Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour has a meeting on Sunday with head coach Jeff Tedford. There is a feeling of inevitability about this meeting, although nothing has officially been reported.
Grant Marek is a new man on the Cal Rivals beat, and he's the first person to go out there to go on the record and say that Tedford is out. You can listen to the interview here.
Marek points out that Barbour moved up the meeting from mid-week to Sunday, which probably isn't a good sign. Marek tells us that his sources indicate that Tedford will not survive the meeting as Cal's head coach.
However, Ryan Gorcey (Marek's co-worker on Rivals and one of the regular beat writers) didn't offer any conclusive insight on the situation in his podcast. Gorcey believes that Tedford has a lot of heavy-hitting donors on his side and that Barbour herself doesn't know what the decision will be going into the meeting.
It's strange that the two would come to such differing opinions on the state of the coaching staff, which is strange since Marek and Gorcey work together. If Marek has the sources, why doesn't Gorcey?
UPDATE: Gorcey says he's hearing many different things on the issue, although it sounds as if he's leaning toward Marek's side of things.
For what it's worth, Jon Wilner seems to believe that regime change isn't a sure thing.
A truly unfortunate situation, given how much Tedford has done for Cal. (He’s a good guy, too.) Although it might seem like the Bears have no choice but to make a change after a 3-9/4-8 season, I don’t think it’s necessarily a slam dunk. Tedford has built up a ton of goodwill and has some heavy-hitting donors in his corner.
Since I generally want three sources confirming a report before making a conclusion, let's just say that NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING.
Monte Poole has a nice column on Cal finances, although if you really want to talk about coaching finances, hit up FiatSlug's excellent appraisal of the situation.
I can tell you who probably doesn't know anything: Tim Kawakami.
When everything heads in a single fateful direction, when a long tenure starts flagging, there’s usually little chance to avoid what comes next: The very act of quietly letting it get this far–as Cal has with Jeff Tedford’s job status–is a conclusion of its own, even if no decision has been publicly announced.
Strange that Timmy would only start paying attention to Cal once we're in the midst of a coaching brouhaha. That man is a true sporting kleptomanic (FIRE! I LIKE FIRE.)
Anyway, there is no definitive report yet (as you would expect), so hang on. Nothing will be known until Sunday.
If it is true, at least Marek offers a list of replacement candidates that's better than the one Hayes put together. The man sounds like he's done his research.
Here are people who WON'T BE CONSIDERED.
- Jon Gruden, who probably has a Monday Night Football contract the size of ten Tedford deals.
- Cal will NOT go in-house to hire their next head coach. Kenwick Thompson, Ron Gould, and Clancy Pendergast are mentioned, but none are expected to be the hire.
- Bobby Petrino. NO.
- Steve Mariucci. Not coming back.
Here are the candidates that Marek mentions.
- Mike McIntyre (San Jose State, overcame scholarship reductions, improved APR, West Coast recruiting aspect)
- Sonny Dykes (Interested in West Coast jobs, runs an offense that fits well with personnel, offensive coordinator in Arizona, Mike Leach protege, evaluates academic rates)
- (Washington defensive coordinator, former Cal LB coach/potential Tedford successor back in the day, Bay Area connection)
- Greg Roman (49ers OC; knows the Bay Area & the Pac-12, developed really good QBs, good recruiting pitch)
- Chris Petersen (ton of Bay Area ties, Sacramento City College/UC Davis connections, dad lives in Yuba City)
- Hue Jackson (good success at Cal under Mooch game changer, Pat Barnes speaks highly of him)
- Ron Rivera (Panthers head coach and former Cal LB; Carolina is currently struggling)
- Dave Doeren (spent time on the West Coast, Northern Illinois, dark-horse candidate)
I like this list. It's probably the best list of realistic candidates I've seen so far. Of course, it's just a list until the first step happens.
"They would be losing the greatest coach in their history if they make a change," Rodgers said Thursday in a phone interview with this newspaper.
"He's been through a lot, all the stuff they had to go through just to get that stadium finished up," Rodgers said. "I was a part of bringing that fan base back and take a lot of pride in that."
"I think he deserves an opportunity to recruit to those new facilities."
I doubt Rodgers's opinion will sway donors who want him gone, but seeing Tedford's greatest success story come out and support him in the eleventh hour might give him some much-need support that he's currently lacking in many places.