The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Cal Golden Bears.
No. 52: Cal Golden Bears
Spring Practice Starts: March 19
Spring Game: April 28
Cal Golden Bears Spring Status
The Bears might have missed out on going bowling by losing four of their last five games, but the hype is about to start growing under Justin Wilcox and his terrific coaching staff.
Unlike the final few years under Sonny Dykes, there’s now a defense to balance out the offensive side, even if it’s not as high-powered as before.
With all five starters returning on the offensive front, a decent group of skill players, and a growing base of nice defenders, it’s starting to come together.
The expectations have to be set higher now. The Bears have to come up with a winning season and a bowl appearance – the talent is there among the coaches and players to be a problem for the rest of the Pac-12 North.
Cal Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. Wilcox has made it clear that every spot is open, making sure that there’s competition across the board and giving everyone a shot, but the quarterback situation could be the biggest one as the offseason goes on.
It’s Ross Bowers’ gig to lose – the staff is counting on him – but South Carolina transfer Brandon McIlwain is an electrifying talent, and Chase Garbers is good enough challenge for the job, too.
Cal Biggest Issue
The O line has to be stronger. Fortunately, it should be solid by the start of the season, with all five starters back and good competition for every job. Last year’s group had a problem keeping defenses out of the backfield – giving up seven per game – and didn’t do enough for the ground game. the pass protection wasn’t there, either.
Cal Biggest Positive
Takeaways. Get ready for more now that the experience and depth are there. When the Bears came up with more big plays, they won.
The 2016 Cal D forced 18 turnovers, and last year’s generated 24. Seven came in the win over Washington State, and 11 were in the first four games, and that was the difference. When Cal generated three takeaways or more, it was 4-0.
Really, Why Are The Cal Golden Bears Ranked Here?
Get ready for a big jump forward from the Bears. There are more options now for a tougher team that should be better defensively, more consistent offensively, and with the mindset that going 5-7 is nowhere near good enough.