Football: How does Kline exit impact 2014?

The short answer to the question above is probably not very much.

Redshirt freshman Zach Kline’s decision to transfer is the right decision for him and likely won’t have substantial impact on Cal’s 2014 season.

The choice was a simple one for Kline: Did he want to remain a student at Cal or potentially become a starting quarterback at another school?

Players want to play, and that supercedes nearly everything else. Kline told me repeatedly he wanted to remain at Cal, and I believe him. He grew up in Danville and is surrounded locally by friends and family.

But he also wants to become a college starting quarterback, and he became convinced it wasn’t likely to happen at Cal.

There was a perception this season that the competition between Kline and freshman Jared Goff was close in the minds of Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. I don’t think they viewed it that way.

On multiple occasions they had the opportunity to reward Kline with a starting assignment, and they never did it. The view Goff as their guy, young but with more potential than Kline.

Maybe Kline merely needs a different system and a different set of eyes on him. He has a great arm and a natural quarterback charisma. I have no doubt he will flourish in the right setting.

As for the Bears in 2014, pencil in senior-to-be Austin Hinder as the No. 2 behind Goff with incoming freshman Luke Rubenzer waiting closely in the wings.

I expect Rubenzer to be red-shirted next season . . . unless Goff is injured early and there is an opportunity for someone else to start a decent stretch of games. If that were to transpire, this coaching staff will play the best man.

Rubenzer’s credentials this season are impressive: His Saguaro HS team from Scottsdale, Ariz., was 13-1, won its final 13 games and won the Arizona Division III state title last Friday with a 47-25 win over Queen Creek.

Rubenzer passed for more than 4,200 yards and a state-record 61 touchdowns with just three interceptions this season, and ran for 1,200 more and 10 TDs. His 130 career TD passes also set an Arizona prep record.

In the state semifinals a week-and-a-half ago, Rubenzer threw for 558 yards and nine touchdowns in a 77-48 win over Desert Edge.

Yes, he’s just 5-foot-11 1/2, but check out the two little guys playing quarterback in tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup: 6-foot Drew Brees of the Saints vs. 5-11 Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    “Baseball re-shutdown watch 2014”

  • Dan

    “Cal Football … Trust Us!”

  • Dan

    “Cal Football … It’s Always Sonny in Berkeley!”

  • Dan

    “Cal Football … It’s a Buh-tiful Thing!”

  • Bobsac

    This evening’s season ticket renewal message announces $45 off each ticket renewed. Desperate but not desperate enough. Some heads need to roll. Coaches heads.

  • 707 Bears

    Bobsac: My Central Valley Bear brother.

    $45 saved per ticket will buy a lot of Red Bulls for those post-midnight drives home on the 80.

    I’m one of those suckers who buys next years season tickets on the first day in some lame attempt to “support the team.”

  • Woj

    You guys on this blog are truly amazing. Cal basically just went winless in 2013 and got hammered in all but about 2 games. Their arch rival just mopped up the Stanford Stadium field with them in the biggest blowout in series history and the man and woman most responsible for it Stormy and his sidekick Sandy B. are bakc at the helm as if 1-11 – the worst season in school history never happened. And that’s saying something … to quote MoreNCsarecoming—

    Cal Decades of darkness?
    60s = dark as dark could be
    70s = a glimmer of light but post White was dark
    80s = dark dark dark under Davis, Theder and Kappp
    90s = a glimmer of light under Coach Snyder but still short lived under Gilby and Holmoe
    2000s = Tedford era and then darkness is the last 5 years

    Lots of darkness and losing and 2013 was the worst season of ’em all. And let’s be honest – Cal playing in Davis in early 2014 against FCS UC Davis and the smart money is on the Aggies.

    Look at Auburn – they got a great coach and 2013 has been a terrific year. Stanford was an utter doormat like Cal is now – Harbaugh and then Shaw and boom, multiple BCS games. USC had Carroll (good!) then got Kiffin (bad) and now they are rebuilding.

    The coach makes all the difference. All this ruminating about this recruit and that recruit doesn’t mean squat b/c Cal has a borderline terrible Head Coach and even worse D coordination Mr. 21 point Buh.
    And they have a bad AD – until you ship the 3 of them out – IMO recruiting and individual players are secondary.

  • Woj

    @ Bobsac Says:
    December 2nd, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    This evening’s season ticket renewal message announces $45 off each ticket renewed. Desperate but not desperate enough. Some heads need to roll. Coaches heads.

    This man Bobsac gets it.
    Maybe the water up here in the Sacramento area is just more pure. Allows Bob and myself to see Cal football and where the failures lie so much clearer than the Bay Area water spiked with blue and gold kool aid.

    Bob and season tickets holders – Cal’s AD dept. should pay you to sit through the 2014 home slate next year. BTW – Sac. St. thinks they are going to beat Cal in Berkeley next year.

  • Gobears49


    How can we listen to your rantings when you can’t even get your facts straight. Cal has never had a head coach named Davis. You must mean Mouse Davis, who was an assistant coach (probably offensive coordinator), probably under Theder.

  • Eric


    I’ll see what I can find out on Koa. It would be hugely, hugely surprising if he were to de-commit because of the academics angle and his long love for Cal. Look who else has offered him and you’ll see the importance of academics (Yale??) Vandy would be in the same academic world but Nashville is a long way from home (despite the exceedingly beautiful female side of the species who attend that school) and I think Koa has a close family.

  • covinared

    Eric: agree on Vandy babes.

  • Rollonubears

    Doesn’t anyone want to nab sonny away from us?

  • Eric

    Covina – After spending 30 minutes on the Vandy campus in 1994, I almost went to Vandy law school for that reason.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    There may still be hope. U$C steals from UW, UW from UCLA, UCLA from Fresno State, and then Fresno State steals Sonny!!!!!


    I don’t think Goff is bad, but I think most assessments of him are based on grossly inflated passing numbers, and he really started missing more and more targets as the year went along, not Maynard (I can somehow throw a ball 45 degrees off target) bad, but it was getting too many misses when not under pressure.

    My only real problem with Goff was that he didn’t have the look of a leader out there. He was a deer in the headlights. You can blame that on being a true freshman if you want, but it’s also a personality thing. A QB does not need to have that extra demeaner, but it helps when things are not going well.

    I agree that Kline may not have had some of the measurables that Goff had, but he had leadership in spades. It’s another reason why I really feel Dykes screwed up royally not giving him a week as the named starter (Kline would have gotten the first team reps and Goff would have had a chance to come up for air).

  • Gobears49


    Generally agree with your comments about Kline being more of a leader than Goff and would have preferred him to get a start, but I also understand how important it was for Cal to get a win and thus play whoever Dykes thought would help achieve that result, as doing so would have been a good jolt for the football program.

    Watched The Drive segment on the Stanford game last night. Goff was surprisingly vocal in trying to rev up the offense, and I expect him to be more so in the future when he is more of a veteran. Also, it was telling that Dykes told a player that the team does not have any true leaders.

    Overall, I am a supporter of Dykes, as I love his offense (especially if puts in plays that utilize a running QB, like read-option plays), but I will turn negative if it turns out he can’t deliver on recruiting.

    Fellow bloggers, I am still waiting for an explanation as to why McCain was kicked off the team. I find that very unusual, especially if McCain did not have any run ins with the law or a player on the team. I thought he was our best linebacker two seasons ago. It is hard for me to believe a player of his caliber should have been let go if he did not do something that was really major.

  • covinared

    49- my guess is that McCain was let back on the team on a type of strict double secret probation last summer, and he violated it over what might seem petty in a vacuum, or some type of insubordination.

  • wehofx

    I’m still on SD bandwagon but if we lose K Farmer or Enwere… (At this point, t watson seems like 50/50, if that.)

    Re: McCain – imo it’s a good a very good sign of team unity that no rumors have escaped the locker room. it’s also a sign that the team agreed w the dismissal.

    It’s also a good sign no coaches have “anonymously” leaked reasons for CM’s dismissal to media. Integrity.

    Re: Firing buh. per twitter: jt is is being considered for wyoming hc. if he takes the job, gotta figure it pays at least 500k. 500k minus $ he’s owed by Cal. 500k that can be used to fire buh. I know, wishful thinking.

    It sure will be an interesting week in the pac if mora goes to udub.

    depending on what wilcox does, pendergast could be available.

  • Gobears49


    I’m going off the Dykes bandwagon if we lose Rubenzer. I’m convinced we would put in the read-option scheme to our offense if we got him, which I think would really help our offensive production. Plus, if he’s anything close to Johnny Football (Manziel) in style and production, he would produce a decent increase in attendance all by himself. Finally, landing Rubenzer would give us Old Blues (or equivalent) something to argue about on this blog — who should start, Goff or Rubenzer?

  • The Wisdom Cow

    GB49, I’ll need to watch that The Drive, though lordy, I don’t want to. I don’t know what the hell Dykes is talking about if he thinks a “true team” is some socialistic autonomy.

    There are always leaders on every team, whether through words, deeds or behavior (level of effectiveness and benefit to their team varies). There are alwayspeople that set the tone and are an example to others. To think otherwise is ridiculous.

    I was not trying to say Goff couldn’t lead, rather that Kline’s body language and attitude portrayed more natural leadership attributes.

    I disagree with Covinred. The McCain issue was swept under the rug. If it were academic, the Athletic Department would have said so, using him as an example, especially to try to sway public perception that things are moving in the right direction academically. [In that respect, he WOULD HAVE been given a second chance and failed, putting the University in a good light, while dismissing a superior player.]

    It screams of dirty laundry to me. I imagine it will only become known if a transfering player speaks about it.

    I still think the best guess is that McCain went off on Buh and the defensive coaching, frustrated over losing Clancy, his 3-4 OLB position, and the results they were having on the field. Still a guess, but it would make sense, being understandable all the way around, including why the school would want to keep it quiet.

  • Steve W

    Would anybody really be surprised if most if not ALL of the three and four-star recruits decommitted from the program? These are impressionable 17-year-olds who are tweeting and texting everyday about the star quality of programs and their futures in them. The (former) USC head coach was on the sidelines when Cal commit Tre Watson rushed for a bunch of touchdowns in a play-off win last weekend. USC is saint seducing gold to most of these recruits, so I expect Watson to be among the first to decommit.

    Mike Riley and Kyle Whittingham have made a living on coaching up 2-star recruits to relative greatness, and so too will Sonny Dykes if he expects to hang around in the Bay Area.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Look at those highly prized recruits who chose your program over SC and other top ranked programs.

    Moala = bust
    King = bust
    Wilkerson = bust

    Your program is laughable , a total joke.

  • HeteroscedasticBear


    Your school is a total joke. Honestly, I can’t even respect anyone wearing a USC sweatshirt, except to mow my lawn or to deliver my pizza.

    Yes, our football team is not as good as yours. But my Cal degree is worth a heck of a lot more than yours.

    You’re such a loser that you have to go on our blog to make you feel better. I can’t think of anything lower than that (Sark hiring Tosh comes pretty close, though).

  • HeteroscedasticBear


    When I was at Cal, we put words to your stupid fight song.

    “This is the only song you know,
    It’s boring and it’s slow,
    It really has to go,
    And your SATs are low,
    And your mother is a Ho.”

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    #73 – How imaginative!!!! I can see that state sponsored education did you well. Why you can even make it rhyme.

    I bet your football players got passing grades in the Social Welfare program for memorizing that.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    SC grads own Southern California private sector. State school grads still do the grunt work as government workers because they haven’t been taught entrepreneurial drive. Come to think of it you should send some of those Social Welfare grads down to LA. I heard they are hiring in LA County.

  • HeteroscedasticBear


    Um, in terms of venture capital (entrepreneurial drive), we rank #2. USC doesn’t even come close.


    When USC grads think about entrepreneurship, they usually think about opening up an Islands Burger franchise or a Taco Bell in orange county. Berkeley grads aim a lot higher.

  • HeteroscedasticBear


    Here’s another list.


    Where is USC? We’re #2.

    I think you should try to get your SC grad friends to get out of the tanning salon, stop wasting daddy’s money, who earned it by opening up a chevy dealership in Laguna Nigel, and get a real job.

    Go to your local Baja Fresh franchise. The owner is probably a USC grad. Ask him for a job.