Interviewing The Golden Bloggers (Cal Football Season Preview)

Posted by: Avinash on Monday, August 27th, 2007

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a football maniac. Okay, maybe I am, but I’m a stupid football maniac. I can’t claim to be knowledgeable about the offensive package Jeff Tedford runs. I don’t have the slightest clue about whether Washington State or Washington will be the more likely team to upset the Golden Bears this semester. So I set off to find answers to some of these pressing questions and managed a few answers from the busy people in the Cal football blogosphere. Hopefully more will follow

Some start-off questions (with hopefully more answers) with answers from Hydrotech of the California Golden Blogs, follow after the jump. He’ll explain his blog for ya and give you the gist of how much the Tennessee game means this week.

*Just for an introduction to our readers, who are you guys? How do all of you know each other and how did you get into the game?

We at the California Golden Blogs are just a bunch of friends who share the same lover, err, love. Love for Cal Football. We’re all young alumni. Some of us were here during the Tom Holmoe dark ages, and some of us weren’t. We were all brought together to the California Golden Blogs by our Blog Father, TwistNHook. This whole thing was his idea. The mission of this blog is to provide readers with entertaining, insightful and opinionated reading material for educational and entertainment purposes. TwistNHook wanted a tight group of enthusiastic writers to join the crew, and so he asked a few of his friends whose love for Cal and Cal Football was just as dedicated and unwavering as his own.

*Many of the team’s football fans have stated that Mike Dunbar might have been the reason for our team’s downfall last year, especially at the USC game (although I know some of you disagree). What effect will Tedford reassuming the playcalling have on our team’s output this upcoming season?

Honestly, the offense we are going to see in 2007 shouldn’t be much different from what we saw in 2006. Even though Mike Dunbar is no longer our offensive coordinator, Jeff Tedford has publicly stated many times that the offense isn’t going to change. What Mike Dunbar brought to Cal and added to our playbook is here to stay. We will still use the shotgun and the spread. A lot of people think that our offense last year wasn’t a spread offense at all, but it did use elements of a spread offense. It was a sort of hybrid-spread offense. We combined both traditional west coast style offensive formations and plays along with newer spread formations and plays. As for what effect will Tedford will have on next year’s offense, you should expect our offense to “set up” the defense. Jeff Tedford has a very strategic football mind. What he often does is bait or trick the defense into thinking the offense is running a particular play, invites the defense to switch into a certain formation or mindset, and then counter the defense with similar looking but different offensive play. This is the chess game that goes on between offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators. For an example of this, look at the 2002 Cal @ Washington game. In this game Cal screened to Makonnen, then later and out of the same formation, faked the screen to Makonnen and went over the top to the tight end on a corner route for a touchdown.

*Which has bigger implications, Tennessee or USC? Which one are we more likely to win?

In my opinion, I think there is more on the line for the Tennessee game than the USC game. I know a lot of Cal fans would rather lose to Tennessee and beat USC to get ourselves closer to the sacred Rose Bowl, but I think Cal fans should also step back and look at the big picture. Cal really doesn’t have a big name or a lot of respect east of the Rockies. Last year we had a chance to make a name for ourselves and get national respect but instead we lost national respect. We have to beat Tennessee – a prestigious SEC school – in order to get back even some of that respect back. If Cal and its fans have any desires to become a nationally respected “program”, then we have to schedule big time opponents from the East Coast and the SEC, and win those games. Beating USC every 3-4 years isn’t going to cut it. Our 2003 triple overtime win over USC put us on the map, but last year’s Tennessee game wiped out years of progress. Even beating USC every year won’t really make us a nationally respected “program”. A win over USC will get us respect on the west coast but without wins over East Coast teams that ignorantly say the Pac-10 is nothing but the Pac-1 and the 9 dwarfs, then we’ll never teach them and humble them. I believe Cal has a better chance beating Tennessee than USC. I do believe that Cal has just about an equal chance beating both teams, but a slightly greater chance in beating Tennessee. I think the mixture of redemption, home field advantage, and Tennessee’s offensive problems will lead to a Cal victory.

More coming this week, including some head-on Cal-Tennessee analysis. Discuss your thoughts about our season in the comments.

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