Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finally giving Tedford his due

I recently stumbled upon this entry on Bleacher Report, where the author provided a list of the 7 most overrated coaches in college football. I can’t say I’m in agreement with the full list, but to see Jeff Tedford’s name appear, all I can say is “finally”.

I often wondered if I was the only one in America viewing California’s head coach as a big ball of hype or if it was my own personal bias against his program that kept me from judging accordingly. Well, now I know there's at least two of us, though I don’t know the loyalties of the writer. Perhaps we both hold a strong despise for the Golden Bears.

One thing I know for certain is that Tedford’s hour of glory was a single victory, in triple overtime, against the Trojans in 2003. He rode that victory well into the post season, because it continued to surface, as that single loss kept USC out of the BCS title game, despite being the consensus No. 1 in all major polls. But just as quickly as the hype began, it should have ended. Tedford’s Golden Bears have failed to duplicate the feat, and at most, could only manage a single tie for the Pac 10 championship. Washington State's Bill Doba tied for the Pac 10 lead in 2002, and now he's unemployed.

Tedford isn’t someone short on talent, as can be the claim of Stanford and Jim Harbaugh. Tedford’s program has finally taken advantage of the California recruiting hotbed, producing J.J Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Aaron Rodgers, and Adimchinobi Echemandu. DeSean Jackson, LaVelle Hawkins, and Justin Forsett are now stepping into the NFL as rookies. They rose to No. 2 in the polls in 2007, only to crash and burn with each week that followed. The Golden Bears, with more talent than many Pac 10 rosters, finished the season, managing to win only 3 games in conference.

His worth is built on a one time occurrence, and to the point where Michigan had him on their coaching search short list. Now it’s just a matter of time, and number of seasons, before he’s referenced among hot seat coaches across the nation. Am I a bit harsh on the man? Maybe. But at least now I know I don’t stand alone. Unless he can prove otherwise, “overrated” and “Jeff Tedford” appear the perfect fit.

1 comment:

Lawrence said...

This post is INSANE. As a Cal alum, do you know how many seasons I had to begin, knowing that we would lose at least seven games before we even hit the field? Did you live through the Joe Kapp era? The Tom Holmoe era? The Gilby era?

Jeff Tedford is a God. Not because he's the best coach in the world. Not because he wins the Pac 10. Mainly because for the first time in decades, Cal has a coherent football program. On that wins 10 games every other year in the Tedford era, and only dips to seven or eight in the other years. Maybe according to USC standards, that's subpar, but when you lived with Cal being 0-10 and going against a Rutgers team that was 0-10 and hoping that you can get just one victory for the year, you don't know despair. TEDFORD IS GOD.