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Cal Football vs. Stanfurd Report Card - Maybe next year?

6 years is a really long time. Like 3 times my sons ages. Heck, I wasn't even married last time Cal won the Big Game.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Berkelium97: Are we ever going to beat the Lobsterbacks again?  The poor class of 2015 will be the third consecutive class to graduate without having won a single Big Game.  That is an emptiness no Cal student should suffer through.  My condolences, classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015.  You picked a terrible time to be fans of Cal football.

While we're on the topic of terrible, let's look over this week's grades.

Average Standard Deviation
Pass Offense .692 .237
Rush Offense .486 .247
Pass Defense .667 .229
Rush Defense .370 .234
Special Teams .279 .233
Coaching .298 .283
Overall .485 .238
Win Chance vs. ASU 44.44% (-5.44) 24.1

Hey look at that! Pass offense is the highest-rated category!  It's been a while since that has happened.  In other things no one expected to say at the beginning of the season, pass defense barely missed the mark as the highest grade of the week.  It certainly helps when the opposing QB throws only 12 passes, most of which are designed to be as easy as possible.  Why on earth did Sonny Dykes say Kevin Hogan is the best QB in the past three years of the Pac-12?

All the rest of the categories ranged from mediocre to awful.  Our predictions of a win against ASU have dipped slightly since the preseason.  I don't think anyone knows what to expect from these teams this weekend.  Both have nothing to play for and both have been incredibly inconsistent this season.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is a blowout loss for someone--and I have no idea who will be the loser this weekend.

Now onto our usual triumvirate of awards.  Triumvirate is a good word.  It's underutilized, but understandably so, as it has limited application. Oh, are we still talking about last week's game?  Alright, if we must...

Sonny Yikes

We have three goose eggs atop the pessimist podium.  The first name compels me to remind you all that we know CGB hasn't been bubbles and kittens in recent weeks. But if you're concerned about the behavior of commenters, please email us at  Our community is what makes this site great (because it certainly isn't the success of the football team that keeps us thriving) and we want to do all we can to continue supporting our community in these times of want and woe.

Name Grade
1. Apparently personal attacks are ok if you're Avinash or Fiatlux, but not anyone else. 0.00 (0.0%)
1. calbeargal 0.00 (0.0%)
1. LazyBear 0.00 (0.0%)
4. alpha1906 0.87 (12.4%)
5. ChairmanMeow 1.20 (17.1%)

alpha1906 and perpetual pessimist ChairmanMeow round out the Sonny Yikes crowd.

Sonny Delight

Next we recognize those with the highest scores of the week, aka those who only watched the third quarter.

Name Grade
1. VermontBear 5.60 (80.0%)
2. Bowlesman 5.50 (78.6%)
3. FiatSlug 5.40 (77.1%)

4. Poor, sub-par, shameful in-game coaching decisions prevented us from having a chance. Please re-think any extension talks. Our players are too good to be sabotaged by poor decisions when our coaching staff is paid to dollar to make those decisions. Go Bears!

5.00 (71.4%)
5. #BearRaid 4.80 (68.6%)

Those are some pretty generous grades.  Are you sure we were watching the same game?

Finally, we have the cream of the crop, the top of the heap, our most reasonable and attractive voters.  And I'm not simply saying that because I received this award.

The Voice of Reason

Name Deviation
1. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfucksoclosefuck! .0655
2. sacman701 .0708
3. Young_bear .0860
4. Berkelium97 .0977
5. Shittingtackling .1001

Our winner doesn't sound particularly reasonable, but who am I to argue with the numbers? sacman701 and Young_bear round out the podium while yours truly and Shittingtackling complete the top five.

And now we turn it over to Sam and your many comments.  This game was not without controversy and the comments certainly reflect that.

Sam Fielder: No one was super pumped about this result, and it showed through in the comments. And just as an FYI, I added in every opinion on the coaching that was submitted. Pretty diverse, so continue in the comments but remember to keep it civil.

GameDay Experience

VermontBear: Having a Stanfurd alumn calling the game in the ESPN broadcast booth for the Big Game is just wrong.

CoBears: Being at Stanford sort of makes me want to vomit. Seeing the game made that feeling worse. If only I'd had more to drink to bring the feeling to reality.

OsoDeOro83: I reluctantly took my family in '09 (from SoCal) and it was the 2nd best Big Game I've experienced since '82. Really glad we went. I really wanted to go this year but I had kids coming home from college so TV it was…

1988goldenbear: Games at Stanfurd are always a weird combination of memories of rushing the field in 2009 (=hope) mixed with revulsion for the high-volume douchebaggery in the home crowd. But if you start with a breakfast burger from Chezzburger in the Burbank Airport, move on to a Farm Burger with onion rings, then finish with a chicken sandwich and a shortbread chocolate chip cookie from Bakesale Betty washed down with some surprisingly good Japanese whisky and some Ron Zacapa XO rum, game day starts off really well. Then the game happened.

goldenlikethebear: Shout out to Gerald for putting together another awesome time at Busby's with the LA chapter. We raffle off beer and placards of Cal greats. Come get some for ASU.

The bar was packed! There may or may not have been some 'furd supporters that were removed from the premises by the bar security, but I am not sure.

Also, we had a soulful rendition of the Cal Drinking song. Check it out on the Cal Alumni LA FB page.

Nor-Cal Scott: Late kickoffs suck.

PRD74: I am so thankful that we play our games in Memorial and not that mess that they built off the El Camino in Palo Alto. Too many issues to comment here. I am also grateful to all of the great Cal fans who displayed their love of the team and school throughout the game. After this game, I do not want to hear one more negative comment about our fan base. We showed up, we were loud, we were clever and funny, and we put up with Commercial displays and anti Cal crap that would not be allowed anywhere else in our conference. Hey Sonny and Mike W., if the Cal fans do not show up for the bowl game, blame the play of the football team. These people deserve a winning football program.

FiatSlug: Lessee.

(1) ran for the last pre-game CalTrain in Mountain View due to error in judging time and barely made it. I must have looked as if I would expire from being winded.

(2) because I used Clipper on CalTrain, I could not get off at Stanf*rd stop, went up to the next stop at Palo Alto. Minor inconvenience.

(3) walking through the LSJU parking lots at night is a bit of a trip. F&^%ing 7:30 PM kickoff!

(4) Once inside the stadium, the weather was remarkably warmer than I expected it to be. Like 10 degrees warmer. Highlight of the gameday experience.

(5) Furdies are the real weenies. The onscreen announcements where some guy was wearing FEAR THE TREE sweatshirt was just a bit too too, if you know what I mean.

(6) LSJU's PA announcer is so over the top at time I want to throw up.

(7) Getting out of the stadium was made so much easier by the Furdies who fled the stadium when the game was no longer in doubt. I honestly don't understand why, if you're a fan of the winning Big Game team, you wouldn't stick around to see your team hoist The Axe.

(8) Returning to Mountain View via CalTrain was good. Glad to not have the burden of driving especially since I had been imbibing.

heyalumnigo: The most Cal alums at the Portland viewing I've seen all year.

Bowlesman: Watched from the luxury of my home, which was nice, especially for a game that would go past my bedtime. Endured the ESPN nonsense, such as the delay caused by, wait for it,...a SEC game and not to mention the ESPN on-going love and preference for whatever higher profile team that Cal is playing. Hope stayed alive 'til the middle of the 4th. Hope for victory left, but I took away great pride from this team that will not die. The Bear did not quit, until down three possessions, with less than 3 minutes in the fourth quarter, but never died.

Sidenote on overall Gameday: Glad Ohio State got taken down. Hope Falk is okay.

mitchgobears: Oh, the cardinal be damned boys, the cardinal be damned........

sf-gigantes: It was awesome. Lots of blue in the stands. Super loud when Stanford was on offense. Lots of energetic fans.

FrmrG8r: SO painful to sit in that stadium full of smug fans dripping with condescension for Cal football - especially when they are once again proven correct.

A single weapon to stop in what may be the most one dimensional opponent we've faced all season - and he goes for a combined 400+.

Hard not to feel that yet another golden opportunity is pissed away.

sacman701: Just because the Furd band (fittingly) dresses up like zombies doesn't mean ESPN has to show them 15 times and not show the Cal band at all.

hardtobecalfan: Too late. Too frustrating.

alpha1906: Well, Stanford Fan was there and was pretty loud for Stanford Fan. That was disappointing.

BarryBondsNeverDidSteriods: Much better than the gamenight experience.

Pass Offense

BTown85: I can't say anything bad about Jared Goff. Love that guy......

ChairmanMeow: We took what they gave us all night long. Fine. And then we screw up the most important plays in the red zone. Embarrassing.

#BearRaid: Was great when executed. When it mattered, terrible drops/bad throws/head scratching penalties killed us. Goff and WR's again came up short

sacman701: We moved the ball well through the air all day, except in the red zone. Goff avoided any big errors. Furd wasn't very disruptive, but you still need to make the plays, and we did that for the most part.

Dykes2016: Goff is still missing throws that a first round QB should be making.

Hungrylikeafarkas: It was good, but it did not come up with the big plays when they needed to.

ABVidale: Too many drops.

PTSD Bear: It seems to me a tragedy that our kids played so hard to try and win this game, only to be betrayed by a spineless coaching staff.

Scarlett is b*tch: Why would Goff come back next year to mostly unproven WRs, when the proven WRs aren't getting the job done. My heart wants him to stay, but my head knows he's gone. Who's coming back next year? Noa, Hanson, Hudson, Bug, and the WRs whom redshirted this season. Lawler would be stupid to stay. I hope his ass heals up for the ASU game.

Run Offense

heyalumnigo: Ran pretty well. Watson looked really good

FiatSlug: The o-line was overmatched. I found myself wishing that our boys up front were bigger and a touch faster. If we had found a consistent running game, I believe that Cal would have scored more points by converting those redzone field goals to TDs.

KMac: We really miss Lasco.

PRD74: Our running backs do not hit the holes, they avoid them and run into the backs of the lineman. Inexplicable except the possibility of bad coaching.

Nor-Cal Scott: We ran the ball? Are you sure?

goldenlikethebear: Too bad we didn't see Khalfani or Lasco. I was hoping for more out of Enwere in short yardage situations. The line didn't get a lot of push or holes, but that was expected. Tre can improve on his cuts and yards after contact. Overall, slightly less than acceptable performance.

1988goldenbear: We didn't run much, but when we did Tre Watson was solid. I think it was a matter of picking what type of offense would work best against what Furd was giving us, and 500 yards of offense is impressive.

I married a longhorn: I'm tempted to rate it N/A since we passed 70.5% of the time, but it was acceptable at 4.3 ypc. Watson continues to look good and should be a solid starter next year.

BrooklynBear: Fairly solid

Pass Defense

CoBears: Good enough, save for the screen that we almost stopped with McCaffrey.

Oso De Oro 83: Decent but no quality chances for a turnover. We really needed some to win this game. If the offense could do a better job of scoring more points, they would have several passing grades this year.

mendogriz: Doesn't take much to defend against Hogan.

PRD74: Our pass defenders do not have to hold their heads down after this game. They played their hearts out.

Bowlesman: Didn't see Hogan connecting a whole bunch, but, maybe that's because of the Heisman campaign for Macca kept Stanford on the ground. Still our DB's were tough to get past and we seemed to put pressure on Hogan.

Cheer or STFU: The pass D made Hogan look like the mediocre QB he is

Calbears1868: Not shabby

sf-gigantes: Didn't get gashed too badly.

FrmrG8r: Rock solid against a pedestrian QB and receiving corps. Unfortunately #5 also catches passes for long gains when he's not running off tackle for 200 yards or returning 96 yard kick offs.

The Tough Game: Hogan didn't need to play.

hardtobecalfan: gave up one bad mccaffrey TD, but hogan didn't really throw much.

Run Defense

alpha1906: Oh geez. Could not stop number 5 all night. All the missed tackles on the highlight reels for Furd. So embarrassing.

#BearRaid: That McCafffffery kid is pretty good

sacman701: The intensity level and tackling were a lot better than against Oregon, but we still mostly got trucked. Furd's meal ticket is their run game, and our run defense is what it is.

hungrylikeafarkas: Abysmal. At the beginning of the game our d-line was getting some push and penetration, but then it started looking like they were playing on ice skates, and it made baby face McCaffery look like he was all world, when in reality he didn't get touched until 8-10yards down the field on many carriers.

FiatSlug: Our D-line was overmatched. Geez, Stanf*rd's front line is big. And when they need short yardage they bring in the jumbo package and power it over.

PRD74: After watching OSU Beaver backs run wild on us, there was no doubt that Stanfurd would do the same. Yup. They did. Sonny's teams have been consistent. They can't tackle worth a damn.

1988goldenbear: Fairly competitive for three quarters with a couple of exceptions, including some really solid series that forced a punt, but overall there were too many tackles by the LB's and we looked a step slow. And then once Furd decided to impose their will our D-line had no answer. Too many painful conversions on 3rd and short.

Special Teams

AlohaBear: That return for TD was a back breaker.

ChairmanMeow: It's special. Very special.

BarryBondsNeverDidSteroids: i just feel sad for them.

hardtobecalfan: Terrible KO return TD by mccaffrey... mainly because I'm pretty sure we were being held all over the field. But we need to clean up the holding on our own returns.

FrmrG8r: This late in the year, I've run out of suitable adjectives so let's be kind and just call them garbage. Average Cal starting drive 17, average Stanford drive 35. Another week, another block in the back. Oh and did I mention giving up a 96 yarder?

Bowlesman: Uh, it's not fair that a few glaring events overshadow the whole special teams performance. Would it be ridiculous to have Anderson do the shorter kicks, as was done early in the year, when facing a Macca? Our's was not the only team that had trouble with that rascal. Even onside and/or squib kicks every time might have been a better choice, especially since this guy, Macca's, explosiveness was a known quantity.

ABVidale: I didn't see what the average starting position of Cal & Stanfurd was after a kickoff, but if you include the runback it's probably Cal: our 20; Stanfurd: the 50. That's a huge deal, and shows the kickoff problems we've had all year.

FiatSlug: Big mistake kicking it to C. McCaffrey (duh!). Kickoff coverage sucked. Cal needs someone who can kick it into the end zone and force touchbacks on a consistent basis. Cal also needs to get better coverage out of the special teams unit.

I think that Tommerdahl has probably run his course under Dykes. If Dykes is here next year, he needs a new ST coordinator.


CaliNative UMStudent: Sonny Dykes has no understanding of the game of football and when to go for it, when to punt, or what to do on kickoffs. Its just sad how poor he is at it. He's fine at Xs and Os, can't manage a game period.

Btown85: KICK TO McCAFFERY????? Are you freakin' kidding me??????


coolingfan: In the waning minutes of the 4th quarter, opting to punt instead of going for it in the 4th down, kicking off instead of kicking onside, and not using a timeout on Furd's 4th down when they were punting, were incomprehensible decisions and proved that Dykes doesn't have the never-give-up mentality.

This is not acceptable in California. Go back to Texas.

(Yeah, I'm still dwelling on today's loss and am pretty pissed off.)

beson: It is inexcusable for Sonny not to go for it inside the 15 yard line on 4th and 3. I would understand if it was 4th and goal, but with over 50 seconds left in the half, and the opportunity for 4 more downs to get a touchdown, the numbers must show that it is overwhelming more beneficial to go for it. Even if they don't convert, Stanford gets the ball with less than a minute on the 11 and run out the clock to half time. That was loser-mentality coaching.

Also, I have yet to hear any reason why he would kick away at the end of the game instead of onside kicking. Makes absolutely no sense and shows the team that it was okay to give up.

AlohaBear: I am mystified. Dykes was aggressive at times, but seemed to give up later.

ChairmanMeow: Tell this clown to pack his bags. I don't give a f*ck if we're down 3 possessions in the 4th. Surrendering to the 'Furd in the rivalry game is an embarrassment to this University.

BarryBondsNeverDidSteroids: I like Dykes.

alpha1906: Well, I hate to say this, but I've said all year this team had the talent to win 10 or 11 games, and Sonny could not get it done. I mean, I was expecting us to #Drop50 with all the hype, but how many times did we fail to even #Drop30

#BearRaid: Gave us every chance to win. Couple good catches, good throws, or refs that aren't complete asshats and we're up in the 4th quarter.

They must be so frustrated at this teams lack of execution when it counts.

hardtobecalfan: Didn't like seeing us settle for so many FGs. Feels like we gave up at the end by punting or not going for the onside kick.

Sh*ttingtackling: Do not extend Sonny's contract

sacman701: I thought the game plan was fine, and the decisions to kick the field goals were fine. I didn't like the give-up punt at the end, but that wasn't much of a factor.

Lazy Bear: Hell no

FrmrG8r: Everything seemed to be going fine until the end of the second quarter. Then the wheels came off inexplicably. Saying we quit seems so harsh, and yet…

sf-gigantes: This was awful. Dykes was going for field goals when he should have gone for touchdowns. He surrender punted when Cal was still in the game, then with a chance to make it a game with two minutes left decided to kick the ball deep and concede defeat. I have never seen a worse effort from a coaching staff as a whole.

hungrylikeafarkas: It seemed like overall especially in terms of the offense, there was a good game plan, so that needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about "the coaching".

But it was hard for me to watch some of the game time decisions, ex: the 3 FG's -- I personally would have liked to go for it on the last 2 -- the punt in the 4th quarter, and the no onside kick.

I would have also liked to have seen an adjustment on defense to stop the run a little more (although there were a few missed tackles, so that also tells me that the coach had the players in the right position to make a play, they just didn't).

mitchgobears: Get creative inside the 20 to score touchdowns.

Calbears 1868: Why are you punting?

Cheer or STFU: Dykes is killing me. The guy seems willing to take risks and try the initiative *except* when it really matters.

That first FG was fine, That second one was basically Sonny waving the white flag and telling furd that he doesn't have the minerals needed to try and WIN games. After that, I basically took the advice of the Sonny apoligistas as decided to shut the f*ck up.

But clearly, when the situation calls for a coach to make the decision to actually make a statement that the team is there to compete to win, Sonny falls horribly short. Despite what his sycophants and lickspittles might say.

Nothing about any game this year gives me any confidence in Sonny's ability to be a great coach. But his abominably weak, spineless, and frightened performance in the Big Game were just a rank embarrassment.

Bowlesman: I like that Dykes tries different things (like the pass back to Goff), almost went Harbaugh on some questionable calls (why no challenge, though?), and kept it classy at the end. 7-5 is still possible for this year, might be tougher next year. I, for one, will manage my expectations and let a solid program grow and am glad of the contract extension likelihood.

PTSD Bear: This is an honest question for those CGBers who continue to blindly defend and applaud Dykes: what will it take for you to change your mind? At what point do you reassess and begin to think that perhaps Dykes isn't doing a great job? Which desperate, heartbreaking, frustrating, inexplicable, inexcusable, unnecessary loss will be the one to make you reassess Dykes? What is the tipping point?

I ask because even though three years worth of evidence is in, there are some people on this blog who seem to think it means nothing.

Year after year we've seen:

1. The offense regress over the season - putting up huge points against inferior early opponents only to be unable to score or sustain possession once we begin playing quality teams

2. Questionable, often infuriatingly stupid, in-game coaching decisions

3. Inconsistent play calling

4. Poor game management by the coaches

5. Pathetic "surrendering" football during key moments of the game

6. An overall decrease in quality of play over the season

This is a pattern. It's happened for each of Dykes' three years here.

When do the alleged coaching experts, super-supportive fans, and kow-towing lapdogs on this blog begin to get fed up?

Scarlett is a b*tch: Something is missing with the coaches. It is always the same thing after losses. Sonny says, "I think the players played hard, we just had a few mistakes, we'll get that cleaned up next week." It's starting to sound like a broken record. We are missing an identity other than "too little, too late" or "fell just short of the win" Sonny needs to take his balls out of his purse and do something different. Putting us in a position at the beginning of games to play catch up when we are losing or when we have a lead, playing not to lose is bullshit coaching. If the players "just didn't execute" then the coaches need to create a game plan where the players CAN execute! If you are paying me a million dollars+ you better believe I'll figure it out. If I can't figure it out after 3+ years, I deserve to be fired otherwise it's stealing.

heyalumnigo: Nothing I want documented

FiatSlug: I thought the coaching was pretty good. The game plan was actually well thought out. The only problem was that the players didn't execute as well as needed.

My one quibble: the 4th quarter punt with about 5 minutes remaining. For the love of Gawd, WHY?

KMAC: He got the team to show up on time for kickoff, outside of that....

PRD74: Bruce Snyder had a rough first three years and then took off. I am really hoping that history repeats itself. If Sonny decides to leave he can blame the lack of fan support, but that would be unfair to the fans. What would be a legitimate gripe would be how the Pac12 refs have it out for the Cal Bears.

Nor-Cal Scott: Oh Sonny... your continued ranting is not helping get calls our way with the horrible Pac12 Refs. I thought this was on of the best games of the year. Coaches put our kids in the position to win, and this was a winnable game. Take away the 3 big Furd plays and trade our 3 FG's into TD's and we would have been rushing the field just like 2009.

Goldenlikethebear: I would've like to see Dykes get ejected in the first half over the horrible reffing. That might have given us some extra umph. We also needed to keep the tempo, we played exceptionally well when going fast.

I think the pooch punt was a waste, we should've taken that 4th down. I would've liked to see us go for the touchdowns on the first couple of drives instead of the easy points, but that's a philosophical position. I don't mind points at the end of the day.

1988goldenbear: The offensive game plan put up a boatload of yards on a really good defense, but the red zone failures were a huge factor. It appears that OaklandishBear may be correct in that the "Roll on your Bears!" chant is a touchdown-killer more often than not. Perhaps that is a greater influence than the 4th down decision tree.

mendogriz: I've officially given up on Dykes. He didn't try to win; he tried to not lose tooo badly. I'm still stunned by the deep kickoff at the end, by the punt down two scores w 4 minutes left, by the FGs on 4th and short. Lame. Wimpy. The goal is not to cover the spread.

Oso De Oro83: We need a new head coach. He's not the right one, he's always shown whining to the ref's on TV, too slow to make adjustments. My gosh, it took them 4 weeks to figure out they should go back to the up tempo offense when that was what they were selling from year one! He's looks to be in over his head. Defense, same thing thing. Really, three man rush for 8 of 9 weeks?

I married a longhorn: I agree with all the talk elsewhere about not going for TDs and punting in the 4th quarter. I wondered why we were conceding the game so early. As the saying goes, "Die with your boots (cleats) on!"

I do give the coaches credit for showing a very different offense in this game. We didn't even give the illusion that we wanted to run the ball with all the empty sets. They actually came up with a game plan just for this game that worked fairly well.

BrooklynBear: Well the 4th quarter punt & no onside kick are truly ridiculous. Is Coach Dykes afraid of injury?

CoBears: Offensive game plan was pretty good. Defensive game plan was OK. Special teams forgot the game plan in Berkeley.

And situational coaching was for s*&%.

Overall Performance

slaphancock: suck it refs.

fuzzywuzzy: Cal fandom is like a lifetime of quicksand...CTRL ALT DELETE. Go Bears

OsoDeOro83: I've seen this movie before, same ending. Lots of coulda-shoulda's. I know Tedford was kinda shaky after 10 years but I'm fairly certain he would have righted the ship by now and really certain...well, was he 0-3 after after 3 years to Furd? SC? UO? etc…

AlohaBear: Team played well against a quality opponent. Other than two big plays we were right in this. These seniors deserved a win.

#BearRAid: Short armed the Big Game. You wanna beat a solid Furd Team, you gotta execute and make plays.

Sucks because it was there for the taking.

I agree with kicking FG's. It was 21-16 in 4th quarter.

Hopefully the beat ASU and improve their bowl choices.

FrmrG8r: Frustrated, incorporated seems to be the theme this year. Another week, another opportunity squandered.

Even with the Oregon and UCLA debacles, this year could have been special.

One more week, garbage bowl and then we start all over again with or without the current staff.


Hungrylikeafarkas: The guys never gave up. They played hard. The chips were stacked against them with standard issue garbage Pac-12 ref's and terrible TurdTurf, but they never gave up. They also didn't turn on each other when someone missed a play, which I think is great, and shows a lot of character.

Other than that, the guys just got beat. Furd made more plays when they needed to then our guys. It is tough to accept, but hopefully by Thanksgiving I will have stopped crying, so that the guests are not weirded out when they come over for dinner.

PRD74: All of the feeling of the goodness and looking forward to our team having a successful season has been drained out. I think that this team tried hard, but they just could not get it done. The next two games are going to be rough. Sonny may need a change of scenery.

Thanks to everyone that filled out a report card and GO BEARS!