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Football: Tedford set to join Lovie Smith, Bucs

Lovie Smith’s hiring as new coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be a win-win for Jeff Tedford and the Cal athletic department.

Tedford, the Bears’ former coach, is expected to join Smith — a defensive specialist and former head coach of the Chicago Bears — as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator.

Depending on Tedford’s salary, his hiring by Tampa Bay might lessen’s Cal’s financial obligation to him based on the terms of his contract settlement last Feb. 4.

Cal and Tedford agreed on a $5.55 million payout over three years, through the 2015 football season. That represented a reduction from the $6.9 million Tedford’s original contract called for over the 2013, ’14 and ’15 seasons.

The parties also agreed that any salary Tedford earned above $1.5 million per year through Dec. 31, 2015 as either a Division I college head coach or an NFL head coach or assistant would be shared evenly by Tedford and Cal.

For instance, if the Bucs pay Tedford $2 million each for 2014 and 2015, he would re-pay the athletic department $250,000 for each of those seasons.

Most likely, Tedford’s compensation as an NFL coordinator would not exceed $1.5 mil, making it a wash with his Cal agreement.

This will be Tedford’s first foray into the NFL. He reportedly has been part of the coaching staff Smith was assembling in anticipation of being hired somewhere in the league.

As a college head coach or assistant at Fresno State, Oregon and Cal, Tedford was responsible for developing the likes of Trent Dilfer and Aaron Rodgers. 

In 11 seasons at Cal, Tedford became the school’s winningest all-time coach with a record of 82-57.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Larry

    And was the coach who lost the most games at CAL with 57.

  • al

    Good for him & wishing him success that evaded him in his final years at Cal. A win-win for Cal!

  • Easy Ed

    Congrats to JT and hopefully this the first step back to a Head Coach position in football.

  • Eric

    Win-win is right. It will be interesting to see if Tedford’s time off has given him a chance to learn to manage modern offenses.

  • Bobsac

    Great New Years news for Cal’s finest coach who also stuck around since Pappy Waldorf. Well-deserved. I was as frustrated as anyone with the 2012 season but at the end called for JT to get one more year to see if he could turn things around. Hope he is a success in the NFL & becomes a college head coach again, but not in the PAC 12 unless it is Tedford II era at Cal.
    The JT bashers might want to reflect on a few things along with the all time most wins at Cal under JT. Though the academic standards needed improvement, I don’t recall even a whiff of recruiting violations in the JT era. I also don’t recall stories about criminal changes against Cal players under him. Class guy, great coach, like Waldorf at Cal & Mack Brown at Texas, won loss record eventually went downhill. Eventually, there should be a statue or at least a plaque recognizing the renovated stadium as the house that JT built.

  • Eric

    Bobsac,

    If you think Mack Brown is a class act, and you put Tedford in the same group as Mack Brown, you’ve just damned Tedford.

  • Juancho

    Wish him great success.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    $20 million spent on him and all he got UC East Bay was one stinking Holiday Bowl win and a bunch of academic advisors from the Social Welfare, Sociology, Ethnic Studies and American Studies departments who promptly turned the program into the worst academic failure in the country.

  • Bobsac

    No. 6, Eric-thanks. The only thing Mack Brown & JT had in common in my book is early good seasons, declines as the years went on. Plus, history shows Texas has been a much easier place to win at than Cal over the past 5 or 6 decades. Like you, I’m sure, I resent Mack Brown for his classless lobbying act that screwed us out of the Rose Bowl for the 2004 season. I happily watched the Ducks send Brown out with a 30-7 beat down in the Alamo Bowl, wishing only that it had been 60-0.

    I would add that I have wished ever since it happened that JT would have lobbied back in self-defense against Brown in 04. Cal’s only regular season loss was a heartbreaker to USC on the road whereas if my recollection is correct, Texas got hammered in their loss by Oklahoma at the neutral site where they play that game.

  • wehofx

    Happy New Year to Jeff Faraudo and my BTB Brothers from MAUIIIIII! Getting ready to watch our Bears beat furd.

    Eric and Juancho, good work on your year end FB posts. Agree more than I disagree.

    I do think there is reason for optimism in ’14. The SD Bandwagon is a lonely wagon – seems like there’s only 3 or 4 of us at the moment.

    I think JT will find his way back to winning O FB. Working for an Old School hard ass like Lovie can only do good things for JT’s approach to coaching and play calling.

    JF, re JT salary. – per Twist, Cal ath is off the hook for 150K a year X 3 years regardless of salary split above 1.5 million per year.

    So – if true – 450K savings for Cal ath.

    Twitter: K Fortt is declaring for draft.

    R Rodgers and K Jackson I get. They will both be drafted. Wouldn’t surprise me if RR is picked as high as 2 rd.

    KF? Don’t get it. No way he gets drafted. I do, however, hope he gets a contract and proves me wrong.

    KF makes the 3rd LB to leave the program. I think it’s safe to infer that LB’s don’t like buh and/or his version of 4-3. Good thing Buh was/is an LB coach.

    To state the obvious, our deepest position on D, LB, is now our thinnest. Jefferson, Nickerson and Tandy is a good starting 3 but – man, oh, man – it gets really thin after that.

    To make matters worse, I don’t recall any LB’s on the Cal recruiting radar. Juancho?

    So, I hope – probably forlornly – that SD takes the 450K and fires/demotes Buh.

  • Easy Ed

    Amen Bobsac! Watching Mack Brown humiliated at Texas was therapeutic. As we go toward our 55th season without a trip to the Rose Bowl it kills me to know in 2004 JT did everything he needed to do to get us to Pasadena only to be cheated by Mack Brown. I want to puke when I hear the guys at ESPN talk about Brown being a class act.

  • Juancho

    Wehofx my brother. There may be a linebacker in the mix. The reality is there are no game changer or immediate impact recruits were in the mix for period. Except for marcus griffin a d lineman.

    ERIC CAN YOU REPOST YOUR END OF YEAR PIST HERE? I fear a lot of people have missed it.

  • Eric

    Per Brother #1′s request, below is a re-post of my January 1 post.

    After the loss to Washington State, I posted that I would be checking out for the rest of the season and would re-surface on January 1. Up until the WSU game I firmly believed Cal would still be able to obtain a 5-7 record – the record I had thought was the reasonably likely outcome when the season started. We had just endured an extraordinarily difficult four game stretch of playing three top 20 teams, two of which were top five teams. We should have beaten Northwestern (at the time, a top 20 team and one, had it beaten Ohio State (which it absolutely should have done) probably would have not suffered the collapse that it did). We actually played relatively well against Ohio State (I know some disagree with it, but the reality is that we had a terrible first quarter; otherwise, the game was respectable and Ohio State kept it starters in virtually the entire game). The Oregon game was a disaster, but at the time we really had no chance to win even under the best of conditions and one could chalk it up to just bad luck – when there are six fumbles in the first quarter and we don’t recover a single one, it is just bad luck. Barnwell at Grantland has great statistical analysis of turnovers in the NFL, and he shows how unusual it is for there to be large disparities in fumble recoveries (whether it is recovering your own or your opponent’s). Portland State was obviously not a great game on the defensive side, but I personally never viewed it as realistic we would lose that game, even as it was far from clear in the fourth quarter. It also proves there basically is no upside playing D-1AA teams; they are perceived as cupcakes, even when they are not, and they always want to prove themselves, so why play them?

    So, heading into WSU, I figured we just ran the gauntlet, we didn’t pull off any upsets but we also hadn’t truly embarrassed ourselves, we were at home, and we were playing a team also looking for a breakthrough but shouldn’t have had the level of talent we had. We beat WSU, and the season becomes very interesting. Even a close loss probably would have given me some reason to think we would be competitive.

    When we lost (badly), I realized there were fundamental flaws that would not be corrected and, as a result, the season was going to be totally lost. At that stage, it didn’t really matter what happened from a won/loss perspective – we were going to lose many more games (though I still thought we would beat Colorado) – but what mattered to me was whether the team would gain or lose as it headed into 2014. I was hoping for the gain, but fearing for the loss.
    So now the season is over, is there a reason to optimistic for the 2014 season and, if the answer is yes, what defines being optimistic? Yes, there is reason to be optimistic. My analysis is rooted in what happened this past season, why it happened, and what it means for 2014 and the coaching staff.

    OFFENSE

    I start with the offense because, more than anything else, the offense’s failures are the reasons we only won the Portland State game. Let me explain.

    Sonny’s offense is a passing first, hurry up, spread that requires timing and smart decision-making. If the timing is off, or if the decision-making is not smart, then the offense will not only fail, but fail quickly. And if fails quickly, it quickly stresses the defense, which is on the field longer than expected and is being asked to make quick stops. As discussed below, our defense was never going to be able to make quick stops, which only compounds the problems caused by the offense’s failures.

    As an aside, while Tedford’s offense was not a passing first, hurry up, spread, it caused the identical problems that Sonny’s did. Too often under Tedford, it went three and out or maybe made a single first down. When that happened, the defense would be on the field longer, would get worn out, and the game would be over.

    Sonny’s offense actually tended to avoid the three and outs – we often would garner 2 or 3 first downs per drive. Look at the statistics – our top four receivers all averaged more than 9 yards per catch. Goff’s yard per pass average was low – 6.61 yards – but that is misleading given how often he passed. That’s in a “dink and dunk” offense that some on here have bemoaned. But when you are hurrying up, if you throw a few incompletions your drive stalls in about the same amount of time as Tedford’s more traditional style of offense. Moreover, the space to throw shortens when you get inside an opponent’s forty yard line (and even worse in the red zone), which means you need to be able to have a better run game (both to grind yards and to set up play action). We seemed, however, to tend to throw in these situations, and it seemed this is when the pressure would get to Goff and he would be sacked or would have to throw the ball away.

    Our run game was not great, even though Khalfani had a decent per yard average and, when you had up our top four RBs rushing yards and factor in swing passes to them, we had over 1,500 yards generated by the RBs. The running game was not great because, in the spread, it created no interior push. Too often our guys would be caught behind the line or were able to gain a yard or two fighting through tackles.

    Which brings me to the single most significant reason for the season’s failure – the offensive line play. The o-line simply did not do its job. It rarely opened holes for the RBs. It was not very good at protecting Goff, even though the offense is designed to get rid of the ball quickly. And this offense, like any of the spread-option/hurry-up offenses, requires stellar line play to be good. Even mediocre line play is a recipe for disaster. Oregon has been able to become a perennial power, even as its RBs have changed virtually every season and has had gone from Dixon to Masoli to Thomas to Mariota, because its o-line has been tremendously effective. Baylor’s offense functions well because its o-line does its job. I just watched the Fiesta Bowl, and Central Florida’s line was great. Ohio State’s o-line is solid. It goes on and on.

    Unfortunately, the problems on the o-line are not new. The last three or four years of the Tedford era were marked by poor o-line play, primarily with respect to protecting the QB (more sacks last year than this year, and nearly as many in 2011, with far fewer passes) and have huge problems with false starts and holding. The penalties were certainly cut down this season, but it doesn’t change the fact that the o-line still needs vast improvement if the team is going to improve.

    Some of this is on Tedford and what he did to our program in the last few years, but Sonny’s schemes often did not help. Hurry up is fine, but that doesn’t mean we always have to run a shotgun spread with a single RB. Hurry up can be used with any formation. Why not use two RBs? Why not keep Rodgers in a more traditional TE position to give some protection? If the bone formation came in, it almost always mean run, so why not use play action? Why weren’t there more designed roll-outs? The Bear Raid has got to be more creative if it is going to effective, and Sonny should have realized that, after the first few games, Pac-12 D-coordinators had caught on, which meant he had to adjust. Maybe it requires a more mobile QB, but the Philadelphia Eagles won the division with Nick Freakin Foles, and both Denver and New England current hurry up offenses with molasses legged QBs. Sonny bears substantial responsibility.

    There were, of course, other problems. More typical of Cal’s traditional bad luck, I lost count of how many times WRs dropped wide open three down passes for first down. Our WRs were, for the most part, very good this season, but it seemed when we needed them to make the easy catch to sustain drives, they dropped it. I think about the NW game, and the TAINT that was caused by the WR letting the ball hit his hands and pop straight up. Or in the Colorado game Harper dropping a very wide open third down pass on our first drive.

    That being said, I fully expect this group to be substantially better in 2014. Talent, experience, and another year in the system should produce better results. FWIW, having seen them up close when I was at the Colorado game, I think Lawler is the stud of the group – he is significantly taller and bigger than Treggs or Harper, and runs his routes hard. He also has no problems fighting for a first down.

    Our RBs certainly could have done more. Bigelow was a disappointment, and I think he will have a hard time making it in the NFL; while I would prefer he stay to get his degree, I’ll never begrudge a guy to try to make a buck for himself and his family, and I am also not upset that his departure brings more clarity to the RB position in 2014. The starters should be Khalfani and Lasco. Both are good. Khalfani could be special next year but he does need either better o-line play or schemes to better take advantage of his speed. Lasco needs to understand he isn’t the breakaway guy, but the grinding guy. I’d like to see them both on the field at the same time, and basically split duties. If the recruits stick with Cal and come in, I’d redshirt them – let them learn for a year.

    On Rodgers and the TE position, personally, I think his move to WR is what made him draftable. In the NFL, he easily could switch back to TE and play in the mold of a Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates – fast, strong, and virtually unguardable. Had he stayed as a TE in the Tedford-style offense, I think he would have been the forgotten man and would have had to try to get drafted like Morrah (who is now out, right?) Going forward, we should always be on the look out for recruits like Rodgers. Remember that in Oregon’s offense, they have had a string of very good TEs. Central Florida had a great TE. That’s our model.

    And leads me to the QB situation. While he has flaws, Goff exceeded my expectations this year, and we should be encouraged for 2014. I know virtually everyone was surprised Goff beat out Kline, and during the season some criticized Sonny for not starting Kline. Based just on performance, I don’t understand the criticism. Kline’s stats were quite poor when he played. When I saw him in person at Colorado, I was surprised at how he seemed lost. Yes, he didn’t get first team reps, but the back-up is not entitled to first team reps unless something is wrong with the starting QB or the starting QB is a senior, the season is over, and you are planning for the next year. None of that was true of Goff.

    In 2013, Goff completed 60.3% of his passes. Given the number of times he threw (531) and often in catch up mode where he was under significant pressure and the defenses were expecting him to pass, that percentage is remarkable. He had 18 TDs versus 10 INTs – he certainly should have had more TDs, but I was a bit surprised he only had 10 INTs. He was sacked 32 times (pretty low given the circumstances) and hit dozens more times (a quick middle finger to Skov). He only averaged 6.61 yards per completed pass, though I view that as a function of the offense (the dink and dunk). Compare Goff to the prior five years – five years where the teams fell below expectations.

    2012 – 60.8%, 7.48 yards per pass, 12 TDs/10 INTS, 39 sacks
    2011 – 57.0%, 7.38 yards per pass, 17 TDs/12 INTS, 29 sacks
    2010 – 60.0%, 7.62 yards per pass, 13 TDs/6 INTS, 13 sacks
    2009 – 54.7%, 7.46 yards per pass, 18 TDs/8 INTS, 30 sacks
    2008 – 53.2%, 24 TDs/10 INTS, 24 sacks (combined Riley/Longshore)

    I would put to the blog that Goff did pretty well, before one factors in the fact that he is a true freshman, and before one factors in the running backs from 2008-2011. DeSean was there in 2008. Marvin Jones? Jeremy Ross? Keenan Allen?

    My biggest criticism of Goff is he was terrible throwing the deep passes. He repeatedly missed deep post-ins and go routes, mostly by overthrowing. He would make those throws even when under heavy pressure and making no effort to look off the safeties or checking down. Each is a very difficult throw to make, and I am sure experience will help him, but I blame the coaching staff for even calling those plays. I know in the NW and Ohio State games, after turnovers, Sonny immediately called for post-ins, and they were unbelievably stupid plays to call. Sonny also tends to call that play around the opponents’ 45 yard line, after making a few first downs, thinking he can go for the home run. Stupid, stupid, stupid, leading to what pointed out above – the offense stalling and killing the defense. That’s the time to better use the RBs. It is analogous to the idiotic tendency of Tedford to have Longshore throw deep outs (leading to TAINTS – touchdowns after INTs). If Goff learns to better manage these throws, he can become an outstanding QB.

    DEFENSE

    This has been repeatedly hashed on this blog, and has resulted in the Big Question – fire Buh or not fire Buh? Juancho brilliantly developed the Buh as a measurement for the defense.

    It is hard to defend Buh. He was Tedford-esque in his inability to adjust. And his willingness to leave CBs on single coverage, playing 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage and not reacting to obvious slants and curls, was pathetic. The tackling by the defense was putrid, and I blame the staff for not teaching proper tackling technique. Instead of going for the highlight chest high big hit, freakin go for the waist or the legs and bring the guy down. The complete lack of D-line pressure on QBs only added to the problems. We weren’t terrible getting to running backs behind the line (45th on the country, averaging over 6 per game) but we rarely got sacks or any meaningful pressure on the QB.

    But I will defend the players. One thing I saw from watching the games, including in person at Colorado, is that they never gave up. They may have played themselves out of position, or executed poorly, but I didn’t get the sense they were laying down. Given how young the defense was, I am hoping that fire, coupled with very meaningful experience, translates into a significantly better defense in 2014. This isn’t pollyannish.

    And I will say this. Anyone who doesn’t think the injuries on the defense had a significant impact or is simply an excuse is either football ignorant or is so willing to criticize Sonny and Buh no matter what that they put blinders on. Yes, every team has injuries and needs to account for them. But there is a qualitative difference between a couple of injuries spread over an entire season and injuries either to (a) a critically important player or (b) virtually the entire starting defense and many back-ups. For point (a), look at Green Bay this year, or Oregon with Mariota’s knee or Dennis Dixon back 2007, or, for those of you who remember, what happened to Cal when Dave Barr went down in 1993.

    For (b), I think about my eight year old son’s flag football team this year. I was the head coach. The kids ranged from ages 5 to 8. There were no QB runs, no blocking, and weird rushing rules. All of the teams were designed to be equal, so execution and play-calling made a huge difference. We were the youngest team, but had one extra six year old (I had nine players; the other teams had eight). We won five games, tied two, and lost one (I missed the game we lost, and the team we lost to was the second place team). We were the only team to run a shot-gun, and I had the kids run a wishbone variant, fly sweeps, counters, and speed rushes. Passing, we had post-ins (which I only threw on third and short or on two-point conversions), short outs, and curls. Every one of my nine kids ran the ball, played QB, and had passes thrown to them. Six of the nine scored TDs, including the one five-year on a totally awesome 30-yard run from our wishbone formation where the defense had no idea he had the ball until he scored. From the defensive perspective, it looked complicated, but the plays were actually easy to run (unlike the opposing teams, who idiotically ran reverses and half-back passes – imagine a six year being asked to throw a ball 10 yards with three bigger kids running straight at him after taking a hand-off from a QB). On defense, I ran a scheme that, by the end of the season, every other team tried to adopt.

    I don’t write this to toot my own horn. All of this was for naught if my three best players did not show up. Indeed, if two of the three did not show, we almost assuredly would lose. Doesn’t matter how hard my other kids played, or whether I had them in the right position on defense or called the perfect play on offense – they simply were not there athletically. The point – coaching can make the difference if the teams are fairly even or if the less talent team gets a bunch of lucky breaks, but if one team simply does not have the talent on the field across the board, absent a miracle or very bad coaching by the better talented team (like, the worst day of Lane Kiffin’s life), the less talented team will lose. In Cal’s case, on the defense it was akin to me missing all three of my best players every game this season.

    But take heart. As bad as the defense performed, and as stupid as Buh was, the experience that our guys got will be beneficial. It will not be as bad next year.

    To get to the punch line, the notion that Sonny should be fired after this season is silly and short-sided. That would be a great way to completely gut our program. Why would any good coach want to come here? Why would any recruit? But that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass in 2014 and he doesn’t get to claim credit for four or five wins. He needs to demonstrate progress over what should have been the result in 2013, i.e., five wins. In other words, if Cal doesn’t go at least 6-6 next season, I think he is fairly on the hot seat. The schedule next year is substantially easier next season – at Northwestern (which will not be as good, and I am going to go to the game), home against Sac State and BYU, and home games against Colorado, Stanford, UCLA, and Washington (and Oregon, though not a real home game). There are at least four wins in this group. Of the away games, we have to beat Arizona and WSU to get to 6-6, and that isn’t easy, but that’s the cost to Sonny – he has got to find a way to win these games.

    Is 6-6 possible? Before the various defections, I would have thought yes notwithstanding the historically bad season. I am sure Woj and his Greek chorus will laugh, but so be it. We were hit with a perfect storm of a very difficult schedule, a rash of injuries at the bad spots, the usual Cal bad luck, and, not to be minimized at all, very poor coaching decisions on both sides of the ball.

    Now, I’m not sure, because I don’t know what to make of the defections to other schools (the guys leaving early for the NFL don’t worry me – in some cases, I get it, in others I think the kids are being misled, but that’s the business). Are the guys leaving because of discord within the team and they want to get away from a sinking ship, or is it a belief that they can start somewhere else but they know they can’t win a spot here? There isn’t enough information to know but if there is real discord, that’s a fundamental problem. If it is just guys pissed off they didn’t get what they wanted, good on both sides to see separation. Because I am eternally optimistic, I say yes.

    Recruiting is not going to be good this year – please don’t think it will be. It is hard to see Mixon go elsewhere, but RB is a position I am not terribly worried about. I’d much rather get three solid OL guys versus the five-star guy because that is what is the real need.

    Happy New Year Bear fans!

  • Juancho

    Brother Eric.

    I agree goff was the better qb.

    I am troubled by Buh. Weve had three linebackers transfer. Wilkerson, ragin, whitener. One declare for draft in fortt. But most importantly a defense that has recruited very poorly this year.

    Eric do you feel dykes can get us to a rose bowl?

  • Juancho

    Eric what is your take on dykes staff? Ie yenser and ingram. And others.

  • http://ContraCostaTimes EastCoastBear

    Juancho u must still be suffering a New Years hangover…must have been out in times square too long…..the program is a leaky ship under Dykes…We need a quick change but no money to do so….See Arizona just landed a 5 star DB thought headed for Alabama…We are not competitive…Only good news is that Mora may be headed to Texas….That would be a blessing.

  • Eric

    Juancho,

    You just have to ask the difficult question, don’t you? Because if the answer is no, then that means he needs to be fired sooner rather than later.

    I’m not sure. Objectively, no (assuming you are talking a Pac-12 win and not a backdoor BCS invite). But I would say the same thing of Riley at Oregon State, Willingham at Utah, Leach at WSU, and MacIntyre at Colorado. I think each one is a pretty good coach, but they have limitations at each school that cannot be easily overcome, especially when in each of their respective divisions there are schools that have such huge advantages in resources – Oregon, UW, Stanford, USC, and UCLA (and even the Arizonas, if they ever get their act together). Each of these schools have massive financial commitments to the football program (or sugar daddies) and it makes a huge difference. It is akin to why Vandy, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Kentucky are extremely unlikely to win the SEC, no matter who coaches. If we ever landed a Phil Knight or the Stanford equivalent (I forget his name) or the large number of big donor alums at U$C and UCLA, maybe it would change.

    But then I think about Central Florida, Baylor, and Missouri this year. Or UConn or Wake Forest a few years back. They did make it to BCS bowls. Granted, each of their conferences are nothing like the Pac-12, but if catch lightning in a bottle, things can happen. Tyrone Willingham was a virtual fraud of coach and yet he was there when Stanford got to the Rose Bowl. WSU did make it twice in the BCS era. Each time they needed a lot of help from other teams, but it did happen.

    So back to Sonny. I wasn’t kidding that he needs to improve on what should have been this past year’s result (5-7 by my book). If he brings in a 6-6 season, then yes, it is possible. We will still need to line up a perfect storm – down years in the North for other teams with a favorable schedule and no material injuries – but if the offense turns into what it should be, then I wouldn’t say it is impossible. In 2006, Tedford had that perfect storm – U$C f’d up, Oregon hadn’t become Oregon, Stanford was terrible, UCLA was bad, UW was declining fast. And Tedford blew it at the Arizona game (which is why it has always made by top 5 worst Tedford losses). But he proved it was possible.

  • Juancho

    Eric my brother. I agree our players in a vacuum will be better than last year.

    But will we improve enough to make a difference? Ucla will improve. Asu will improve. Usc will improve. U of a will improve. Oregon. Oregon state. What is our reason to believe that we will make up the gap between us and the good programs?

    Especially when theyre beating us in recruiting.

    Its hard for me to think how we win more than three games next year.

  • Eric

    On the assistant coaching – staff has as much to prove as Dykes, but just like him, I’d give them one more year to show what can be done. If there is a disappointing season in any sense of the word, there needs to be changes.

    I’m not sure who would be the coach who takes the fall for injuries – strength and conditioning or the trainer, but given the extraordinarily unusual slew of injuries, if the one whose mandate covers this is tossed aside, fine by me.

  • Eric

    UCLA – top 5 team next year. Just need to deal with it.

    Oregon – top 5 team next year, now that Mariota is returning. Just need to deal with it.

    UW – will be interesting. Peterson is a great coach, but the track record of Boise State coaches moving on is terrible, and UW is losing key players. We have that game at home. We HAVE to win it, even if you think it is unlikely.

    Oregon State – not going to win. They have 80% of the starters returning.

    U$C/Stanford – pains me to say it, but highly unlikely to win. If Lee leaves U$C, it improves the chances, and Sarkasian has managed to blow games his teams should have won, but those are stretches. As for Stanford, yes, they lose lots of people, but again I just don’t see it as realistic.

    WSU – if we don’t win in Pullman next year, I’ll probably write the season off like the WSU loss this year. Another one we have to win.

    Arizona – I think Arizona overachieved this year, and Carey is not coming back.

    NW, Sac State, and BYU – all three should be winnable. NW will not be as good, and we get them early. BYU probably will be a tough team (because they always are) and their QB (who also ran for over a 1,000 yards) is returning but that team was beaten pretty hard by a UW team playing in a disappointing bowl for an interim coach. Another game we HAVE to win.

    I am not saying 6 wins will happen, but unless we get 6 wins I think Sonny is on the hot seat. And, for the reasons identified above, there are six possible wins.

  • Steve W

    Not so fast on UCLA being a Top 5 team next year. There is a very good chance that QB Hundley will declare for the NFL next year. He is an impact player like Vince Young was for Texas. The kid waiting in the wings is supposed to be another Hundley, but that’s like saying Joe Ayoob was ready to fill Aaron Rodger’s shoes when he left early. I say all bets are off if Hundley leaves. Plus, you have to give a little credit to the pixie dust that Cal lays down everytime the Bruins come to Memorial. They haven’t had a victory in Berkeley since 1998.

  • Woj

    …there are six possible wins…..

    LOL! It is amazing how optimistic and hopeful many of you are in the face of a mountain of evidence, facts and a winless 2013 Bear season to the contrary.

    Here’s a dose of reality — Cal will not win more than 2 games in 2014. They won’t be favored in any game in the first 2 months except Sac. St. which won’t post a line due to Hornets being FCS. Success in college football has much to do with the competence / talent of the coaches AND recruiting. We’ve seen how putrid Dykes/Buh/etc can be and they are coming back in 2014 only due to no buyout $$. And the recruiting for Cal has collapsed due to the woeful 2013 season. You can hope all you want that 1-star & JuCo guys can dominate or even compete with opponents 3+star recruits at other P12 schools but hoping doesn’t = reality.

  • http://ContraCostaTimes EastCoastBear

    I would have to agree with wise Woj. Reality can be a bitter pill to swallow. Dykes and Co built no momentum into next year (even on offense) and most of the other Pac-12 teams are on a roll. Perhaps Dykes will turn around the recruiting year and at least make a statement about building for the future, but so far no 4 star athlete has surprised us with a Cal hat at a press conference, sorry to say. Hope I am wrong.

  • Eric

    Thanks Woj. I considered simply writing your post in advance, since you have become the second most predictable participant, but I instead wrote:

    “Is 6-6 possible? Before the various defections, I would have thought yes notwithstanding the historically bad season. I am sure Woj and his Greek chorus will laugh, but so be it. We were hit with a perfect storm of a very difficult schedule, a rash of injuries at the bad spots, the usual Cal bad luck, and, not to be minimized at all, very poor coaching decisions on both sides of the ball.”

    You took no time to disagree with anything else I wrote, so I assume you agree with my analysis of last season. And by writing “LOL” (and thus confirming my predictive statement of what you would say) you must think that there is no possibility of Cal beating any other team next year. In other words, notwithstanding the easier schedule and no injuries, it is not possible whatsoever.

    After the WSU game I made sure to give you the respect by saying you were right. If Cal wins 2 or more games next year, I expect for you to do that same. The Moron never owns up when he/she/it errs (which if often, and which has earned from me the alternative nickname of the Blind Squirrel) but maybe you’ll do a better job.

    Oh, during my sabbatical, I did note that you (on at least two occasions) stated that according to US News and World Report, Cal was no longer the number one ranked public university but had fallen far. Given that is a statement that is easily verifiable, have you apologized for the false statement?

  • http://ContraCostaTimes EastCoastBear

    Eric — I am ready to accept your points that we have better players than our record last year would indicate. And also that last year we had bad luck with injuries etc. We have a young team and a very difficult schedule for sure. But going back to your post #19 — I don’t see the track record of success of our coaching staff — Head through Assistants — at the level of the Pac 12 or NFL experience that gives me any confidence that somehow we are on the right track going forward. I think high school kids see that weakness too, which is why our recruiting this year remains near the bottom of the Pac-12. I hope you are right and Dykes delivers a top 3 recruiting class that he has promised — much as Mora did at UCLA or both AU and ASU seem to be doing this year. If not I think the sooner we can afford to cut our losses and move on the happier we will all be.

  • BlueNGold

    @#8-

    Still more lies from moron.