If these were real report cards, I'd be on the phone with Jeff Tedford right now trying to schedule an urgent parent-teacher conference. This is the third game where the team received failing marks in every single category.
I'm glad the SBN United interface no longer requires much text before the jump because there is nothing good to say about this game. Actually, it wasn't all bad. We managed to scrape together a few good bits from the game, but it was no easy feat. Let's just get to it.
|Category||Average Score||Standard Deviation|
|Win probability vs. ASU||42.3% (-32.7 %)||.246|
Look at those grades. As I mentioned, we failed every category once again.
This is the second year in a row we squandered a mediocre day from Matt Barkley. Had I known last week that our highest grades for the USC game would be for pass defense, I would have expected a much better outcome. Also, you know things are bad when special teams earn one of the highest grades of the day.
Coaching has consistently been one of the worst categories so far this year. That does not bode well for Jeff Tedford's future.
Finally, our win probability against ASU has plummeted. For once ASU looks like a disciplined, well coached team. Meanwhile we look like a stumbling, bumbling mess. Jeff Tedford's future hangs on this game. Hopefully he can deliver a much-needed win.
Fortunately this post is not all doom and gloom. Several of you earned moral victories by winning an award. Even those of you who didn't win an award looked great. Everyone was flying around out there and looking physical. Good work.
Editor's Choice Awards:
The Leo Tolstoy Award for Excellence goes to someone whose prose makes Tolstoy's works seem like mere short stories. This individual's name is:
It is sad and depressing each week watching the same crazziness; Maynard attempting to lead the team, but clearly cannot. The passing team declining quickly, and the same running backs who clearly are not able to deliver. I do not believe that Tedford or Gueil understand that they need to bench their so called starters and play their bench; I 'm sure they can contribute to this Bear team in a way that will impress the fans. Each week, I'm shaking my head in disbelief because I know that Mike Manuel is an excellent running back who can contribute in a possitive way to this team, but each time he is not proviided with the opportunity to take play as a running back. Last season, he contributed and was able to help gain significant yards for this team and each time he demonstrated his ability to run the ball and help to make things happen, we were all happy, but Tedford or Guiel took him out to allow Eseiy to finish up with the running touchdown. This season, Tedford and/or Guiel has only allowed the kid to get in to block for Bigalow in kick returns; Mike Manuel should be allowed the opportunity to get some playing time as running back and other team players who are not given the opportunity to help this team win games, should be allowed the opportunity to do so, as well. The starters are not delivering, bench them and bring in the bench so that they can contribute and make it happen. Cal is waisting talent, and it is hurting the Bears moral.
Again, that was just what he put as his name! Can you imagine how long the actual comments were?! We tried to include them in this post, but their unbelievable length made several of SBN's servers catch on fire and burn to the ground. They got mad and sent us several angry emails full of frowny-face emoticons. The whole thing was just a mess. In the future, please keep your comments under 100,000 words. We and our overlords at SBN would appreciate it.
Per tradition, we have our usual trifecta of awards. First is Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers, which recognizes those who viewed the game through rose-colored glasses.
Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers:
|Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers||Total Score||Percentage|
For the second week in a row mrjpark reigns atop the sunshine pumpers. Another regular sunshine pumper, dbromon is among the top-5. After making a few appearances among the top-5 earlier in the season, Oaklandishbear and boomtho barely miss the cut this week. Last week cruidzoid was among the Old Blues and had a lower overall score than this week!
|Old Blues||Total Score||Precentage|
rollonyoubears111 is the only person to appear more than once among the Old Blues. 4 weeks into the season and we have 19 different Old Blues. By the end of the season I'm going to have to expand the category to include everyone.
Finally we have The Voice of Reason, which goes to those whose grades were closest to the community average.
The Voice of Reason:
|The Voice of Reason||Deviation|
|5. Berliner Bear||0.084|
Again, five new faces in this category. That makes for 20 difference Voice of Reasons winners so far this year. Are you all secretly conspiring and fixing your report cards so that everyone will get an award by the end of the season? It certainly looks that way.
Now let's move onto the comments:
Thanks to JahvidKnowsBest for helping organizing the responses here. Remember, if you don't include a handle, we can't put your responses in. So, please include a handle!
ABVidale: I watched the game without sound at a sportsbook; it was also not on hd (apparently the local cable tv company here in Las Vegas doesn't carry Pac-12 in hd). The game was what I expected: USC has, overall, better personnel.
Oaklandishbear: Flew down for annual charity donation to the Los Angeles school (2009 was the exception). Tailgated with some very hospitable $C friends of 1988goldenbear.
Sat in that dismal stadium they call the Coliseum and was thoroughly uninspired by the product on the field. At least I got to go to Disneyland on Sunday before flying home...
CalBandGreat: Watched the game with a bunch of other CGBers, so it was like a DBD come to life. If not for that, this would've sucked to watch oh so much more.
Prd74: On Coast to Coast Radio the other night there was this fellow who said that time travel to the past was impossible. Maybe so, but the 2012 SC game sure felt like I had transported back in time. I'm listening In on an AM radio to Joe Starkey and the Cal football team sucking the big one. Had to turn it off time after time just to keep from going crazy. Felt just like the bad old days. Newer Cal fans, welcome to our Old Blue Hell.
saigon_blues: GIANT WASTE OF TIME
BandAlum: glad that I didn't go. watched with good people. little BA may not have watched a single second of the game, so he had a blast
ososdeoro: Despite Michigan's loss to Notre Dame, the day wasn't a total loss. There's always a ray of sunshine when Chelsea wins!
oldmenlobear: My living room was comfortable. Interesting to get Pac12 talking heads (Neuheisel & Co) post-game thoughts (as opposed to BI nega-gnashing. Curtis Conway: "same old Zach"
boomtho: Pappy's was fun, as it was one of the few places in Berkeley with P12 networks. Beer... good.
BTown85: I should have started drinking WAY earlier.......
TJDJ: streamed it on the Pac12 nets, Tuuurrrrrrible announcing by one of those guys, especially when the idiot doubted that the Pomee cheap shot wasn't illegal.
1988goldenbear: Nice day at the Coliseum, up until game time. No sellout - bunch of empty seats in the Cal section and lots of holes all over. Is it better that the game felt closer than the final score?
bobsyerunkle: meh...pac12 network is a work in progress
texashaterforlife: At least now I understand the hoopla around DirectTV not signing cuz I had to look for a 4th sports bar that would have the game. the 3 previous ones all have directTV. So now I will e staying home to watch Cal lose. Worse yet, a friend had a free ticket to the Cowpalace for the EroticExpo which I did not attend because I had this Idea that Cal might actually be competitive with USC this year.
Rose Bowl Oski: I'm sick of losing to these guys.
hardtobecalfan: i started following cal my freshman year in 2004, so i have never experienced cal beating usc. i can't see how this will change under tedford.
Oski4Heisman: Typical Cal-USC game. Not very close and excruciating to watch. At least the crowd shots featured hot girls and I had good company and good beer.
FiatSlug: The chair was comfy. The TV looked great. What was on the TV was $#it.
hateford: If not for a few flukey USC turnovers they could have buried us early. How did we respond? Like listless teenagers led by a timid old man
BrooklynBear: why not max protect? also, does #15 not know that backside pressure is coming - make the play or get rid of it.
Oski4Heisman: Meh. Maynard was ok, but the picks were killers.
FiatSlug: It's entirely too dependent on Maynard and Allen. I'm sure that Maynard is doing his best, but frankly it's not good enough. And I quite frankly hate how everything seems to depend on ZM.
Maynard isn't calm and focused. ZM relies way too much on KA. The tight ends and other receivers are being ignored in many situations.
Oski Disciple: Meh
cruidzoid: 1) maynard not having any time because of a crappy o-line
2) maynard missing open receivers when he has time
mrjpark: I really can't look forward to future years enough. Hopefully, Maynard is the last of the string of inept QB's running Tedford's offense. Regardless of how he tweaks it to fit his personnel, the fact of the matter is that his offense depends on the QB to run efficiently. It allows his running backs to run free and forces the defense to play honest. Maynard wasn't a Pac-12 recruit for a reason. He feels like more of a backyard QB than a BCS conference starter. When his offensive line protects him, he's able to manage the game and we can run an efficient offense. But the second anything happens, he loses his ability to make reads and starts making elementary mistakes.
hardtobecalfan: our o-line can't pass protect at all and maynard still can't throw to a wide open bryce treggs
choicolate: it was hella frustrating that treggs was wide open for 2 potential touchdown plays and he wasn't getting the rock. To add to that Maynard was overthrowing his bro and it looked like ka21 was getting annoyed at the missed opportunities. it also doesnt help that our oline was getting rocked out of their minds and without that protection our pass game was gonna suffer.
Oaklandishbear: Offensive line play is offensive. How do you give up three sacks in a single set of downs? I know Zach didn't have much time, but its the same-old, same-old on the overthrows and bad misses. The pick at the 7 in the 3rd quarter was the back breaker. If we punch that in we are down we may be tied. Instead, the momentum is gone and $C drives the field and scores.
And why not have Bridgford in the game for the end of first half Hail Mary. Doesn't he have the best arm strength on the team? Zach can't throw the ball more than 30 yards.
rollonyoubears111: 3 and out on the first drive was only prodrome of things to come. Instead taking the momentum from the interception that saved us from being down early, there was little energy from the O-line. We tried to establish the run too early, but the mistake is that we needed Maynard to get into a rhythm early on. We saw what happens later...
oldmenlobear: 1) Bad O-line and inaccurate QB is a bad combo
2) Will give Maynard credit for taking alot of punishment, but his awareness factor is big problem - throw it away!
3) out of balance - too much Zach-Keenan
4) KILLER pick at 7 yd line
Oski4Heisman: Looked good when we ran it, but didn't run it enough
Berliner Bear: Where was Bigelow? 8 yards a carry on the day. If he is healthy he needs to be given the rock a lot more. The O line was largely inept in its ability to open any holes. SC always holds us to season lows on the ground and that goes a long way toward explaining our 9 year losing streak.
rileyslaststand: Where's biggie?
Bear in Chicago: Bigelow hits the holes so much faster than Isi or CJ, there is no comparison. I don't understand the lack of touches, but I don't understand Tedford either.
1988goldenbear: Run stats look terrible. We got away from the run and had a pretty unbalanced offense, especially for the usual Cal gameplan, but the O-line (again) was not very effective.
fuzzywuzzy: Run Offense? Run Offense? don't talk about run offense!
Oaklandishbear: Why did we give up on the run so much? We had some success, if you look at the averages, so why do we continue to throw on first down?
And WHERE WAS BB??????
rollonyoubears111: The blocking up front was anemic.
choicolate: if it ain't broken then don't fix it!! bigelow was the spark we needed at the start of the 3rd and I think everyone was dumbfounded that we didn't ride him until the end of the game. Unfortunately isi and cj wasn't getting it done today.
texashaterforlife: Run offense? what is this run offense you speak of. you must be blaspheming, cuz what we did last week is not to be repeated this week according to Tedford's coaching mantra.
bobsyerunkle: oh...my beer! it's right here. mmmmmmm. oh poo! what did I miss?
BrookylnBear: it was pretty stout actually
BandAlum: contained SC, mostly, but the big cushion gave up a few WR screens
texashaterforlife: so what if we prevented the long pass play, still lost badly
dbromon: did we stop the pass or did they just decide to run over us instead?
DancingBear: Good try
mvargus: It was better than I expected, but had a few too many breakdowns, especially struggling to stop the short drag routes to the WRs. IF Barkley was more accurate the game would likely have been a blowout.
beson: Decent, except for #2 Brainfart McDontcoveranyone. No long downfield passes which was good. Williams int was sweet.
CalBandGreat: I think the defense did a pretty good job, but USC shot themselves in the foot a couple times with dropped balls by wide open receivers.
boomtho: I think we did a pretty good job, considering we were facing an elite QB + 2 elite WR's. We were aided by some drops, nice to see some of those help us instead of hurt us :) Steve Williams had a nice pick.
BTown85: I don't know where the couch was, but there were plenty of cushions that you just CAN'T give to those types of receivers. I found MYSELF calling USC's plays just by how we lined up (or in one case forgot to line up) against their WRs.
rollonyoubears111: the D line was leaking like open capillaries, making the secondary chase down the massive hemorrhage that ensued.
ososdeoro: Awesome when it didn't matter.
Bearacious: Bright spot! Stout and studly performance against $S's weakest line in a while but a strong effort. Letting the shifty running back out of contain brought back painful memories and will require future-win therapy I fear is not in stock.
mvargus: The ILBs made too many mistakes and wore down in the second half. they had a number of good plays, but also gave up some big plays to the USC RBs. Overall, the team looked promising in regards to future games, but they are definitely a work in progress.
beson: Horrible. Our front seven was nothing more than place holders. DBs were making tackles all day, correction, they had to make tackles all day but sometimes missed the tackle or were out of position. The secondary cannot be the initial tacklers. Front seven could not get off blocks. They disrupted nothing. USC line basically pushed them where ever they wanted.
oldmenlobear: Front seven outplayed (again)
Berliner Bear: We got gashed on the ground, probably because we were respecting the pass too much. Not too bad overall.
TheHaywardFault: Hard to grade that which does not exist.
Oaklandishbear: Ugh. What happened to the tackling? It seemed like whenever Redd or McNeal went through the line, we couldn't wrap up. Never missed Kendricks more than in a game like this.
TJDJ: It's called a tackle, not a hug and release! Can I blame Jerry Sandusky for our loss yesterday? Because Silas Redd rann alll overr uss.
puresilence: At least we made a field goal this time. Progress!
CalBear2009: Bench D'Amato
TheHaywardFault: Before the Cal game, I watched two Division III football teams play. Both kickers made all their field goals, and both had kicks of 40+ yards. Why can't we find a placekicker?
CalBandGreat: We made field goals! Yay! Sign Tedford to a ten year extension with a $20 million buy out!!
hateford: I close my eyes for every FG
TJDJ: They're special but not in the good way. If we try to kick a field goal from anything further than 20 yards for the rest of the season I'm pretty sure I am going to have a rage induced seizure.
boomtho: D'Amato with a nice mini-rebound with 3 short FG's. Cole's punts were all pretty good. Vince's kickoffs were good. Probably our most "successful" phase of the game yesterday.
Oaklandishbear: Good for Vince to finally get off the schneid. Hope he gets his confidence back. He seems to have the strength and ability, just needs to get out of his head.
rollonyoubears111: It's like transfusing blood into a hemophiliac with gun shots to the head. It's not going to save 'em this time
texashaterforlife: about the only thing that was above receiving a grade of F-
boomtho: Can't say I understood the pass-heavy gameplan, especially with some demonstrated success running with CJA and Bigs. Some nicely drawn up pass plays were squandered by ZM's inability to read the field. Can't say I really had any problems with specific play calls in this game, that I remember (yes that includes the draws).
California8933: Really hate that U$C has our number. Was hoping that we could finally buck the trend.
BTown85: I'm one of Tedford's sunshine pumpers, but I just don't have anything positive to say.......When your longer routes aren't there, throw short and let the receivers make things happen. Then the CBs will cheat up and.........
Oski Disciple: Abominable, terrible, horrendous, deplorable, appalling, ghastly atrocious, dire.
hardtobecalfan: the only coach i'm pleased with is the new WR coach. i have nothing nice to say about other coaches.
choicolate: the second half adjustments after halftime were promising but then we stopped and couldn't punch it into the endzone. Other than pulling bigelow early, there weren't any major gaffes that I noticed. But I guess we can point out how terrible the oline was...
Berliner Bear: It should have been expected that SC would pin its ears back and bring the pressure. Where were Maynard's outlets? What was with all the 7 step drops? Where was the short passing offense of last week?
mvargus: Beyond the fact that this game demonstrated that Tedford should no longer be considered a competent coach?
The offensive game plan was just offensive. It stank to high heaven and actually stank more after the first half. The teams best weapon got 5 touches all game. The weak O-line wasn't helped by a lot of slow developing outside running plays using an undersized RB who couldn't outrun the USC LBs and DEs. The passing game didn't appear to take into account the poor O-line and the USC speed pass rush and kept settingup 7 step drop bombs that were almost guaranteed to fail. USC was only rushing 4 most of the game which means that the long passes were double-covered all game.
The defensive plan actually was decent except for the lack of pressure on Barkley and the fact that the ILBs just weren't ready. That is more experience than anything else. The defense has a lot of new starters this season including all 4 linebackers, and it shows.
rollonyoubears111: If your surgical resident decides to make wider cuts than needed, you should either kick him out of the operating room, or advise him to calm the fuck down (this is actually said in some OR's) and think things through before creating a peri-operative cluster fuck. If the more junior surgical resident has more potential, make him do it so that the senior resident can reflect and learn.
FiatLux: Hideous. Tedford is the all time worse CAL coach against USC. He might be the worse in the history of the conference (I don't feel like checking). He is also 1-10 in Los Angeles... and 2-13 in Southern California. Way to rise to the occasion. I think my favorite coaching moment was when the game was still close. Cal was driving. SC had an illegal substitution giving Cal a 1st and 5. So many things we could do there. Oh the possibilities. This could be great. We could do this or that or... what... what happened? Ah, delay of game. That's right. Cal could not get a play for 1st and 5 after there was a defensive penalty, meaning the clock was stopped, the refs had to announce it, move the ball five yards, and mark the ball ready for play. That is your Cal coaching moment of the game.
Rose Bowl Oski: A lot of people want to throw Tedford under the bus, but I'm not ready to do that. We all knew the offensive line would be a work in progress this year, and that was before our two best linemen went down with injuries. Add to that the two -- now three -- top tight ends have been hurt, it's no wonder the running game has been inconsistent at best. These injuries have had a profound ripple effect on the offense, and as they have been unable to sustain drives, on the defense as well.
Kingfish Grad: Not even LIke
Bear in Chicago: The lack of a plausible option at quarterback hides the fact that this team is talented, and could be 3-1 right now. Discouraging.
1988goldenbear: We are not a very good football team, and we will have to play better than today to get wins against the mid-range teams coming up. Red zone play has to improve, we were in this game until that pick.
fuzzywuzzy: The new unreachable-goal is to beat SC...glad I dont' have kids to hand the futility and annual frustration down to.
bobsyerunkle: The deepest shade of mushroom blue
DancingBear: Can't take much more of this. Tired of watching nepotism win out over competence, aggressive schemes over execution, safe plays over plays that might win.
It was OSU, UCLA, or Oregon in 2005 when Cal was ahead in the 4th, and I first got frustrated enough to throw my Cal hat towards the TV and scream, "Hand it to the guy behind you. He's the one wearing a Big Fucking #10 on his chest!!!". The more things change.....
FiatSlug: I like that the defense didn't crumble in spite of the USC offense being able to run for nearly 300 yards. And the pass defense played a credible game.
But the offense just sucks. Cal has great weapons on offense, but they either aren't being used or being ignored; it doesn't matter which the result is the same. I don't know if this is a case of the coaches failing to impose their will in the game plan or if it's a case of the QB mucking things up. Either way, the result sucks, big time.
Rose Bowl Oski: Can we please get MSG and Richard Rodgers back for ASU and keep them healthy for the rest of the season?
resbear: GOOD TRY GOOD EFFORT
ososdeoro: The team could have folded when things started badly, but were still hanging around in the fourth. I can't fault the effort, but the team is generally behind the curve in preparation and Tedford manages to insert a fatal decision or two into every important game, it seems.
ABVidale: So far this year Cal has seemed to me to be like a two-star movie: Has its moments.
California8933:1-3 is not gonna help anyone's confidence, and I hope no one thinks that this game can turn out to be any type of "moral victory". We played well at times against a team that was ranked #2 in the country last weak, but that should be the expectation.