Cal will wrap up their final days of practice and preparation for the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force. With the game just days away, Cal remains a solid favorite in the game against the Falcons, largely due to Cal’s offensive potential. One question that may not be answered until after the game is whether or not this will be the final game of Jared Goff’s career at Cal.
Goff, Cal’s star junior quarterback, could very well be bringing an end to his college football days. All season long, Goff has been one of the top prospective prospects for the NFL Draft in 2016, and he has done nothing to detract from that standing. Heading into the Armed Forces Bowl, Goff has already completed 64.2 percent of his pass attempts for 4,252 yards with 37 touchdowns with 13 sacks. A good showing in the bowl game could help add some final positive points before he moves to the NFL scouting routine. If there is any complaint about Goff’s track record it is that he did not have a signature win. Fortunately for Goff, that is not as big of a deal breaker as some might think. After all, John Elway worked out of Stanford without ever playing in a bowl game.
If Goff does have his swan song in the Armed Forces Bowl, he will leave quite a legacy as a key player who helped turn Cal football around under head coach Sonny Dykes. He did not do it alone, of course. Cal’s supporting cast on offense and defense pulled things together this fall, even when the team seemed to hit a wall in the middle of the year. There would be no better way to end this season than with a bowl victory and allow Goff to run off into the NFL sunset.
Bowls of Interest
Sun Bowl: Washington State vs. Miami (Dec. 26)
Mike Leach and his Cougars are going bowling and hope to score the first bowl victory for the program since winning the Holiday Bowl in 2003 to finish the season ranked in the AP top 10. Washington State will look to pass over Miami’s defense, but the Cougars must also stop the Miami passing game with Brad Kaaya at the helm.
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington vs. Southern Mississippi (Dec. 26)
The Huskies snuck into the postseason with a 6-6 record and will take on one of the biggest turnaround stories in college football in Dallas. Southern Miss was a dead program just a few years ago when Larry Fedora left for North Carolina after winning the Conference USA championship. Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens passed for 4,145 yards and 36 touchdowns this season.
Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs. Nebraska (Dec. 27)
UCLA may be taking on a 5-7 bowl team in Nebraska, but it may be the best 5-7 team we have seen in some time. Nebraska lost a handful of close calls this year with former Oregon State head coach Mike Riley making his debut in Lincoln. UCLA’s offense should be able to make some things happen against the Huskers defense.
Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Wisconsin (Dec. 30)
USC finished the season on a high note despite losing to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game. The Trojans will take on Wisconsin in a Pac-12 vs. Big Ten showdown. Wisconsin owns the nation’s best scoring defense, allowing just 13.1 points per game, so USC’s offense will be challenged. Wisconsin’s offense took some steps back this season though.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.