This weekend was truly a great weekend for Bay Area football. The 49ers won their game against the Seahawks, largely due to Ted Ginn's kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns. Stanford dominated Duke, and although the score was closer than expected, the game emitted good vibes. And finally, Cal emerged victorious out of their first conference test of the season.
The 49ers game was not pretty, but I enjoyed it. I felt like Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman ran far too much on third down (c'mon, show a little faith in your quarterback, why don't you?), but with Alex Smith at the helm it was understandable. I actually think Smith has a chance to shine this year. He has a pretty good receiving core with Edwards, Crabtree, and Morgan, as well as two solid tight ends in Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. He also has an above average run game to depend on. Not all of the pressure is on him this year, and his coaching staff is much more offensive-oriented, so Smith has a great opportunity to live up to the expectations that come with being the #1 overall pick.
Speaking of opportunities, Stanford's window of opportunity is closing. With Harbaugh already departed and Luck soon to exit as well, this has to be the year. Oregon's loss to LSU was a blessing; as long as the Cardinal beats Oregon on November 12th, the conference should likely be theirs. A Rose Bowl berth would be great, a BCS Championship berth would be extraordinary. Stanford still has a great offensive line, a pretty good run game, some great tight ends and receivers, and of course, the best quarterback in the game. If the defense does their job well, Stanford looks primed for success.
Cal looks to surpass expectations as well. Don't expect them to beat Stanford or Oregon, but I think that they can do some damage in the Pac-12 North. they finally have a good quarterback in Zach Maynard and a great receiver in Keenan Allen. Hopefully, they can pull off a win at Oregon State and possibly Utah and maybe finish 3rd in the North. There's still a long way to go, but I think they have a shot.
If the Raiders win on Monday, it'll be a sweep for the Bay Area. Let's see if that happens.
What do you think of the local football teams can accomplish this year?