With the offseason upon us, the conversation will invariably turn to evaluating the progress—or lack of—of Coach Sonny Dykes and his staff. When it comes to his job security, the opinions of the fans matter a little bit through ticket sales. The opinions of bloggers matter extensively because we're all so smart and handsome. The opinions that matter the most are those of the boosters—the fancy moneybags who help the program pay for everything. Like, the kind of people who get the Lisa and Douglas Goldman plaza named after them.
[O]ne can say Cal's 5-7 record represented a step in the right direction for Dykes, whose team was 1-11 in 2013. Those preseason thoughts from major boosters may have shifted when the Bears jumped out to a surprising 4-1 start, but losing six of their final seven games was a disappointment. The positive effect created by Cal's high-powered offense was often erased by a defense that allowed the most passing yards in FBS history.
"Getting over the hump in college football is a hard thing to do," Dykes said. "We had an opportunity to do it this year; just didn't get it done."
So, how do these bigwigs feel about Dykes? Is he the guy to get us over that hump?
Goldman is one of Dykes' supporters, for now. He wants Cal fans to be patient and thinks Dykes should have two more seasons before he's judged.
"Regretfully, the program had deteriorated so much in the last three years under Jeff [Tedford,]" Goldman said. "You're talking about the proverbial turning the huge ship around. It takes a long time."
Quarterback J. Torchio and Gary Slavit (President of the Cal Grid Club of Sacramento) believe we should be "very, very proud" of where the team is and that "Sonny is doing a lot of the right things" in spite of inheriting a flawed program. However, all of these VIPs recognize that they're still not completely certain about Dykes as it's just too early to predict his future.
So, what does Dykes intend to do in the future to continue this team's improvement?
"We certainly have to get better on the back end of our defense," Dykes said. "We just didn't have the depth we needed. We have to get bigger back there."
On his radio show after the season, Dykes said he hopes to recruit two defensive tackles, three defensive ends and eight players in the secondary.
Needless to say, our notorious financial problems mean Dykes must turn Cal into a money-making program (by making it a successful program) or our boosters may pressure the university for a new coach...
- If you follow us on Twitter, then you've probably heard that Oski was competing in an obviously important Mascot GIF Competition through the Pac-12 Networks. We campaigned hard and Oski didn't just win, but we got him to #drop50 and garner 50% of all votes! And if you already followed us on Twitter, then we're so sorry for spamming you with #VoteOski. (Sorry we're actually not sorry.)
IT'S OVER. The 2014 Pac-12 Mascot GIF Challenge Champ - with 50% of the vote - is @Oski. pic.twitter.com/z9nNDV80XI— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) December 6, 2014
Fun fact: @Oski won the Mascot GIF Challenge with a whopping 4,527 #VoteOski mentions. @TheOregonDuck finishes 2nd with 3,464 #VoteDuck.— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) December 6, 2014
- The band ran into Conan O'Brien in San Francisco! Why are you guys wearing so much red‽
Tis the season for (Team) Coco! Thanx for photo w/ @CalBand in San Francisco today, @ConanOBrien! #GoBears pic.twitter.com/BbJChJGczA— Cal (@Cal) December 6, 2014
- Brittany Boyd achieved a triple-double against Sacramento State—which is the third of her career and the second in one week—thanks in part to her great chemistry with Reshanda Gray.
- It's way too early to start worrying about RPI rankings.
- David Kravish must generate some offense against Nevada due to Jabari Bird's injury.
Women's Swimming and Diving
- Cal was dominant at the Georgia Invitational, posting five NCAA A times—including Elizabeth Pelton edging out Missy Franklin in the 200-yd individual medley for the fastest time in the nation this year.
Men's Swimming and Diving
- A comprehensive statistical look at the 2014 season.
- College Sports Madness's All-Pac-12 team features three Bears: KR Trevor Davis on the second team and TE Stephen Anderson and OL Chris Borrayo on the third team.
- Catching up with Zach Kline and Damariay/Damaria Drew who are playing together at Butte College, though the former is still hoping for an opportunity to start at a prominent university program somewhere.
- Jeff Tedford is allegedly interested in coaching at Oregon State, which he views as a "destination job." Tedford and Kline to OSU confirmed!