Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour met with Jeff Tedford following the Bears’ brutal 62-14 loss to the Beavers in Corvallis. According to Jon Wilner (via Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group), the team scheduled a players only meeting Sunday evening, where it was widely speculated that the news of Tedford’s dismissal would be announced. The process was drawn out longer than expected, as Barbour and Tedford also had a lunch meeting yesterday, but now the speculation is over — multiple sources have reported that Tedford’s firing is now official. As expected, California’s disastrous 2012 season spelled the end of the coach’s 11-year career at the university.
The Bears committed 15 penalties in their loss to Oregon State and the contest was basically over when they hit the locker room at half time down by 28. The cards may have already been stacked against them without Zach Maynard or Keenan Allen playing, but the Bears were 3-7 even with both players healthy. Nevertheless, the team put up little fight and lost four turnovers in the coach’s swan song. When asked postgame whether he would be coaching California next year, Tedford responded, “I don’t know.” He does now.
As far as recruiting goes, Cal has done very little for next season. The only commits at this point are De La Salle linebacker Victor Egu, Cathedral wide receiver Torry McTyer, Marin Catholic quarterback Jared Goff and Centennial-Corona lineman Cameron Hunt. A change was certainly needed, as this was shaping up to be Cal’s worst recruiting effort in over a decade.
Where do they go from here?
The $6.9M buyout they’re paying to part ways with Tedford is a tough pill to swallow, because UC Berkeley already spent $321M on Memorial Stadium’s renovations and new facilities under the belief that it would ensure the program’s resurgence under Tedford’s watch. The Pac-12 is becoming a stronger football conference by the year, with high-profile coaching hires becoming the norm. Now the pressure is on for Barbour to match not only their Bay Area rivals in the South Bay, but other West Coast teams (UCLA, Washington, Oregon State) that are getting better as Cal slides into the abyss.
Barbour will need to be careful in her next football hire, because the financial wiggle room for buyouts is no longer there. Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News wrote this list of possible replacements last Friday, headlined by Boise State’s Chris Petersen, former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, SJSU head coach Mike MacIntyre and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.