Thursday, October 04, 2007

Easy, Cal Fans

We are getting some attention from California blogs/message boards for my criticism of their defensive capabilities, currently ranked 70th in the nation in total offense

First, you might want to note that I rank Cal 2nd in my own BlogPoll.

For those of you unfamiliar with my ranking methods, I think Cal’s collective wins (over teams like Tennessee and Oregon) are better than any team other than LSU’s.

That said, the weakness of Cal’s defense is self-evident.

Before this post which has caused so much Bear teeth-gnashing, I made this post prior to the Cal-Oregon game in which I predicted ugly defensive performances in the game.

And I was right.

In our comments here, someone tries to defend Cal’s porous defense by saying "…This strategy gives up a lot of yards but yields fewer points.”

Well, it gives up both. In the games before playing Oregon this year, Cal has given up the following (with current offensive ranking)–

31 to Tennessee (UT is 28th ranked offense)
28 to Colorado State (CSU is 81st ranked offensive)
12 to Louisiana Tech (LT 85th ranked)
27 to Arizona (AZ is 46th ranked offense)

Even with Oregon’s 10th ranked offense added in, the average rank of the offenses faced by Cal – 48.6th nationally.

Cumulative record of Cal’s opponents – 9-13, which includes Oregon’s 4 wins.

At 24.4 point per game surrendered, Cal is currently 55th nationally in this category.

Cal gives up both points and yards.

As I have pointed out before, no team in the past 5 years has won a mythical national championship when they gave up more than 29 points in any regular season game. The average points per game surrendered by BCS Title Winners?

13.4 Points Per Game. (Florida was 13.5 last season)

Cal’s Current Average of 24.4 puts them a mere 11 points behind this mark. They are 8 points behind the worst defensive MNC team of the past 5 years (2005 Texas at 16.4 ppg).

To see just how far away Cal is from a championship level defense, in order to get to that 13.4 point average, Cal will have to hold opponents to an average of 6 points per game for the remaining 7 games.

And don’t tell me it is different in the Pac Ten – USC’s 2004 defense surrendered only 13 points per game on route to their MNC.

I also pointed out Florida as defensive challenged in this same article (heck, we gave up 31 to Troy), so this is not an attack that is personal to Cal. I also pointed out last year on December 6th (after the Ohio State game) that the Michigan defense was highly suspect. USC proved me correct less than a month later by slamming the Wolverines 32-18 gaining 439 total yards.

Again Cal, nothing personal. After all, I rank you 2nd nationally, and you may get by those “other” teams on the basis of your fine offense until you face the Trojans.

USC will then gut you like a fish, and get the entire world’s media credit for doing so. Much like LSU will likely do to my Gators this weekend.

If I’m wrong, I’ll be back for my full plate of crow.

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