Nam Le: If anyone's being fired, I'd expect it to be Buh, and although I understand the difficulty of the position he's been placed in, the jaw-droppingly awful statistics we've had this year -- an FBS record 14 straight games allowing 30 points or more -- make it hard to argue he should return. If there was any improvement by his coaching, it was slight at best.
The offensive coaches have not been perfect, but all have demonstrated a good amount of performance to me. I'd be cool if they all stayed.
Vlad Belo: I have been mostly silent on the issue of Andy Buh this season. I wanted to give him a full season to assess on a full body of work. From what I have seen of Buh in "The Drive "and in press conferences, I have to admit that I like him -- I like his temperament and demeanor. (I know that will be an unpopular opinion on this site, but it's true. Honestly, I like the temperament and demeanor of most, if not all, of Coach Dykes' staff.) But I think there needs to be a change at defensive coordinator. This defense was historically bad this year. We gave up 30 points or more in all 12 games. We gave up 40 points or more in 9 games. We gave up 50 points or more in 4 games. We gave up more than 60 points twice -- the most points ever given up to an opponent in Memorial Stadium (USC) and most points ever scored in the Big Game.
I know we had injuries and a lot of youth, but I have a hard time accepting that the defense had to be THIS bad because of all that. What was it that Coach Dykes was mic'd up saying on The Drive to one of his assistants? "How did we get this bad. We have good players." I'll give Buh a little bit of credit as a position coach: I thought Hardy Nickerson improved as the season went on and we got some production out of Lucas King, who was pressed into service due to injuries. And I think Jalen Jefferson is a pretty good football player, as is Michael Barton. I saw some good things out of those guys. I guess I wouldn't mind if Buh stayed on as a linebacker coach, but as defensive coordinator, my inclination is to cut bait and move a different direction with a new DC. If it's cost prohibitive, so be it: but Buh would need to show a ton of improvement in Cal's defense next year.
As for other personnel changes, I don't know. I don't think I would make changes to the offensive staff. (Though I will be the first to admit I don't know enough to know how to evaluate the job that Zach Yenser has done as offensive line coach.) Maybe another unpopular opinion of mine, but I do think that the Bear Raid can work. And I saw enough this year to suggest to me that this offense can be successful IF we execute it correctly.
Ruey Yen: I think the jury is still out on whether Bear Raid would work, but the defense most definitely need to be hold accountable for looking overmatched on a consistent basis. There is a clear issue beyond just players being injured. I don't know if Cal has the money to fire Andy Buh (although there are apparently plenty of Cal fans willing to raise money to get that done). Maybe a co-defensive coordinator hire is possible to take away some of Buh's responsibility.
In the offseason, we often expect players to make big improvements, I think a similar thing may be expected of the young coaching staff. Despite the numerous disappointments of this season, I am willing to be patient for another year and give the bulk of the personnel to grow from this trying season.
Sam Fielder: Someone on the defensive side HAS to get fired, if for nothing else than to show that Sonny realizes that this season's performance was unacceptable. My two main choices would be Buh or Stewart, but really, anyone as a sacrificial lamb would be fine. You can't give up the most points in school history (by like 100) and not make some kind of a change, tough schedule and injuries notwithstanding. The defense just didn't not improve this throughout the course of the season, it actually regressed (in my opinion) and someone has to pay for that.
If the money isn't there to get rid of Buh, maybe we can just demote him to LBs only and hire someone to be the defensive coordinator that will actually stop the first drive of the game. But either way, in my opinion, some kind of a change has to happen.
Charley Lu: I'd like to understand what is going on at the strength and conditioning level of the program. This season's level of injuries is unprecedented but over the last few seasons we've seen players go down and deplete our depth. If Damon Harrington's head has to roll then so be it.
Nam Le: It should be noted that Harrington has had less than a full offseason to work with these guys. I'd give him one more.
LeonPowe: I always feel I'm the last person (especially this season) who should be weighing in on these sort of questions. With the exception of the Northwestern game, I watched most of this season at 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning, on websites of questionable safety and half - or even mostly asleep.
The injuries make it doubly difficult to do any evaluation - but I think there needs to be something done, because obviously something was broken. If it were up to me, however, I'd probably keep most of the staff, but let them know next year they're coaching for their jobs. Injuries, no injuries, if we don't see results they're done. Probably even have a list of goals and targets - hard targets for them to reach otherwise they're packing their office. I tend to err on the less aggressive side on coaching changes though.