This weekend’s match-up against the third-ranked Buckeyes is already being billed as one of the top clashes of the coming weekend. We all know how important this game is for Cal. A win here, or even a good showing, could really make Cal’s season. That said, this game is more important for the future of Cal football than it is for this season.
This week, coach Sonny Dykes announced that over 150 recruits will be in attendance this Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Included in said list are running back Joe Mixon, wide receiver Michiah Quick and defensive tackle Marcus Griffin. At least five recruits will be taking official visits.
Currently, Cal has eleven commits in the class of 2014, including four-star cornerback Jaleel Wadood. While the 2014 commits look like they could be shaping a very good class, Cal would not mind making a good impression on the 150 or so young men headed to Berkeley this weekend. Especially when considering that seven recruits visited this past weekend during that sloppy 37-30 win over Portland State.
This becomes the biggest recruiting weekend this season, and possibly the biggest recruiting weekend in Cal’s history. A good outing becomes more important. This weekend could change the complexion of the program going forward. These recruits contain at lest three grade-A talents – and probably more. If Cal can make in-roads with these kids, then suddenly they can put the pieces around Jared Goff to make this team’s rebuilding process go over a lot smoother and in a quicker amount of time.
The pressure for Cal to play a good game and for the Golden Bear fan base to exude pure energy is suddenly at an all-time high. Because aside from the 150 recruits, this game is being broadcast during the primetime hour on a national network, and has a lot of Fox’s weekly advertising dollars behind it. Cal does not want to have another half-empty Memorial Stadium this weekend, but more importantly, they do not want to have a poor showing by the team.
Cal doesn’t need to win. They do need a good showing, one that shows that they are close enough in talent that they give Ohio State a real scare. A game akin to last season’s close 35-28 game would be perfect. Obviously, a win will always get recruits going, especially if it comes against a great opponent with a raucous crowd. And we all know: the East Bay can bring the wood when it comes to being raucous.
Some of the best crowds in all of sports reside just minutes away from Memorial Stadium. If the Cal fans can be even remotely close to their East Bay counterparts, the recruits will have to give Cal a real shot.
Honestly, Cal is going to have a tough time against Ohio State. That said, if they can keep this game close (which they have the talent to do), the game will be exciting. It just takes one or two recruits to say “I like that school” in order to change things. If they can sell whoever that player is, be it one of the three guys I mentioned earlier, or someone who we haven’t really heard much about, then Cal will be in business.
It all starts with this weekend. And it all begins with the Golden Bear fans.