Football: From the press room

Kind of a surreal scene in the press room after the game. Not only did Jeff Tedford have to answer questions about the season coming to an abrupt end, his first losing season, not going to a bowl game, etc, he suddenly was also answering questions about the suspension of defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi.

Needless to say, this wasn’t one of Tedford’s better days.

Apparently, the blatant nature of the now-infamous Aaron Tipoti video is what prompted an investigation by athletic director Sandy Barbour and the Pac-10. Tedford said he had no knowledge of players faking injuries until he approached the coaching staff about it  and Lupoi admitted it.

As for the game, the season, and the future, I will be doing a handful of blog posts and stories summarizing things in the coming days. Obviously, Cal’s seniors were very disappointed after the game. Key juniors pledged to lead the way to get the program back on track. Tedford talked about how disappointed he was for the players, fans and alumni, and how much he loved Cal. There will be much more to come on these topics.

Shane Vereen said he had no timetable for his decision whether to leave for the NFL.

Tedford said the quarterback position would have a clean slate moving forward.

Stay tuned…

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.

  • Juancho

    JO how would you say Tedford’s mood was? Did he seem calm, at peace, stressed, angry, relieved, positive, convinced next year will be good, worried ?

  • Nor-Cal Scott

    Grrrrrreat. More fuel for Duck fans. (/#€•¥*%#!!

  • robert lerma

    Is Sweeney that bad at QB? Why not give him a shot? He’s on scholarship. He knows the plays. What do we have to lose after four weeks of using a QB that is not consistent, not improving, turns the ball over, does not look comfortable and obviously does not have the confidence of the O. Coordinator or head coach based on the play calling. That was tough to watch. Little energy on the O side of the ball, little creativity, little confidence and collectively that is what amounts to what we saw this year. Back to the drawing board. From top to bottom, a definite wake up call to a program that should be doing better.

  • LR

    Tosh took a big crap on his reputation as a recruiter. Other conference schools will have a field day in the head-to-head recruiting battles when the subject of the faked injuries comes up. Totally idiotic. Not that they did it — I’m fine with that –that they did it in such a ridiculously obvious way and got busted.

    This coaching staff is looking dumber and dumber by the day.

  • Tony

    “This coaching staff is looking dumber and dumber by the day.”

    Boy is this an UNDERSTATEMENT!

    Wow. I cannot believe how this guy is self destructing. He can’t EVER put someone else in at QB. He keeps repeating….”the guy practices really really hard, the guy knows my playbook really really well”….he plays this guy, every down…yet it clear to all he and the rest of the staff have no confidence in the guy….we are going to hold a 3 point lead with no offense….who is he kidding?

    Next year, it will be Brock at QB because he practices really really hard and he knows my playbook the best.

  • Caladan

    I hope Sandy Barbour has the guts to tell Tedford what he needs to hear.

  • konamike

    Look at the bright side. This loss should help recruiting. Now we won’t have to go to a bowl and get pasted on national television by some Big 12 team. The reality is – next yr. will be as bad or worse. We have no QB. In 2011 we’ll have six scholarship QB’s: Mansion, Sweeney, Zack Maynard(transfer from Buffalo who’s the ONLY reason Kenan Allen’s @ Cal),Allan Bridgford (redshirt freshman rated 2 yrs. ago as the 5th best pro type QB in the country) and Austin Hinder, a highly ranked freshman. So…who starts? Well, Hinder’s out;Tedford won’t start a true freshman. Bridgford-hasn’t played a down;Maynard-maybe since he has some playing exp. @ Buffalo; Sweeney-my source, which I assure you is excellent, tells me Beau has a hard time completing a pass in practice; which leaves us w/ Brock. Unfortunately, in 4 games he didn’t progress. Seems like he’s a taller version of Riley. Excluding Aaron Rogers,Tedford hasn’t developed a strong QB in 9 yrs.. In short, we’ll see another yr. of a run oriented offense but w/out Vereen. I love Isi but he’s not big enough to be a 20-25 carry RB. Well, there’s always a silver lining-next yr. us Bear Backers will be able to eat @ some fine resturants in the City after a loss.

  • eric

    I already posted my immediate game reactions in the Jordan post.

    Reading the follow-up posts defending Tedfraud is astonishing. It is like reading bad fiction. I respect you as Cal fans, but it is time to admit how very, very wrong you have been. I predicted this exactly following the Arizona loss, which was as a clear a case of bad coaching as anything else. We would go 5-7, beating only WSU and two of three of ASU, UCLA, and Washington. The Tedfraud defenders screamed and yelled that we we foolish, that we knew nothing of coaching, and that Cal was trending up and would go at least 7-5 or 8-4, but we were only foolish for not pointing out the emperor’s missing clothes much earlier.

    Who does Tedfraud blame this time? Can’t blame Tavecchio. He made a 53-yarder and a 45-yarder. Can’t blame Mansion since Tedfraud is the QB guru who told a national audience after the U$C debacle that Riley’s backups were nowhere near ready to go, especially when it is so obvious that allowing Mansion to run would benefit him and the offense tremendously but he must be under orders not to ever run. Can’t blame Vereen – he gave it his all. Can’t blame Keenan Allen – he made something once out of that truly idiotic wildcat that has been sore spot all season long. Can’t blame the defense – one of Washington’s TDs occurred only because the wide receiver defended a poorly thrown ball and got a lucky deflection, and they produced our only TD.

    See Chris Peterson’s reaction to Boise State’s devastating loss. Did he throw his kicker under the bus a la Tedfraud? Nope – he took personal responsibility, and made sure to make it clear that a bad play does not lose a game.

    Can’t even blame the refs. They made two egregiously bad misses on face masks, but at least made sure one call went against Cal and one went against Washington.

    And now, we find out what the rest of the country knew for two weeks. That Cal orders its players to fake injuries. Go ahead, blame Tosh. The fact that our head coach, who makes $2.8 mm a year, HAS NO IDEA what his assistant coaches are doing (assuming this is true) screams volumes.

    Bobby, Boaltblue, and other defenders – reactions?

    I will not subject myself or my family to any more home games until Tedfraud goes.

  • TC

    Brock looked real scared, confused, and had no pocket presence. He obviously has no confidence and neither did the Ludwig or Tedfurd on Mansion. Seriously, I have not seen a QB so scared and indecisive as Mansion. If Tedfurd has been saying that Mansion is practicing real well and knows the playbook etc, where’s the result or improvement? I think to be a good/great QB, you either have it or you dont. Simple as that and Brock, who may have been an awesome QB in high school, just dont have it in the college level. He’s awful. It’s going to be another somber 2010-11 if the offense doesnt improve dramatically given that every Pac 10 team and Stanfurd are improving tremendously. Thank god Cal has a great basketball coach/program to look forward to.

  • Bob49


    I don’t know the Cal quarterback prospects for next season as well as I should, but I think I know that next year Hinder will not be a true freshman — he’s a true freshman NOW.

    I’ve said for weeks now that Cal needs a running quarterback, to make their offense less predictable, or more wide open. Most of the really good teams in the country have a quarterback who will run the ball well when their number is called to do so. The top two teams in the country, just as examples, have QB’s who can do this very well (Oregon and Auburn). Even Stanford’s Luck can run when his number is called, but he runs best as a scrambler.

    I don’t know whether Bridgford or Hinder can run. We know that Mansion can’t (and is not a good thrower either). From the few times that Sweeney played (last year) he looks like a runner, but people have said he can’t pass. I have heard that Maynard, the transfer from Buffalo, put up good running numbers when ran the offense there.

    I also know the kid you left out of the running next year, true freshman Kyle Boehm, can really run and can throw the ball really well too, and on the run (I’ve seen him play). But Cal’s offensive playbook, I have heard, is more complex than most pro playbooks, though that complexity does certainly not translate into results on the field (perhaps that should be a change Tedford should make over the summer, which would allow the QB’s he has to step in quicker if need be, to make them more confident they can run the offense without having to be so dependent on being able to run it through many weeks as a starting quarterback), so Boehm probably won’t play next year, at least not right away. But he could very well ultimately be Cal’s answer to finding a guy we can believe in at quarterback.

  • RandUmBear

    This has to be the lowest point in Tedford’s career. He needs a lot of reflection. Looks like he’s got another month to do it. I no longer fear for the season, but I now fear for the program.

  • Seattle Steve

    Husky fans were glad your regular qb didn’t play. Mansion looked erratic. Our qb (Locker) has been a victim of too much hype. Also has a history of not being able to sneak ball over goal line in crucial situations. I was praying Coach Sark would call something else after your guys stuffed Locker twice on the goal line. RE: Tedford. He is a good coach. But clearly Cal’s qb position has to be resolved.

  • konamike

    Thanks for mentioning Kyle Boehm. Did a little research and I agree w/ your assessment. Big, strong, good feet, throws w/ alot of confidence. I hope he’s the answer in 2012 but he sure won’t be next year.

  • SteveNTexas

    Cal’s soccer team is in the NCAA Sweet 16 playing Brown today – I think at 4:30 EST. The get no attention but with a 13-2 record they deserve it. I’ve had enough football although there are probably some potential field goal kickers on the team. If they win today -they may face Indiana who is having a down year (for them). Cal might even be favored.

  • SteveNTexas

    Ok if we HAVE to talk about football. Today’s top NFL Matchup of Green Bay vs Atlanta features two Cal stars on each team.
    Green Bay Aaron Rodgers of course and Desmond Bishop

    Atlanta Tony Gonzalez and Tom DeCoud.

    Tony Gonzalez has a big Facebook page but sadly its mostly about food supplements. I post something about Cal every now and then but otherwise it feels too commercial for me.

  • bobsac

    Stand, don’t sit, at the games. We normally sit, season tickets, on the west side. But the past 3 losses, 2 heartbreaking, 1 a horrible blowout, I wound up in the Young Alumni section (not bad for Class of 66) on the east side, & during the sparsely attended game yesterday we moved over to the student section. Despite 3 losses, it was fantastic standing, making noise on defense, & just talking about stuff during the Big Game blowout. We did not get depressed, unlike watching losses sitting down. I had the same experience two years ago in that great win over Oregon in the rain.
    Think about it–when you are excited, you stand up. Most of us sit most of the time. Game day should be different.
    Someone in the Big U Athletic Dept probably reads these posts. With the 2011 season at AT&T, and the return in 2012, there is a perfect opportunity to poll fans on preference, & have more sections set aside for fans who want to stand. That will be good for the team–more sections like the students & Young Alumni making noise on defense & actually helping like a 12th Man, like the Oregon game this year. Think about it.
    Finally, thanks to the team for the great effort against Oregon & Washington, despite the absence of a passing attack since the injury to Kevin Riley.

  • C98

    Our football team sucks but our futbol team rocks! Woohoo!!!!

  • So, Fedturd will be on the road tomorrow recruiting 15 more QB’s. Great. What he needs to do is hop in his F250 and head down to Clovis, Lemoore, and Hanford to pick up some O-line. Does UC Davis really have more pull down there over Cal? Lupoi needs to fire up the typewriter, take a cue from Coach Delgado, and get his resume out on the street. Cal can wave bye-bye to the Island boys if they get rid of Lupoi but I have a funny feeling that he has loyalty to Tedfraud for putting him in his current position. Lupoi is a good young coach and will eventually be a great coach if he can get away from Cal, fast. Dreadfurd needs to take his uber-complex playbook somewhere it can be appreciated like a half-a$# NFL team. And coach, don’t go away mad, just go away.

  • Kent

    FINALLY! The teflon that has been protecting Tedford for the past 6 years is finally starting to peel off! I along with a handfull of other Cal fans have been “shouting” that Tedford teams have consistently “underperformed” for the past SIX years! And yet the media, the Cal administration, and much of the Cal fan base…has been lulled into a foggy belief that Tedford can lead the Cal program to a Pac-10/12 championship because of his incredibly strong coaching performance in 2002-2004. However, his resume from 2005 to Present has been consistently below expectations…and stedily declining.

    Part of what has helped Tedford keep strong support from the administration and fan base is that Cal was continuing to have 8 and 9 win seasons and go to a bowl game. However, I along with a few others have been pointing out that an “8-4” season is not “successful” if the expectations were to be “10-2”. Lets examine each year.

    Cal goes 7-4 in the regular season with a victory over BYU in its bowl game to finish 8-4. Cal has zero “upset” victories..meaning all 8 wins were over teams in which Cal was favored to defeat. But Cal had TWO losses (against teams in which Cal was favored (UCLA and OSU). In my analysis, 2005 is a disapointment because of two upset losses with out an “upset” victory.

    Cal goes 9-3 in regular season and then ends with a victory over Texas A&M at the Holiday Bowl. Again Cal has zero “upset” victories, and has 2 losses against teams that they were favored to defeat (Tennessee and Arizona). The Arizona loss was particularly crippiling, as it cost Cal a Rose Bowl appearance. In my analysis, it was a “underperforming” season for a team despite winning 10 games. The loss to Tennessee was embarrasing becasue Cal was not competitive…but that can be forgivable becasue they started a new QB in a difficult road environment (kind of like Oregon did this year). However, the Arizona loss can not be excused due to the fact that Cal was a strong favorite and the game ended up costing Cal a Rose Bowl appearance. Cal did not live up to expectations.

    Cal goes 6-6 in the regular season with a victory over Air Force in the bowl game. Cal has one “upset” victory over Oregon to start the season 5-0 but ended with 5 upset losses in conference play. In my analysis, this was the worst season in Tedford’s tenor…AND likely the worst coaching job nationally. The 2007 Cal team was loaded with talent…That 2007 team had TWELVE (12) future NFL playes! Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Mebane, Dante Hughes, Bryan Storer, Craig Stevens, Lavelle Hawkings, Mike Gibson, Brian De La Puente, Desmond Bishop, and Thomas DeCoud. The 2007 Cal team had the talent to compete for a national championshipa and certainly should have challenged USC for the Pac-10 title. Player talent, was clearly not the culprit.

    Cal finishes the regular season 8-4 and then defeated Miami in their bowl game. 2008 ended with zero upset victories and two upset losses (Maryland and Arizona). In my analysis the season was a “slight underperformance” because both upset losses came on the road…but I consider a disappointment becasue it ended without an upset victory to offset the two upset losses.

    Cal finishes 8-4 in the regular season and then loses to Utah in the Bowl game. Cal had two upset losses (Oregon and UW) but they did have an upset victory over arch rival Stanford. In my analysis, the Oregon loss was on the road and at least they had a rare upset victory…so I conclude that they overall performance was about as expected…the only dissappointment could be with the fact they Cal was not really competitive in games against quality opponents (lone exception Stanford).

    Cal finaishes at 5-7. Zero upset victories and TWO upset losses (Nevada and UW). Competitve games against Arizona and Oregon showed Cal had potential, but blowout losses to Stanford, OSU and USC are troubling signs. My analysis for 2010 is slightly disappointing, and they still had TWO upset losses without an upset victory.

    Final Analysis for Tedford between 2005 – 2010. Cal has only TWO (2) upset victories against FIFTEEN (15) upset losses over the past 5 years. The 2007 coaching performance is one of the worst in the country over the past decade – can anybody name a worse coaching performance for a team with that much talent? Tedford’s teams routinely lose at least 2 games each year agains inferior opponents…and yet rarely achieves victories against superior opponents. The fact that Cal has a losing record and there are no “talking points” about bowl game appearances…people can finaly start examining Tedford record for the past 6 years….his team have consistently underperformed and finally there are no Emerald or Las Vegas Bowl appearances to mask the underperformance of the season

  • Eric

    Kent – fantastic post. Like you, I have viewed Tedfraud’s poor coaching as being on display since 2005, though I actually believe it began with the 2004 Holiday Bowl (add that to your upset lost column). But it was not obvious to me in 2005 and 2006, and only became obvious to me during the 2007 collapse. Every year, I think about what has been the most devastating loss – not a loss due to crazy turnovers, weird plays, or egregious ref calls, but the loss that is so inexplicable due to extraordinarily poor preparation and in-game management. You have already listed a bunch, but what amazes me is that every year I add more to the list of the number 1 candidate. Washington yesterday normally would not have made that list – I fully expected us to lose, the defense did better than expected, and I respect Sarkasian for going for it to win rather than go for overtime – but the throwing Tosh under the bus has made the game that surreal. We lost not only a chance at a good bowl (Holiday or Sun are good bowls) and now have a losing season, but we a national laughingstock because of the fake injury scandal. The cbssportslines reporter who called out Tedfraud immediately after the Oregon game was dead on.

  • Calduke

    Just when I thought the pain and agony couldn’t get worse – it did.
    Yesterday, the season came to a merciful(or unmercifully) end.

    I find it hard to criticize Brock Mansion.
    He played up to the ultimate, best of his ability.

  • jeff

    Many problems to fix. First, Ludwig has to go. Our offensive scheme is dull, uninspired and many times downright stupid. Sending runs up the middle with 8 and 9 in the box as we did all game won’t work. The wildcat will not work. Make the scheme clever and doable by the players you have. Did anyone see a crossing pattern? Did anyone see plays designed for the tight end? Only 1 to the fullback. Come on we can do better.

    What ever happened to Tedford’s ability to groom and teach quarterbacks? Without doubt that was the worst quarterback performance I have seen in 40 years of watching Cal football.

    Kickoff coverage is still awful. Why can’t guys stay in their lanes?

    Finally our pass receivers are uninspired. They don’t scare anybody. They don’t make big plays. Ever.

    Obviously our defense improved this year, but I do not understand the utter lack of imagination in the offense and the lack of improvement in offensive play.

    Watching Stanford on TV made me sick with envy.

  • Gpet

    Great posts fellas, especially Kent for breaking it down.

    Let’s thank Jeff Tedford for turning the program around, but the reality is that with the exception of WSU and maybe UCLA who will certainly improve with Neuhiesel, so has every other program in the PAC-10. We are just a better conference top to bottom than we were in the 90’s.

    Following up on Kent’s comments about the lack of upset wins and the numerous upset losses. This highlights what I think is Tedford’s inability to inspire and prepare his players week in and week out. 2 glaring examples are:
    1. 2004 Holiday Bowl. After the disappointment of not getting the Rose Bowl bid those kids needed a coach that would get them over the emotional let-down and prepare for a bowl game. Instead what we got was an emabarrassing shalacking by an athletic but inferior Red Raider team.
    2. Upset win at Standford followed by loss in Seattle. After an emotional, and as noted by Kent, rare upset win down at the farm, to come out the way we did last year in a trap game season-ender at UW is another example of Tedford’s lack to inspire and prepare. Good coaches take care of business and don’t fall prey to let-downs after big wins, but we don’t have such a leader.

    I’ve never believed in Tedford as an inspirational locker-room coach, and he’s really shown us this by blaming his kicker and assistants for his shortcomings. Take resposibility publically man, even if you believe otherwise. That’s what great coaches and leaders do.

    Besides I was there that night in Tucson, and although Tavechio might not have helped the situation, those kids played there hearts out and that game was won. Vereen was running out the clock in that last drive even with eight in the box. Two or maybe just one play-action pass might have sealed that one but that’s what gutsy, inspirational coaches do, not Jeff Tedford.

    I don’t know what other coaching options exist for next year but they certainly need to be explored. Besides an inexperienced QB and an undersized running back has the ring of a rebuilding year to me, let’s rebuild from the top too.

    Inspire us Sandy Barbour because I do know this. As an alum in Southern Cal, if Jeff Tedford is around next year, I’m certainly not taking my 2-3 trips up North next year to see it get handed to us by superior coaches like Mike Riley and Chip Kelly. Memorial is looking emptier every game, ATT park will look like a ghost town.

  • Pug

    I will not subject myself or my family to any more home games until Tedfraud goes.

    Sheesh. See you later then.

  • Eric

    Pug – is there something more you want to say, since you failed to address anything else? Are you making the assumption that I am not flying six people and having them stay the night, on top of six football tickets, food, and usualy assortment of clothing at the student store?

  • bobsac

    The anti-Tedford folks need to have a couple of beers & relax. The only reason that any of the seasons since 2004 have been disapointing is because JT himself raised the bar. JT is the winningnest coach at Cal since Andy Smith in the 1920’s. Cal was always a graveyard for coaches, even guys who were winners later at other places like Marv Levy got fired for losing at Cal. The second anyone turned out a good or decent team or two–remember Pete Elliott, Bruce Snyder & Steve Mariucci– they bolted for greener pastures. For several years in the JT era the program had problems recruiting wise with the tree-sitters & the long delay in improving the worst facilities in the Pac Ten.
    This year the starting QB was injured & his career ended. The Team then wound up with JT’s 1st losing season, 5-7 & no bowl. Hey, maybe Texas should fire Mack Brown because they wound up 5-7 this year & no bowl? Again, have a couple of beers & do a little thinking.

  • Steve W


    You make some good points, although I noticed that Miami just fired Randy Shannon for going 28-22 over four years and getting the team to a bowl game in the last 3 seasons. The Miami administration won’t put up with mediocrity, and you can bet they will soar back to the top of the ACC after they conduct a national search and find the right guy.

    The distressing thing with Tedford is the downward curve in the team’s performance since 2005, as Kent so aptly pointed out. I don’t think it’s out of the realm to project Cal at NUMBER 12 in the newly aligned conference standings next year. Shane is bolting, no doubt about it, and the three players who held up the defense this year are graduating seniors. I was tempted to put UCLA at number 12, but they have had some great recruiting classes over the last few years. Pure inertia with that talent will take them past Cal next year. Anyone care to challenge me on this?

  • Bob49

    My prediction for the resolution of Cal’s QB problem. Maynard will start most of next year. The following year it will be a battle between Maynard and Kyle Boehm, the incoming freshman. With Maynard playing, you will see Keenan Allen touching the ball even more than he did at the end of this year. People will refer to Maynard and Allen as the “Cal cousins.”

  • Easy Ed

    The blame for the poor performance of this team over the last couple of years can be placed directly at the feet of our QB play. Poor Nate Longshore was never the same after his injury at Oregon in 2007 (real cheap shot play but I expect nothing less from the classless Nike Ducks) and Kevin Riley never had it. We have put together good teams with unbelievable talent in the skill positions save one, QB. Without a decent QB, Marshawn Lynch, Desean Jackson, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best and now Shane get their brains bashed in since we have had passers who were no real threat.

    Now I blame Tedford for that either he is not evaluating talent properly or once he gets in talented players he is over coaching their mechanics to the point that they can’t hit an open target on a screen pass (see Brock Mansion). Still, I believe in Tedford and I hope that this giant step back will result in some analysis of the program and two steps forward.

  • MikeD

    Ben thinking that the Randy Shannon firing provides a good line in the sand for future comparison of 2 programs in a similar situation, each taking different directions with near exact W-L records. Each program has good athletes, and recruits well – yet Miami makes a change unsatisfied with the direction of the program.

    In Miami the decision to fire Shannon brings in a new coach, in Berkeley it seems we have no choice but to continue with the same head man.

    In 4 years whose program will be better?

  • CoBears

    @ Steve W:

    This team will not be No. 12 in the Pac-12, and to say as much is ludicrous. You really think Colorado will outclass us next year? UCLA, who we’ve dominated the past couple years? You really think that WSU is going to improve and beat us? UW without Locker? Oregon State may even be middling after a 5-7 season of their own, following next week’s loss in the Civil War. Stanford without Luck or Harbaugh? You think we won’t have a chance against Utah at home? Seems to me like we are going to have enough, likely with Maynard at QB, to at least be in the middle of the half rack pack, maybe even better than that.

    I completely understand and share in the frustrations of this lost season, and I think coaching changes, particularly on the offensive line (bye, Marshall) and maybe even OC are absolutely necessary. I’m not ready for doom and gloom given that Pendergrast’s defense was pretty damn good IN YEAR 1, with really good linebackers and D linemen coming in for next year as well. Defense will keep us in games, and we will just need enough offense to get us through.

    @ those who claim they are done going to Cal games until Tedford is gone:

    I have hated this season’s results, and how we got there in a few games (Arizona, Nevada, U$C, Furd, Washington), but I will NEVER stop going to games and supporting my team, as I am a Cal Bear, not a Tedford Bear. Voice your displeasure as you feel appropriate–that’s fine. It’s fine to be disappointed with Tedford’s performance, and I would expect no less. Write to Sandy about it even. Send your donation (assuming you even make one) to somewhere other than Tedford’s salary. But to stop going to games? Really? These are college kids fighting in the trenches for our team, and I will not ever stop supporting them. Loud home crowds will help inspire them to victory, and I will always be part of that crowd.

    Should Texas fans give up on their team? How about OSU fans after they got Coug’d this year? What about Cougar fans, who still attend their games and root for a team that has won just one Pac-10 game in years? Fans root for their team, good or bad, and while we may all have ideas about how to be better, not supporting the team by being at the game is not the way to go about bringing any of those changes.

    Go Bears!

  • jeff

    I remember Holmoe and have no desire to go back to those bad old days.

    What I don’t understand is our lack lustre offense since Rogers left. It is not just that Longshore and Riley were huge disappointments. What is distressing is that they did not get better over time. Both guys got worse over time. That is what I do not understand. And I have to say that is coaching.

    In similar vein are the special teams. I have seen consistently bad kickoff coverage–game after game. And it doesn’t get corrected. How can that be?

    Then we get to the pass receivers. We have watched not only dropped balls these last few years, but also poor blocking by the receivers. Name a bubble screen that has worked over the last few years. Look at Cal run the play, then look at Oregon. The difference? The Oregon receivers are coached to block. Not our guys.

    My feeling is that we have second rate assistant coaches who simply are not teaching their guys.

    Tedford worked miracles with Boller. I wish I could see that happening again.

  • Eric


    Since I expressed my decision in writing, I’ll respond. I thought long and hard before writing what I wrote when i said I will not subject myself or my family to home games. Please consider.

    1. I live in los Angeles. I have a family of six. I make it my mission to go to two home games a year – the UCLA/USC game and one other. It is not the cheapest thing in the world to take all that up to Berkeley, but I do it for the precise reasons you identify – supporting the team as a team (and the players). You will no doubt note that I do not criticize players in any of my posts; I criticize the coaching staff and the AD’s office, but never the players.

    2. I also try my best travel to “good” out of conference games. I have gone to Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan State, and Tennessee. I would have gone to Southern Miss if the hurricane hadn’t caused the game to be deferred to December. Note that Oklahoma and Nebraska occurred during the Holmoe years. I am planning on going to Ohio State. These are also not particularly cheap things to undertake, but I do it because I want fans in other conferences to see the support Cal can muster.

    3. I have gone to most of the bowls in the Tedford era. I missed last year, and I missed 2003 (which I sorely regretted). Also not particularly cheap and the timing is disruptive for family vacations.

    4. As critical as I have been of Tedford – and I am fully convinced he or Erickson is now the worst (or at least the most overpaid) coach in the Pac-10 – I would not have stopped traveling to home games. But three events this season collectively have changed that:

    A – He blamed Tavecchio for the loss to Oregon. That was inexcusable. No head coach should ever, ever do that. When I saw what Chris Peterson said to defend his kicker – who had a clear chance to win the game for Boise State to preserve a shot at the national championship – I oculdn’t help but compare it to what Tedford said.

    B – He has failed to take responsibility for the Oregon injury faking. I don’t care whether it is a big deal or not, or whether Tedford knew or didn’t know what his assistant coach was doing. In my work, poop doesn’t roll downhill – it stays at the top.

    C – Before Riley was injured, in response to criticisms that Tedford should play the backups in blowout losses, Tedford said (I’m paraphrasing) that he wanted to win the fourth quarter against U$C – which may be the dumbest thing i have ever heard a coach say – and that the backups were far from being ready. That tells me he has no ability to take into account contingencies and has sought immunize himself from any criticism.

    These three events tell me Tedford is not a coach with integrity. He will not take personal responsibility. He refuses to learn from his mistakes. He happily fires or causes assistants to go. He looks only to blame others, whether they are players or his assistants.

    I have a son who is a sophomore in high school. He plays left tackle and defensive end for his school, which is a bit of a football factory in Los Angeles – I think there are at least ten players from the school currently starting in D-1A. While I’m not sure where things will go for him, given what I have listed above, absent a mea culpa for the ages, there is no chance I would Tedford into my home to recruit my son. I would rather have my son go anywhere else to play football, if that is what he wants, than to play for this coach. So why should I spend a lot of money to watch a team when I firmly believe he is providing a gross disservice to the very players we all care about.

    Let me put in these terms – if Cal had retained Todd Bozeman or Tom Holmoe after the scandals became known, would you still go to the games knowing that they were the head coaches? If you answer yes, then while I respect your commitment to attend games under any circumstances, I come from a different place. If the answer is no – that those transgressions are not forgivable to the point where you hold the institution responsible – it is just a matter of degree of what you and I find acceptable from a head coach of our alma mater.

    As for the comparisons to OSU, Texas, et al., I’ll say this. I’m pretty sure Mike Riley has not called out his players or his assistant coaches. And since he twice has had Oregon State in a Rose Bowl clinching game in the Civil War the last two years, he has absolutely demolished Tedford in coaching for virtually the entire Tedford era, and he has had no problems finding ways to beat U$C when we have not, at a fraction of the salary and a fraction of the perceived talent, he gets a pass this year. In Texas’s case, as much as I detest Mack Brown for his whoring in 2004, compare his record to Tedford’s since 2004. Is there a comparison? But I guarantee you that if he goes between 5-7 and 7-5 over the next four years, there will be a lot of hard questions for him to answer. In any event, please review the Mack Brown quote below following the loss to Texas A&M:

    On his thoughts about the season: I think [it’s] just disappointing. You can say a lot of words. It’s not our standard at all. It was obvious tonight that our players are as good as theirs. I think it goes back on coaches. It’s not talent. We had our chances to win the game. People have said it’s talent. It’s not.

    On the emotional reaction to this season: I thought we’d come out of the national championship game okay. It seemed like there was a hangover. I said from the first scrimmage of the year that I didn’t see what I wanted, and at Rice I walked out of there mad. There were some things that were flawed. That’s what I’ve got to figure out – what we missed. That’s the coaches’ job. That’s my job. Why didn’t they play with emotion early? Why didn’t we play better? Why didn’t we score points like we had? Why did we give up too many big plays on defense? Why was our kicking game inconsistent when we had really good players, and I thought it would be the best we’d ever had? Those are the things that are puzzling and will be on my shoulders to look at.

  • CoBears

    @ Eric:

    I respect your position, but I think it is overblown to a degree. First, with regard to the Lupoi suspension, here was Tedford’s quote post-game:

    “I respect him a great deal. In the heat of the battle, he used poor judgment. That’s no reflection on his character, whatsoever. People make mistakes. I was told to look into it. I did. I appreciate the character of Tosh to be up front. This is no slap on Tosh’s character whatsoever. He’s a great football coach. A mistake was made and I’m sure we will learn from it as a whole. I take responsibility as being the head coach to be in this with him. We will make sure we stand for the right things and move forward.”

    You’ll note the he says “I take responsibility as being the head coach to be in this with him.” And he places the blame on the coaching staff as a whole. This wasn’t something he put on Tosh. And it isn’t fair to act as if that is the case.

    He also did not blame Tavecchio for the loss to Oregon. He noted that “we” need to show poise in those instances. He never said that Tavecchio screwed up, and he solidly stood behind him and said he would continue to be the kicker. Period. I don’t think Tavecchio felt that he had been called out either.

    On playing the backups more, I don’t disagree that he should have, though I think it is reasonable to think that he wanted Riley to have some good moments in that game as well, considering the first half was one of the worst halves I have ever seen. I mean, should he have pulled the starters then and just given everyone experience, with the possibility of the score getting even worse and leaving every member of the team dispirited? Or do you give your players the hype talk about having something positive to hold onto and to build upon as they progressed further into the season. Besides, do you really think that having Mansion in there for a quarter or two would have helped Mansion? He’s had 3 1/2 games and still looks like he is a HS quality quarterback. With that said, I think blowout wins always are chances to play the backups, and there were missed opportunities in that regard. I don’t, however, think that is a reason for you to send your son elsewhere.

    And I think your saying that Coach Tedford lacks integrity is flat out wrong. I think he is a coach with integrity, and is a coach who cares deeply about Cal and about his players and coaches. Did you not see the way he treated Riley when he was injured? Or Longshore? Integrity is not Tedford’s problem–figuring out the emotional side of the game is. And that is exactly the same problem Mack Brown is facing this year. I think a lot of that is having a real leader at QB who helps get the team through the tough environments with gritty and winning play. Riley was never that guy. Longshore was when he wasn’t injured. Will one of the other QBs step up next year and be that guy again? I certainly hope so. Great QBs can make coaches look great.

    And, by the way, I, too, live outside the Bay Area, in Seattle. But I still travel with my slightly smaller family to games every year, and will continue to do so. I just don’t think that you are being fair in your analysis, which, I think, is tinged by the perfectly fair and appropriate frustration with our results this year.

  • Kent Wilson

    For all those Tedfor loyalist…the argument that likely explains why so many Cal fans are starting to call for his firing…is based on his salary. I’ve read its either $2.3 to $2.8 Million a year. I’ve read that its either the 2nd or 3rd highest in the conference.

    All I know is that my expectations rose greatly when he got that salary increase…as a fan…my expectations was for Tedford to lead the Cal football program to legitimately compete for a conference Title every year. My expectations were to win games against quality opponents…defeating USC and Oregon on more than just a rare occurance. My expectations were for Cal to get to a Rose Bowl (or BCS) before 2010. I don’t think these are unreasonable expectations given his salary level.

    The reason why people are fed up with Tedford is that he is not meeting the raised expectations that come with a +$2 Million salary.

    If Tedford was making $800K to $1.2M and was about the 6th or 7th highest paid coach in the conference…then his results would be acceptable. But when Cal chose to pay a coach over $2M, then comes increased expectations.

    Sandy Barbour and the Cal adminstration must decide what type of football program do they want at Cal? One that is happy with “being competitive” i.e. in the 80’s and 90’s Cal would be “over the moon” with an 8-4 type of season…the only thing that was unaccpetable was multiple years of 1-10 and 2-9 type of season….everything else was OK.

    So, Sandy…and other Cal Administrators…do you want to have Cal compete for conference Titles? If so, then you need to find a replacement for Tedford. If being 6-6 is OK…then you need to lower Tedford’s salary to below $1.2M or find a coach willing to accept a lower salary.

  • Kent Wilson

    With all the discussion of whether to attend future football games if Tedford remains to be the coach. I decided to chime in. When I started having kids (about 9 years ago), my wife and I decided to make going to at least 1 Cal football game each season a family tradition. I have lived on the east coast (NY & Florida) for the past 9 years and have been able to maintain our family tradition each year.

    Despite my crticism of Tedford, I will keep going to at least 1 Cal game a year because its about sharing the Cal experience with my family. It really does not matter who wins on loses the game.

    With that said, I can relate to Eric who has vowed not to attend another Cal game as long as Tedford is the coach…back in 2001, I had bought a ticket to the Cal vs. Rutgers game to be played in NJ. Because of 9/11, the game was postponed until December. Well, I boycotted the game and demanded my money back, as long as Holmoe was the coach…and vowed not to attend another Cal game if Holmoe was still coaching. I don’t know if my demand was the “straw that broke the camels’ back”, but Holmoe was fired immediately after the Rutgers game. So, Eric, your holdout may be a catalyst for another coaching change.

  • eric

    Kent – I feel you on the Holmoe thing. Doubt my holdout will do anything other than generate some respectful, and some not-so-respectful, disagreement. But when the attendance average dips below 40,000, perhaps some will reconsider.

    CoBears – I wasn’t clear about my extreme disappointment regarding Tosh. In my view, I think the circumstances that Tedford did not know about it are highly, highly questionable – what head coach doesn’t know whether an assistant coach has imposed a new signaling system? So I have deep skepticism. But what makes it worse is the timing. Everyone and their mother knew of the Oregon video within a day or two after the game (heck, my Furd “buddies” gleefully forwarded it to me ad nauseum when work started on Monday). The cbssportsline.com article came out within 48 hours of the game. See the link: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/14316401/thanks-to-east-coast-bias-tedfords-cheating-goes-unnoticed/rss

    So why the delay until two weeks later? Why not take the initiative and undertake an investigation? Why wait for the Pac-10 and the AD to do it? If he did undertake the investigation immediately and knew, why did he not apoligize to the media (and to Oregon) for not being correct when he represented that there were no faked injuries?

    You state: “You’ll note the he says ‘I take responsibility as being the head coach to be in this with him.’ And he places the blame on the coaching staff as a whole. This wasn’t something he put on Tosh. And it isn’t fair to act as if that is the case.”

    One, in this case, I think this is squarely on the head coach. I go back to what I said before – poop does not roll downhill. Tedford is not saying the buck stops with him; indeed, the statement “I take responsibility as being the head coach to be in this with him” What the heck does that mean? To be in there with him? Like, Tedford suspended himself? He docked himself his pay for one game? He apologized?

    On Tavecchio, again, read the cbssportline.com article. Immediately after the game this blog was filled with numerous posters complaining about calling Tavecchio.

    On playing the backups, yes, he should have pulled the starters, or at least Riley, in the 4th quarter in the U$C game. And yes, I think it would have helped Mansion. I’ll take a no pressure situation on the road as a good way to get free under fire experience without much in the way of consequences. Because when the starter goes down, and it really starts to matter, having at least a few real-time snaps definitely helps.

    As for integrity, sorery, but we disagree. The examples I cite above are examples of the lack of integrity. You mentioned Tedford being by the side of Riley and Longshore when they go injured. If that is what makes a coach have integrity, then our standards are exceptionally low. I’m pretty sure my 5-1/2 year old would satisfy that in a heartbeat. But it did get me thinking about another scary injury – Jahvid Best’s. I went on to youtube and found a clip. Obviously, the clip doesn’t show everything that happened and was not on Tedford the entire time, so I can’t say for sure what he did. But the clip does show that seconds after the touchdown – after Cal players are calling over the medical staff – Tedford turns and walks the other way. The clip ends with Best being wheeled off the field on a stretcher, and Tedford is not next to him. Type in “Jahvid Best Epic Concussion (Multiple Angles)” Another video suggests that only 1:20 following the play – when medical staff and assistant coaches were around Best – does Tedford stop by. See “Jahvid Best injury during the game vs. OSU 2009”

    Admittedly, it is circumstantial evidence that could easily be totally out of context. And I think it is silly to suggest that Tedford doesn’t care about the physical condition of his players, but to cite to Riley’s and Longshore’s injuries as evidence of his integrity as a football coach is a bit of a strawman argument. I also remember one of the truly frustrating and disappointing things about that particular game was how flat Cal was after the injury and during the entire second half. I had so wished Tedford had inspired the team to play their hearts out for Best, but it did not happen.

    You end your post saying this my frustration is tinged by this year’s results. Strongly disagree. It is tinged by the results in the 2004 Holiday Bowl, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. While some years have been better than others, during this stretch has Cal won any “statement” games, or games where it was the underdog? I can name two – Oregon in 2007 and Furd in 2009. In both games, we won as much on account of Luck as anything else. In the 2009 Big Game, Tedford did the one thing I have been complaining about for years – when you have a strong running game, use it to pound the other team into submission. During this stretch, we lost every year to U$C. We got blown out numerous times. We lost the “inexplicable” games. We lost games because of a ridiculous lack of preparation (Tennessee 2006, Maryland 2008, Oregon 2009, Nevada 2010). The problem isn’t this year; it is half a decade.