Every preseason we take a look at potential best-case and worst-case scenarios for every Pac-10 team. While these are often tongue-in-cheek, they nonetheless represent the top and bottom we see for each team.
So it might be worthwhile to revisit each.
Next up is California, which finished 5-7 and didn't qualify for a bowl game.
Best case: 10-3 with Alamo Bowl victory over Texas, final No. 10 ranking.
What was right: Not much. Picked losses to USC, Oregon State and Oregon correctly. Picked wins over UC Davis, Colorado, Arizona State and UCLA. Had kicker Giorgio Tavecchio play a key role in a tight loss to Oregon. There was, indeed, plenty of typing at The California Golden Blogs.
What was wrong: A lot. Picked a 6-1 start for one. The Bears were 4-3 after seven games with a loss at Nevada and blowout defeat at USC. Projected a breakthrough season for quarterback Kevin Riley. Didn't happen. Had a Big Game win over Stanford and an inspired effort in a win over Washington. Both very, very wrong. And, of course, no bowl game, no national ranking. No smiles.
Worse case: 5-7, Jeff Tedford's first losing season
What was right: Well, this is darn near what happened. Picked the loss at Nevada, as well as losses to Arizona, USC and Oregon State. Wrote that Bears would only squeak by Washington State. True. And nailed the terrible play in the three-game losing streak to end the season. No, Stanford didn't go to the Rose Bowl and finish fifth in the country. It went to the Orange Bowl and finished fourth. And, after the season whimpered to a finish, Tedford did say he was going to take a long look at everything.
What was wrong: Jim Harbaugh didn't sign a long-term contract with Stanford. He bolted to the San Francisco 49ers.
Conclusion: No other way to say it: Cal's 2010 season played out like a worst-case scenario. That said: Harbaugh's departure is surely worthy of a few toasts in Berkeley.