California Golden Bears 2011 Profile
I do not like how the 2011 season is setting up for Cal. There are a lot of positives with a 4 year recruiting rank of #27 and a great class in the last recruiting cycle at #14. However, Coach Tedford is a -1.5 game coach over the last 4 years and has no home field advantage that I can calculate (most teams have some home benefit). Coach Tedford and his staff have been net negative effect 3 of the last 4 years. Less than 6 wins in 2011 will make it 4 of 5.
The entire PAC12 North got better with the last recruiting in the last cycle (except WSU) and so there is little competitive advantage gained by the Bears.
The improved recruiting should put the Bears at 5+ wins for 2011, but I do not see that as good enough for Coach Tedford and the Cal fans. The ‘almost’ win over USC and the clock mismanagement against the Beavers when a #1 rank was in reach is a fading emotional memory. Cal needs 6+ wins in 2011 but the schedule is brutal with the #1 PAC12 SOS.
Cal Recruiting Rank Links:
Cal Bears 2011 Schedule Breakdown and Predictors
The Bears get a nice start to 2011 with, what should be, 3 wins. This is very important in building up the positive emotions for being on the road. Tedford teams have struggled on the road in the last 4 years and going to Washington, Oregon and home versus USC is a tough segment of games. UW could be an easy trap with the Ducks and Trojan looming in the coming weeks.
A 3-3 start would be the best expectations with the game at Washington potentially being a 3rd place tie-breaker. The last six games have a 3-3 to 4-2 modeling for the Bears that would result in a 7-5 or 6-6 season.
But no one should fall asleep on Cal. They have more talent than most want to give them credit for and they will beat everyone with the exception of USC at memorial Stadium. The key to more wins will be on the road. The model is giving them 7 wins straight up, adjusted down to 6 with road variables and another -1 to -1.5 for the coaching effect takes them down to 5 wins.
The best fans should expect is 7 wins and the most probable being 5-6 with a 3rd or 4th place finish in the PAC12 North.
Cal Bears Current Recruiting Moving Average and Wins Trends
If you are a Cal fan, then this is an ugly chart with the number of wins in slow decline since 2004/2006. The ’06 ’07 and ’08 seasons had the recruiting moving average above the BCS title line. Any team that has won or lost the BCS title game in the last 8 years was above the blue line the year they appeared in the NC game. There needs to be another 2+ years of top 25 classes to get back to that level. The key is to get the winning trend going back up and maintain top recruiting classes.