Heading into the 2010 season, the optimistic question for California fans is this: What happens if Kevin Riley breaks through as a senior quarterback?
The answer (probably): The Bears finish in the top-third of the Pac-10.
So hearing coach Jeff Tedford say this should warm the cockles of Cal fans' hearts: "Kevin Riley has had a phenomenal camp. I've never seen him play as well as he's been playing consistently all through camp."
Tedford later added that he had "as much confidence in [Riley] right now as any quarterback I have ever had."
Tedford was speaking to a group of Cal fans at the inaugural "March to Victory" luncheon held Wednesday at Gordon Biersch Brewery and Restaurant in San Francisco, so you could expect optimism. Tedford wants to fire up his fans, who mostly seem to be unsold on his team's prospects this season.
But, in my experience, Tedford isn't much of a used-car salesman. He doesn't say things he doesn't believe.
Let's put it like this: If Riley completes, say, 60-65 percent of his passes -- and the team stays mostly healthy -- it's hard to imagine the Bears don't win nine or so games.