Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at

  • george watson

    Tedford has now got to go, no matter what happens in the USC game. The woeful lack of offensive imagination – and offense is supposed to be Tedford’s strong suit – was so in evidence on Saturday. Beating up on little or underachieving schools once again inflated Cal’s worth. But don’t blame the players for this most embarrassing loss in recent memory – you can try all you want to forget it, Jeff, we won’t – blame the coaches, especially Jeff. Running plays on every first down? No spy on the tight end after the first two TDs? This was just humiliation and I’d rather have a better coach.

  • CalFBFan

    This is inanity. Just who do you think we could get to take over for Jeff Tedford, George?

    Really, I say wait for the SAHPC to open before we start to overreact.


    I heard that Paul Hackett is available. He is a great coach. Trust me.

  • C.J. Roses

    Tedford’s coaching job at Oregon was horrendous- he should own up to it more imo. He gets paid a lot of money and it is not for performances like that at Oregon…

  • george watson

    I used to think the same as you, CalFBFan, but the performance at Autzen was so horrendous – and get this – THE COACHING STAFF MADE NO ADJUSTMENTS FROM HALF TO HALF. Do you know how often that’s happened in recent years? Do you remember the whole-season breakdown following the Oregon State loss at home a couple of years ago? Jeff simply cannot adjust. We’ve been talking for years and years with Jeff as coach turning the corner and competing – actually competing – year to year with SC. With Tedford it ain’t gonna happen. I used to defend Jeff, but I can’t do it any longer after last Saturday.

    As to coach, how about Chris Petersen?

  • Bears

    I doubt any of you who write such crazy stuff actually care deeply about Cal football or are even Cal fans.
    If you are you would know last week was a tough loss but it was a team loss. You don’t get beat like that and place all the blame on one person. Especially one person who has proven over 7 plus years to be a very solid coach.
    What needs to be said is the program needs to respond positively. Sounds like you all have given up, weak.
    sc is good and will be tough to upset but…the season ain’t over yet.

  • rollonubears

    all things considered, tedford is a top 25 coach. we’ve been a consistent top 25 team. if we want to win a title, or at least go to the rose bowl, we can either hang on a few more years, and see how it shakes out, go after a bowl subdivision coach and see how it shakes out, or hire an OC or DC from another team (or our own), and see how it shakes out. all of those ideas are gambles, but we’ve been playing with the same deck for a long time. i think most cal fans are willing to take a new gamble. this whole thing is akin to getting rejected time and again at the bars, and then finally landing who you think was a hot chick, until you realized you were just a little drunk. she’s still pretty cute, but you’ve got this inkling you can do better. maybe we should just just drink more beer.

  • george watson

    Look, Bear, I said the same thing you did after the crash dive two years ago. I even said such talk then – and there was a lot of it at the end of the season – was crazy. It was then, it isn’t now. The loss on Saturday was not a team loss: it was a coaches’ loss because (as with the Maryland game last year), the coaches failed to adjust. (Funny how Jeff learned from his mistake last year with respect to Maryland.) 42-3 was the worse loss ever in the Tedford Era. This didn’t occur in the first two years. The problem is that Tedford’s coaching,which by the way, is characterized by non-adjustment. IT ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE. TEdford is a good man and he brought the team from despair to semi-respectability – not counting last weekend’s embarrassment, but CAL football will never get to the next level with Tedford.

    And by the way, I’ve been living Cal football since the days of Craig Morton, Joe Roth, and the “Golden Pole.”

  • rollonubears

    after thinking about this a little more, when you consider how good the cal teams have been with VERY mediocre talent, it’s pretty incredible. tedford came in here and immediately turned the program around. he hasn’t cheated or paid the players or families. and he’s serious about education. with our awful facilities, he’s still been able to land a couple good recruits. and to remedy that situation, he declared an ultimatum—build the sahpc and fix the stadium, or i’m out. it worked. once he has that, the sky should be the limit. one player, just one, like djax, could make the difference in a year like this one. if he was at usc, he’d have 50 players like that. granted, getting top athletes who have the decent grades to get into cal makes things a little tougher, but if we’re loaded with fairly smart AND talented guys, 2-5 years from now, look out.

  • george watson


    You think Jahvid Best, Marshawn Lynch or DeSean Jackson are “VERY mediocre”? Best might as well not have been on the field. Oregon loaded the box because Riley couldn’t get the ball to his receivers. (Receivers were no big help to him though.) But why didn’t Tedford or Ludwig try to unhinge the load? Where was the defense? Why didn’t they adjust to the d**n tight end? When was the last game that you saw a t-end score three touchdowns? 2-3 years ago I was saying “let’s wait 2-3 years.” It’s over. Something always happens and this was the worst. Coaches are supposed to help their players DURING THE GAME. USC coaches do that. Remember how USC came back after that shocking loss to Stanford? What did CAL do after the OS loss? What did Tedford do?

  • rollonubears

    i agree with you in part, gw, and i’m still mad about the game. i’m just saying i’d much rather be in our situation than that of WSU, who has a rose bowl, but sucks almost every year. or Oregon State. same thing there. we’ve got more consisntency as a program now. i really don’t care as much about the rose bowl as some folks do. are you really going to say, yay! i got my rose bowl, now i don’t care if the team sucks? no. one year later, you’ll be demanding a national title. i waste weeks and weeks out of every year, living vicariously through this football program. i don’t care about winning just one title. a week ago, i thought i did, but thinking about it now, i kind of like what we’ve got. we’ve got a chance to win every year. we’re still in the top 25 right now. we go to a bowl game every year. we have 50,000 fans or more at every game. we beat stanfurd regularly (remember when that was all that mattered?), and we’ve got a new stadium and performance center coming. i’m looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few years. if we can pick up another coach that does all that tedford does, AND has more of an imagination on offense, I’m all for it. but i don’t think there’s anybody out there like that. we’re slowly building an empire here. it could be pretty sweet in a few years. i can wait a few more.

  • george watson


    I, too, am not concerned about bowls or rankings, I am into good play. I just hate to see the team roll over as they did at Autzen for the entire second half because the coaches aren’t doing their jobs. These are kids and coaches are supposed to help them. (You could just smell the “trap” nature of this game before they even left MN.) Anyway, I wish what you envision will come true, but I just don’t see it in Tedford who, as far as I can tell, from the Great Collapse until now, doesn’t know how to fix wheels that come off, either on game day or afterward.

  • GoldenBear 77

    Glad none of you make the decisions relating to Tedford. He is a perfect coach for Cal, and has brought the program to a point where it has not been in 50 years. Yes, some of you may have been around for a while, but there is no question that you then have very short memories. Tedford has no obligation to you to confess anything. What he should be doing, and is doing, is preparing for USC, and helping 18-20 year old kids learn about leadership and character. He can stay as long as he wants as far as I am concerned.

  • Scotty Mon

    Chris Petersen!

    Somewhat off the subject, but do you all notice how dry and preductable Jeff’s newspaper comments are about our players? Always ” He has a good feel for the game” or “He has a chance to be a good player for us” or ” He has worked hard and has a chance to contribute to our team”. Those same quotes from Pete Carroll would be ” He kicks ass!” or ” He’s as good as I have ever had ” or ” That guy is a stud!” Pete goes out of his way to play up his guys in the press, whereas Jeff seems afraid to let loose. Just like his play calling. Pedestrian and predictable.

  • Pete Carroll

    This is pretty amusing and painful at the same time. I have to agree, that Oregon game was a very disturbing event and I hope it was an aberration.

    That said, what I tell my kids is mistakes and bad luck happens, what’s really important is what you do next. So the word to the Bears and the coaching staff, you better correct this. In your weekly preparation, you better figure out how to move the ball when teams stack the box and force you to throw. You better start running drills where Riley has two seconds to throw and not four. You need to teach your linebackers how to cover a tight end. If you’re expecting the opponents to run screens all day long, teach your defenders how to turn a play to the inside and fight through a block.

  • chuck

    the website for Joe Roth is:

  • H8sRed

    To all of the ridiculous Tedford haters out there —

    Anyone advocating Tedford’s removal must be related to Bob Bockrath, who refused to give Bruce Snyder the credit he deserved in 1991 and allowed him to move on to ASU. That, of course, led to the dreadful Gilbertson/Holmoe years, instead of the Rose Bowl Cal had on the horizon. Is that what you’re bucking for? (My guess is the answer is yes, because you’re really nothing but a bunch of worthless trolls trying to stir things up.)

    If you’re not, you’re more myopic than those who think Pete Carroll should be removed because his teams upchuck against a Pac-10 foe every year.

    As disappointing (and shocking) as the Oregon game was, it’s important to remember that no matter how strong a team appears, the opponents have just as much pride as we do. Moreover, they’re not being coached by a bunch of chimps. We’re talking about 18-22 year old kids here. Who knows if they’re having girl problems or problems at home that aren’t being broadcast to the world? Who knows if there was more of a flu problem than was mentioned last week?

    Let’s move beyond last week and concentrate on beating usc. Go Bears!

  • rollonubears

    nice post, pc. i actually drove all the way up to the palouse in 1996, the 5-0 mariucci team, only to watch them fumble the game away on first and goal from the 2 yard line, and end up 6-6 after the aloha bowl. also, standing room only. we did cover the spread, though. the cougs took an intentional safety—paid for the trip. the bears have been blowing big games since before i can remember. nothing’s really new. nothing has ever changed. at least we’ll be able to watch the bears without getting splinters stuck in our asses in a couple years.

  • rollonubears

    if i remember correctly, bruce snyder’s #3 bears got blown out by #1 washington, at home, derailing their season and rose bowl hopes. i agree, it would have been nice to have him around instead of holmoe, and gilby, but i’m just saying…it’s more of a curse. and nobody seems able to break it.

  • Jan K Oski

    Rollon, that wasn’t a blowout game and the rankings were different, too. Here’s a copy of the results from the official site:

    1991 Cal (7) vs Washington (3) 17-24

    You’re thinking of the ’90 year, when Cal wasn’t rated:

    1990 Cal vs Washington (7) 7-46

    At least, Our Bears were able to score a TD on that day.

  • rollonubears

    Press conference quotes are out, and this one is the most telling.

    “Back then [in 2007], I just focused on Xs and Os. They were tough losses that we had two years ago and instead of me spending time motivating the team and looking for things in the locker room that were maybe getting us down, I spent all my time trying to come up with plays and things like that, to try to, `OK, now we’ll do this, we’ll go out and win and everything will be fine.’ So I learned a lot as a coach that year that there’s a lot more to it than just Xs and Os. To keep your team motivated, to keep their confidence up and keep them together is a big thing.”

    Why doesn’t anyone have the gall to ask Tedford why Riely doesn’t roll out? Why we didn’t do any play-action passes to throw them off. Why no short passes? Yes, the box was stacked, so maybe play action doesn’t fool anyone, but it’s at least better than running into a wall, and it gives you an extra blocker where you need it, in front of you.

  • rollonubears

    Thanks Jan K. I am a lazy bear.

  • Pug

    Some of us do have vivid memories of the years before Tedford showed up. Like the Washington losing streak. What was that, something like 17 years? There were also long, long losing streaks to UCLA and a few decades of domination by Stanford.

    There were brief periods of good teams, like the Bruce Snyder teams or, before that, the Mike White/Joe Roth teams, but overall being a Bears fan was a pretty dreary enterprise. A great year back then was 7-4.

    People complaining about Tedford need to remember the year of the big Rutgers showdown when both teams came in 0-10. Of course, the sturdy Golden Bears did prevail in that matchup. Anybody remember the Garden State Bowl when we got blown out by Temple? Yecchh!

  • JohnnyCalifornia

    Tedford is still the right coach for Cal. The best thing about him is that he seems to learn from his mistakes. I think Tedford is still growing as a coach and the Cal program is still growing too.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Daddy got a call today from a very special person in your athletic department. Wanted to know if he was planning to buy one of the licenses. He said “I can give you 49 reasons why I won’t.” That cracked me up. He also told me that in 1968 USC came to play with an injured OJ Simpson. McKay chose not to play Simpson and a “no name” backup went on to have a craeer day. Same event, same place, different names, same outcome. Count on it.

  • Jake

    I was a little disappointed by Tedford’s quotes at the press conference today. I get the impression that he truly believes that everything is just about execution. That’s the argument I always hear.

    But is it an execution problem when you have 1st and goal and can’t get it into the end zone with the offensive talent that CAL had 2 years ago against Oregon St? Or the year before that against AZ? Maybe it’s a coach play calling issue?

    Sure if guys are trying to run a hook and lateral and they muff it you can argue execution. But how about even trying some creative plays? Where’s the creativity in the scheming/strategizing/play calling? Where’s putting guys in the position to succeed? Where are the halftime adjustments?

    I agree that CAL is better off now than in the Holmoe era. But I think fans also have to realize whether or not we are satisfied with being a middle-of-the-road pac-10 team or do we want to see more. If we want to see more, then JT and his staff should be held accountable for CAL’s failures along with it’s successes.

    This year is as good a year as any to beat SC. They’ve got injuries, a freshman QB, and a struggling offense. And we get them at home. With CAL’s talent (not SC caliber, but also not Wash. St.), I am hoping last week was a debacle and maybe, just maybe the staff was looking at this weekend’s game. But if CAL does not beat USC, or even look like they’re able to make adjustments and be productive on both sides of the ball, I think Sandy Barbour should begin the search. It’s time.

  • Bear IV

    Go Bears!

  • Bear IV

    Why are my earlier posts not up? There was no name calling or offensive language. I responded to two other posts. They are no where to be found.

  • Larry

    Bear IV,

    I know the feeling. You probably responded to something the troll said and your comments got erased. I’ve had that happen to me many times. The troll can incite here, but if you respond, YOU get censored.

    I have a theory that the troll is really J.O. who keeps interest in his blog by trolling his own blog. If this post gets erased, it will prove my theory correct.

  • Larry

    My theory makes sense because the troll seems to always be online, which makes sense if you are a newspaper writer, but is pathetic if you are not a newspaper writer.

  • Jake

    Larry and Bear IV,

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me. I had the same thought about J.O. being the troll as well.

    Creative, but I don’t think you need that keep interest.