California Golden Bears 2021 College Football Preview

California Golden Bears 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 24, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 1-3

ATS – 1-3

The Bears started the season with an ugly blowout loss at UCLA (L 34-10) but were competitive in their final three games. The last of those three affairs was an upset win over Oregon (W 21-17). It’s tough to take much from the abbreviated casedemic season but it wasn’t a total disaster. Let’s check in with the program and see if they have the potential to get things back on track.

California Golden Bears 2020 Outlook


The Golden Bears have to figure out how to get things going on offense. They’ve been brutal over the last three years and 2020 was no exception (#101 FBS rushing offense, #101 passing). QB Chase Garbers was MEH LY but note that he was pretty good in 2019 (61%, 14-3 TD to INT, 8.2), and he’s got 23 career starts. The RB group is deep and experienced and recall that Christopher Brown came close to a 1,000-yard season in 2019 (914, 8 TD). Almost everyone that caught a pass returns for duty this season with the only notable exception being WR Makai Polk (183, TD). Kekoa Crawford has potential to be a legit #1 dood and don’t sleep on freshman TE Jermaine Terry (6-4, 275). The OL has to be better this year as they only averaged 3.4 net yards per carry LY and allowed 15 sacks in 4G (last PAC 12 sacks allowed per game).


It was obviously a small sample, but the Bears took a small step back on defense LY and finished #6 in the PAC 12 in run defense and #9 in pass efficiency D. They should be back to their recent standards in 2021 with the return of 8 starters and 12 of their top-13 tacklers. The LB unit is the HEARTBEAT of the stop unit and they have a pair of special players in Kuony Deng and Cameron Goode. Deng was the leading tackler LY and Goode led the team with 3 sacks and 8 TFL in 4G. The duo combined for 12.5 sacks in 2019. Three starters return on the back end and they have a fine safety tandem. Losing star CB Camryn Bynum stings (NFL). We worry about the defense up front given the loss of DE Zeandae Johnson and note that DL Brett Johnson will miss the season due to injury.


They were average across the board LY but at least all of the key pieces return for action. PK Dario Longhetto hit 4/5 FGA but they were #107 in the FBS in net punting LY.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – It’s likely that they lose at least one of their first two games (Nevada, at TCU) and have to face Oregon AND Washington on the road in the first half of the season. Three of their final four games are ON THE HIGHWAY.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at UCLA (November 27th)

This comes after the rivalry game with Stanford and could be a lay-down-and-die spot if they have no shot at bowl eligibility.

Season Win Total

Per 5Dimes July 24

Over 6 -105

Under 6 -125


Lean: Under.

They look average on both sides of the football and seven wins would be impressive.

MEGAmazing Tidbit

Memorial Stadium was built to honor Berkeley alumni, students, and other Californians who died in World War I and modeled it after the Colosseum in Rome.


Justin Wilcox has done a pretty good job since coming aboard four years ago and note that the Bears had back-to-back winning seasons in 2018 and 2019 before the shortened scamdemic campaign. Can they regain that momentum? Our best guess is a 6-6 record and a bowl bid. It doesn’t appear as though the offense will be explosive enough, nor the defense strong enough for much better than that. In any event, Go Bears!

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