Might as well now, with Colorado on the verge of a likely Rose Bowl berth...Mike MacIntyre vs. Sonny Dykes. Let's revisit. Would things be any different if Cal had picked Mac?
I think sometimes good coaches end up with bad results (and sometimes bad coaches end up with good results). Let's be clear, I'm not making a judgement about the relative worth of Dykes vs. Macintyre here - but just something to think about.
Coach A -
17-7 with two bowl game victories and two second place finishes
Coach B -
17-18, with a first place finish and two 8th place finishes (last two years with 4 and 3 wins)
By record alone Coach A is better than Coach B - but of course, they're the same coach. Bill Walsh. Yes, after winning 4 Super Bowls with the Niners he came back to Stanford and sputtered to 4 and 3 wins his last two years.
I could do the same exercise with John Robinson or even Marv Levy. The Cal blog/twit-o-sphere, even as they may differ on Dykes' status, seems to agree that his "ceiling" is 8 wins and not a Rose Bowl.
Me? I think luck plays a larger part. I mean, a coach as bad as Ty Willingham took an 8-4 Stanford team to the Rose Bowl because of a confluence of weird things happening.
Ok, I've meandered a lot, and I'm not sure I really have a point - except this, I don't think you can plug and play that just because Mac is doing well in year 4 at Colorado means that he would've been the guy to accomplish the same results here at Cal. Charlie Strong was successful at Louisville but a failure at Texas. Did he somehow forget how to motivate, lead, organize a football team in-between Kentucky and Austin?
atomsareenough: I dunno, I think Mac is probably a better coach all around. I think we'd be in at least a little better shape now, especially on defense, if we had picked Mac instead of Sonny, but it's possible it wasn't a long term fit with him either. Hard to say.
Nik Jam: Not really worth thinking about. I'm sure Cal had their reasons for not going after Mac, and it remains to be seen whether Colorado will be a one year wonder or not.
At this point, best to forget about this era and hope our next coaching search (assuming we have one this decade) goes better.
boomtho: Maybe? It's hard to say. We probably don't get JARED EFFING GOFF with Mac, though we may not have the defensive woes that we currently see as well. Despite the success it's hard to say that things would have been totally different - if anything, maybe we go bowling by winning an extra game in 2014?
Kevin Wu: Yes, but probably not better. I agree with others here, Goff may not have kept his commitment to Cal if MacIntyre came in without the Bear Raid. I've got to think our defense would've been much better, though. Tradeoffs? But, given what MacIntyre has done with universally less talent than Cal had and has, I've got believe he would've done much more with Cal's talent level. I also believe MacIntyre is so much more palatable from a fan perspective to rally around - Dykes is a real dud with the interpersonals.