Justin Wilcox’s tenure at Cal has been an interesting one. It looked like he was on the verge of bringing the Golden Bears back to relevance immediately with a 5-7 season in year one and then back-to-back bowl seasons in 2018 and 2019. The program had gotten better each year under him.
But it felt like the COVID-19 season really did a number on him and the program as Cal went 1-3 and has been just 9-17 over the past two seasons combined.
I don’t see a major improvement coming in 2023 and USC will roll right through the suddenly-hapless Golden Bears.
Prediction: Win (9-0, 6-0)
Speaking of hapless, Washington was on that road before Kalen DeBoer got to town last offseason and brought with him one Michael Penix Jr. who has been one of the best quarterbacks in college football.
Washington brings back Penix and DeBoer seems to get the best out of him so expect this to be a close game with an epic quarterback duel.
USC gets the advantage because it’s at home, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if an upset was pulled off. Maybe I’ll change my mind closer to the start of the season, but for now, USC wins by three.
Prediction: Win (10-0, 7-0)