As we watched USC reach back into its history for head coaching ideas, alumni names like Jeff Fisher and Jack Del Rio were brought up. Why not reach back into ours? As a Chargers fan, I've watched the guy rebuild the defense last year after a disastrous Ted Cottrell defense. This year, he lost his pro bowl tackle, Jamal Williams and then rotated a bunch of guys who were out of football (Rental Car agency, etc.) and made a makeshift defense. Shawne Merriman is still maybe 60%. He had the #1 defense in the NFL for the Bears during their Superbowl year. I think Tedford gets one more year, but I can't imagine that Cal can have great expectations for next year (unless Martin, Forbes, and Whiteside are lightsout) and it just seems like a program on the verge of total collapse. You can blame youth or injuries but Cal didn't look better at the end of the season than at the beginning.
As a Cal graduate, he's got to be smart enough to know that it is easier to be successful and have longevity at the college level. Like Mike Riley working at his alma mater, he might be wiling to work for a discount and is less likely to use Cal as a stepping stone for bigger and better things. I don't think the highest employee in the state of California shouldn't be winning 6th place in the Pac-10. Even after his furlough, Tedford is top-15 of all coaches in pay not far off the Urban Meyer and Nick Saban realm - he makes almost twice as much as Chip Kelly, Lane Kiffin at Tenn., Mike Riley, Stoops, Harbaugh and his $70K toilet, and everyone else who finished ahead of Cal in the Pac-10 with the exception of Carroll. The Chris Petersens, Kyle Whittinghams, and Randy Edsalls of the world only make around a mil. In this economy, at a public school, Cal could save money and still be giving Ron Rivera a huge raise (he made about half a mil for the Bears, of the Chicago variety.)
He keeps interviewing and will get his head coaching shot sometime soon. He's still fairly young and as a Superbowl winning player, I think he'll be able to recruit on the defense side of the ball at least (a la Pete Carroll who is a defensive coach). With all the offense in the Pac-10, I think Carroll has shown that defense wins championships and gets to Rose Bowls. Rivera can coach 3-4 (like with the Chargers) or 4-3 (like the Bears.) He seems very even keel and a standup guy. Pair him up with a young prodigy offensive coach, and I think Cal would be in great shape. Cal is clearly not at the forefront of offensive innovation anymore.