This is sixth in a series looking at potential dream and nightmare scenarios for all Pac-10 teams, starting at the bottom and working up from my 2010 predictions. If you aren't familiar with Ted Miller's Best/Worst Case Scenario Posts, then you definitely need to check them out.
Understand: These are NOT predictions. They are extreme scenarios and pieces of fiction.
Scenarios after the break.
After blowing out UC Davis, future Pac-12 Member Colorado pays a visit to Cal Memorial Stadium. Kevin Riley and Company jump out to an early 14-0 lead and never look back. They go on to win 33-10 to improve to 2-0.
Next up is a Friday night visit to Reno, Nevada, in what experts around the country are calling a "Trap Game" for the Bears. But after trailing 20-10 at Half, Cal comes back to win a thriller 40-34. Loaded with confidence, the Golden Bears go down to Tucson for the Pac-10 Opener. But Nick Foles is too much for the Cal Defense, and Arizona wins a tight one 31-23.
Next up are the LA Schools, with UCLA at Home and USC on the Road. Cal easily takes care of the Bruins by a final score of 20-3, but then gets hammered against the Trojans. Sitting at 4-2, the Bears easily take care of the Sun Devils before going on a Northwest Road Trip against the Beavers and Cougars.
After trailing 17-10 at Halftime, Cal comes back to defeat Oregon State 38-31 to clinch bowl-eligibility. The Golden Bears then demolish Wazzu 47-7 before coming home for a huge matchup with Oregon. It looked like it would be California's day when they were leading 14-0 at Half, but the Ducks then rolled off 17 straight and eventually won 24-21.
Next up for the Golden Bears is the Big Game against Stanford. The Cardinal drew first blood with a Touchdown early in the 1st Quarter, but California took a 17-14 into the Locker Rooms. Trailing 28-24 with 2 Minutes left, Kevin Riley found a Cal Wide Reciever in the corner of the End zone to give the Bears a 31-28 lead. The Bears would hold on for the win, and improve to 8-3 on the year.
The Golden Bears finish the Regular Season with a visit from the Washington Huskies. A win would give California a 2nd Place finish and a spot in the Alamo Bowl. Cal got off to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back. The final score was 31-10, and California clinched their best finish in the Pac-10 since 2006.
California wraps up the season with a trip to San Antonio to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders. After trailing 17-14 at Halftime, California comes back to win a thriller, 45-38. They finish 15th in the Postseason AP Poll.
Ever since 2006, Cal fans have been waiting for their return to an elite national program. They will have to wait yet another year. After beating UC Davis and narrowly getting by Colorado, the Golden Bears are embarrased on National TV against Nevada. It doesn't get any better the next week when they get blown out at Arizona.
The Bears then salvage a win against the Bruins, get hammered against the Trojans, and beat Arizona State in a Double Overtime thriller. Sitting at 4-3, California goes up to Corvallis to face the Beavers. Things don't go so well for Cal, as they trail 17-0 at Halftime and go on to lose 34-13. The Bears bounce back again though with a win against the Cougars to climb back over .500.
At 5-4, California needs one more win to clinch bowl-eligibility. First up are the Oregon Ducks. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, Memorial Stadium is rocking. But Oregon comes back to tie it at 13 going into the Half, and Cal eventually loses 27-20.
Next up is the Big Game against Stanford. Things don't go so well there either. Kevin Riley is knocked out early in the game with a concussion, and the Bears trail 20-10 at Halftime. They come back in the 4th Quarter to make the score 30-27, but Stanford milks the clock out and escapes Berkeley with a win.
California goes into the Regular Season finale against Washington needing a win. Kevin Riley is back after sitting out the Stanford Game with a concussion, and he throws an early Touchdown to give Cal a 7-0 lead. The Golden Bears took a 14-10 lead into Halftime, but found themselves down 27-24 with 5 Minutes left. But the California Offense managed to put together one last good drive, and the Golden Bears improved to 6-6 with a 31-27 victory.
With AT&T Park filled with Cal Fans, the Golden Bears looked to end the season on a high note with a win against Louisiana Tech in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Unfortunately, they ran into a hot Bulldog Team. Louisiana Tech escapes San Fran with a 31-20 victory, and Cal finishes the season 6-7.