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Cal-USC Report Card

Well, that sucked.  A lot.  Like a real lot.  Not just a normal amount of a lot, but a metric ton of suck.  We're into European levels of sucking now.  Which if you've ever watched the Scottish World Cup team, you know that that's a fairly epic level of suck.  So, going through the Report Card this week was not my favorite thing to do in the world. I was curious, what is the most positive thing that somebody will say this week? 

That award was surprisingly won by self-proclaimed UC Curmudgeon Spazzy McGee.  He took a moment out of his busy schedule of demanding people who graduated after 2006 get off his lawn to proclaim:

The nice thing about blowouts is they tend to go by really quickly.

And that was the most positive thing said.  Ouch!

Anyway, after the jump, all the other great comments from you, the readers.  Plus, what you've been waiting all week for:  ADVANCED STATISTICAL ANALYSIS!  Your favorite kind of analysis!  GO BEARS!


Mean Score
Standard Deviation

Pass Offense

Rush Offense
Pass Defense
Rush Defense
Special Teams
Win likelihood vs. ASU
.537 (-.23)

Berkelium97:  The numbers pretty much say it all.  You were thoroughly dissatisfied with every aspect of the game.  Special teams received the highest votes and the most varied scores.  Coaching received the lowest scores.  Whether that is directed at Tedford, Pendergast, Ludwig, Marshall, or some combination thereof is a mystery.  I'll go ahead and guess that it's e) all of the above.

Cal's miserable play and ASU's surprising lack of incompetence have dropped our expectations of winning by 23%.  Now we seem to think it will be a toss-up, just like most Pac-10 games this season.

atomsareenough best sums up the predictions vs ASU: "I haven't a goddamn clue which Bears team will show up that day"


Sure Cal lost by 34, but hopefully these awards make you all feel better.  I don't feel much better because I don't have any editor's choice awards to hand out.  The abysmal performance must stymied your creativity and humor.

As always we have the Super Critics, whose report cards had the lowest total scores, and Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers, whose report cards had the highest total scores.  For once we have a  five-way tie for the Super Critics! 0s for everyone!  Usually I toss out the report cards with all 0s (because they're often unreasonable), but I kept them this time because the votes actually made sense (though I did toss out ballots with all 0s and a 0% chance of beating ASU).

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers
Net Score, Percentage
1.commicrusher 3.3, 47.1%
2. hydrotech
3.2, 45.7%
3. JO at UCSD
3.15, 45.0%
4. BTown85 2.55, 36.4%
5. Redonkulous Bear
2.51, 35.9%
Super Critics
Net Score, Percentage
1. VandyImport
0, 0%
1. bluehenbear
0, 0%
1. alpha1906
0, 0%
1. grinandbearit
0, 0%

1. fuzzywuzzy

0, 0%









CGB HIVEMIND Overall Deviation
1. Takimoto
2. long suffering bear
3. hardtobeacalfan
4. beson .085
5. Spazzy Mcgee


Last and definitely least (because Takimoto won) we have CGB HIVEMIND.  Is it a good thing or a bad thing that an AtQ member gave scores closest to our group averages? Maybe we should cry on the shoulders of our feathered friends (who will cry on our shoulders if the 'only' end up in the Rose Bowl this year).




Now that we've seen the numbers that describe how miserable you all felt, let's take a look at your painful, agonizing, horrifying descriptions of the game.  I pity those of you who were at the Coliseum (and I was almost one of you).


Gameday Experience


JO at UCSD - Why this game wasn't shown in the San Diego area beats me, especially considering they showed Washington-Stanford women's volleyball instead. Maybe they knew I wouldn't want to watch this monstrosity...

beson - Went to the game. Douchey people everywhere. I think I'm going to take a break from going to games because its just not worth the couple hundred dollars for 2 people to attend if we aren't even going to be competitive.

ohwehadalittle - lots of big men in red clothes beat up the small men in white clothes and tossed them around like rag dolls, and one big man in the red throwed the ball over and over and over to another big man who catched it over and over, and all the people on the tv screen were screaming and yelling and happy, and the boys in white clothes looked sad, but it was a fun game to watch, the final score was 42 to nothing, i'm glad i could see the end before my daddy ran into the room and turned the tv off.

alpha1906 - Imagine stubbing your toe. Then hopping on broken glass. The blood loss from your wound leaves you faint. You fall on your couch, glad that this episode is over...and then your dog pisses on your face.

SoCal Oski - I followed the same pre-game ritual as last week, wearing my trusty Cal tee and walking the dogs around SaMo. I got three individual and unsolicited "Go Bears!" from random Cal fans. That was the best part of the game.

iVinisheI wanted to, but I couldn't turn it off. It's like when you see a disaster happening; it's horrific but you just can't turn away.

VandyImport - I picked the wrong week to stop dropping acid.

bluehenbear - I knew Cal was done when we didn't even have the balls to go for it on 4th and short down 21-0. That's where we gave up on this game.

YAWLOTTE (yet another worse loss of the tedford era)



Pass Offense


BTown85 - The first two plays of the game I saw were dropped passes (Ladner and Jones). Riley's not going to hit every pass; you GOTTA catch the catchable ones !!!!

CalJeff - Let's take turns having bad play: if Riley threw the ball well, his receivers dropped it. If the receivers were open, the O-line couldn't block anyone. If the pass protection held up, Riley held onto the ball too long and/or threw it over receivers' heads. No one put together anything all together on the same play until the game was already out of reach

jali - It's funny (in a stab my own eyes out kind of funny), up until the INTs, I thought Riley was having his best game of the year. He did a good job of recognizing pressure and either creating extra time to make a throw or getting the ball out quicker. However, the rest of the team was letting him down. Oline were channeling their inner matador and the receivers were playing hot potato. Finally, on the first good blocking pass play of the game.....INT.

beson - I have no faith that Riley can throw any type of pass. All throws make me nervous. Short throws are errantic, middle throws are non-existent and long throws are late and poorly thrown. That pick near the goal line was horrendous. If he had thrown it to the outside, then maybe Ladner would have had a shot. Its so frustrating to watch other quarterbacks make any throw look easy.

VandyImport - Kevin Riley has regressed as a passer from last year, if such a thing is possible. More disturbing is the fact that even down 42-0, Tedford doesn't feel the need to get any reps for the remaining QBs. If anything happens to Kevin, we are well and truly screwed.

RedonkulousBear - TERRIBLE. Can't pass if there is someone sacking you.

commicrusher - What pass offense? Riley did not lose the game for us (those picks were bad though). Dropped passes kept our offense off the field and our tired defense on the field. What happened to the porous pass defense we were going to pass all over? Bad play calling?

The O-line definitely regressed this week. Hard for Riley to make throws when $C's D line is all over Riley.



Run Offense


aznpursuit - Vereen/Sofele tried their best with no blocking whatsoever.

95bears - horrible

SoCal Oski - I lament for Vereen.

commicrusher - Vereen did what he could. U$C seemed to key on stopping the run. Seemed like there were no holes for Vereen or Sofele.

JO at UCSD - Tried and tried again to run it up the middle and that clearly wasn't working. Other than that it was hard to judge because we fell behind so quickly so we had to pass and couldn't really develop a running game.

CalJeff - Shane Vereen, again, was the only bright spot. He did what he could with poor blocking. Since decent, hard runs but nothing special. Wildcat formation in effect again, but even that looked predictable

longsufferingbear - There's this thing called blocking. You do it to run the ball. Anybody on the Bears heard of that?



Pass Defense


aznpursuit - I think I saw Barkley having tea and crackers in the pocket.

CalJeff - He had so much time to throw, I think I caught Matt Barkley making and eating a sandwich before throwing for a touchdown. On another play, I think he pulled out his phone and twittered to Robert Woods "hey, you open?", to which Woods - because he was so open - twittered back "Ya C U in endzone lol". NO pass rush whatsoever. Multiple blown coverages. This is a GOOD PAC-10 offense and we seemed to forget to bring our "A" game...or any game whatsoever.

JustBear - Looked CBs had stayed with the WRs most of the game, but they were just too big and talented and Barkley had his throws right on the target. Cant blame our DBs too much. But where was the pass rush? Barkley had all day to throw.

RedonkulousBear - Terrible matchups. We just don't have height and speed at cornerback.

hardtobeacalfan - exposed. i mean, the coverage wasn't horrible but 5 passing TD's in the first HALF?! barkley just had so much time to throw and he made brilliant throws all day. any pressure we do get and he just rolls out and make a throw on the run.

jali - Started off well but were hampered by USC starting field position and great plays by Barkley and USC receivers. After we went down, defense seemed to give up and made it way too easy.

bearbacker - I guess our defense isnt what its cracked up to be. Our offense did not give it much of a chance but that is no excuse.

B'MoreBear - Arghhhhh, how can I say anything good when Matt Barkley through a bajillion touchdown passes in the first half.


Run Defense


SoCal Oski - What is this "Run Dee Fense" of which you speak? That word is not known to our people.

commicrusher - What run defense? Seemed like all of $C's runs were straight up the middle for big chunks of yards. I thought run defense was our strength

jali - Defense seemed to give up after going down a few scores. Not much else to say.

B'MoreBear - grumble grumble grumble, those were some really good tackles that Cal safeties and cornerbacks were making on those USC runningbacks

CalJeff - This seemed bad, as well, only because USC didn't really need to run that much. They only ran enough to keep our defense guessing. I don't recall any big play by the USC running backs, but I kept seeing 7, 8 and 9-yard runs that led to first downs.

Takimoto - Um, they were better than the pass defense? 6 yards/carry is terrible.

BTown85 - We had run defense?

I gave them a .15; I ranked them that high because USC didn't score on EVERY running play.

ososdeoro - There were some signs of life there. So I gave it an F (0.5). Signs of life usually indicate a D or a C, but given what Stanfurd's D was able to do with USC's running game, it's an F



Special Teams


ososdeoro - Maybe it's time to turn the offense over to Genyk. He's being wasted on special teams.

hardtobeacalfan - felt like ALAMAAAARRR part 2. they returned well on us and gave the defense an even harder job. our returners had little room to run. even anger shanked a punt or outkicked his coverage.

commicrusher - Anger mostly good except for the shank punt. Coverage was just bad. 50 yard punts followed by 30+ yard returns.

B'MoreBear - USCs players were all over Isi everytime they kicked off to us, where's the blocking? And don't get me started on our punts, terrible protection for Anger, and terrible punt coverage. What's the point of having a 45+ yard punt when USC can return the punt everytime for 15+ yards?

JO at UCSD - Our special teams worry me a lot. USC almost blocked us 3 times I think, and they got long returns all day and our return game was largely aweful, I'm ready for Allen to receive the kickoffs instead of Isi taking them everytime, and maybe Vareen returning punts but Ross didn't really have an opportunity to return many punts today.





VandyImport - I've tried to work around it, I've tried to sell myself otherwise, but I can't contain it anymore: Jeff Tedford has plateaued. This team is as good as it's ever going to get under Tedford: good at home, bad on the road, ghastly in LA, and unable to adjust from decisions made during fall practice. Yes, the team's better than in the Holmoe era, but so is the rest of the conference. We're no longer playing for second-best in the Pac-One; a decade on, it's tough to argue that our position relative to the rest of the league is substantially better.

alpha1906 - Their "if we're going to lose, lose SPECTACULARLY" game plan has worked to perfection.

sacman701 - Punting on 4th and inches is acceptable if your defense is completely shutting the other team down and/or you absolutely cannot afford to give up a field goal. That was the exact opposite of the situation we had: we were way behind and the defense was struggling horribly. Mindless, gutless call.

hardtobeacalfan - i've been a big defender of tedford mainly because we have not had a losing season yet (although i'm pretty sure this will change this year) and he's a good guy who runs a clean program. but we can't keep faceplanting like this and expect fans/recruits/media to take this team seriously. ludwig is seriously hampering our offense and pendergast was plain out-coached today.

beson - I don't even know if better coaching could have done anything. The guys on the field could not hang with USC. I know that Riley is our best option (which sucks) but I would have liked to see the coaches pull the plug on Riley at half and just say, hey you don't have it today. The second half would have been a good chance for Sweeney to get some reps. I'm scared about what next year will be like.

AceDaddy - Tedford has repeatedly been shown to be too conservative and make bad decisions (e.g., not pulling riley, keeping starters in when the game was lost, clock management in past games, etc.). Tedford needs a coach. I'll make myself available to coach him since he's embarrassing Cal beyond belief.

LazyBear - 4th and inches punt without any previously sustained drives and no meaningful defense down 21-0? Really?

CalJeff - It scares me to see a bad USC defense containing our offense as well as it did. And for Tedford to say things like "their defense did some things we weren't expecting" give me chills (not the good kind). Pendergast's defense really looked lost out there, too. Totally a Jekyll-and-Hyde team, this is. Perhaps we have really good X's-and-O's coaches, but whatever they're doing (or not doing) to get the players in the proper mind-space to kick butt in a football game is totally failing the team. They looked tight, lost and frustrated and THAT is a HUGE coaching problem.

ososdeoro - OK. If USC is rampant on offense, and you're losing 21-0, you HAVE to go for it from your own 40 on 4th-and-inches. If you don't make it, the game is lost anyway. If you do make it, you stave off another 80 yard drive by the opposing team for a few more minutes. Also, the team was obviously not motivated. How the hell is lack of motivation a problem against USC? Third, we again get the coaches admitting that "scheme" had something to do with it. All of this would have merited a very generous F (0.5) from me, but they get a ZERO because Tedford refused to give one of his backup QBs some valuable experience in a game we weren't going to win.







JustBear - i guess everyone was right from the beginning, that we are a #7 team.

SoCal Oski - Performance? Cal hasn't performed against $C since 2008. But if you insist, Cal's performance was like that of a 65 year old impotent fat man trying to have sex with a hooker without his Viagra: A lot of heavy breathing, sweating, and breathing, but with no actual performing.

hardtobeacalfan - if usc kept their foot on the gas, it could have easily been 72-0. you know it's bad when it's halftime and i'm praying we at least get a field goal like we did in '09. ::shrug:: i guess 2 garbage time TDs is supposed to make me feel better?? i should be used to jump starting a struggling program. after all, we did the same thing last year to oregon.

Pissed Off - it's looking like a 5 win season. the dark ages of cal football have come again.

grinandbearit - I like Tedford, but these implosions fall on the coach period. The first quarter was absolutely painful to watch and yet it was such a familiar sight. We are guaranteed a mediocre or less season now. I'm not sure if we win 6 or 7 this year.

Anyway, offensive line should've solidified by now even with injuries, and every time we think it's improved, it lays an egg.

We kinda suck. We might as well get creative and go out in flames. Swap in Sweeney just for fun. The only good thing to come of this is that failure this year will hopefully mean major changes for the future of the program whether it be scheme, coaches, etc.

CalJeff - I said out loud to myself and my fellow Cal Bears friends at the end of the 1st half "I think that was the worst half of Cal Football I have ever seen". Let this be clear...I was a freshman at Cal in 1994 and subsequently saw ALL of the Holmoe years, the Justin Vedder & Joe Ayoob years, the horrible offenses of the mid-90's and the horrible defenses of the late 90's/early 2000's IN PERSON. And so lo and behold, I read J. Okanes confirm this was tied for the worst halftime score/performance in Cal history...yup, sure felt like it. Horrible, horrible game.

ososdeoro - This ties the record with two other halves for worst half in Cal history. One of these was against one of the best Alabama teams ever, and the other was a Holmoe team in the Palouse. A long time ago Tedford never lost to teams by more than a couple TDs. Now we've been blown out twice just this season. The trajectory of this team is down, and quite frankly we can't let him take us all the way back to where we were when he started.

reallypissedoff - don't know why I'm so angry. I knew this was going to happen. I'm burning my Cal jersey right now