This is our final six part series that will hopefully allow us some closure on how last year's disappointing campaign went down and transition us into next season. In this first part, we discuss some of our lingering thoughts about what occurred last year and our emotional reactions to those losses.
Given the circumstances this season of weak talent, critical player injuries, and insufficient quarterback development, how dissatisfied were you with this 5-7 season?
Avinash: I'm mildly dissatisfied, but not shocked. We all thought this would be the weakest of Jeff Tedford's teams since 2002, and it looked that way as the Pac-10 season wore on. But remember Cal could've easily won three of those games, one against the then number one team in the country and the other two against Pac-10 bowl-eligible squads. Third place in the conference was a few lucky throws away. We just ended up on the extreme end of the stick.
Hopefully our fortunes reverse next year.
TwistNHook: Critical player injuries and insufficient quarterback development go hand in hand here. The injury to Riley opened the door for the worst offense of the Tedford era with Brock Mansion at the helm. That alleviates some of the hot seat in my view.
However, 5-7 is still 5-7. Another plethora of blowout losses is still another plethora of blow out losses. I am generally very positive person and am not in the "FIRE TEDFORD NOW"crowd by any stretch of the imagination. That said, it is his responsibility to avoid blow out losses, take the teams to bowls, and generally have a winning atmosphere. By those counts, last year was not a successful year. And I bet he'd be the first to admit that!
Kodiak: Very. It wasn't just the losses, it was how we lost. It's really disheartening to see the team appear uncompetitive and outclassed. I know I should be used to it since most of my Cal fandom has involved blowup losses of some sort. But, Tedford has spoiled us to expect that the team will always put up a credible effort despite injuries, matchups, or venue.
Berkelium97: Five months ago I would have been extremely disappointed if I knew we'd finish 5-7. After seeing another year of awful O-line play, a maddeningly inconsistent defense, and an offense that couldn't do anything after Riley went down, I'm not especially dissatisfied. After all, we were a 2-yard run and a field goal away from being 7-5.
atomsareenough: I'm mildly dissatisfied with the overall record, considering how we played. There were 3 really close games that could have gone either way: Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. Oregon was obviously better team this year, and even though it sucked to lose that game after the way our defense played against them, sometimes you just come up short against superior teams, and I can't feel too badly about it.
We really should've won the other two games, though. Riley was still around for the Arizona game, so there really were no excuses for only scoring 9 points against what would end up being a 7-6 team. We also should have won that Washington game as well. 7-5 plus a bowl game would have been a decent season. Anyway, injuries can happen, and I'll overlook some of the weak talent considering the renovation difficulties and the two stellar recruiting seasons we've just had (*knock on wood* for this one still), but the total lack of quarterback development beyond Riley was shocking. We can't win without some basic level of QB competence, and the blame for that lack of competence is squarely on the shoulders of Tedford, Ludwig, Mansion, and Sweeney.