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Football: Update

I need to head down to the field now for the remainder of the game. I’ll be back postgame.

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 twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Larry

    SO J.O., YOU CAN’T STAND IT EITHER? I DON’T BLAME YOU, CAL COMPLETELY EMBARRASSED THEMSELVES, THEIR FANS, THEIR SCHOOL, THEIR CONFERENCE,THEIR FAMILIES, THEIR FAN’S FAMILIES, AND THE COACHES’ FAMILIES.
    I AM EMBARASSED TO BE A CAL FAN TODAY. I’M LEANING MORE TO THE FIRE TEDFORD CROWD NOW. FOR ALL THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THEY PAY THIS HACK AND HE EMBARRASSES US LIKE THAT. FU TEDFORD FU!!!!

  • Larry

    AND TAKE NATE RILEY/ KEVIN LONGSHORE WITH YOU!!!

  • Joey

    JO- ask some tough questions. Why no change with the offense when it continually strugles?

  • Pug

    You might ask some questions about the defense too. Any nobody QB in country could pass for 350 yards on Cal this year.

    The guy tonight was a freshman and they put no heat on him whatsoever. They were dropping eight and Utah still had wide open receivers. They had no pass rush linebackers that you need in a 3-4 defense since Follett, Felder and Worrel Williams left.

  • MikeD

    welcome to your new Cal Bears Football program everybody, better get used to it since this is what you have to look forward to for the time being.

    Tedford won’t change, Sandy won’t fire him – so here we are.

    It’s the new updated version of the Holmoe era, not just in the # of wins/losses but in the quality of play, the lack of preparation, the inability to adjust mid game, the lack of consistency. This program is heading into the toilet.

    Oh, it’s possible to change the people behind the scene, but the common denominator is Tedford. Do you really think that if you fire Gregory that the next guy won’t be just as bad? If not then please reference Cignetti 08 vs Ludgwid 09.

    I agree that:

    No one has done less with more.

    Berkeley – where QB futures come to an end. Tedford is a QB killer.

  • Dan

    A truly pathetic effort. Again. You saw a well coached team tonight in Utah. You saw a poorly coached team in Cal tonight.

    This is the 5th time this year Cal has been crushed by an opponent and by the opposing coaching staff. Cal beats lousy teams and wins a couple vs. comparable teams due to matchups. Now they get dominated by good teams with good coaching staffs. This isn’t going to change. The signs have been there for 4-5 years.

    This is the status quo guys. Lower middle of the pack conference team- at best.

    NOBODY does less with more than Tedford.

  • Dan

    MikeD- you’re right. This is it. Tedford isn’t going anywhere and Sandy isn’t going to fire him- she can’t.

    If you want him gone, hope for a couple of 3-9 seasons. They could happen whether we want them to or not. Just hope that Chris Peterson or Kyle Winningham haven’t already moved on to other programs, like Colorado or ASU. Either of them with Cal’s talent and new facilities would make Cal finally what they could be, what they have been so close to … but yet so far

    Please note I was the first one here a long time ago to say … Jeff Tedford is Ben Braun.

  • Old Bear

    Oh Brother,

    Special teams again! (Huge runback, blocked punt, big penalty, Chris Conte returning kickoffs, etc., etc.)

    What photos does Pete Alamar possess?

  • Brian A

    “If you want him gone, hope for a couple of 3-9 seasons.”

    What a true Cal fan.

    I understand everyone’s disappointment, but I can’t help but shake my head at all the fire Tedford sentiments. Is everyone forgetting what Cal football was about before Tedford got here?

  • MikeD

    @Brian A

    “Is everyone forgetting what Cal football was about before Tedford got here”

    Argh, I hate that thinking – what possible difference does that make? So now because the Gilby/Holmoe years were so bad that we are now supposed to be so grateful to have this pathetic excuse for coaching a team be acceptable? How about we live in the now and stop the handwringing over what has happened in the past?

    But just to play it out, before Tedford got here it was a crappy program, with little hope of improvement. Very similar to today

  • Will

    Geez Larry, I understand your frustration but calm down

  • SteveNTexas

    Its hard not to be upset. Living in Texas I know UT and Cal will have a home and away in a few years and if it happened today it would be a real disaster.

    So far our recruits have been stellar but we only have 11 signees compared to about 20 for most teams.

    We will lose the OL but how good were they?
    Riley never ever for a moment had my confidence. We need a good QB

  • ToparchiBear

    Cal needs the recruits on DBs badly. the best DB Cal has is graduating. So, the back field is wide open. And they got beaten badly. And, the play book need some new tactics. Tonight is another night that they are beaten on play calling. absolutely predictable. On the other hand, Utah’s tactics completely confused the Cal defense. The score could have been worse.

  • Eric

    All season long, I have been complaining about the coaching, and that the kool-aid drinkers haven’t noticed that, since the 2004 Holiday Bowl, we have been an extraordinarily overrated team.

    Every time we choke away a big game, and you read the quotes from the players and coaches, you have to shake your head and ask WTF is wrong with the team BEFORE it even gets on to the field?

    I set my TiVo, came home from work but, before subjecting myself to any torture, I asked myself whether I should just check the score. And I was half-expecting, we lost. So I said, why bother?

    I then checked out the box score. 20 carries for 122 yards. 1 catch by Lagemann. Big yards on special team returns. So, I guess the way we beat Arizona and Stanfurd was just totally ignored. Without watching a single play, I can fully script out what happened.

    It is not the players, though it is quite clear that they’ve all but quit. It is the coaches. Comparing this to Holmoe and Gilbertson is idiotic. Neither had remotely the same players and their salaries pale in comparison.

    Next year, with every other Pac-10 team expecting to improve, it is going to be ugly.

    Folks, you have Ben Braun II, except that Braun always had the excuse of key injuries.

    Keep drinking that kool-aid, and enjoy those really neat new facilities, with our .500 record and our half-full stadium.

  • Mike W

    I’m with Eric, Dan and MikeD. Tedford doesn’t get a lifetime pass for improving the program post-Holmoe; $2M per is a lot of coin for 8-5, 2nd tier Bowl football. This is one of the worst big game programs I’ve ever seen and there’s no sign things will get better. While Sandy can’t fire JT or buy him out, she could force staff changes which need to include Gregory and Alamar.

    Ted Miller (ESPN.com): “Cal, once ranked sixth in the nation, finishes a supremely disappointing season at 8-5. The Bears — coaches and players — will need to look in the mirror during the offseason. The first question is Riley. Will he break through as a senior? Or might coach Jeff Tedford want to go in a different direction in 2010? Another thing for Tedford to think about: Does he have enough fire on his coaching staff? Tedford, Ludwig and Gregory are all low-key, cerebral coaches. The Bears seeming lack of fire this season — other than the Stanford and Arizona games — might be an issue that could be helped by a coach who doesn’t mind an occasional sideline or locker room tirade.”

    Link: http://espn.go.com/blog/pac10

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Embearassing

  • Jake

    Remember the Fire Ron Zook website a few years back? Anyone want to start a fire Jeff Tedford website? I definitely think it’s time!!!!

  • CM

    Ted Miller said it: supremely disappointing season. For crying out loud we started out the season with even Cal haters (e.g. Jon Wilner) predicting a Rose Bowl berth and we end it with a loss in the Pac-10′s crappiest bowl…and it was not really close. USC was a good 5 notches worse than it has been in any of the previous 8 seasons, and still we get waxed 30-3 AT HOME, and fare no better than 5th place in conference. When your team gets spanked 5 times in one season (including by a very mediocre UW squad), despite having very high level athletes, the problem is, without question, the coaching. That starts with Tedford, and goes on down the ladder.

    Bizarre question: If memory serves, didn’t Gregory win an award as the top assistant coach in the COUNTRY in 2004??? Has he seriously regressed as a coach, or was that year simply a case of unbelievable athletes overcoming middling coaching?

  • C.J. Roses

    …”I understand everyone’s disappointment, but I can’t help but shake my head at all the fire Tedford sentiments. Is everyone forgetting what Cal football was about before Tedford got here?”

    I really wish people would stop posting this drivel.

  • amythicalprogram

    What a joke, Berkley loses again!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    From the CC Times article – “As has been the case far too often for Cal’s taste this season, an opposing quarterback had a career-making game. In this case, the culprit was Jordan Wynn, a San Diego native, who ran the Utes’ spread offense expertly throwing for a career-high 338 yards and going 26-for-36 with three touchdowns.”

    Please note that next year the Pac 10 will be full of gunslingers. Barkley, Locker, Tuel, Luck, Foles, Masoli, Prince. How many of these kind of repeat performances will you see next year against your no pressure, no blitz, 15 yards off the receiver pass coverage.

  • Rollonubears

    Tedford has lost the respect of his players. ” you’ve seen one elephant, you’ve seen ‘em all” says it all.

  • bearupthere

    not playing d. hagan this year is a BIG reason the secondary has been so bad. the kid can cover and tackle, end of story.

  • Old Bear

    Remember when Cal’s offense was considered innovative and exciting? Tedford’s first play at Cal was a halfback option throw for a touchdown. Nobody is calling Tedford an innovator today.

    We were lucky to finish 8-5. We played five games that were decided in the 4th quarter and won 4 (MN, AZ ST, AZ, Stanfurd) and lost last night.

    The offensive game has changed since Tedford arrived. I hope he is willing to change before it’s too late.

    Go Bears!

  • Will

    Looks like McKnight has rejoined the team. I hope he knows that parking costs $20 at AT&T park. Wouldn’t want him to get in any more trouble for having someone pay his parking fees for his SUV! LOL

  • Brian A

    “Argh, I hate that thinking – what possible difference “does that make? So now because the Gilby/Holmoe years were so bad that we are now supposed to be so grateful to have this pathetic excuse for coaching a team be acceptable?”

    Tedford has finished with a winning record all 8 years he has been here. He has won 5 out of 7 bowl games. He has beaten Stanfurd 7 out of 8 games. He has won a pac10 co-championship. If it wasn’t for Mack Brown we would have ended our Rose Bowl drought. He got the ball rolling on the new facilities for the sports teams. He is the 2nd most winning Cal coach.

    And people are calling for his head?

    Now don’t misconstrue my comments. I want Cal to succeed and much as you do. I’m glad we as fans have very high expectations for our team. We should be pissed that we were ranked 6th and finished unrank. We should be pissed that we lost so badly to SC, Oregon, and Washington. Has Tedford made some bad coaching decisions this year? Of course. Is our season entirely on his head? No. Do I think he should be fired? No. I still believe he is the right guy for this program. He recruits quality players, keeps them and the program out of trouble, and runs a tight ship in terms of players graduating, and fields a consistent winning team.

    “But just to play it out, before Tedford got here it was a crappy program, with little hope of improvement. Very similar to today”

    Before Tedford got here we were 1-10, truly a crappy program. Not so similar to today. Where are we today? We’re a good, but not great program. No doubt the Cal team has to make changes in the off season and adjust to get us over that hump. Firing Tedford is not one of them.

  • Jake

    Firing Tedford is absolutely the correct situation. You cannot look at the Gilby/Holmoe years and constantly compare things to that.

    First of all, remember that Tedford make $2 million dollars a year. That is a lot of “coin,” as someone else astutely pointed out on this blog, for a head coach that cannot take us to the elite BCS bowls. If he makes that amount of money, you better bet the expectations will be high and anything less than a pac-10 championship will be questioned. What kind of bowl games HAVE we been to the last few years: Armed Forces Bowl, Emerald Bowl, and the Poinsettia Bowl. Definitely not good enough for someone of JT’s “caliber.”

    Second of all, Tedford seemed to have peaked the year he got us to the Holiday Bowl against Texas A&M. His stubborn, hard headed ways led to the collapse of the team the year after when we lost to OSU. There should never have been that free fall if he were a good coach. The year after that debacle, was the Longshore/Riley experiment that went awry, leading to this years pitiful performance.

    I said all along, if last year was a rebuilding year, let Riley play it out even if he struggles. If he is not the guy, this year we go to Mansion or Sweeney. But because of his man-crush for Longshore, Riley’s confidence takes a blow and he’s still trying to recover this year. And based on what I’ve seen, I think next year we should start moving on to another guy at QB.

    Bottom line is Tedford is not performing if you look at his salary. If you look at Gilbert and Holmoe, he’s doing great. But stick with him another few years, and you might just be seeing the 1-10 Bears again with a $2 million coach.

    It’s time to make a change, and NOW!!!

  • Steve W

    Here is my post Christmas wish list for Tedford and his program:

    1) Jeff, take some of your $2 million salary and hire a quality and fiery d-coordinator who will junk that embarassing 3-4 defense and get the most out of the players. A Nick Holt kind of guy would do.
    2) Declare completely open quarterback competiton starting in spring ball. Riley gets ZERO credit for his playing time. We can only hope that Beau Sweeney or Alan Bridgeford will emerge as the starter.
    3) Send your special teams coach packing before the New Year begins. The performance of Cal’s kickoff team was nothing short of an abomination all year and probably cost the team at least one win, maybe two. No blocked punts all year. No punts or kickoffs returned for touchdowns. Several of your own punts blocked….UGGGH!
    4)Spend a scholarship to find a guy who can kick the ball in the endzone. I saw several guys in the CIF high school playoffs in Carson who are better than Georgio right now.
    5)Spend some time in the off-season to consider how to revamp your offense. It is getting predictable and tired. Oregon and Arizona have made big leaps in the past few years using the spread. It takes a little time to recruit the right kind of players to operate the spread, but you need to consider it. Only USC gets the big-time players year after year to allow them to dominate the Pac 10 with a pro set offense.
    6)Spend a LOT of time considering why you didn’t go for a first down when you were on your 50 yard line, two scores behind and needing only two yards to get with 9 minutes to go. Your defense hadn’t stopped Utah all night. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ABOUT? I turned to my brother and said it would only take Utah two plays to get back to the 50 yard line after Cal’s punt. I was right. End of game.

  • Dan

    Steve W- way to be in the solution instead of the problem. All of your points are spot on.

    Unfortunately, #’s 1, 3, 5 and 6 would require Tedford to be someone he isn’t. I just don’t think he sees it. His answer is always that “we need to work harder” Does that mean he isn’t working hard as is humanly possible before? I don’t think that is the case. I know they are all working hard.

    It’s all the definition of insanity.