Big Game notebook: Barbour gives Dykes freedom to make any staff moves he deems necessary

Cal coach Sonny Dykes sidestepped questions Saturday about whether he might make changes on his staff, but athletic director Sandy Barbour made it clear Dyke has the freedom to do whatever he thinks is necessary.

“Those are decisions that are the head coach’s. In my mind, philosophically and practically, always will be,” Barbour said after the Bears lost 63-13 to Stanford in the Big Game to finish their season 1-11.

There will be pressure from fans — and perhaps current players and recruits — to make a change at defensive coordinator, where Andy Buh’s unit allowed a school-record 45.9 points per game.

Asked if he can guarantee any member of his staff will return next season, Dykes said, “We’ll take a look at it all. I can’t guarantee I’ll be back next year.”

Barbour called the season “tremendously disappointing” but is pleased with some progress, including in the program’s classroom performance.

“Sonny’s coming in and changing a culture, changing a program, building it right,” she said. “The part on the field is going to take a little longer.”

Stanford coach David Shaw had only good things to say about the Bears rookie coach.

“Cal has hired the right man,” Shaw said. “Sonny is going to do a great job there. They’re building. They know it’s going got be a process.”

Click here to read the rest of this notebook.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Joey

    Regardless of what Dykes did or didn’t do he is unproven and way overpaid as are his assistants. They have had very little success in the past. Everyone who blames Buh and not Dykes really are missing the issue. Dykes hired him. If you believe in Dykes you believe in Buh.

  • Gobears49

    Like Juancho, rooting for Cal is just a hobby, though I certainly look forward to the day, which will hopefully occur in my lifetime, that Cal goes to the Rose Bowl and I can fulfill the promise I have made to rent a huge RV and party for three days non-stop outside the Rose Bowl. Selected guys on this blog will be invited. But it looks like that event will not be held sooner than three years from now, though I hope Dykes is still the coach then. I like the guy’s honesty, even if he needs to hire a special coach to tell him when to go for two and when to go for one on a touchdown conversion, based upon the score and how much time is left.

    When I was much younger, I would get upset about a Cal loss. No longer. Learned whether we win or lose does not affect my life. So I watched the whole game yesterday and the loss didn’t bother me a bit.

    I like to watch Cal play just for the fun of it. Writing on this blog about my thoughts about what went wrong, what can be done to fix things, who is playing well and who is not (though I try to limit myself on commenting on the latter) and various other things (I am big on Cal sports history and like to Google items relating to it and past them) is a good outlet for me to write (I also write about stocks on seeking alpha.com under a different name).

    Looking forward to Cal’s basketball game on TV tomorrow, in part because I can comment on it on this blog if I want. Am looking for the first breakout game for Bird. Still hoping my new fav player, Behrens, can give us a good third effective big man, al la Thurman, which Cal really needs to go anywhere this year.

    Go Bears!

  • Out here in he East Coast we don’t see many games but I tend to agree with Joey…we all knew at the beginning of the season Cal had a questionable defensive backfield and injuries made it worse…We also knew DC was a key hire for Dykes and he pick Buh and was not salary constrained it seems….But by the end of the season was the defense so much worse than offense? Hurry up offense seemed to me hurry and give the ball the back to the other team…they could not control the ball for long drives and this put just too much pressure was put on the defense in those situations…how about the two squid kicks in the Big Game that gave Stanford the ball at the 50 to start their drives? These things we can no longer blame on Tedford…Hard to imagine more than 3 wins next year given the progress other pac 12 schools seem to be making…

  • Juancho

    Love GB49’s post.

    That’s the cat’s meow right there. The blog is for sharing your opinion and passing the time with the brothers. Regardless of good or bad, or of whether you are in the minority or majority. We can’t take opinions personal. We’re here because watching the games and not having an outlet is not as fun.

    Let it be known, the day we make a Rose Bowl Juancho will organize the most bachanalian of celebrations and invite the brotherhood.

    The only issue is us getting there.

  • Juancho

    Eastcoast, lovely post as usual.

    The truth is we need to start breaking some of this stuff out as “non Tedford” related.

    Because just like Tosh was the excuse for everything, Tedford is becoming the scapegoat.

    What I was impressed with for Mike MacIntyre, was he had an offense that would give a spread look, and then when the time was right he would have that super jumbo look with 7 o linemen and pound the rock. That’s the versatility so far our offense is lacking.

  • Steve W

    I will take the bait and throw out some teams I think we can beat next year with a lot of team improvement and a little luck: Northwestern, Sac State, Oregon State and BYU. I am predicting a 3-9 record with a season that mimics what happened to Utah this year. Utah lost 7 conference games, but upset Stanford and was in every game they played well into the fourth quarter. If that happens to Cal next season, how upset can anyone be?

    BTW, my brother lives in Arizona and is saying that Rubinzer is getting tons of positive press in the metro papers. I bet that Rich Rod goes after him HARD to decommit since he would fit perfectly in that system. If he stays at Cal and lives up to the hype, my sense tells me he can be a program changer in the same way that Russell White changed the program when he arrived at Cal.

  • Wehofx

    Juancho, I agree recruiting is going to be HUGE. It’s the reason I hope sd fires buh and hires an aggressive dc who can RECRUIT!
    I  haven’t checked but are u sure McI’s 14 class is higher rated than ours? 

    Outkast at Coachella? I’ll be the one in Cal hat. 

    GB49, keep the faith. We’ll be in Pasadena  on Jan 1, 20-soon!  

    Woj…I mean Joey, I had half a bottle of Barolo At dinner and yet your train wreck of a sub-literate sentence – and paragraph – is impossible to ignore.  
    ///Regardless of what Dykes did or didn’t do he is unproven and…
    I bet most of the 8 graders on Juancho’s baseball team can diagram the fundamental contradiction in your poor excuse of a sentence. But u graduated from Cal? Yeah, right. Juancho, I agree recruiting is going to be HUGE. I haven’t checked but are u sure McI’s 14 class is higher rated than ours? 

    Outkast at Coachella? I’ll be the one in Cal hat. 

    GB49, keep the faith. We’ll be in Pasadena  on Jan 1, 20-soon!  

    Woj…I mean Joey, I had half a bottle of Barolo At dinner and yet your train wreck of a sub-literate sentence – and paragraph – is impossible to ignore.  
    ///Regardless of what Dykes did or didn’t do he is unproven and…
    I bet most of the 8 graders on Juancho’s baseball team can diagram the fundamental contradiction in your poor excuse of a sentence.

    But you graduated from Cal? Yeah, right.  I’d be shocked if you managed to get an aa from troll jc.
     At least you managed to avoid your usual dangling participles. 

  • Wehofx


  • Dan

    This is Dyke’s program, and there is plenty of mistakes and abysmal football & coaching to throw plenty of blame at everyone.

    One fact, one thought- and Juancho, you may want to check this one to see if I’m accurate – in the 2009 and 2010 recruiting classes, the guy who should have made up the core of this year’s team, Cal had exactly one starter by season’s end from those 44 recruits. Who was the head coach during those 2 seasons? No answer needed, clearly a rhetorical question. So what should have been the core of this seasons team, was MIA. That IS NOT Dyke’s fault.

    I was on my soapbox during that time stating Barbour and Tedford were going drive this program into a crater so deep that Lord knows if and when our Golden Bears would get out.
    I sure wished I was wrong about that, but clearly that has happened.

    And to my brother Juancho and others banging the recruiting drum loudly… I get it and I completely agree. But why would any smart, talented, highly recruited player come to Cal over UCLA, USC, Washington, Stanford? I dont think most would, and while it is Dykes’ job to do and hopefully do extremely well, I get why it may be a very challenging to nearly impossible- short of luring Tosh Lupoi back.

  • Gobears49


    Good question. Perhaps we should allow time for everyone to come up with the factors they should use, weight them, see how each school fares in each factor using the weighting, and then come to a final conclusion.

    I don’t have time to do everything I suggested, but here is a very quick list, which I reserve the right to modify, as to which factors are relevant (without weighting).

    1. Individual relationship to the coaches, especially the head coach and the assistant coach in charge of coaching your position.
    2. How well players think the pertinent assistant coach can prepare you to play in the NFL, if that is a high priority for a player.
    3. Recent past performance of the football team (key to many top elite players).
    4. How many key players at the player’s position will be returning for the senior and junior years.
    5. Football facilities.
    6. How many players from the school are currently on the active rosters of NFL teams.
    7. Quality of the degree you will receive from the school.
    8. For minority students, how many coaches are minorities.
    9. Relationship with the team during a school visit (if that is done).
    10. How do you like the campus.
    11. For those who want to play near home, the distance between home and the school.

    It is likely I will modify the above list. Am interested in seeing what factors I missed and what factors I listed are not relevant.

  • calbearclaw

    Hey EastCoastBear

    I’m tapping out this brief morning post from Brooklyn NY. I watched every single game this year without fail and attended a pair of contests in Berkeley – my hometown. Most of the games were televised here in New York save for the P12 Network contests. You can access those online and hook up laptop to your TV. Easy as an It’s It homie. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

    Go Bears – through the thick and the thin. Forever.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I have been saying through the years that your players play dumb football.

    As long as they continue to be enrolled in “Gimmee” degree programs and classes like Social Welfare they will be encouraged to stay dumb.

    A player who ended his career in 2009 while majoring in Social Welfare has said how upset he is now that he knows how the program encouraged him to go this route. Four years later he is still selling athletic shoes at a mall. Don’t think that these kind of stories aren’t shared with current and former players.

    Tedford learned this while he was coaching at Oregon. Enroll players in easy classes in order to keep them eligible.

    The problem isn’t just that your players don’t go to class and never graduate. The problem is deeper than that.

  • Easy Ed

    Even a blind squirrel will occasionally find an acorn. You may be on to something Moron, still, you were unable to enroll at Cal, hurts?

  • covinared

    I knew few social welfare majors at Cal. Two are lawyers and one is a teacher. None turned out to be a lifeless troll.

  • BlueNGold


    11+ years of stalking Cal fans and trolling Cal sports blogs, and showing no signs of getting s life and actually living it.

  • BlueNGold

    I am sick of moron using ‘social welfare’ as a catch phrase for mickey mouse classes taken by football players and other athletes. At Cal, Social Welfare is not a class or a major, it is a school. It trains people to fill legitimate professions. Its a real academic subject. And all your stupid, snarky comments about the program and those who major in it just reveal moron to be the hopelessly brain dead piece of shyte that it really is.