**Editor’s Note: Each week during football season we will feature an essay from the opponent’s student newspaper on why Oregon will lose. This week’s edition is from Sean Wagner-McGough and Michael Rosen(@michaelrosen3), sports writer and editor, respectively, at The Daily Californian**
You can’t be completely certain of anything.
Alright, that’s the best we’ve got. Because Cal’s defense sucks. Straight up, no way around it. They allowed 30 points to freakin’ Portland State. The Portland State Vikings! All of the Bears’ best players are hurt and a bunch of true freshman are starting. Our defensive coordinator’s name is literally pronounced “Boo.” Is there a worse omen than that?
But you know what? Crazy shit happens.
Remember when Stanford beat USC as 42-point underdogs? Against Oregon, Cal is only a 37-point underdog! Remember when Cal almost beat Oregon in 2010? That was fun, for like 30 minutes.
And, you know, the offense doesn’t completely suck. I mean, they scored 37 points against those mighty Vikings. True freshman quarterback Jared Goff has thrown 1,306 yards for the season. Super Bowl champion Trent Dilfer even called Goff “the best deep ball passer he’d ever seen at his age.” And we all know a quarterback’s greatest dream is receiving praise from the OG game manager himself, Trent Dilfer.
Okay, we’re bored. Is this the part of the article where we start making fun of Oregon? Okay. I’ll trade off barbs with my assistant. Sean, go.
Sean: Ducks? Talk about the weakest mascot in the Pac-12.
Michael: Everyone on the Oregon campus is smelly.
Sean: Cal is the number one public school in the UNIVERSE. Has anyone ever ranked Oregon?
Michael: I think we all know Oregon is upset about being a lesser version of Washington State.
Sean: Ducks? Really?!
Michael: Seriously, what’s the point of Oregon if you’re not living in Portland?
Really, we’re just distracting ourselves from the fact that there is no way the Cal offense will keep up with the Ducks. The defense couldn’t stop a pee wee team, much less the fastest and most dynamic offense in the country. Dykes’ Bear Raid is no joke, but the idea that it has a shot at Autzen on Saturday is a pretty funny one.
And, come on, Phil Knight is definitely paying your players. That has to be the worst-kept secret in college football. So, with that in my mind, here’s our theory of how Cal wins this game:
Prior to kickoff, Phil walks into Mark Helfrich’s office. “Mark,” he says. “The NCAA is on to you and me. They know about the infinite pairs of Nike socks. I’m out of here.” And then Phil Knight scampers out of the locker room into his Nike™ bomb shelter, never to be seen again.
Helfrich is so shell-shocked by his imminent demise that he turns catatonic. De’Anthony Thomas walks in and declares himself defensive coordinator and quarterback. The Ducks lose by 30, and we go get drunk at Pappy’s. Wait, we’re still 20 so that isn’t happening. But we can dream, right?
We have to admit, we were skeptical at first. But after writing this, we’re starting to believe.
And let’s be honest, we go to Berkeley. We’ve already won.