It's Official: Jeff Tedford Is on the Hot Seat.

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterDecember 25, 2009

BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Head coach Jeff Tedford of the California Golden Bears looks on against the Washington State Cougars at California Memorial Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

San Diego, CA—The fans walked away quietly clutching their little stuffed Bears. Or may be they were strangling them. 

It wasn't just a loss to the Utah Utes, it was the way their team lost that was so unnerving.

Cal was out coached. Cal was inept in defending the pass. Cal was lucky the Utes had to settle for a few field goals instead of touchdowns, or the score would have really been embarrassing.

Jeff Tedford got schooled by Kyle Whittingham and the Pac-10 got another whupping by the Mountain West Conference. The fans are now officially peeved at Tedford, and to be honest, no one should blame them.

From the very beginning, Utah was clearly more excited to be there. They were pumped up, talking smack, and generally intimidating the Bears from the get-go. The Bears were simply flat.

Blame the coach for that.

What cannot be overlooked is how inept the Bears were on the field. How many receivers dropped the ball after getting hit by a Ute defender? Do they have contact drills in Berkeley? If so, maybe the D should be hitting the receivers a little harder.

Blame the coach for that.

Do the Bears know how to defend screens, seam routes, and fly patterns? Were the Bears even awake out there when the ball was zipping by them?

Blame the coach for that.

How may picks did Kevin Riley throw? I lost count, but the truth is that he should have been taken out of the game after throwing some really ugly passes.

Blame the coach for that.

Tedford has been great in bringing Cal back into prominence, but how prominent are you when everyone expects you to be very good and you continually tank games?

From hero to goat in two years pretty much sums up Tedford's effectiveness.

It doesn't matter that before Tedford came to Cal, the Bears had only gone to five bowls since 1959. What matters is that since Tedford has been head coach, the Bears have gotten worse in the last two years. 

Progression has turned into depression.

When fans start shaking their heads saying, "a mediocre bowl isn't good enough anymore," something is wrong. When only five or ten thousand fans show up for a bowl, something is wrong. When you biggest rival is shaking up the Bay Area, has brand new facilities, and a coach who really wants to win at all costs, something is wrong.

Harbaugh may act like a jerk at times, but he is getting the attention from recruits and incensing other coaches. Major props, Jimmy. What has Tedford done to counter that?


Jeff Tedford made Cal a threat three years ago, but the Bears have now gone back to their bumbling ways.

Three years ago, Cal was feared. Now, they are not.

Isn't it time to take the next step?

Tedford is a very good coach, and yes, it's difficult to overachieve in Berkeley, but if Harbaugh can exceed expectations, then so should Tedford.

Cal has grown, but it's time to be a big boy. It's time to be a continual threat, not just an every now and then flashes of brilliance team. It's time to be an Oregon team, or an Arizona team.

It's time to fire up the hotseat.