The California Golden Bears had an up and down season again this year, and it was capped off with a great summary of our ineptitude in the Holiday Bowl against Texas. Every Cal fan hates Texas (especially Mack Brown) for the 2004 campaign Brown led to push Texas ahead of Cal in the final BCS rankings that left us out of the Rose Bowl yet again. If an Aaron Rodgers led Cal team cannot make it to the promised land, how can we expect Zach Maynard...ah, I'm digressing already.
Anyway, this was the year where we could at least have a chance to beat a down Texas squad whose only strengths were running the football and defense. They do not have any Colt McCoy's or Vince Young's, nor is Ricky Williams running over people. Yes, this Texas squad is more talented than the Bears but not as much as they usually are. I felt pretty confident that if we could force David Ash to pass against our strong defense, protected the ball, and threw it to Keenan Allen we'd be sitting pretty. Well, unfortunately that didn't work out.
Our Pac-12 leading pass defense was uncharacteristically out of sync, and our offense treated the football like a hot potato. The final score was 21-10 and we turned it over 5 times (4 fumbles and 1 INT) so one can only imagine what could have been. It's getting tough to root for Maynard (the O-Line didn't help) with all of these turnovers, and Tedford needs to return to his "roots" and find us a true Pac-12 QB.
It has been 10 years since Jeff Tedford brought the Bears back from extinction and I could never be more grateful for that work of art. But we still have not gone to the Rose Bowl since 1959 and we have not seriously contended for a Pac-12 title for several years. He is under contract through 2015 and while he has earned a ton of respect and admiration with his 79-47 record, the Cal faithful wants more than just a return from obscurity. We want to be like Oregon and USC, heck even Stanfurd, programs that are competing annually for the Pac-12 title and BCS bowl games. The Holiday Bowl is fun and all but, c'mon, if Stanfurd has been to back to back BCS bowl games and has had 3 consecutive Heisman runner-ups (Gerhart & Luck) we're not doing enough. With the plethora of NFL talent we've had in Berkeley (Rodgers, DeSean Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Jahvid Best, Tyson Alualu, Desmond Bishop, Thomas DeCoud) it is a bit depressing that we're not competing at a higher level season in and season out.
After years of having the worst facilities in the Pac-12, the Bears will now boast a fully renovated Memorial Stadium, new Student Athlete High Performance Center, and plenty of open spots to entice 5 star recruits. Tedford's clock might not be close to expiring, but it is at the very least ticking...a solid 2012 season is more of a need than a want at this point.