Hmmm. Cal scores 52, 59 and 35 points in its first three games, then only a field goal in each of two lopsided losses to Oregon and USC before scoring 35 points in the first half against UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, en route to a 45-26 win.
Do you think quality of opposition might have something to do with those disparate results? That was a factor some of the more frenzied in the Cal rooting base didn’t consider after the two losses. There were even some who called for the head of Jeff Tedford, the best coach I’ve seen at Berkeley in 53 years of watching Cal football closely.
Realistically, many of us overrated the Bears; I wrote early that this could be Tedford’s best team. My chief reasons for optimism were an explosive offense and a speedy young defense, but those two units didn’t show well against the Pac-10’s best. Even after Saturday’s win, it’s only reasonable to lower expectations for this team. Now, it appears that USC and Oregon are the class of the conference, perhaps not in that order. Washington State is still the conference doormat; the Bears host them in a nontelevised game Saturday.