42 Comments

The bottom line is that Wilcox could not produce a winning record with a senior laden team in maybe the worst year the Pac 12 has ever seen. USC and Washington fired their head coaches because of it, and Oregon State sent their defensive coordinator packing in mid season because they stopped tackling. Cal gives Wilcox a 4-year extension after his fifth straight season of a losing record in conference. I mean, where else does that happen? And don't say Rich Brooks in his early years at Oregon. Head coaches were not making $3 mil a year in that era.

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I agree with what you are saying, but I think it comes down to alternatives. Are there anyone better than Wilcox out there? I don't think there was anyone clearly better than Wilcox. One could reason "well it can't get any worse can it? so why not make a change?" but I think it can get worse. Wilcox's ceiling is low, but ultimately other candidates were high risk low/mid reward as well.

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I've never heard of an employer hanging on to an under performing employee in fear that they won't be able to find a better replacement.

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If he is the best available in the market, you have to hang on to him though.

And I don't know what the administration values, but maybe they value other stuff that he has done well. Wilcox does everything well except winning. And while I believe that winning should be the number one priority, maybe the administration doesn't, and in their eyes he is not "underperforming" I don't know. I don't necessarily agree with it. I'm just trying to think of some reasons.

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Painful to admit but alas true Steve W. Every year, Lucy pulls the football away and Charlie Brown flies through the air, dashing our hopes of a breakout season.

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Except for 1990, 1991, 1993 and pretty much everything from 2002 through the fifth game of the 2007 season. And I am thinking that 1990 was the biggest break-out season of them all because Snyder told everyone before the season he was going to have a smash-mouth running game and ended up with two 1,000 rushers while beating UCLA for the first time in 25 years or something like that. I miss those days.

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I was a student in 1990 and remember the team filing down through the student section for the UCLA game. They were fired up throughout the game and determined to win.

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Or how bout the Big Game in 1990 when Russell White and Glyn Milburn from Stanford put on maybe the greatest display of running ever at Memorial? And the craziest 17 seconds of all time to end the game. Things just seemed more memorable back then. I can't think really of any special moment from last season that lingers in my mind. Cal beat up on really crappy USC, Colorado and Stanford teams and had one good game against what turned out to be a pretty average Oregon State team. Night. Night. more of the same coming...

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Unfortunately you are correct. The yell leader, combined with the piped in music was atrocious.

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We do our best to lead as many cheers as possible from the top of Sec H. We get lots of people turning around with big smiles, new people with big questioning looks and a moderate amount of participation.

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You're right about a lot of things but there were plenty of "roll on your Bears" during the season. Otherwise, the atmosphere is lacking.

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You deserve credit for doing such a thorough analysis of such a thoroughly wrought and distraught season. Sports is sports in that the score is what matters. We are more Charlie Brown than most any school I can think of. I know I'm Charlie Brown, but I keep running to kick the ball. Woe is me. Lucky me!

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I'm fully expecting all of us Charlie Browns to predict 7 wins yet again this season (for the 5th time in the last 6 seasons).

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I may revise this once I've seen the lads in Spring ball (I'm looking at you OL) but I'm going with 8!!

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I’m going with 5.

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Feb 23, 2022·edited Feb 23, 2022

I'm going out on a limb....6-6...

2-1 in non-con, losing in Indiana because of that Touchdown Jesus fella...beat U of A at home, beat 'Furd at home, and beat 1 of UCLA/UW/UO at home....and then steal one at Wazzu or Colorado...

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Interesting article, always enjoy the comps, thanks again for all your work. My favorite game last season was the Beavers at home. It seemed to show what the team could do when everything worked for them. The Stanford and USC wins were nice too. I have mostly forgotten about the rest of those darn games. And of course, I have my season tickets lined up for 2022. Go Bears!

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Granted, one was the COVID nonsense, but that's two straight seasons that "everything worked for them" only one time on the season....

That's not good.

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Well yeah, that's why I pretty much forgot about most of the games last season, not good memories. These guys have one more year from me as far as going to games and supporting the football team. If they can't get to eight wins, time for me to give it up. Been twenty-five years of being a fan, going to games, some great games, and lots of stinkers too. It is so frustrating to have seen the defense improve so much five years ago and no real consistent improvement in the offense to balance out the team. Anyway, it's the off season, I should be steelhead fishing.

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The reality is that we were a 5-7 because that's what it says in the final standings. However I think we were an 8-4 team in disguise. Sans Covid we would have beat Zona, leaving four one-score games. One can reasonably expect to split those (unless you're Nebraska). Had we done so we would have been 8-4 and feeling much better about the program. Wilcox has got to start winning half of those close games in the future, more would be nice. I wish I were optimistic that he will, I'm glad I'm not pessimistic that he won't. After four full and five total seasons of Wilcox I'm not sure what to expect in the rest of his tenure.

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Wilcox does need to change his philosophy such that we don't ONLY rely on the defense. He has to become comfortable w/ his offense scoring > 30pts/game.

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HC whose specialty in offense? Like who?

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If you're read my comment thoroughly you'd know I didn't do a "coulda, woulda, shoulda" I started off by saying "the reality is that we were a 5-7" team. I pointed out that we were very close to a good season, that I hope we can win our share of close games in the future and that I don't know what to expect under Wilcox. Thanks for playing, though.

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If Wilcox & Sirmon could've had the defense ironed out earlier in the year, we beat both Nevada & TCU & are 7-5 and bowling. Not only was the P12 awful, but that was a bad TCU team and a 5 loss Mountain West team...

But this also illustrates the slim margin for error that Wilcox leaves his teams with because of below average offense. You shouldn't need everything to line up right just to get a win. Sigh.

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Wilcox lost to 3 teams that fired their coaches.

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That Arizona team was awful. Would like to think we can win that game even without Garbers.

Was a real failure of the offensive coaching staff.

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Yep, that was a terrible loss.

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Feb 23, 2022·edited Feb 23, 2022

By replying to my initial comment with coulda woulda shoulda you were being derisive and dismissive of my overall point which you still seemed to have missed . As I've said twice now we were a 5-7 team period. Oh what's the use....

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Oh we met expectations, they were just the wrong type.

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A win over Arizona would still put us 1.7 wins behind expectations.

After last year, it's not unreasonable to expect that any position could be suddenly depleted by covid issues. In fact, that makes the offense's inability to adjust to Garbers' absence even more unforgivable. The coaches should have had the team ready for the possibility that several offensive playmakers would be out, and yet the offense still looked woefully inept against a team riding a 20-game losing streak.

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RemovedFeb 22, 2022·edited Feb 22, 2022
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I misspoke; by last year I meant the 2020 season. The team suffered through several games with depleted units (especially offensive and defensive lines) that season, so it would not be unreasonable to expect a game or two in 2021 with similarly depleted rosters.

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I think the AZ game was less an outlier than it appears. We lost that game because we had no offense without Garbers, regardless of the other players that missed the game. You can reasonably expect your QB1 to miss a game at some point during the season, and you're lucky if it happens against the worst team on your schedule. The lack of a serviceable backup QB was an indictment on Wilcox & Co. The fact that not a single backup QB, other than Glover in that one game, got a single snap of experience is now a disadvantage going into 2022, and that PFF returning snaps metric from a couple weeks ago is similarly an indictment..

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I agree with this take and this is why I refuse to use Covid as an excuse for the loss. If Garbers were the only player out with a sprained ankle or broken hand we still lose that game.

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I agree also. Having no options at QB other than Garbers and his improvisation and a running game that failed to step up doomed us. Take out Garbers and we're looking at maybe a 2-win team last year. With no proven starter next season it's easy to see how some of the prognosticators will view Cal, a lower tier Pac-12 team that might struggle to escape the basement.

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Cal should have been able to beat Arizona despite those players being out and the Cal offense, even with a backuo QB and with the defense getting 3 turnovers should have been able to put up more than 3 points and 120 yards.

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Feb 22, 2022·edited Feb 22, 2022

I don't think too many people that buy season tickets do so based on the match-ups. The bigger impetus will be if going to Cal games seem fun, which is in no small part determined by whether you think Cal will be good or not.

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