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Football: Heading down

This will be my last post until after the game. As of now, Cal is looking at being shut out for the first time since a 45-0 loss to Nebraska in 1999.

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.

  • GC

    What a nightmare season

  • Bear … In The Woods

    It is clear that this team’s problem is between the ears. Blow teams out at home and get blown out on the road – at least they are consistent.

  • Steve W

    If anyone is looking for some insight into what happened to Cal the last time it lost a starting quarterback midway through the season, look no further than the 1993 season. A 5-0 and ranked Cal team was whipping up on Washington when Dave Barr went down on the hard Memorial Stadium astroturf with a separated shoulder.

    Cal lost that game and went on to get blown out by USC, Arizona State and one other team – four straight bad losses with the backups. The 1993 team was no more prepared with its backup qb’s than this one.

    If history repeats itself, Cal is not going bowling and stands a good chance of losing next week to the lowly Cougs. Maybe that last minute drive will inspire Mansion to greater things. It would be a great story.

  • SteveNtexas

    Steve W- QB Riley is not Dave Barr and we were already pretty lousy going into this game – not 5-0.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I truly hope that Cal will not win again this season, and I really really really hate to say that. But the only way Tedford may get forced out after this debacle of a season is a 4-8 record. And no way does Oregon or stanfurd let us beat them, wsu will see the game next week as their best chance to win a pac-10 game and UW will find a way to win because they are way better coached. The bears are not well coached. Are they coached at all? And it is a real shame because the core of this team is pretty solid on defense and offense. I really feel for the players. Keenan Allen should transfer if he wants to play on Sundays. Shane Vareen, it was great watching you and good luck in the pros, you need to declare asap. Marvin Jones talent has been completely wasted. The wheels have fallen off train Tedford. Please resign. Who am I kidding, that ain’t gonna happen, way too pig-headed for that. Who will be the next Cal football coach? That is the only thing I am excited about regarding Cal football. And I was practically raised in Memorial Stadium, definitely not a bandwagoner here. wah… :(

  • Larry

    BlakeStreetBear,

    Tedford’s built in excuse will be that his starting QB was knocked out and that’s why Cal lost every game.

    Even before Riley’s injury, Cal looked bad again this week. It would have been 35-7 with Riley playing the whole game.

    I will be rooting for Cal to run the table for the rest of 2010.

    GO BEARS!

  • Dan

    This team isn’t/wasn’t going bowling with or without Riley.

    The problem isn’t the home-away thing. It’s that they get BLOWN out by good teams that have BETTER coaching and a better program. The whole home-away thing that everybody keeps blowing out of proportion will be clarified when Cal gets waxed at home by Oregon, Stanford, and probabaly loses to Washington.

    Cal better be careful next week in Pullman.

    This team is going 5-7.

    Blake Street- I hear you. but Tedford isn’t going sanywhere. Cal can’t financially afford to fire Tedford.

  • Dan

    Some other comments-

    Today is why you find a way to get your backup QB meaningful snaps before you end up forced to play the backup qb.

    Why the “WHY”ldcat? Tedford and Dilbert (Ludwig) love it, it’s a joke, I bet Cal hasn’t averaged 3 yards a carry on it since they started using it. When they do use it, no imagination- big surprise there.

    The Jeff Tedford –> Ben Braun evidence continues to mount.

    No Pac 10 coach gets more out their talent than Mike Riley.

    No coach in the Pac 10 gets less out of their talent than Jeff Tedford.

    I guess Tedford is going to make about $560,000 per win this season. Does that bother anyone?

    Do any Cal supporters think things will be any better next year? If so, how?

    Remember all the big, blowout losses last year and how all the Tedford supporters/apologists/defenders were harping on Tedford’s “winning” record of 8-5. What a joke.

    Last season’s type of losses were a glimpse into what was going to happen this season. What do we all think this season tells us about next season?

  • Bear IV

    Blake Bear– You are not a fan. I would never want the Bears to lose. Please do not call yourself a Cal Bear. You are a disgrace.

  • Eric

    I did not see the game; only listened on the radio.

    I hope Riley will be ok. I fear he is done for the season. There may be a blessing in disguise; he can finish his degree, condition himself, and perhaps get a shot at the CFL. He won’t get drafted in the NFL – Tedford made sure of that – but he still has talent, and a more open, flowing game may fit him.

    It is, of course, ironic that he was injured against Oregon State. An Oregon kid who went south under the promise of a QB guru. In his first meaningful action, against Oregon State, he was brilliant, but everyone only remembers the last play. Of course, when it happened, I couldn’t believe Tedford didn’t simply kick the field goal, go into overtime since we were at home and had the ability to use our good running game again on a short field, but that would have required decent coaching. Then Riley was punished, not given a chance for the rest of the season until he was again brilliant in the bowl game. The next year, he was left out to dry by the constant shuffling (getting yanked after a blowout win when he was not asked to ever throw the ball). Last year, between the idiotic wildcat and the ridiculous insistence on no roll-outs, no no QB runs, and constantly working away from a good run game, he had no meaningful chance to develop. So a senior, and he still has no real sense of the game.

    The other posters are, of course, right that tedford was a total moron for not giving the backups a chance to have meaningful snaps before today. Maybe Mansion will get it – it helps that the next game is against the weakest opponent he will face – but I go back to my prior (repeated) posts. After the Arizona game, I did not see how we could get to 6-6. $2.8 mm a year; would any other Pac-10 school even pay half this amount?

  • juancho

    Eric you’re right. And that huge salary is worse than it looks when you remember we cut other programs and the school and state is strapped for cash. Tedfords turning into barry zito.

  • Kent Wilson

    I guess the silver lining in all of this, is that Brock and Beau are likely to get some actual game experience this year…which can only help us for 2011. Sadly, I don’t think Tedford would have ever let the backup QBs play as long as Riley was healthy.

    As for Tedford, he has been awful for the past 5 years…he was great for the first 3 seasons, but he has not prepared the team very well for the past 5 and arguably 6 seasons. For me the turning point for Tedford was his game day decisions during the 2004 Holiday Bowl against Texas Tech…when Cal’s running game was dominatating the Red Raiders and had gotten Cal back into the lead in the 2nd quarter, for some reason Tedford refused to stick to the ground game with JJ Arrington and rely of Aaron Rodgers throwing to inexperienced WRs (if I recall correctly, 3 of Cal’s top 4 WRs were out for that game). The other factor that game was that the Cal D had shown zero ability to stop the aerial attach of Tech and so a strategy of “control the clock by maintaining possession of the ball” seemed to be the obvious route for a Cal victory. The announcers at halftime all stated that Cal would win the game if they gave the ball to Arrington…I had been screaming at the TV screen saying the same thing after the 1st quarter…but Tedford, in his effort to “keep a balanced attack” did NOT feature Arrington as the primary offensive weapon and kept asking Rodgers to throw to inexperienced WRs (who dropped balls, tipped passes and turned them into INTs, and ran wrong routes).

    I go into all of this detail about a game that was nearly 6 years ago, becuase the local Cal media never questioned Tedford about his strategic approach in that game…(although the TV media – immediately 2nd guessed Tedford). It’s been Teflon Tedford for the local Cal media coverage…think about it.

    Cal has underperformed for each of the last 4 years. To me, having an 8-4 record is NOT a good season, when at the beginning of that season you are projected to go 10-2 or 11-1. That’s been the story of Cal with Tedford at the helm. For most of the past 5 seasons, Cal is projected to be the 2nd place team in the conference with only losses to USC (or Oregon in some years)…but Cal routinely would lose to USC and at least 3 other teams (see Tennessee, Maryland, OSU, Oregon, Washington).

    To put it another way, how many times has cal won a game when they were an underdog? How many times has Cal lost when they were favored? Somebody, please check Cal’s record for the past 5 years. I can only think of 1 victory when Cal was an underdog – 2007 victory over Oregon. I think there have been at least 15 losses over the past 5 years when they were a favored team. Having 1 upset victory against 15 losses when you are favored is not acceptable for a coach who is getting paid nearly $3 Million a year.

    Either fire Tedford or Reduce his salary to $800,000.