NCAAF  > California Golden Bears  > If only I had a crystal ball.
March 8, 2011, 11:11 AM
So how will Cal perform in their temporary digs ( the SF Giants stadium, Pac Bell Park) Well it may get kind of crowded over there at least until the end of October. The Bears have had Top 20 recruiting classes the past 2 years and news just in that the #1 recruit coming out of the state of California in 2012 Shaq Thompson CB/S will be going to Cal. The Cal defense which started getting stronger the day defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast was hired. The defense shot right up to the #1 defense in the PAC-10 under Pedergast. They should even get stronger due to the recruits of 09-10.

Cal has announced their new Offensive Coordinator Jim Michalczik. Michalczik is returning to Cal after a brief stint at the Oakland Raiders. He had been the Offensive Line Coach at Cal 2002-2008, those were by the way some of Cals better years and when they showed remarkable signs of improvement. Then came Ludwig and things started going south in a hurry. We know Michalczik is a great OL coach, question is can he coach the OL and be offensive coordinator at the same time. Lets hope so. Michalczik's first problem will be to determine who will be the QB. He has a field of 6 to chose from; Brock Mansion, Beau Sweeney, Allan Bridgeford, Zach Maynard, Austin Hinder or freshman Kyle Boehm. Let us hope that there is at least some competition. Last season Tedford said neither Sweeney or Mansion was close to taking away the spot from Riley. So lets did a little deeper into the QB soup. We really need a decent passing game, something absent since Aaron Rodgers turned pro.

It has been quit noticeable that Cal produces quality players, especially watching the NFL playoffs last year and seeing all the Cal Alumni, and for the first time Cal has produced a Super Bowl winning QB. It was the second Super Bowl winning QB for Tedford, the only coach to coach two Super Bowl winning QB's, the other being Trent Dilfer. QB and offensive play calling is what will make or break this team in the next 2 years.
March 8, 2011  01:24 PM ET
QUOTE:

It has been quit noticeable that Cal produces quality players, especially watching the NFL playoffs last year and seeing all the Cal Alumni, and for the first time Cal has produced a Super Bowl winning QB. It was the second Super Bowl winning QB for Tedford, the only coach to coach two Super Bowl winning QB's, the other being Trent Dilfer. QB and offensive play calling is what will make or break this team in the next 2 years.

A good take on Cal. They have been an enigma under Tedford, playing terrific ball for a while and climbing in the polls only to wilt.

You are right that Cal has produced some good to great skill players under Tedford, particularly RBs and QBs.

They lost three games by a combined 6 points last season, and with a little luck (and a less anemic offense) they could have been 8-4 and playing in a bowl.

The defense ran hot and cold last season, not sure if that points to coaching/game plan or injuries/lack of depth.
Gave up 52 to Nevada, then held Zona to 10
Gave up 48 to USC, then held ASU to 17
Gave up 35 to OSU, then held Oregon to 15
Gave up 48 to Stanford, then held UDub to 16.

But the offense was anemic pretty much all year. They were held to two touchdowns or less by Zona, USC, OSU, Oregon, Stanford, and UDub.

So I would agree that a new OC should help the offense. Not sure what to make of Cal's D, though.

March 9, 2011  04:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

A good take on Cal. They have been an enigma under Tedford, playing terrific ball for a while and climbing in the polls only to wilt.You are right that Cal has produced some good to great skill players under Tedford, particularly RBs and QBs.They lost three games by a combined 6 points last season, and with a little luck (and a less anemic offense) they could have been 8-4 and playing in a bowl.The defense ran hot and cold last season, not sure if that points to coaching/game plan or injuries/lack of depth.Gave up 52 to Nevada, then held Zona to 10Gave up 48 to USC, then held ASU to 17Gave up 35 to OSU, then held Oregon to 15Gave up 48 to Stanford, then held UDub to 16.But the offense was anemic pretty much all year. They were held to two touchdowns or less by Zona, USC, OSU, Oregon, Stanford, and UDub. So I would agree that a new OC should help the offense. Not sure what to make of Cal's D, though.

The sad part is we have the same Field Goal Kicker, who clearly blew the game against Arizona and has been a pain in the rear since he came to the team, Giorgio Tavecchio. Brian Anger one of the better punters in the country and a good part of our defense will be a senior this year, hopefully they got someone just as good backing him up.

Cal has also produced some quality defensive players in the pros (Seattle- Brandon Mebane NT, Super Bowl Green Bay- Desmond Bishop LB, Atlanta- Thomas Decoud S, New England Tully Banta-Cain LB/DE were all defensive starters in last years playoffs) Alualu was a first round pick and made the all rookie team this year, Jordon will go in the 1st round as well. Cal has plenty of good DL on the team, they may have a few more years of 1st rounders coming up. Mike Mohamed who was the leader and big play maker of the LBs the last 2 years will be entering the draft. So they will need a LB to lead them. Not sure if they have one. The secondary will start playing better with the addition of Secondary Coach Ashley Ambrose who had been turning out quality secondary players at Colorado. Will Keenan Allen play in the secondary this year and occasional WR? He was recruited for the secondary.

This may be one of those transition years for Cal. They would have been a far better team if Shane Vereen had stayed for his Senior year, I thought he would stay with the NFL CBA problems . How Cal performs this year I'm sure they will be twice as good next year when they return to Memorial Stadium. Just a question of who will be QB and how many recruits will be Redshirted.

In the future Cal is going to have to recruit bigger OL, they have a few big starters but most of them are small for average College and Pros, and not much depth, maybe with Jim Michalczik back as OL and OC coach recruiting of the OL will get better. I look at Cal's assistant coaches and see an all around solid staff, finally.

March 9, 2011  04:06 PM ET

Cal Bears,, are they in California somewhere??

Just kiddin'. Your all over it Mr narrator, keep the love alive, only a hundred and seventy some days til kickoff, almost all of are questions should start to be answered come Labor Day.

July 16, 2011  02:10 PM ET

So far Cal has three commits from recruits; QB- Zack Kline, WR- Bryce Treggs, LB- Michael Barton. I'm wondering what Shaq Thompson is thinking about, first he was a commit, now he is off the list. His brother Syd Quan Thompson was drafted by Denver, and his mother was all excited about his original commitment to Cal or is he waiting till the end of next season to announce. Lets hope he comes to Cal with a retrofitted stadium and new training facility. We need him and 3-4 bruising Offensive Linemen to win the Pac-12 in 2012. This year could be a year that might surprise some fans. All the pressure this year is on the QB.

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
July 17, 2011  01:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

As to Cal, who the hell knows how they'll do? But their situation is pretty good, I would think. USC's loss of scholarships means that they will have depth problems and that they can take less of the talent, leaving more available. Looks like the Ducks are fixin' to get a peepeewhackin' as well. Should open the Pac up for teams like the Bears and the Cardinal.

Tedford will have 2 years to prove himself, this year is a gimme for him because of the stadium retrofitting and Cal being forced to play next season at Pac Bell Park the home of the SF Giants. If he can't get them into a major bowl game by the 2012-2013 season he will be gone. He will be calling the plays for the next 2 years and in charge of QB's ( both of these are areas in which Andy Ludwig was in charge) , which he is supposed to be a guru at. Cal has had great recruiting years the last 2 years and looks like next year will be as good if not one of their best. So does he get credit for the recruiting or is it his staff? Cal ranks second behind USC in number of players in the NFL that played in the Pac-10 and is like #13 in all college teams.

July 22, 2011  10:29 PM ET

Cal has always been a very frustrating team to follow. I'm a Stanford fan, so I'm perfectly ok with it, but it is interesting how they have so much talent, and yet they can't convert that into big wins. Just a few years ago, they were minutes away from being the #1 team in the nation, before they blew the game late on a fumble. The talent is obviously there, I have to assume Tedford is a great recruited. However, I often question his abilities to coach in terms of X's and O's.

August 1, 2011  09:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Cal has always been a very frustrating team to follow. I'm a Stanford fan, so I'm perfectly ok with it, but it is interesting how they have so much talent, and yet they can't convert that into big wins. Just a few years ago, they were minutes away from being the #1 team in the nation, before they blew the game late on a fumble. The talent is obviously there, I have to assume Tedford is a great recruited. However, I often question his abilities to coach in terms of X's and O's.

Tedford is supposed to be some sort of great QB guru. The problem is that we constantly hear over and over that his QB's just can't grasp his offense. When you have so many QB's ( lets not forget every year there are around 6 QB's on the roster) if you can't get people to understand your offense then it can only be determined that the offense isn't very good. I don't think the native Oregonian Kevin Riley ever beat either one of the Oregon teams, I may be wrong. I think Maynard will beat one of the Oregon schools this year. It was mentioned that Auburn learned a little something from Cal last year for a game plan on how to defeat Oregon, Cal didn't beat Oregon but they made it close and Auburn humiliated Oregon.

 
August 2, 2011  02:29 PM ET

Just noticed that Jeremy Ross went to New England to join his Cal Brother Shane Vereen. After last years Super Bowl I was already hoping for a Green Bay vs New England Super Bowl this year. You would have Brady vs Rodgers ( both NorCal Boys ) now with Vereen and possibly Ross Cal players would know what a true Bowl game feels like.

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