bears predictions? The Golden Bears are coming off a 2017 season in which they went 5-7 but went just 2-7 in Pac-12 competition after a successful 3-0 non-conference record. (They played North Carolina, Weber State and Ole Miss to kick off the year.)
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2018-18 College Football Preview – California Golden Bears
Head Coach: Justin Wilcox
2017 Record: 5-7
California Golden Bears Odds to win the 2018 FBS Championship: +100000
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Although this team doesn’t project to be much better than a top-50 program—and isn’t a national title contender by any means—the Golden Bears showed improvement under Wilcox last season, even if the overall or conference record didn’t necessarily show it. The hope is to continue trending in an upward direction in 2018 and slowly improve the team’s standing from a national perspective heading into 2019.
2018 California Golden Bears Predictions: Team Strengths
Offensive continuity: Nobody’s going to claim the Bears have a great offense. Far from it actually. But familiarity is important, especially for a team looking to improve once again under Wilcox.
The good news here is that Cal is going to have one of the Pac-12’s best groups on the outside at wide receiver, and not to mention five starters returning on the line.
Running back: A 1,000-yard rusher alone does not a title contender make. But it don’t hurt, either. If the Golden Bears make a bowl game this season—something they weren’t far from a year ago—it will likely be because they were able to establish an offensive scheme that efficiently utilized Patrick Laird to the point that it opened up the passing game and allowed Cal to create a balanced attack with big-play potential.
2018 California Golden Bears Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Can the D keep improving?: To Cal’s credit, it improved last season on the defensive side of the ball. The team went from giving up 42.6 points per game in 2016 to just 28.4 in 2017. That’s a big jump.
The catch is that the Bears were still just seventh in the Pac-12 in that category.
Although we’re calling this side of the rock a weakness, think of it more as a challenge. Yes, we’re talking to you, Wilcox.
If your team can keep improving (not necessarily at that rate, but at a reasonable pace), you can convince us we’re wrong placing this here.
But until then, we need to see continued improvement, not just one year going to atrocious to mediocre.
California Golden Bears Prediction: 7-5
The California Golden Bears went 1-4 to close out their 2017 season. That is not good.
But three of those losses were by fewer than seven points. That’s extremely promising.
As we highlighted above, this offense is going to have a continuity to it that should allow for bigger, better play down both the stretch of the season and stretches of games.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking the Bears are going to contend for a Pac-12 title this season, but if they continue along the path they were on last year, we could be a season or two closer to that happening, and bowl eligibility shouldn’t be a concern going into the final game of the 2018 campaign.
2018 California Golden Bears Football Schedule
- 9/1/18 4:00 PM ET UNC
- 9/8/18 10:15 PM ET @BYU
- 9/15/18 6:00 PM ET IDST
- 9/29/18 TBD ORE
- 10/6/18 TBD @ARIZ
- 10/13/18 TBD UCLA
- 10/20/18 TBD @ORST
- 10/27/18 TBD WASH
- 11/3/18 TBD @WSU
- 11/10/18 TBD @USC
- 11/17/18 TBD STAN
- 11/24/18 TBD COLO
What do you think about our 2018 California Golden Bears predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2018!
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