Nick Kranz: I'll make this simple: I'm not confident in Cal's defensive coaching staff to turn things around. But then again, I'm not confident in ANY defensive coach's ability to turn things around. Cal was bereft of talent and experience last year, to the point that I don't think any coach in the country could have created a solid defense.
Now, Cal is losing players off of that defense left and right. Losing what little experience the team had likely means that we'll be starting over from square one again.
Coaching matters. Scheme matters. But unless every player that was injured last year is fully healthy and ready to play at a Pac-12 level, I don't think Cal has the raw talent to succeed on defense regardless of the coaching staff.
Relatively speaking, I'm not worried about the offense.
Avinash Kunnath: I don't know. Cal suffered catastrophic injuries last year, but it seemed at some times Sonny used that as a crutch to not performing rather than trying to grind out wins. That defense folded in way too many games on the first drive, sometimes the first play. And the improvement was fleeting. It's really hard to trust this staff if they all come back. I have issues with a lot of them. Changing nothing and getting another season like last year's could send almost all of them out the door next year.
Nam Le: It wouldn't be ideal for us to keep Buh, but I can see the logic, I guess. He hasn't had a full run with healthy bodies, and based on the size of his contract, that dictates that we give him at least one more chance. It's also pretty late in the recruiting cycle to make changes, which I assume is also a factor here. That being said, it doesn't change my outlook too much, because I'm thinking that getting a full squad (#FULLSQUAD) back offsets keeping Buh somewhat. Cal's ceiling next year still looks to be a fringe bowl team, somewhere in the 5-6 range, with 3-4 wins expected.
Ruey Yen: I have very low expectation for 2014 but I think the difference in a better coach staff may be the difference between a 2-4 win season vs. a 6-6 and a bad bowl year. While I highly doubt that the entire staff would remain in tact, I am mentally prepared for the team to stay pat.
Scott Chong: It depends on how and why Dykes makes the decision. If he truly feels that his assistants did the best they could under impossible conditions, then I'd respect him more for standing pat instead of bowing to external pressure. If you let idiot fans influence your decisions as head coach, then you're not the right man or leader for the job.
Look at what happened with Tedford and Alamar. When he had good players and tight ends, Alamar looked like a great coach. When he didn't, not so much...but it's not like he suddenly forgot to coach. Yet, he got fired as a sacrificial scapegoat. Alamar's special teams at Fresno State and Furd turned out to be better than Cal's over the past few seasons.
This is not to say that I have confidence in Andy Buh to get it done. But, I freely admit that I lack the expertise or insider's knowledge that I would need to make a fair assessment. Generally speaking, continuity is an overlooked component to a team's success...if you've got the right staff in place. Dykes knows his future is on the line. If he's willing to go all in w/ Buh, then I'm willing to give them both another year before I start shopping for pitchforks and torches.