So, I’m cheating and using two leads because I think both are hot-button issues. Both come from opinion pieces, meaning we got some hot takes!
Our good buddy Jon Wilner thinks that picking a head coach is getting ahead of a more important topic—developing the identity of Cal Football.
The Bears, as we saw during the Jeff Tedford era, can successfully recruit the type of players necessary for a running game, whether it’s the so-called power spread or a traditional Pro-Style attack.
Put another way: Cal should be built from the inside out, not the outside in.
Offensive linemen are smart; they have to be to execute effectively at a high level. Ask any coach and he’ll tell you that offensive linemen are typically the smartest players. Cal’s academic prowess gives the Bears recruiting access to top-tier offensive linemen. The Bears could also recruit tight ends and fullbacks and tailbacks. (They’ve had a few good ones in the past, if I recall.)
By playing from the outside in, as the Bears did under Dykes, and recruiting an out-sized number of receivers every year, Cal failed to take advantage on the recruiting trail of its inherent institutional strengths.
In other words: Commit to a balanced offense, take your academic bona fides into the homes of the top linemen and quarterbacks on the west coast, add a high-end tailback — the East Bay has been known to produce a few, or hadn’t you heard — and build from the inside out.
Meanwhile, Daniel Borenstein thinks that developing the identity of Cal Football is getting ahead of a more important topic—Cal can’t afford championship football.
Figures the university finally released Tuesday show that the athletics department ran $22 million in the red last fiscal year, more than 2 1/2 times the shortfall of the year before.
That’s money that should have gone to academics, or to close the university-wide $150 million annual shortfall. Instead, intercollegiate athletics continues to drain funds from the rest of the campus.
“For 10 years they’ve been living in a fantasyland about the financials of the department of athletics,” says Roger Noll, a Stanfurd professor specializing in sports economics.
I hope those two used oven mitts to type out those hot takes.