Over halfway through the 2009 season, a number of questions about the Cal football team have been answered, while a would-be standard one has not. For starters, this is not the year that the Bears contend with USC for the Pac-10 title -- that was answered four weeks ago, when Cal was dominated by the Trojans at home. The defense is not as strong as it was last year. Good opposing defenses can be successful by making the Bears pass. Barring a series of miracles, Jahvid Best is not going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate at the end of the season. All that said, Cal is 5-2, with the best scoring offense in the Pac-10 and its two toughest conference games already in the past.
It all rolls into the great unanswered question about this team, which will become a lot clearer after Saturday's 12:30 p.m., meeting with Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Who exactly are these Bears? "We've kind of seen opposite sides of Cal at times," linebacker Mike Mohamed said. "The biggest thing is, can we get the explosive Cal out there? The Cal that scores points early in the first quarter and then the defense shuts guys down."