What are Tedford's strengths these days? He represents Cal athletics with honor and integrity and isn't an a-hole like Chip Kelly, Lane Kiffin, and Jim Harbaugh. Although I'll take Tosh Lupoi's word that Ted wasn't involved, the faking injuries thing does not tarnish Tedford's reputation for being clean and taking the high road. He is a hard worker, often working until the early morning and sleeping in his office. He seems genuine and honestly cares to do the best that he can and acknowledges mistakes. But if that was the only criteria for hiring a coach, we'd still have Ben Braun.
Tedford was once known as an offensive innovator in the pro-style offense and for his reputation as a quarterback guru. First, has anybody noticed that not even the NFL relies exclusively on "pro-style" offenses anymore? New England, Green Bay, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis all incorporate spread elements and throw 55/45 ratios or higher. Clearly, Cal has not defined an offensive identity for itself for the past four years. You cannot blame the quarterbacks. Sure Mansion looked like shit. But how can you blame him when he never got game reps even when Cal was way up in games or way down in games. Which was pretty much every game before Riley got hurt. That decision falls on the head coach. Mansion, Sweeney, Riley, Hinder, Bridgeford were all Elite-11 quarterbacks (the best 11 high school quarterback prospects in the country - Ayoob was the top JC quarterback). Their lack of progression on the next level is not their fault. It goes back to an incoherent or overcomplex scheme that is not being made understandable or executable by the student-athletes. You can't blame the constantly changing offensive coordinators. Who is the guy changing them or making them want to leave after one year? Ludwig is not perfect, but firing him doesn't exclude the offensive minded coach. A new coach will mean a new scheme and more inconsistency which has been Cal offense's only consistency. Pendergast's unit was more than enough to be competitive in the Pac-10 - they held the best offense in the country to 7-7 (giving up a score and taking a score). You certainly can't blame the string of first round pick NFL running backs. Cal does not execute at a high level or even a consistent offensive focus. After whooping up on Stanford with a run heavy system, it disappeared. Its not balance but confusion.
Cal will not win next year nor does it have hopes to miraculously turn around. The program can continue to fire assistants until the inevitable point where it needs to fire the coach. Thank god for Tedford for leading Cal football to an uphill ascent toward being almost consistenly being the third best team in the Pac-10 but another vision is needed to take us to the next level. We cannot keep hoping that 2004 is going to miraculously reappear and that Mack Brown will stop being an a-hole, the bowl system will reconsider, and Aaron Rodgers will return. We need to be able to say something defending Tedford without the phrase, "well, at least he's not Holmoe."
If nobody has noticed, the program has a consistent downhill trajectory. Tedford is paid within the top 10 coaches in the country at $2.85 million dollars. If you now factor in the million dollars plus that is lost because of going without a bowl, the number is closer to $4 million. $4 million should buy more than 5-7 without any consistent signs of progress, evolution or hope for the future. Cal football, shit ask Cal Rugby and Cal Baseball, Cal Athletics cannot afford to continue with Tedford as coach when all signs point to the program slouching toward irrelevance. Good
coaches leaders don't blame the recruits or their assistants. They develop new solutions. They don't keep repeating the same failed initiatives, that is the definition of insanity. Tedford with new assistants is a road to nowhere.