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

  • Juancho

    Poor kid man. I think he’ll be a huge help in getting Brock Obama Mansion ready. This will help Mansion immensely to have a starter to ask questions to now, so he isn’t thrown out there alone next year.

  • Bears07

    Does anyone have a link to a video online showing the play where Riley was injured? I saw it real-time during the game but wanted to take another look. Can’t find it anywhere thru google/youtube nor the sports broadcast networks. Thanks!

  • Uh Oh

    I’m sure it will be included on the Cal Sports Report when that airs. It’s usually on Wed/Thur/Fri on my local fox station, or is it on my local comcast sports station. Who knows – the DVR picks ’em all up….

  • BlueNGold


    What exactly is “Brock Obama Mansion” supposed to mean?

  • Juancho

    Nothing. Just that Brock is similar to Barack. And that I was bored.

  • Bears07

    It’s also much closer to Brock Lesnar…the up-until-last month heavyweight champion in the UFC! Hope he tears it up (to the extent feasible given the circumstances) in the remainder of the season.

    Uh Oh, thanks for the tips. Would be a lot easier to DVR those shows if I lived in the Bay Area but unfortunately I don’t. Maybe Fox / Comcast will post clips to their website at some point. Thanks though.

  • House

    I always defended Kevin, maybe because his work ethic just got to me and I was quicker than most to dismiss his short comings. Even if he never lived up to his freshman year hype, I couldn’t be happier with how he’s represented the university. I will be forever greatful for how hard he tried to live up to all of our expectations.

    Kevin Riley, through all his time here and now that he’s done, deserved better.

    How Brock plays these last 4 games is huge for the direction of Cal football, and I feel a little better knowing he has Riley to turn to.

  • ScottyBear

    This is the crapy time of year when Cal basketball gets more exposure here and another underachieving Cal Football season peters out.

  • Calduke

    If the Bears finish 6 -6 that that would not be
    under-achieving considering the personnel on this team

  • Kent Wilson

    Calduke…you just don’t get it…the fact that Cal was picked to finish 7th and will likely finish 6-6 and now will likely finish somehwere betweeen 6th and 9th place is an indication how far the Cal program has fallen. And this is unacceptable performance for a coach that is the 2nd highest paid coach in the conference.

    Unfortunately, the trajectory of the Cal football program looks like a 6th place to 9th place finish for the foreseable future. Tedford no longer gets the 2nd best recruiting class in the pac-10…the talent level at Cal has been falling ever since the 2007 debacle of a season. Tedford may be running a “clean” program and emphasizing building intergrity and character for his players…which is great…but frankly that’s the basic expectation for any Cal head coach…you don’t pay a coach $2.8MM just to “run a clean program”…when you’re getting that much cash…WINNING and competing for conference TITLES is the standard!

    Teford is failing miserably when you compare him to that standard. Either fire Tedford, or reduce his pay to $800K.

  • Eric

    Calduke – expectations last year were certainly higher than 8-4, a fifth place (really sixth counting tie-breaker) finish, and an embarassment in a minor bowl game. Expectations in 2008 might have been 4th for the Pac-10, but the losses to Maryland and Arizona destroyed any satisfaction because in each case Cal was significantly better than the opponent and blew it. Expectations in 2007 were certainly better than 7-6 and a tie for 7th. Expectations in 2006 – if you were a Lee Corso follower – were better than a 10-3 and second place finish. No Pac-10 titles. No BCS appearances (and none really within range since 2004). Notice a trend?

    Blaming the talent is weak. Putting aside thre QB, Cal’s talent this year is better across the board than in 2004. But ignore than for second, and explain the alleged lack of talent in 2007, 2008, and 2009 when you examine the number of players starting in the NFL.

  • Old Bear


    Interesting point on NFL talent.

    from (number of players on a roster, imperfect, but interesting info)

    USC 40
    Cal 33
    Oregon 22
    UCLA 20
    Oregon State 16

    This data says………..

  • Old Bear

    I’ll answer my own question: Mike Riley is a very good coach.

  • Eric

    Yes – Mike Riley is far and away the best value coach in the Pac-10. Interestingly to overlay it with win/loss.

    And now look at the number of the 33 Cal players who were drafted in 2006-2009. This is important because nearly 100% would be Tedford recruited players, and they played AFTER the 2004 season ended.

  • Juancho

    Great points Kent Wilson.

    My biggest dissapointment isn’t that we’re having a bad year. It’s that having bad years has become okay again, like the years before Tedford. Now the carrot on the end of the stick is “we run a clean program”

    Guess what? Running a clean program and winning isnt’ mutually exclusive. I think sometimes coaches like Meyer and Saban and now Chipmunk Kelly get a bad wrap because they come off like jerks. And who knows, maybe they are jerks – but damnit they win. And ultimately a coach who is getting $2.8 million a year needs to make us win.

    What scares me the most is how we’re re-installing the “this is good enough b/c we’re Cal” mentality. Tedford changed this a few years ago. And now it’s going back to the way it was. This year will be 6-6 best case scenario. Then guess what next year the excuse will be that Mansion is a first year starter.

    Thinking of the NFL talent made me think this. What does it say about our program that the star offensive guys at skill positions have pretty much all left early.

    Even Morrah.

    I have no doubt Vereen is gone. I hope not b/c he’s the ace on offense. But it’s curious to think about how the studs have all left at first chance. And why doesn’t freaking Rodgers wear a Cal shirt – freaking Chico State!!! What!!!

  • Old Bear


    Perhaps Florida and Oregon programs get a bad rap because their players are getting in trouble with the law. How many players from those two programs have been arrested/cited in the last few years?

    They do win, but at what cost?

    I would rather stand closer to squeaky clean Stanford than not so much Oregon.

  • Dan

    Calduke- I don’t agree with your talent point for this year’s team or for teams over the past 3-4 years, especially given the blowout nature of 8 blowouts the past 2 seasons.

    But let’s say for argument’s sake that you were right and the talent isn’t that good as most of us think it is- and I absolutely don’t believe that is the case- but again, just for discussion sakes- let’s say the talent isn;t that great… well, whose fault is that? Perhaps our $2.8M a year coach?

    Any way you slice it, what I have been saying for a few years here, and what Eric and Kent Wilson and others so articulately and painstakingly post here- how can there be any dispute. You can even make the statement that Tedford isn’t even a decent coach anymore based on his on field results.

    How in the world can this be OK, how in the world can he have NO CLUE how to fix or improve this? If he could or did, perhaps he would. It’s maddening.

    He deserves every bit of criticism he gets in the exact same way he deserved the credit for the early success of the program. You can’t have it both ways. He is a HUGE disappointment.

    The class and character of the Cal players is a given, a minimum standard for a Cal coach. We shouldn’t lay huge praise at Tedford for this when his teams underachieve more than perhaps any D1 team in the country. I think the Stanford players are pretty classy and impressive, and Harbaugh or the Cardinal fan-base, as small as it is, are making no excuses across the bay. Why does the Cal fan base have to for Tedford? They don’t.

  • Calduke

    Guys – I’m a 10-year season ticket holder, live 500 miles from Berkeley and attend every home game. I’m as frustrated and disappointed as most of you. Each year I buy into the preseason B S that Cal has the talent to go far and then I watch them play. They get outplayed by so-called, lesser talent that we’ve never heard of. We are so myopic that we think other teams don’t talent
    How successful did you expect Tedford to be with the
    Ayoob-Longshore-Riley trioka. He must have had anxiety attacks each Sat morning realizing he had to pick one of these guys to face good defenses. His record(coaching) might not seem so bad given those alternatives.
    If the number of NFL players is the benchmark for measuring expectations; has USC overwhelmed the PAC-10 recently.
    I’m disappointed in the program, also. Most of posters seem to have astute knowledge of coaching and talent evaluation. I’m open to replacing Tedford, but, be careful what you wish for. Who is out there?

  • Eric


    Oregon went and found its o-coordinator, and now its coach, from a D-1AA school, because it saw an innovative coach willing to gamble. Florida found Urban Meyer because he was running an innovative scheme and was willing to gamble, even though he was coaching a non-BCS school in a market dominated by a private school with unlimited funds. Furd selected Harbaugh – and while the jury is still out – from a small D-1AA school because he was hard-charging and brought a no-holds barred attitude to a school that absolutely needed it.

    And remember how Cal found Tedford. They didn’t search out a ridiculously overpriced and old blowhard (see Willingham at Washington, Weiss at ND, and Erickson at ASU) who quickly demonstrated no ability to adapt. Unfortunately, having been screwed out of the Rose Bowl by Mack Brown and then having poorly planned for the Holiday Bowl that year (had we won that game, we likely would have finished third in the country) Tedford has effectively given up trying to be creative. The closest was hiring Dunbar, but Longshore was extremely ill-suited for that offense, and Dunbar quickly threw up his hands.

    Who’s out there? Had we not given Tedford a ridiculously overpriced contract a few years back, we might have a shot at Peterson, but there is no chance of that now. The guy at Iowa State has turned around that program, but I don’t have enough information on him. Check out the D-1AA ranks – look for the next Kelly. This isn’t our job – this is Barbour’s.

  • Juancho


    Don’t make Tedford the victim of Longshore / Ayoob / Riley, he recruited them.

    And if it’s not Tedford’s fault when he has mediocre quarterbacks, then people can’t praise him when he has a good one like Rodgers (which he blindly stumbled into b/c they went to recruit the TE at Butte) and Boller (who he inherited).

    Recruit better if that’s the problem. I’m sure part of the $2.8 million includes recruiting?

  • heckyeah

    I respectfully disagree with you guys. I am just as frustrated as you guys with the performance of Jeff Tedford’s teams. Sure, the football program’s performance over the past couple years may not exactly merit Coach Tedford’s compensation, but I’d like to see other coaching changes before ousting Tedford.. maybe in the O-line Coach (which will likely come by the end of this year), O-Coordinator/QB Coach, WR Coach.. in that order.

    I’m no football expert (maybe you guys are though) but I find it interesting that so many players, recruits, and head coaches (not limited to NCAA) still hold Coach Tedford in such high esteem. Maybe they know things about Tedford that we casual fans don’t know/see?

  • thisiscal

    Let’s not gloss over Sandy Barbour’s responsibility here. She needs to clearly articulate and publicize the expectations for the football program. We are regressing with each season and yet she has done nothing to indicate that she is even aware of it. The buck stops with her and if she’s not ready to be an accountable AD, then we should find someone who is.

  • H8sRed

    So many critics forget that Cal recruiting took a big hit during the treesitter fiasco. Players that would have come to Cal opted to go elsewhere. In fact, Tedford did a great job to get commitments from the players he did sign during that time. But the ones we missed, those who didn’t want to get caught up in the treesitter BS, could have rounded out Cal’s roster nicely today. Instead, those players have now developed into stars for other teams.

    I have every confidence that Tedford will be able to out-recruit other coaches because the players, and their parents, will see the strength and stability of Cal’s program. Plus, they will finally see 21st century facilities we have all been waiting for. Last year’s recruiting class was surprisingly good, and it should only get better.

  • Juancho

    That’s a good point H8sRed.

    Thisiscal, great points on Barbour.

    I think Tedford has platued as a coach and should be offered the AD position. He can revitalize our other dormant programs. Tedford gave us relevance and should be a part of Cal in the AD position for a long time. Give him the lessened stress levels he’s been looking for the past few years.

    Tedford was amazing his first few years. He was ambitious, creative and aggressive. He just seems like a person who is tired and doesn’t want the stress of it. And his decision to be more of a CEO of the football program and to stop calling plays absolutely hasn’t worked.

    A CEO wouldn’t have 6 freaking quarterbacks on scholarships next year. In the business world we call thought operational inefficiencies. I.e., whoever is doing the hiring is wasting resources.


  • Calduke

    There is more to Cal’s problem than extremely poor coaching.
    Juancho – recruiting is the key. Ayoob,Longshore, Riley were above average recruits. They didn’t pan out.
    Why?? Let’s blame Tedford.
    Last year’s recruiting class was given above average ratings- based on the quality LBs and DL. That rating took a big hit when the the top recruit left. The rating certainly was not based on offensive talent.
    Cal seems like it has never developed a strong OL and DL with depth. Last year Tepper was the top OL and he got exposed.
    The problem is the OL and DL. I’m at a loss and it appears Tedford and staff are also.
    Annswer?? Just go out there and find a topline, creative, energetic, demonstrative coach.

  • Calduke

    It would be interesting to hear Tedford give his true personal opinion of this team, coaches and players.
    He obviously can’t and shouldn’t.
    Anyone care to speculate what he would say.

    After several of the blowout losses, the players openly confessed that the team didn’t execute and missed assignments; was that coaching. Is the LB or DE falling for every fake handoff the coaches fault.
    I have expressed my opinions about the coaching being the sole reason for the downturn in the program and there have been several impressive rebuttals.
    I’m convinced; Tedford has to go

  • BlueNGold

    I do not understand the thinking behind advocating for Tedford to be kicked upstairs to become the AD. The only positive is that it would likely resolve the problem of canning him while still having to pay his contract. But there are so many negatives- no administrative or marketing experience, the likelihood that he would retain at least the lion’s share of his current compensation package, which would have to come from the AD’s budget, not from the donors currently paying most of his salary, which puts further strains on the department’s revenues, and the fact that he probably would have little, if any, passion for the job. Besides, my guess is that Sandy Barbour was a diversity hire at least in part. Replacing her with a white male would probably be politically difficult at best.