By Jonathan Okanes
Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 1:31 pm in off-season stuff.
No. 2: Cal. I know some of you were wondering if I would pick Cal to win the Pac-10. While the Bears certainly have enough pieces in place to make a nice run this season, they haven’t improved enough to overtake USC. I agree that this may be the best chance in years for the Trojans to be dethroned. But to do that, it will take a complete team, one that has been competitive over the years and finally has put it all together this season. I don’t believe Cal is there yet. The Bears still need to find more balance in their offense. They can be a defensive-oriented team once again and win a lot of games that way. The problem with that approach is you leave less margin for error. You are going to play in more close games when they are defensive struggles. Until the Bears find a passing game, it will be hard to call on the offense to bail them out if the defense is having a bad day or they are facing an explosive offense. Cal may indeed find that passing game, and if that happens, it will become a serious contender. But as we stand right now, the Bears aren’t much different from last year’s team. They will have more experience and their defense might be even better, and that’s why they will climb a couple of notches up from fourth place. But until they find a balanced offense to complement their dominant defense, it is difficult to pick them as champions.