Football: Pac-10 ballot — No. 3

No. 3 Oregon State: I’m getting tired of the Beavers’ making me look bad. Every year I look at their talent level and what they have coming back and think there is no way they can finish in the upper half of the conference. And every year they are as competitive as ever. This year, it seems once again they have incurred heavy losses, especially on defense, but I’ve heard that before. No coach makes more with less than Mike Riley, and just because some Oregon State players weren’t regarded as top prospects when they entered the program doesn’t mean they can’t play. Just look at this spring’s NFL Draft. This year, with Jacquizz Rodgers and James Rodgers returning, along with two proven quarterbacks in Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield, Oregon State has some proven commodoties. That’s a pretty good sign for a team that was in position to win the Pac-10 late in the season last year.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Jan K Oski

    I like your reasoning, JO. People can over-analysis this stuff to death with stats and indepth analysis of this play and that play, or one can just consider recent history with the coaching staff. You could be totally wrong, either way. That being said, I do see a letdown with your #2 pick for us Bear fans. In the year of Hope, let’s see some boldness JO!

    Go BEARS!

  • calbear

    As for overrating teams, California is right up there, if you look at the five-year analysis. Since 2004, the media has picked the Bears to finish second each year except in 2008. Instead, Cal has played more like a fourth-place team during the past five years. In all likelihood, the Bears figure to get picked second behind USC in the 2009 media poll.


  • Pete Carroll

    JO – will you release your picks for the top two spots before or after your online chat with Jeff Tedford?

    Yes I get you’re a professional journalist and it shouldn’t matter what you report. But you also know this team better than any other reporter and should have insight into what they are capable of. So your opinion carries a little more credence than reporters that are not at the stadium. Therefore you should stand by your predictions with JT.

    BTW – nice article yesterday. The expectations are very high for this team this year. When Pete Carroll is picking Cal to win the conference, you have to admit there are high expectations.

  • Jethro

    I don’t see OSU beating Oregon in Bluegene. I don’t see OSU beating Cal again at Memorial. They also won’t beat USC on the road. That puts them in 4th

  • abe

    the whole notion that Cal has been overrated is a bit stretched. the Bears have performed reasonably close to their capacity almost every year with the obvious exception of ’07. ’04 they finished second, probably underrated that year. ’05, starting QB, first time starting RB in Lynch, i don’t know why anybody with any football iq would pick Cal to finish 2nd that year. yes they did great the previous year but most of the players who were instrumental including the qb, probably the most crucial position, didn’t come back so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Cal didn’t finish 2nd that year, even if Nate didn’t get injured, cuz we are still looking at an inexperienced starter. ’06 tied for conference championship, sounds like better than 2nd. ’07 well as u all know a team, school,and coaching staff with no experience how to deal with lofty expectations and massive national attention had no idea how to deal with adversity and we witnessed a colossal meltdown. in the field of statistics this would be an aberration, with too many confounding factors, to be skipped promptly and not factored in any data analysis. ’08 ESPN’s Ted Miller, along with many respected blogers picked cal to finish 4th and thats precisely where we ended up at season’s end. thus if one is willing to see beyond the numbers it becomes rather plain that Cal has been fairly close to its capacity, in terms of talent and experience, in its production on the field. so my message to cal fans is expecting cal to finish 2nd (or even better in ’09) shouldn’t not make you nervous amidst this talk of being overrated. GO BEARS!!!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Little tOSU shows the more talented teams in our conference like USC what it means to play with heart. Furthermore this team unlike another one familiar to all on this blog can win away from home. Even if Riley doesn’t have another brain f@rt in the last seconds of the game I am predicting the Beavs to make it 4 straight away game victories in Sourberry. By the way, their coach like Pete Carroll has a lot of class. He does a lot for that community just like PC does too.

  • B

    Calbear – I read that article, too, and I think the line, “Instead, Cal has played more like a fourth-place team during the past five years” is an unfair characterization. If you look at there average finish, it’s right around 4, but if you look at the average finish of the other teams in the Pac-10, they have the 3rd highest average finish, not too far behind OSU for 2nd. Somehow the average finishes (which should add up to 50) add up to 54.8 for some reason, so that inflates those numbers a bit.

    Also, keep in mind that high expectations mean the likely direction a team will go is down, whereas low expectations means the team is more likely to exceed them.

  • cal85

    As much as we could all shoot holes at the data, much of it is what it is. The way I look at it is that a lot is expected of Cal these days. JT has built a very good program and those that vote in these polls believe that Cal is more likely to overcome their shortcomings and turnover better than the rest of the conference – except for one team.

    As much as it pains me to admit it, $C has come through in the past five years. When we do, all of this other talk will become irrelevant.

  • Rock

    B – I agree. The conversation about USC typically is “will USC lose 0 or 1 games this year” – I’ll be happy when the expectation is that Cal will lose only 1 game, and hopefully zero. Regardless, that’s called high expectations and I want to live up to them more 🙂

  • iamalcindor


    Little OSU #3 and above Oregon?? hahhahahaha

    I just looked up MW dictionary and under clueless found this: “Okanes”

    Okanes, you will be embarassed once again by little OSU. This year for overrating them!

  • rollonubears

    anybody hear if they’re replacing the momentum turf this year? there were all sorts of drainage issues last year, and for some reason, they still haven’t painted the end zones the deep navy blue they’re supposed to be. did they get a discount on that royal shade of blue? it looks a little ridiculous.