Trojan Horsed Again - Cal Football v. USC Report Card

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was bad. And not really like a cool bad either. More like you went on vacation and came home and your sewer had backed up and your water heater burst and shorted out all the wires in your house and you now are the proud owner of a smelly, wet, burned wrecked shell of a house. Yeah, more like that.

Berkelium97: Well, that sucked.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .395 .238
Rush Offense .349 .223
Pass Defense .226 .217
Rush Defense .151 .214
Special Teams .056 .187
Coaching .215 .251
Overall .176 .229
Win Chance vs. USC .310 (-.455) .281

Look at those grades. Just look at them.

No category broke the 40% barrier and the defense is back to the abysmal levels we have been seeing all season. Not even in Pete Alamar's worst nightmares would his special teams earn a 5.6% grade. This may be the first time ever that a category has received a 0 as its median grade. I know Tommerdahl is a good coach, but that was the worst special teams performance I have ever seen.

As is the case all season, our updated win predictions have plummeted. Once a tune-up game before the Big Game, the Colorado game is now our last, desperate chance to get a win. At least we're not playing on Sunday, when Boulder is forecast to get its first snowfall of the season.

Now let's get that bad taste out of our mouths with some awards.

Awards

This week's editor's choice award is the Lost in Translation Award, given to alpha1906. This is his report card:

  • Passing offense: Does it even matter?
  • Rushing offense: Es más, ¿importa?
  • Passing defense: لا يهم حتى؟
  • Rushing defense: Maak dit nog saak?
  • Special teams: A ka edhe rëndësi?
  • Coaching: Дали тоа дури важно?
  • Overall: Será que isso importa mesmo?
  • Win likelihood vs. Colorado: 它甚至關係嗎?

We have a second recipient of our Lost in Translation award this week, http://dailyhomerenotips.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/door-handle-instal-013.jpg. That links to this image:

Door-handle-instal-013_medium

I'm surprised it took so long for someone to interpret literally the prompt "Please provide a handle, if you so desire."

Sonny Yikes!

Name Grade
1. SoCal Oski 0.00 (0.0%)
1. schmidtty mcfunstuff 0.00 (0.0%)
1. Fuck 0.00 (0.0%)
1. Chris Berman shrieking: "WHAT?!" (formerly known as 'Unwatchable' b/c wife went to SC, so I was forced to watch the 1st qtr) 0.00 (0.0%)
5. scottyc 0.18 (2.6%)

SoCal Oski and schmidtty mcfunstuff lead the disgruntled this week--why does this not surprise me? Not that I blame you for being so frustrated...

Sonny Delight

Name Grade
1. MasterMel2 6.08 (86.9%)
2. http://dailyhomerenotips.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/door-handle-instal-013.jpg 6.05 (86.4%)
3. TezCAlipoca 4.27 (61.0%)
4. BTown85 3.84 (54.9%)
5. Stay Golden 2.70 (38.6%)

MasterMel2 (is there a MasterMel1?) and http://dailyhomerenotips.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/door-handle-instal-013.jpg have some unusually positive report cards. If you'll allow me to put on my tinfoil hat for a moment, I have a wild conspiracy theory. The second-place ballot comes from a website called Daily Home Reno Tips. Sure, it looks like a home renovation side, but look a little deeper. It has the words "Home" and "Reno." Do you know who recently bought a home in Reno? Jeff Tedford. That's right, JEFF TEDFORD IS TROLLING THE REPORT CARD. And probably making this face while doing so:

Tedford-jeff-merithew-chron_medium

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. 1988goldenbear .064
2. Nor-Cal Scott .069
3. Man, did we ever suck in 1930 (jumping on the bandwagon here, formerly fuzzywuzzy) .083
4. sacman701 .087
5. kb2 .089

Considering the number of 0s given to the defense and special teams, these are some pretty impressive scores. 1988goldenbear and sacman701 continue to place consistently among the Voices of Reason. Good job.

Let's turn it over to Sam and the comments.

Sam Fielder: Aaaaaand we're back. After a one week reprieve from the snarky (and entertaining) and creative comments and names, we came back with a vengeance...like USC returning a punt against us (too soon?). Thanks to everyone that filled out a report card and made me smile, and remember, if you want to make sure your comments are included here please add in a handle...or just post them in the comments. And now, onto your thoughts for the game...

GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE

[picture of a door handle]: Game was good. Love the idea of having a double header in Berkeley.

alpha1906: Ora iku malah Matter?

SoCal Oski: So happy we still have the blue shirt / yellow pants combo for the unis, because no matter how f**king horrible the team performs, at least they look nice.

calbears04: 3 TD punt returns by U$C????

Jacobs.: Beautiful day at glorious Memorial Stadium. Unfortunately, from the student section's perspective, the older alums seem to have been replaced by cardboard cut-outs, completely unable to give a simple "Bears" in response to a "Go!".

Man, did we ever suck in 1930 (jumping on the bandwagon here, formerly fuzzywuzzy): Fantastic weather, I wore my new Pacific Dorfman white canvas hat, a lot of sailors wear them, and I ain't gettin' skin cancer for this sh*t. A little too warm for October? Probably due to global warming. Cal football has almost completely melted as well; there's, like, one little iceberg left with a polar bear on it. Shivering.

prd74: Another beautiful day in Strawberry Canyon. I gave my usual tickets in EE to my ex-college roommate and his buddies and bought two reasonably priced ones in Section H (Field Club Level). After sitting in one of the infamous yellow folding seats, I found that they're not bad. Hey, cupholders just like my car! and they are more comfortable than they look. ,Unfortunately they are just as problematic as my seats in EE, with people wanting to move to and from their seats to get to the aisles. Since there are no wandering aisle vendors you have to leave your seat to get a snack in the Lounge area. No wonder the seats are always empty. BTW, the food is terrible there, too. If Sandy needs to get fired it should be for the Lobster Roll and the always undercooked Stadium Dog. Well the game did not go as I had hoped, but it was still cool to go to a game with 20,000 die-hard Cal fans and I am looking forward to coming back next year to Section EE when our optimism has been reinvigorated. Yes, I am going to the Big Game. GO BEARS! F* the furds and Beat the Buffs! Glad I am not a Duck fan today.

Koalaballa: We lost 62-28. Everyone in my section was numb. You could have dropped an anvil on us and we wouldn't have noticed. What gameday experience?

Chris Berman shrieking: "WHAT?!" (formerly known as 'Unwatchable' b/c wife went to SC, so I was forced to watch the 1st qtr).: Even the SC fans who we met up with later in SF had left by half-time, that's what a joke this game was. They were surprised how empty the student section and ESL seats were.

schmidtty mcfunstuff: the best part of my experience was pretending to be dean wormer as i filled out the report card...

Nor-Cal Scott: I'd like to thank the season ticket holder 2 rows in front of us for selling his tickets to the USC family of 3. At least they were not as obnoxious as your wife getting up & down all game, or your "precious" 5yr old son who talks the entire game.

rollonyoubears111: At this point, saying something funny would just be sad. It'd be like talking about a someone going into remission and then finding a terminal recurrence of disease. I mean, it wasn't even a contest after the mid-second quarter fiasco. I was trying to hang on to anything positive while sitting in the stands, but despite screaming and cheering, there was no real signs of hope for a win. The hangover of this kind of loss is going to be a tough one to get over.

kb2: Sensory deprivation would have been more exciting

suave_and_golden: Other than the events on the field, the gameday experience could not have been better. The weather was perfect, it was our Senior Day and lots of us were hoping for our last game to go out on the right note. Then the game starts and Cal goes down 21-0, not even for the first time this season. But a good stretch of football at the beginning of the second quarter cuts the lead to 21-14, and the crowd is going crazy. We start to believe, the magic of Senior Day is going to carry us to a magical victory.But then comes a blocked punt return for a TD and another TD by USC before you could blink, pushing the game back to 35-14, and we see that magic fade. The rest of the game passes in similar fashion, the game ends in a 62-28 victory by USC. But afterwards, we got to watch the band perform on the field one more time. We got to watch the sun set beautifully behind Memorial Stadium one more time. Maybe we still got that magical ending to our Senior Day, after all.

All I want for Christmas is the Axe: Last home game of the year. Last home game of my college experience. I know most of the alumni on this blog have been disappointed with the student turn out over the past couple weeks, but that is simply a product of poor play on the field and it is the time when the true Cal fans are highlighted in the stadium. Unlike those fortunate enough to see Cal in their golden days, today's students will never know what it is like to see their classmates lead the university to a bowl game and that is the sad part. On another note, last game of the year means we got to step onto the field (although no field goal posts were taken down this year)!

PASS OFFENSE

[picture of a door handle]: Looked good. Wish we had penetrated more against the zone, but with how we were shooting the 3 it wasn't necessary. (Ed note: they filled out the report card for the basketball game!)

sacman701: Numbers weren't awful, but they were unable to move consistently while the game was still in doubt. Some bad misfires and drops.

TezCAlipoca: The KLAWler

BTown85: Lawler is the new Harper/Treggs

4Ever Golden: I really don't know about Goff yet. I feel we have 4 players, (treggs Harper Rodgers lawler) who are going to end up playing on Sundays. So he has the tools to be a great QB but hasn't shown any type of consistency yet

Calfootballaddict: Harper and Treggs have been less and less impressive. Chris' head seemed to be in other place on those dropped passes. Kenny Lawler is is real deal though and I've also been impressed with Powe, especially the way he fights for more yards.

suave_and_golden: Same story, different game. Inflated passing yardage numbers that look impressive until you see the 5.5 yards per throw. And much of this success was in the second half when our first team offense played USC's second team defense.

RUN OFFENSE

Scottyc: Hodges looked good but where was Lasco? Did he look too good last week?

Man, did we ever suck in 1930 (jumping on the bandwagon here, formerly fuzzywuzzy): Nice to see the new kid run hard, other than that...nowhere near enough to save us. The backs ran hard, but they can never clear 8 yards, and we aren't the team to simply do that every play.

Mitchgobears: Why when we line up with stacked receivers on both sides do we always run up the middle?

Puresilence: Almost getting to mediocre.

Calfootballaddict: Joe Mixon should have watched this game and realized he can have all the carries if he comes. Who the hell is Jonah Hodges?

MasterMel2: more mis-directions I'd like to see

1988goldenbear: Good effort, and we seem to be making some minor headway in run blocking. I think the RBs are hitting the holes vertically more than dancing around sideline to sideline, and so we are getting to the point where the run game is marginally effective. Unfortunately, that is an improvement from where it has been.

PASS DEFENSE

SoCal Oski: It would be nice if we had one.

Oski Disciple: While everything else has declined or stayed the same, this, formerly the worst part of our game, has actually improved a tick.

Puresilence: sigh

Koalaballa: There may have been some pass defense, but it doesn't look like it.

MasterMel2: Need to tighten up on the cushion distance

1988goldenbear: We can't tackle. Once the first guy misses, it's a big gain. Once the second guy misses, it is a TD. We gave up so many big 3rd down conversions and little swing passes or crosses that went for quick scores. There is a big talent gap that will hopefully get better with experience and health.

RUN DEFENSE

alpha1906: Est-il encore de l'importance?

Oski Disciple: Oh I don't know aside from occasionally giving up 9,000 yard runs it was okay.

Puresilence: sigh

prd74: When Nickerson went down and his inexperienced replacement came in, we were doomed.

All I want for Christmas is the Axe: Once upon a time our defensive line was called the "Hit Squad". I do not want to be mean because I think our defensive line played well in previous games, but last week they make a case to be called the "$h^t Squad".

SPECIAL TEAMS

sacman701: 3 punt returns for TDs in one half is a new low. I don't expect to ever see such a horrible performance again.

TezCAlipoca: [insert NSFW comments here]

Mitchgobears: If you can get to the corner you can score!

BTown85: Ummmm.....took the pressure off the defense for those three series??????

schmidtty mcfunstuff: holy effing hell what a dumpster fire!!!

Nor-Cal Scott: I called the blocked punt. You could see that SC had 10 guys on the line and were going to come hard. They blew past our line right up the center & guards for an easy block.

1988goldenbear: Not sure what happened this game, as we have had no inkling this season that this was even possible. I sure hope it is an outlier, because this was the one part of the team that was reliable. I feel a bit sorry for D'Amato because even though it is a nice honor to make this cut for the Groza award, there is no way he will win it because we are going for every 4th-and-whatever because we are down by 3+ scores and it is a teachable moment to do so.

COACHING

SoCal Oski: I am pretty fucking far away from buying into the whole Dykes hype. So far this year nobody on this staff has showed me anything that makes me believe they are any better than any randomly selected high school coach.

Jacobs.: Overall, pretty horrific. We are, once again, such a non-presence in the first quarter that we might as well give the visiting team a three touchdown lead and play only the last three quarters. Furthermore, why did we quit in the third? I refer to not going for it on 4th down while the game was not completely out of reach.

This is Division I football. No excuses...: Get him out, AD made a huge mistake.

4Ever Golden: I'm giving dykes a 3 year window, so can't complain too much. Jeff probably has this team at 3 wins. So not much to look at.

Chris Berman shrieking: "WHAT?!" (formerly known as 'Unwatchable' b/c wife went to SC, so I was forced to watch the 1st qtr).: No comments that I can share in mixed company, other than this: Buh really needs to fall on the sword for this team. When SC had its worst game, Kiffin got canned. Cal has had plenty of these stinkers, but it's unlikely Dykes gets dumped one year in. But somebody needs to take the fall, if for no other reason than to show this level of incompetence will not be tolerated any longer. Come on, just Buh it! If we go into next season, even w/ healthy bodies, what will happen the first time we get torched? Shouldn't be losing games 40-30, even if we could keep it that close.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE

scottyc: Uninspired, outplayed, outcoached and outskilled. There is absolutely nothing positive about this year except that it's almost over and the basketball team looks good.

This is Division I football. No excuses...: CAL football is a ripoff.

Oski Disciple: Bless our seniors and all the kids who battled out there without regard to what the scoreboard says. I'm looking forward to once again someday skipping merrily out of Memorial Stadium following the Cal Band down Bancroft Way with rainbows in the sky and bunny rabbits hopping by my side and pretty cheerleaders proffering long lingering kisses. I am hopeful such a day will come next season and will not require the use of any psychedelics but will come courtesy of a rousing Cal football victory over a hated rival. Or anyone. Seriously. Any decent college football team. Okay they don't even have to be decent.

Koalaballa: Why are we only competitive for 2 minutes out of a full game?

Chris Berman shrieking: "WHAT?!" (formerly known as 'Unwatchable' b/c wife went to SC, so I was forced to watch the 1st qtr).: Not too ironic that in the game program, the Dykes quote on page 25 ends with this: "We want a win-everywhere mentality". Now to be appended by: "But what we have is a win-nowhere reality". Catchy, right? How about this: Dykes can go coach another FBS school in Texas somewhere, godspeed. Franklin gets to HC; hires someone who can actually coach defense, and bam, watch the magic happen. Maybe I'm a dreamer. But Mora turned UCLA around, and Orgeron has SC playing normal football. So it can happen. It just won't happen here. Embarrassing! Shameful! When's the next Nobel awarded?

schmidtty mcfunstuff: anyone who thinks we will win a game this year is kidding their self

rollonyoubears111: I don't know if there is anything positive to say other than at least we scored some points. It was kinda embarrassing to have this game nationally televised as my relatives and friends in NY were telling me how sad it looked. The players were not tackling, the special teams looked like high school students, and the half-empty student section gave a wondrously pathetic impression of our program.

kb2: The only positive thing I can say is that our fans do not boo our team in our own stadium unlike our opponents' fans.

Thanks again to everyone that filled these out. Even in disastrous losses, we still have a great fanbase. GO BEARS!

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