Posted by SuckaFish
Before each game we’ll give Five Reasons to Be Concerned, Five Reasons to Feel Good, and The Absolutely 100% Guaranteed Prediction.* As always, we start with the bad stuff.
1. Cal Is Very Good
The Bears are ranked #12 in both polls and many think they have a shot to knock off USC and go to a BCS bowl. This is their opening game, at home, at night, on ESPN2. They’re 27-4 at home since 2004 and they’re favored in this game by 21 points. If Cal is going to have the season they want to have, it has to start with a big win on Saturday.
2. The Revenge Factor
Last year Cal went to College Park and got demolished from the start. Maryland ran out to a 21-6 halftime lead and Cal needed 21 points in the fourth quarter to make the final look respectable at 35-27. The game left a bed taste in their mouths (especially Jahvid Best’s).
Best is a Heisman Trophy candidate and he and his teammates are chomping at the bit to get another shot at the Terps.
3. The Lines
Maryland has huge question marks on both the offensive and defensive lines. The o-line lost five of the top seven guys from last year. It’s a young unit with talent but not much experience or time working together. The d-line is inexperienced as well and is learning a new system.
4. Maryland Doesn’t Have a Starting Kicker
Okay, they will by the time the game starts but they haven’t named one yet. There was a three-man competition heading into camp between Nick Wallace, Mike Barbour and freshman Nick Ferrara, and no one won it. That’s not a good sign. If Maryland hangs around and has a shot to win it on a late field goal we have no idea who will be kicking it. And it could be their first kick in a college game.
5. The Travel
Last year the game in College Park kicked off at 9 am Pacific. The Bears chose to travel on Friday, sleep for a few hours, and then play what was essentially an early morning game. Many a pundit used that as the excuse for Cal losing the game. Well, now it’s our turn. While Coach Friedgen was smart enough to fly out on Thursday, it’s still a long flight and the game will start at 10 pm Eastern. If Maryland doesn’t pull off the upset we know it’s because of the long flight and late start. 😉 😉
* Guarantee not valid in Utah or anywhere else