1. Jeff Tedford--dude's gotta be toast, right?
NorCalNick: That does seem to be the general consensus. The discussion at this point is more about boring legalese and contract dollars - hardly the thrilling on-field action that we become football fans for.
The assumption is that Cal stands to lose as much money in lost revenue as they would spend in buying out the current coaching staff. It's tough to do that calculus with the limited knowledge we have as fans, but the AD has made pretty strong statements about the absolute necessity of having a strong football team to support our large collection of non-revenue sports.
Am I boring you yet? TLDR: We <3 you Jeff, but Cal needs to win games and make $$, so thanks and good luck.
Berkelium97: It certainly looks that way. We're en route to a 3-9 season, our worst since 2001. What is most frustrating to fans is how we're losing games: turnovers, penalties, questionable game management. The fact that Cal now has one of the lowest APRs in the conference has made things even worse.
LeonPowe: I think 95%. If you ask the hoi polloi fanbase, this ship has sailed - and looking at the attendance and ESP seat sales, it seems like the alums with money have spoken too. I can see a scenario where he's retained, but it seems to be disappearing daily.
2. Zach Maynard is injured, and backup Allen Bridgford will replace him. Given Maynard's ability, or lack thereof, is there any reason to believe that this will be a significant downgrade?
NorCalNick: I don't think it will be a significant change in either direction. For all of the criticism Tedford has justifiably received since Longshore got hurt for his inability to develop an above-average quarterback, he has generally been able to pick the most talented QB on the roster. People were wondering why Kevin Riley was still playing in a rebuilding year as a senior - and they they saw Brock Mansion. A healthy Riley and maybe Oregon is looking to break a Berkeley losing on Saturday! (That's immaterial to the question but I needed to remind myself of the good times.)
That said, I think Bridgford is in many ways similar to Maynard in terms of issues with innaccuracy. He's not as mobile, but on the other hand Cal never effectively used Maynard's mobility, and Bridgford looks a little more comfortable in the pocket, so it could be wash.
The bottom line is that we really don't know, and unfortunately with Oregon's defense and Cal's offensive line we're probably not going to get especially meaningful data on Saturday.
Berkelium97: As much as fans have clamored for the backup quarterback for the past several years, the backups have consistently been worse than the starters. Remember Brock Mansion in that 2010 game?
We have seen a little of Allan Bridgford and it's tough to be optimistic. He's 4/16 for 32 yards on the year. 23 of those yards came on a single play last week. As you might have guessed, his accuracy is a work in progress. Filling in for Maynard last week, Bridg threw several passes that were nowhere near anyone. He looked out of sync and a little lost out there. Hopefully a week of first-team reps will help him.
LeonPowe: They have different skill-sets. Maynard, for all of the justified criticism, was a pretty decent athlete - and if given a certain set of benefits (like roll out plays which move the pocket and an offensive line that allows him more than half a second to do something) - he has been known to have decent games.
Bridgford we don't know much about yet. He appears to have a better arm and much less mobility. That is about it.
3. Has this team already quit?
NorCalNick: I don't think so. I think Cal's blowout against Utah was as much a function of turnovers and injuries (seriously we had like 4 healthy linebackers) rather than the team just giving up. I think Cal's performance against Washington clearly showed that they still care. Now, I suppose it's possible that the Bears might have given up between then and the Oregon game. But Oregon blows out teams that haven't given up, so who knows?
Berkelium97: This team has countless issues; fortunately, quitting is not among them. Players on defense especially were energetic and enthusiastic last week. I have to give them credit for continuing to put in strong performances even while the offense doesn't hold up its end of the bargain. Between the injuries, embarrassing losses, and coaching staff which increasingly looks like a row of lame ducks, this team has had plenty of reason to quit. That they haven't speaks well of their character.
LeonPowe: I don't think so. They're playing hard. Not necessarily smart (although the penalty numbers are trending downwards over the last few games)
4. Chances Keenan Allen is still a Bear next season?
NorCalNick: 0.00. Dude's a first round talent and has already been quoted multiple times that he's strongly leaning towards the draft. His bro is graduating as well, and it's not like he's thinking that he'll be missing a shot at a national title by leaving early.
If there were any doubt, getting a mild injury this year only has to convince him that playing another year of college football is significantly more risk than reward. And I don't blame him one bit.
LeonPowe: Once a Bear, Always a Bear - unless you're Tosh Lupoi. But he won't be playing for the California Golden Bears.
Berkelium97: You guys are too funny.
5. Give Oregon fans a legitimate reason to be concerned about this game.
NorCalNick: The USGS considers the Hayward fault to be "America's Most Dangerous" and Oregon's football team will be spending nearly a full day standing upon it, just wasting time as disaster lurks miles below the surface. FLY YOU FOOLS.
Berkelium97: It's going to be damp and in the mid-40s during the game, so Puddles might cramp up while doing all those push ups.
LeonPowe: There's a lot of talent on this Cal team. Injured talent, possibly in the wrong spots - but talented enough. Nah, I can't even do it. Maybe if the entire Oregon team eats at Chipotle before the game and gets team wide food poisoning or something.
6. How sweet is the new stadium?
NorCalNick: Wonderful in every way. Better views (both of the Bay and of the field), better food, more food, unbelievably better bathrooms, better access, and you won't die when the Big One hits.
The new stadium (and haha we beat UCLA WFT?) have been sustaining Cal fans in a tough, tough season.
LeonPowe: Still haven't been - I live overseas - but they have Top Dog.
7. Score prediction?
NorCalNick: 31-7 at the half, Oregon ramps things down after scoring a TD in their first possession of the 2nd half and the game finishes 45-17. Everybody shrugs at the lack of excitement and moves on.
Berkelium97: Oregon 56, Cal 15 (five field goals)
LeonPowe: Oregon 2 - Cal 0