Many replies to many comments to get to. Let's start it off with this:
Apparently you didn't watch this game, did you? Yes, had Cal beat USC, which they came very close to doing, they would have been one of the 3 undefeated teams that would have been in the running to play in that National Championship game. I don't know what else to tell you. That same Sooners team beat TTech 28-13, by the way. Random variation - it's a thing.Would be National Champion teams do not look foolishly underpreparred in the Holiday Bowl against Texas Tech.
Well, not exactly true, but I'm not arguing against the general point. The last few years we've been very average. I expect this year to be very average. However, when we're talking Tedford's ceiling as a coach and using historical evidence to support what we're saying, it's fairly ridiculous to talk like Tedford hasn't shown himself capable of competing for a conference title/running a national relevant program, no? We're not that team right now, but we have been under Tedford in the past.You also do realize it has been FIVE seasons since we finished in the top 25? After this year, make it six cause I think you have at least four more losses on the schedule. It is...as they say...what it is
Well, is that your expectation? To be on the level of the LSU's, USC's, Ohio St's, etc? Aside from the correlation there seems to be between the very top programs and rules violations...do you really think Cal can turn its football program into a program of that level? I don't. The money isn't there. The fanbase isn't there. The general program support (from the local community, the campus, the administration, etc.) isn't there. A coach capable of taking Cal to that level should leave for one of the few destination jobs out there first chance he gets. That said, I think Cal is capable of being a tier down from that - a team capable of being near the top of the conference often and winning it every once in a while. I think that should be the goal. Tedford had a run where he had Cal at that level. I believe it can be done again. The evidence indicates the talent is improving. Coach M is back, Tedford is making changes to try to improve the staff (Alamar!), Tedford is continually learning (see: taking back offensive playcalling)...it's been done before in his tenure. I see good signs for the future.And even with the new facilities we're never going to out-talent the likes of USC and other national programs. If the goal is a nationally relevant program, we're going to need some truly inspired coaching along with improved talent.
Well, I don't think multiple BCS championship bids should necessarily be the standard, but I agree to some extent. Yes, a great QB makes a coach look good. That said, the 2005 team had a pretty good season at 8-4 with a truly terrible QB, the only other one that rivals Mansion in ineffectiveness under Tedford, and that 2006 team with Longshore was very good and right in the mix for the conference title. Having success on that level is what I think the program should be striving for. If you can put out teams of that quality often enough, you will take home some conference championships. So no, I don't think Aaron Rodgers is a pre-req for a successful season. I agree with another poster on the importance of the oline, actually.Compare that to Kelly, who OC'ed the ducks almost to the NC with Dixon, then took them to the rose bowl with Masoli, then loses Masoli unexpectedly and takes them to the NC with Thomas, and now again this year looks like they will return to the bcs. Or Carroll with his multiple bcs teams with multiple qb's. Or Stoops with bcs bids with Huepel, White, Bradford, and Jones. etc. etc.
I find the play-calling criticism....interesting. Tedford's rise to Pac-12 head coach has basically been completely about two things - QB coaching and playcalling. Amazing how much flak he's taken over the years for both those things. I think he is very good at both of them, and have never understood the criticism. I'm happy to see him back at the reigns of the offense, let's all remember he hasn't been as involved in offensive playcalling in recent years.Tedford is just not a very good coach when it comes to play calling or game management
With that, it's partial garbage excuse, partial reality. Of course a team looks better when you take out bad things that happened to them. Looking at a team through that lens isn't valid analysis. That said, last years team was on the wrong side of SOS and point differential, which suggests (with the backing of research into the topics) that they were somewhat unlucky and we would expect better results in another sample. Probably not 8-4 good, but better than 5-7.I always see the "6 points from a 8-4 season" excuse. I'm really not sure what that means and it really doesn't matter.
Honestly, I just chalk that up to human biases. It's natural for people to think they knew what was coming ahead of time with the benefit of hindsight. We all do that. Maybe Tedford is too predictable, I dunno, but at the very least I think it's exaggerated quite a bit.So many times, the other team seems to know what is coming before we hike the ball. Crumps quoted Husky players saying so. That cannot be laid at the players' feet.
Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but the play calling certainly could get a bit more varied. and better tailored to the personnel on the field at the time.
As for the second point, why don't you think the play calling is varied and isn't tailored to our personnel? I'll acknowledge that it's reasonable to have wanted CJ instead of Isi carrying it at the end, but other than that, what issues do you have with what we do?
Eh, it was one sequence, and I actually think it's pretty tough to argue it was a bad sequence. Maybe one or two bad calls, but the whole thing? Seems most people are less angry about the playcalling and more angry about the personnel used, no? As for the defensive side of things, I thought I saw us bringing extra pass rushers fairly often. Do others agree with me, or does everyone think we were just hanging back in a really conservative D all game? That's definitely not what I saw. I saw our pass rush not do much to pressure the QB, but I never had the impression it was from a lack of trying to get there...I guess I would just like to see improvement in play calling. As other posters have mentioned, the play calling at the goal line was terrible. Our defensive secondary got shredded again. It seemed like we've been in a prevent defense the past two games - of course, the prevent prevents nothing.
I dunno. It's hard because it seems like we just don't have the talent for an effective running game. Neither the line nor the RB's are dominant enough, and neither are good enough to make up for the other. Isi is the better back in the passing game, I think, so that helps. We were throwing on 1st down fairly often in the game. Right around 50/50. It's just tough when one aspect of the game isn't effective enough.I love Isi's heart and he is great on the toss and the option, but on first down and short yardage we should play CJA, plus I'd like to see us frequently use play-action on first down to take advantage of our prior tendency to always run, that should open things up for CJ when he does get the ball.
Agree, we've been an average team lately, and still are. However, I don't think it's that hard to believe we're about to be on an upswing. Check out the recruiting rankings for the classes 5, 4 and 3 years ago (in other words, the classes that produced our juniors and seniors). They weren't strong classes (5 years ago was pretty good but the best players from that class are all in the NFL). We're seeing the effects of that right now. However, recruiting has significantly picked up. If we have another big recruiting year this year, it looks like Cal will be well positioned. I think that and the new facilities are good reasons to think the team will be good in the future. Coaching changes have been positive, too. That said, I think it's foolish to think 2004 is what we should expect (at least on a very consistent basis) - that's the low probability tail kinda outcome that tends to fall victim to regression towards the mean. That said, getting back to 2005-2006 levels on a consistent basis will earn Cal a trip to the Rose Bowl in peak years. I think that's a worthy goal, and an achievable one.What we are is an average football team. Not just this year, but for the last several.
Since Rodgers left, Cal's conference record is 28-26.
Since Lynch left, it is 17-20.
During the post-Lynch era, the best season was 6-3, and the worst was 3-6.
It is becoming harder to believe that the last X seasons are a temporary blip and that the 04 results more accurately represent Cal's expected performance in years to come.
Has he had any other drops besides the one Saturday? We also remember the nice play he made on the tipped ball, right? He's also the best blocking back of the bunch, so I think Isi is the best option in passing situations. I have yet to hear anything about Anderson being a viable threat in the passing game. Maybe more Covaugh?ISI should not be on the field in short yardage situations nor on passing plays where he is a potential receiver. He cannot hang on to the ball when he gets clobbered. Those situations are CJ's.