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Golden Nuggets: Pundits think Cal needs a football identity.... and that Cal can’t even afford football

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News about the head coach has permeated into the GN...

California v Arizona State Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

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.

Women’s Basketball

Kristine Anigwe was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, one of only four underclassmen on this midseason watchlist.

Men’s Basketball

The Golden Bears are embarking on a “crucial stretch” in conference play.

Women’s Soccer

Emma Fletcher, Ifeoma Onumonu and Arielle Ship are all hoping to get picked in today’s National Women’s Soccer League Draft.

Football

Where on the field does Cal need the most improvement? Defense. Just all over the defense.

With the season over, USAToday Sports gave our team a C on the season and ranked us as the 80th team in the nation, one spot up from their preseason rank.

Congrats to Darius Powe for signing a reserve/future contract with the New York Giants.