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Cal v. ASU Report Card: Is There A Grade Below F?

All y'all did not like the Cal-ASU game at all. How surprising!

Ezra Shaw - Getty Images

We have failed every single category in four of the five games this season. This time we didn't even break 50% in any of them. Every week seems to be a new low. l have always liked these report cards, but now we're getting to the point where the report cards are consistently more enjoyable than the games themselves. At least something Cal football-related is proving to be entertaining. Of course, this is all thanks to those of you who participate week in and week out. Thanks for making this an enjoyable process despite this dark time in the Tedford era.

Category Average Score Standard Deviation
Pass offense .166 .163
Rush offense .479 .239
Pass defense .302 .221
Rush defense .429 .239
Special teams .470 .239
Coaching .126 .168
Overall .217 .167
Win probability vs. UCLA 19.3% (-54.3 %) .174

As I mentioned before, we're below 50% in every single category. Coaching received the lowest marks yet as Tedford's seat is about as hot as the surface of the sun.

If coaching continues to receive the lowest grade (as it now has in three of our report cards), we're going to have a whole new set of coaches to grade pretty soon.

Once one of the easier games on the schedule, the UCLA game now presents a monumental challenge for the Bears. I have never seen a drop in confidence of this magnitude (not even the post-UCLA fiasco last season was this extreme). I think I know where you're all placing your bets on this week's line...(UCLA, -2.5)

Now let's lift everyone spirits by handing out some awards. As our misery rises, so does the creativity of our report cards. This means even more awards!


Editor's Choice Awards:

We have two editor's choice awards this week. Before we hand them out, let's look at these fine report cards.

Name beastmode alpha1906
Pass offense JUSTIN VEDDER Terrible
Rush offense JUSTIN VEDDER Not bad. Oh no...bad. No Biggie
Pass defense LASHAUN WARD Meh
Rush defense MATT BECK Pretty good
Special teams IGNACIO BRAHE (sic) Men [emphasis mine]
Coaching BUDDY TEEVENS Fire Tedford
Overall 2001 Fire Tedford
Win probability vs. UCLA I MISS NEUHEISEL Fire Tedford

First is beastmode, whose creativity is worth highlighting. I enjoyed the effort in using past players (and beloved rival coach) as grades for each category. Keep up the good work. Although comparing last week's passing game to Justin Vedder seems entirely too generous for Maynard and company...

Second is alpha1906 who had an extremely well placed typo in the special teams grade. What does a grade of "men" even mean?! Is it good? Bad? Raining (hallelujah!)? No matter the meaning, I pringled with that one.

Now let's move onto our next three awards.

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers:

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers Total Score Percentage
1. Duck 7.00 100.00%
2. HeyAlumniGo 3.65 52.14%
3. FiatSlug 3.50 50.00%
3. BandAlum 3.50 50.00%
3. NYCBearish 3.50 50.00%

We have an interloper in our midst! Someone clearly likes what he saw in Saturday's game, as he gave us a perfect score in every category. We have not yet been able to identify who left such a rosy report card, but our police sketch artist believes he looks something like this:


Old Blues:

Old Blues Total Score Precentage
1. prd74 0.00 0.00%
2. Fire Tedford 0.00 0.00%
2. FIRE TEDFURD 0.00 0.00%
4. GC 0.16 2.29%
4. absinth. lots of it 0.30 4.29%

I can't argue with any of these--that game was pretty miserable. I agree with the final respondent in this list. If this season keeps pace, we're going to have to skip past wine and beer, beyond bourbon or vodka, and go straight to the absinthe. It's the only way.

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
1. rollonyoubears111 0.052
2. hardtobecalfan 0.090
3. ABVidale 0.098
4. Berliner Bear 0.098
5. Oski Disciple 0.099

We finally have some repeats, as rollonyoubears111, hardtobecalfan, and Berliner Bear all make their second appearances among the voices of reason.

Now let's move onto the comments:


Endless thanks to JahvidKnowsBest for gathering these comments. This is his first season working with the report cards, so he's getting a trial by fire. We appreciate his willingness to read through the comments and select some highlights for your enjoyment. That's a lot of anguish and frustration to wade through each week. Fortunately there's a healthy dose of gallows humor to make things more pleasant.

Gameday Experience-

rileyslaststand: uninspired offensive gameplan...defense tried their best, but can't ask for too much when the offense isn't helping...

NYCBearish: From a TV watching perspective it was horribly depressing to see how empty the stadium looked when they panned there near the end of the game. How will we ever pay for the new stadium?

randythebear: went in to the office and worked and listened on the radio. Good decision. I'm glad for the stadium project completion, but my bench seat is just as crowded as it ever was, and the upgrade from splintered wood to aluminum doesn't make a difference that I care about. The sound system is technically great, but it gives the idiots who decide what to play over it more toys to abuse the fans with. Why would anyone really want to pay high prices to sit in uncomfortable seats and have someone play advertisements at you continuously. All that said, if the team was playing well, even if not winning all their games, I would be there. But toss in having the team's play be depressing to watch, I'm better off going in to work.

FiatLux: Was lovely. Spent the day at friend's beach house watching the game. Didn't get online at all, so that was nice. Sad to see so many empty seats already at Memorial Stadium but on TV the place looks great... the students looked great. Was wondering if we would get more penalties or first downs. After the game swam in the ocean with a couple of awesome labs. So all in all, it as OK.

resbear: Yay for the free hats, but it would've been more useful to have a pair of blinders for the fail in front of us

justbear: Worst game of the year

alpha1906: Fire Tedford

Duck:Excellent performance. Better than I expected

Jacobs.: What a beautiful stadium we have. The complimentary hats for us fans who arrived early were great. My girlfriend actually forgave me for taking her to the game due to the hats. (Whether she will forgive me for giving her season tickets as a b-day present... ).

The mic-men have improved greatly. The used to kind of hang around until there was 17 seconds left on the clock, and then remember to get the students cheering. I don't think Nevada nor SUU were very impressed with the 5-6 seconds of cheering we got off.

I think ASU were more than impressed by the cheering. I bet your their kicker feels like they lost the game... heh heh heh.

For the team, it seems to me like we now have 2/3 of a respectable team. I no longer fear a heart attack when our special teams play (most of the time!), and defense seem to handle being on the field all the time a lot better. If they continue this trend, CAL might turn into a middling SEC team by the end of the season.

SEC... home of teams with no offense. *sigh*

The OL looked as permeable as ever. Maynard looked slightly less mobile than he used to be (too many hits?). The wide receivers... I thought they would be better. Perhaps the many overthrown passes have left them in I "It's not like the ball will anywhere near me".

Refs... I think I know where the NFL scabs ended up.

My likely thoughts on the future: offense continues to.... underperform. Playcalling continues to be according to an imaginary (functional!) OL. Maynard will quit games before half time. The poor schmuck who is listed as offensive coordinator gets fired. Tedford stays onboard until his contract runs out.

My hopes for the future: A surprising return of life (and experience) to the OL. Maynard finds his inner badger. Offensive coordinator realizes that a dual threat quarterback can excel without a great throwing game. Tedford reclaims his QB guruhood. Cal wins out the season, humiliates a team in the post-season. Cal Golden Blogs magically transform into sunshine pumpers. World peace! End to hunger! I win the lottery and successfully completes the rest of my phd at CAL. Wooohoooo!

HATEford: Cows being led to slaughter display better body language

GC: In the last 30 years I can't remember a CAL team playing this bad

Pass Offense-

fuzzywuzzy: Other than that tiptoe TD catch, pretty much sucked.

Hi, # 90! Welcome to our backfield. Bring the kids. Stay a while, or just camp out, all fucking day.Teething? Here's a qb to chew on. Please be gentle

HATEford: I'd rather go 1-10 with the Wildcat than 2-11 with Maynard doing whatever you call what he does

mvargus: The zone is far too soft. Way too easy for the QB to find open receivers 10-15 yards downfield. We also can't seem to rush the passer. Where are the innovative blitzes Pendergast is supposed to use?

btbear: Maynard was mediocre. Offensive line was nonexistent

bearpoop: need quick passes to get the pass rush off maynard...he can't throw the long ball with any accuracy anyways

NYCBearish: Let's face it, our line simply cannot protect Maynard. He makes it worse by not being decisive in his reads. But the coaching staff seems to have made very few adjustments to account of our mediocre and inexperienced line this year. They don't roll Maynard out enough, move the pocket and his lack of accuracy doesn't allow Cal to get the short-passing game going, ala Aaron Rodgers circa 2004. It's a real mess back there. I can't remember a year when Cal QB was sacked so often.

bobsyerunkle: Maynard looked weak and rattled by end. The guy is trying to compete. He just can't seem to up his game

ABVidale: The offensive and defensive lines were the big story. I didn't see many pure blitzes from ASU (there were definitely some zone blitzes), but Cal couldn't handle a 4-man rush.

resbear: Not sure why Maynard was yelling at his linemen, he can't pass anyway

Run Offense-

texashaterforlife: O-LINE BLOC...well we actually made some holes and ran the ball. I need to double check from game film, but I thought Cal's best runs were from Maynard under center with a power run scheme (aka Downhill blocking). I'll say it again, the option run plays are just not Tedford's strength. please do away with it when Bridgford or whomever plays QB ext season.

btbear: Sofele was one of the few high points... until he fumbled deep in our own territory. Also, glad Bigelow got more involved in the... wait, he didn't touch the ball even once? *sigh* I'm beyond even swearing.

hardtobecalfan: we ran pretty well, but disappointed bigelow didn't get any runs. as much as i like sofele, bigelow would have taken it to the house on some of those runs for long gains

prd74: All day long the entire Cal fan base is screaming, "Why aren't the best eleven guys on the field!"
Somebody in Berkeley today, have the balls to ask Ron Gould, "Where the hell was Brendan Bigelow?"

HeyAlumniGo: Sole-Filet looked very good. CJA wasn't bad. Is Bigs still on the team?

Cal Student 69: Isi looked pretty good through most of the game. Still think our offensive line is just physically not as gifted as most of the defensive lines in the PAC12... think that has a lot to do with the running game's inconsistency. cough Adcock cough

rollonyoubears111: They should've stuck with it, man. That's basically all that the O-line COULD do, run-block They should've played 4 downs of running. Save that TD pass to KA21 in the endzone, it was the run game that was key. Effin Kiffen saw that it worked against us and exploited it after the pass seemed to fail. Then why wouldn't Tedford and Micalzcik?

koalaballa: good effort, need better lanes for running, too much juking around by sofele and anderson. and bigelow did not get one touch. not one. the guy who has scored two of our touchdowns this season had ZERO TOUCHES. What is the deal here?

Pass Defense-

beastmode: They did a good job sharing the field with the Sun Devils

Berliner Bear: That string of back-breaking 3rd and longs that ASU converted just highlights how woefully the defense performed today, despite getting a couple of players back from injury. Our pass rush was much better today. Credit ASU's coaches for giving Taylor Kelly quick outlets to take advantage of our overly aggressive D, and credit the QB himself for making plays with his feet.

ososdeoro: Ghastly.

Bear in Chicago: Avery Sebastion....sort of a Brendan Bigelow for the D? It was nice to see at least one player who likes to collide with the opponent. Which means he will be benched next week: Tedford needs to show he doesn't have the players to win. Bigs and Avery don't fit the narrative.

Darkwind19: Pass...defense? Was that part of the plan? This was Nevada all over again. 3rd and long? No problem! There'll be a wide open receiver to pass to, since the secondary is schemed to play so...far...away. How is any corner supposed to break up passes in this scheme?

sacman701: Pass rush was ok but not great. Secondary generally did a good job keeping plays in front of them but coverage was often too soft.

slaphancock:Pass defense is scary bad. Our defenders just stand in their zones oblivious to everything until after the pass is completed. If we play this statue-zone defense, we need to get pressure on the passer. But we rarely blitzed. And we never played man.

That 3rd and 12 TD was unforgivable.

DBer321: Terrible. Absolutely the worst I have seen in 6 years of devoted Cal football watching. Again, FIRE TEDFORD

bayoak: The defense played inspired but offensive ineptitude kept them on the field way too long and with diminishing returns.

Run Defense-

prd74: We didn't stop them when we needed to and we lost the game. Enough said.

Jacobs.: First time we didn't get murdered by a mobile QB. Me like!

puresilence: Some bad tackling, but mediocre overall

MRBear: Maybe I'm looking through rose colored glasses but the only defensive plays that made me happy were on run defense. Many tackles behind the line of scrimmage

SoCal Oski: Our defense is like Schroedinger's Cat. It is both wonderful and horrible at the same time, and whenever I check on it, it seems to inhabit the horrible state.

goldenboiler: Solid. I have nothing bad to say about our defense. They were getting no help from the offense, but they kept us in the game the entire day.

BandAlum: very good with 1 or 2 plays as an exception. we made them beat us with the pass... which they did.

FiatSlug: Pretty good actually. The longest ASU run of the day was 15 yards on 48 carries, 0 TDs. ASU's rushing average was 2.4 yds per carry.

Special Teams-

MJB: Penalties were even worse in special teams than in any other aspect. How many times did a penalty push the ball 10-15 yards in the wrong direction before the next play from scrimmage.

MRBear: they did their job and then some. Blocked the field goal to get some excitement going on the sidelines

slaphancock: Blocked FG and no massive mistakes makes special teams look like the shiniest part of the Cal vanagon.

justbear: Penalties on punting or punt return game were terrible.D'Amato is getting better.

BTown85: At first I thought the punters would be the only ones with stats all day !!!!

Torrey's Tacos: Leninger had a couple of meh punts and a couple of bad ones. Not his best day. D'Amato was OK. Kick returns were meh.

prd74: Blocking in the back penalties!!!!! WHY? More than one this game and every week it's same ol', same ol'. There are guys in Berkeley who should be absolutely ashamed of themselves and need to be sitting if they cannot stop hurting this team with f*ing penalties. The special teams coach is just one of many coaches who are not getting the team to play with any discipline.

Oaklandishbear: What happened to Cole? Seemed like his punts were short. At least we won the FG battle.

btbear: Glad D'Amato had a fine game. He doesn't deserve any more grief


c98: I gave 1.0 to every category except coaching, overall performance, and likely win against the fuclas, which all got 0.0. The problem with this team isn't the players - they break out an make amazing individual plays at times despite the failing game plan Coach Tedford holds them back with. He is the problem. Any success this team has this season is despite Tedford. This is NOT a well-coached (or even adequately/competently-coached) team.

Seasonover: Where was BIGELOW?

down by 10 in 4th QR.

Oski Disciple: I'm amazed at the regression. It is stupefying that the same head coach who was at the helm in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 is in charge of this program. The team looks unprepared, unfocused and unaware. There's a bit of fire in the team at times -- at times. When you send your team out after a kick off and they have to call time out before running a play....I mean come on. And the penalties! Some calls were questionable but others were born of a lack of discipline on our part and seemingly a lack of understanding of the game. I've never seen a QB take a knee because he thought the defense was offsides. And then to be wrong! Bizarre.
I just hope the search for Tedford's replacement has begun in earnest and that we find someone who can recruit offensive linemen. A good coach could win with this team and fairly quickly.

stevvy89: Lacking. Not sure what the defensive scheme exactly was, but it seemed a bit conservative. Kelly's not a great passer, so I would've liked more pressure.

Offensively, I think the run should be used more, especially in the first half. Sofele/Anderson/Bigelow combining for 23 rushes is too low, even if we were down. Needs to get up in closer to the 30s.

Inexplicable how we had to call a TO on 1st down.

absinth. lots of it: i'm done defending this guy. we should've known this from the VERY FIRST OFFENSIVE SNAP OF THE SEASON AGAINST NEVADA. we should've known this would come. how can teams regress? how can teams be focused one week and not the other? i dont' understand.

this would be absolute perfect week to have a bye. nope.

puresilence: Horrid. Some terrible decisions (e.g. not going for it on 4th down when down by 2 scores in the tail end of the 4th quarter), Bigelow not getting the ball at all, and most of all 119 yards in penalties. Inexcusable.

ABVidale: It seems to me that Cal's big strength this year is in the running game. Although this is so anti-Tedford, maybe the option (or triple option) would work. It would get all three running backs in the game at the same time. I don't think I'd want to draw up a defense to that.

Most of the penalties are a sign of the players not focusing. That's coaching.

Fire Tedford: Please. Please. FIRE JEFF TEDFORD


Overall Performance-

NYCBearish: I think the wheels have come off the cart. Cal will eek out 1 or 2 more wins but it is going to be an ugly, demoralizing season. This is Tedford's swan song if some wealthy alums are willing to write some checks to buy out Tedford. Given the risk to financing of the new stadium it seems most prudent for Sandy to try like heck to get a better product on the field -- soon.

texashaterforlife: So the season will be a lost cause except to have younger players gain playing experience for next year. The only way we can stop it from becoming a complete disaster is if we pull an upset on a team we hate: I'm voting for the hated Lobsterbacks. If Furd goes 10-2 and Cal goes 2-10; but that other win is over Stanford to take back the axe, I'll have one happy thought for all of 2012.

Bearacious:Watching this game was like trying to crawl out of a shit pile. They would hose you down, clean you mostly up, and then-plop you back. I haven't seen quit--but that's weird when it goes along with sloppy play and lack of technique (o line) and discipline (penalties). Are these latchkey kids? Left on their own while the coaches draw up incomprehensible schemes? This team may be home alone.

slaphancock: Maynard's unnecessary kneel down says it all. We aggressively give up as part of our strategy. We give up so quickly and so hard that we think that it is a good plan. I'm sure Maynard thought he was doing something really smart by giving up on that play. I'm sure Tedford thought he was doing something really smart by throwing long on three straight downs and then punting when everyone else would have tried to do anything they could to hold on to possession. The offensive line seemed to give up before they even got on the field.

I know many of the players are trying, and I appreciate that. But they've got to change from trying to be super clever and trying to just play a clean game without penalties or confusion or missed routes or missed blocking assignments, or dropped passes, etc. etc.

Fire Tedford: Fire Tedford. Go Bears

California8933: Booing our own team is embarrassing and should never f****** happen. Fire Tedford chants are embarrassing and should never f****** happen. Either of these things are perfectly valid feelings/opinions, but if you care even a little bit about cal football and winning the game then this is inexcusable. Express your feelings on CGB or angry letters to the AD, but the stadium is not the place.

*Mods feel free to edit language if necessary

FIRE TEDFURD: FIRE TEDFURD. You know it's bad when the mic men in the student section start cheering for the students who stayed because they are the "real fans."

TJDJ: This season is done. The team is undisciplined, and their frustration is evident, even on a pixelated, juttery, illegal stream from europe. My own frustration has turned to apathy, I wasn't even mad at the end of that game. Also, does Tedford hate Maynard? Why else would Tedford continue to have Maynard drop back and get sacked/slammed/pummeled again and again and again.

Cannonbear: The real question here is who swapped our teams Gatorade with NyQuil mixed with Benadryl? Our team felt absolutely lethargic.