tedford cal

According to Bay Area Stats Guy’s projections, Bears should win 5 games in ’12

Jeff Tedford has put together the longest run of success for the Golden Bears in 50 years, and yet after going a combined 12 and 13 the last two seasons, the seat for the coach is probably getting a little warm. With another mediocre or even worse, the second losing season in three seasons Tedford maybe joining the ranks of the unemployed.

It is unfortunate, but these are times that we live in. In the cutthroat world of college sports, it is a what have you done for me lately world. With Cal spending big money updating their facilities, finishing with a 7 and 5 and a middling bowl invite just isn’t going to cut it, especially with rival Stanford on the upswing.

Sadly, the Bears have a tough slate, and I just don’t think that they have the talent to realistically improve on last seasons 7 and 5. The numbers and the projection model back up that stance, projecting the Golden Bears to win just 5 games in 2012. If that is the case, it might be a farewell tour for Tedford.

Like I did for Stanford, here is a quick explanation on how the model works:

  • I start by estimating the “True Talent” winning percentage for each team on the schedule and then Stanford.
  • I did this by looking at the last two years’ winning percentage, based on each team’s Pythagorean expectation. I also looked at what the “experts” at Sports Illustrated estimated for each team, then finally looked at what Las Vegas set as each team’s over/under in terms of wins this season. As the season goes on I will incorporate the Pythagorean expectation of the current season to replace the preseason expectations of the “experts” and the Casinos. The estimated differential is then converted into a projected winning percentage using the Pythagorean expectation.
  • For each game the winning percentages are converted into odds of winning the game using the log5 method.
  • I then figure in a “home field adjustment” to take into account if it is a home game or road game.
  • I then simulate each game 10,000 times using a Monte Carlo Simulation to get a projection of how the season may unfold.

Here are the results of that simulation:

Expected Record


Bowl Eligible


8+ Wins


10+ Wins


Perfect Season


Reaching a Bowl game is less than a coin flip. Getting to 8 wins is a long shot and hoping for anything better is praying for a miracle. Things just don’t look very good for Cal this season.

Here are the simulated results for each game.

vs. Nevada
vs. Southern Utah
at Ohio State
at USC
vs. Arizona State
vs. UCLA
at Washington State
vs. Stanford
at Utah
vs. Washington
vs. Oregon
at Oregon State

According to the simulation, Cal has one great chances at a win a (.70-.79), one good chance at a win (.60-.69), four of toss up games (.40-.59), three good chances at a loss (.30-.39), one great chance at a loss (.20-.29) and a pair of excellent chances for losses (.10-.19). You might give Cal a bigger boost for the opener against Nevada with the added energy of playing the first game at New Memorial Stadium but even then it sure doesn’t look good.

The bottom line: Cal (and Tedford if he wants to keep his job) will need to play above their heads this season to break away from the .500 record they have had the last two seasons. The road ahead is tough but crazier things have happened.

Published by

Bay Area Stats Guy

Scott "Bay Area Stats Guy" Willis is a life long sports fan who has a fascination with the statistical side of things. He has been writing on these here internets about the San Francisco Giants since 2010 at Crazy Crabbers and at Bay Area Sports Guy since 2011 but if you dig real deep some of his high school newspaper stuff is out there too. You can follow him on twitter @BAStatsGuy or Google +Scott Willis


I had a great sports viewing day--I went to the Cal game, and then I went home and watched the As game. Sure, the Bears didn't win, but the stadium festivities were great. And I love the Bernie dance being enjoyed by As players and fans alike! I for one am glad that BASG is covering college sports. It is entirely possible to be a fan of football and baseball and of college and pro teams--all at the same time.


I just have to say... as someone who has come to enjoy this site as a form of sports entertainment minus all the hogwash... I am disappointed that there has not been a post about the Giants or A's in a while... The Giants are red hot (5 games up on the Million-Dodgers), the A's are red hot and apparently don't ever lose- they dropped 20 on the redsox... and there was nothing. I understand that football and college football are starting up right now... but to completely neglect baseball... in September seems silly... I'd hate to steal a line from Radnich but "We're in a pennant race!" College football does not move the needle in this are- and I believe the amounts of comments and traffic (currently) on this webpage are an indication of that... No offense, I enjoy your writing and the style of this website is top notch... I'd just hate to see BASG become the AskJeeves of internet sports blogs... I feel like I just ranted like the "west coast gear" guy.


I think of this winter coming's lineup of bay area teams: The 49ers,the Raiders,the Warriors,the Cal football and Basketball teams,the Stanford F&B teams,and The Sharks...only the 49ers will have a good season,a consistent season-a Harbaugh strong point is his teams don't give up. There will be lots of room to be critical this winter...am I up for it? SURE!


And Maynard is in no way a top flight PAC12 QB. He's in the lower third or so. Tedford had one career success with Rogers and hasn't even approached that level again. Darn thing is..he's had better teams then the Rogers years did..and made the least of them. Now,he doesn't have the quality team or QB. A rough year ahead.


Based on today's results, Cal may consider scheduling more Southern Utahs, Sac States and others.


I think the biggest fall off is that Tedford's best recruiter left,that Tedford hasn't ever shown much as an offensive force.and that he's been on a decline the last few years. But I think all Cal fans are grateful for the guy did for the program. I was nowhere until Jeff.. But five wins is the right bar to set.

Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer

Was wondering the same thing......but then remembered, like sports radio - many blogs thrive on negativity - and with the great moves Sabean has made, the Giants and A's winning, no material to bitch about. I'm with you former KNBR on your point. The Nady acquisition is huge. Scutari is playing at baseball genius level, Pence is coming around and will pan out bigger as time goes on. Majeuris in the 'pen is great. The Brandon's are now big league and Angel is a catalyst. Tim could take off now. Go Giants!