The utter collapse of 2007 (far worse than 2009) resulted in a pretty shitty recruiting class in Feb 2008. Check the players other teams picked up while the Bears pretty much whiffed on everyone except Marvin Jones that year (and maybe Kendricks and Tucker).
Oregon State – Jacquizz Rodgers
Washington – Jermaine Kearse
Oregon – LaMichael James, Nick Cody, LeGarrette Blount
[NOTE: Excluding USC since their recruiting classes are always stellar.]
These guys are all pretty good, and some are studs. They played for other teams as starters in 2009 (except Blount, who should have been) while the Bears had 1 guy make a significant impact from the same class. The Cal coaching staff’s 2007 team collapse affected the 2009 team.
It looks like the Bears have some solid, potentially explosive players coming up through the program now for 2010 and beyond. It is possible that the worst effects of the 2007 collapse are behind the program already. And if 8-5 qualifies as "the worst effects" then I'll take it...however painful consecutive 42-3 and 30-3 drubbings by Oregon and USC might be.