HydroTech: Alright, I know it’s been a tough October and November, and we’re all a little down and emotionally drained, but let’s do the last one of the season…
BIG GAME is a BIG GAME. It’s for a bowl game. Pretty much. Right Rags?
BIG GAME will be competitive, although it really shouldn’t be. If the team ever needed a reason to get up for Big Game other than the fact that it’s Big Game, it’s because I predict this game to be very close. Much closer than any of us would like. I liken Stanfurd’s year, to ours in 2002. Tedford’s ‘02 team played balls to the wall. I expect Harbaugh’s team to play the same way. Balls to the wall. No lookin’ back. No regrets. Playin’ like there is no tomorrow. Playin’ to win. They’ll take gambles. They’ll play with heart. They’ll put up a fight. And they just very well might steal the ax back from us.
Tedford said that he will push the starters hard during the BYE week instead of resting the starters and giving reps to the blue-shirts (Cal equivalent of a red-shirt) and the freshmen. I like this. It’s clear the starters don’t need rest so much as they need reps to remember the basics. On defense that means gap assignments, block shedding, and tackling. On offense we need to see concentration on the snap counts, looking the ball into your hands, dropback footwork, and stepping up into the pocket.
Has there been any year since Tedford has been here, post 2002, when the possibility of losing the ax seemed extremely real? Maybe 2003? 2006 was a close game but I don’t think most of us thought it was very possible we would get beat.
I hope we’re mad. I hope we have a passion, direction, purpose, and drive when we take the field. I want to destroy Stanfurd and that Harbaugh dude. Like, 2004 kind of destroyed them. 41-6 kind of destroyed them. We’re capable of it. So let’s get our act together and do it.
Ragnarok: Thanks for the pep talk, Hydro. When Lou Holtz finally becomes completely incomprehensible (what? that happened 5 years ago!), ESPN should totally hire you to replace him.
YellowFever: Lou Holtz somehow manages to always sound like he’s eating a bowl of oatmeal as he talks. I’m not sure how he pulls it off. Can it really be just because he’s old? Who knows.
I just hope that no one calls for Tedford’s firing if we lose the Axe. It’d be a shame, but it would be a sign of the times. In 2002, we were happy just to have made it to 7-5 in Boller’s last year. Now 7-5 or 6-6 is grounds for dismissal? Give the man a mulligan. Hasn’t he earned at least that much goodwill?
This isn’t to say I won’t be inconsolable if we do lose the Axe. (Triple negative, yes!) But let’s keep some perspective here.
HydroTech: I agree, YellowFever. Even if we lose Big Game, I don’t think Tedford needs to go. All good coaches have a few bad games and even a few bad seasons sprinkled in here in and there. Just look at Bobby Bowden and Joe Pa.
What Tedford has done for Cal is amazing. He may not be the best college football head coach, but he’s certainly very good. But most importantly he’s the right man for the job. He has the right mentality that is so rare in college football head coaches: dedication. I think it’s quite obvious that Tedford isn’t going to leave Cal for a more prestigious job unless there is a big falling out and the new facilities aren’t built. Tedford has a rare dedication to the program, and especially the players. He’s a guy that does things right. When I worked for the team, things were done right. No cheating, no shortcuts. Just hard work and honesty. I like that. As you know there are many college football head coaches who aren’t as ethical and are very willing to do whatever it takes (legal and illegal) to win. Maybe I don’t have a killer instinct, but I’d rather do things right and have it be harder and take longer than cheating.
Anyways, for Big Game, I want to see us ram the ball down the Furd’s throat. They’re giving up a whopping 450 yards per game on defense. There is no reason why we shouldn’t e able to rack up just as much yardage on them through land and by air.