We have but two problems. The fixes may seem easy at first, but maybe not.
1. Zach Maynard cannot play quarterback at the level of consistency or skill required in the Pac-12. If that wasn't obvious before, the terminal interception at the U$C 14 and missing the wide-open receiver in the end zone should have convinced even the most optimistic Bears fans.
But here's the more interesting part. We haven't had a really good, Pac-12 level QB since Aaron Rodgers. Why not? Tedford is a respected "QB Guru" who has sent numerous players to the NFL from Fresno State, then Oregon, then Cal. He has shown the ability to recruit and coach quarterbacks over a long career. So what's up? Several Pac-12 teams have freshmen and sophomore QB's who are better than Maynard. We recruit star high school QBs, who then don't pan out. (See Alan Bridgford, for example.) Is that Tedford can no longer evaluate talent? I doubt it. Or is it that he can no longer coach them up? I doubt that too. But given the way Maynard plays and given that no one behind him can take his job. If this was a one year deal, and we had a stud in waiting, I could live with that. Given that mediocre and/or inconsistent QB play has been a Cal trademark for 7-8 years, something is broke ... bad broke. BTW, the weight room is a lame excuse on this one; QBs really aren't that hung up about the weight room.
2. Cal's Running Game & O-Line Play. Stick with me on this one. I was watching the Pac-12 network Saturday AM and they ran a feature on the 2004 U$C-Cal game. The amazing thing was the talk about Cal dominating the line of scrimmage against U$C. That's right Cal fans, CAL DOMINATED THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE AGAINST U$C. In fact we kicked Trojan butt up and down the coliseum field and still managed to lose. Our offense used to be based on a power running attack and play action passing off it. We controlled time of possession with backs like Igber, Echmandu, Arrington, and Lynch. We can't do that anymore. We really haven't been very good on O since we adopted the spread, largely because we haven't been able to control the LOS . (We've been totally ineffective running the spread option.)
So what's the deal? Has the game changed that much? No, $tanfurd and others are still very successful with that style of power offense, but you need linemen. Can we not recruit O-linemen? Apparently not, or else we can't coach them. Is it due to the weight room? Maybe a bit, but we used to be able to recruit them, so this is not a great excuse. Is it the backs? I don't think so. These guys have demonstrated they are fine when they have some room to run. I believe part of the problem may be that Tedford is running an offense in which he doesn't really believe. Why would he do that? I have no idea. But I don't understand why can't he recruit and coach up a solid Pac-12 level QB every year either.
I guess I'll just medicate heavily (again) this year while I ponder the mysteries of Cal football.