First off, ave atque vale, Robbie Caldwell. You handled twenty pounds of shit in a ten pound sack, between the circumstances of taking the job and the injury nightmare all season, and you did it with class and grace. Best of luck going forward. You deserved better.
I don’t want to hear any more garbage about “Navy’s offensive coordinator” or some up-and-comer from East Roast Beef or anything like that. We were on the verge of turning a corner two years ago and instead we dropped off a cliff. Meanwhile, Stanford is on the verge of a BCS bowl. Northwestern is playing in bowls on or around January 1 lately. Everyone else somehow figures it out.
Now hear this: It’s 2010 and our athletic teams are respectable-to-competitive-to-fearsome pretty much across the board, with one exception. It’s time for the trustees and the big-money donors to get out the checkbook and put together the money to go out and get a KNOWN GOOD BCS-CONFERENCE HEAD COACH. Somebody with a track record and a winning history, and if it takes $5 million a year? Consider it an investment in the credibility of a program that just lost to the 110th-ranked team in Division I football. At home.
No rush hires, no longshots, no rolling the dice – take the time and spend the money and GET THE RIGHT GUY. I’m sick to death of being a laughingstock, of being the odd team out when TEN OTHER TEAMS in the conference are going to bowls, of beating our “rival” once every quarter-century, of sitting around on Saturdays wondering “how are we going to screw it up this week,” of being the cautionary tale for my wife and her other Cal alums of “it could be worse.”
I don’t want excuses. I want WINNERS. And it has to start at the top. Now.
You couldn’t pick a more Cal scenario. The last day at Old Memorial Stadium, a winning season and bowl berth on the line, and the team manages to give up two huge plays and then the winning touchdown – just as the final gun sounds and the sun breaks through the clouds after hail – FUCKING HAIL OUT OF THE SKY – and as Washington celebrates in the corner, the “Chariots of Fire” theme is blaring over some sort of video presentation – and then the video screen conks out halfway through.
5-7. First losing record under Tedford. No bowl. Lost the Axe. Lost the last three games in a row, all at home, all to teams that had never won at Berkeley in the Tedford era until now. Six senior starters gone off a defense that carried the team. No prospect at quarterback. The running back almost certainly headed to the NFL, and his replacement a Smurf of a back with absolutely no business going up the middle on a modern Pac-12 defense. And a coaching staff that at the very least needs to replace an offensive coordinator and an offensive line coach tomorrow.
I’ve said it before under other circumstances, but this time it’s for real: Jeff Tedford and his staff are not currently fit for purpose as the on-field administration of California Golden Bear football. What happened from 2002-2009 is mostly positive, and deserves to be remembered fondly, but it is no longer germane in any way to the current situation. Jeff Tedford must be judged from now on based on 2010 and 2011. This team has struggled for three seasons ever since the ignominious collapse of 2007, and “look how far we’ve come” is no longer acceptable as an excuse.
When you choke away a 24-point lead in the Iron Bowl, you deserve whatever you get. And if Auburn winds up parading a national championship (which itself will probably be vacated in a couple of years), it’s no less than Alabama deserves after shitting the bed in spectacular fashion in front of God and a national television audience. The Tide will have this loss hung around its neck for the next 12 months, and it’s no less than they deserve.