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Cal Washington: Huskies 16-13 Win; Cal is "Holmoesque"

This is the level the University of California Football Program has fallen to. Cal Alumni are starting to call the team "Holmoesque." That term first surfaced two weeks ago after the Oregon loss, as a good Cal friend of this blogger feared a return to those ugly days of yore.

Three losses later, some think we're there. Cal lost to Washington 16 to 13 and this, the third loss in as many games, has Old Blues, Young Blues, and even Middle-Aged Blues fuming.

Tom Holmoe
Cal finished not just 5 and 7, but 3 and 6 in the Pac-10. The worst record in Jeff Tedford's glorious rein as Cal's Head Coach. While not the 1 and 10 season of 2001, Cal's 2010 performance was enough for my friend to say "I hope we don't see a replay of Tom Holmoe, we're starting to look "Holmoesque."

Tom Holmoe, currently the Athletic Director at BYU, was Cal's football coach for five years, posting a 16 and 39 record, the infamous 2001 season, had an 0 and 5 record against Stanford, and caused Cal to forfeit nine scholarships over four years, be banned from postseason bowl eligibility in 2002, Coach Tedford's first year with Cal.

No, this space is not saying Tedford is like Tom Holmoe, only that the stench from that period is still with many Cal faithful, and this season reproduced some bad, sad memories.

The Problem Is The System

SF Chron scribe John Crumpacker's blog on Cal vs. Washington was far too nice and failed capture the massive level of pissed off, pissed-offness expressed by Cal Alumns. Cal's problem is not as simple as replacing one quarterback with another. That's for people who, for whatever reason, fail to pay attention to play design. But the issue is the Cal Offensive system itself.

For some reason that rests in the collective mind of Coach Tedford and Cal Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig, Cal does not have a passing game that contains "safe," short throws for its signal callers. Just because we're in the era of the wide receiver screen, and all of its variations, doesn't mean it has to be Cal's offense. There are, by experiential estimate, over 1,232 variations of short passes to running backs; can't we use some of them? Why is it so important to throw downfield and with just predictability all the time?

There's nothing wrong with good, old, precision short passing. It's forgotten in the wake of the advent of the spread formation option systems - and their pass plays - that have spread like a virus around the country. An approach that has infected Cal Football, save for the running quarterback.

A disciplined approach to the passing game, one that Cal actually displayed the ability to uses against Stanford last year, is sorely needed. Cal must stick to this, and stop this need to play macho-passing ball, most of the time.

Or, if the concern is to keep the pass offense simple for students who have a lot of studying to do, given the demands of Cal, why not an approach that has elements of the Run-and-Shoot? (But retains the power running game.)

The point is to have a real, true, system that can be effective with respect to the coverage, is disciplined, and doesn't get the quarterback killed.

Time For Action; Tosh Shows The Way

Some Cal Alumns want California defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi to be Cal's Head Coach, after the fake injury scandal in the Oregon game. Well, not really, but you get the idea.  It's not that cheating is prized by Cal Alumns, just the need for a coach to do something to move Cal Football forward. Remember, we have Coach Lupoi to thank for Wide Receiver Keenan Allen, so no one wants him to leave Cal for any reason.  Well, within reason.

Well, whatever the argument, we'll have an entire year to hash it out.

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