The less said about this year's Big Game, the better. But a few random thoughts are in order:
- Every account of the game I've read lists the attendance as being "the announced attendance..." I couldn't watch the game (more on that below), and wonder if that means there were actually empty seats in the renovated, much smaller Stanford Stadium. If that was the case, that's truly astonishing.
- I don't know these guys so I can't really question their character, but based on what I saw against Washington last week and the accounts I've read and seen of this game, it sure looks like the Bears stopped playing with passion after the USC game. And based on the comments of the Cal players after the game, it appears that they were more concerned with going to a bowl game than they were with the shame of having lost to Stanford. If you can't get up for the Big Game, you shouldn't be playing at Cal.
- This is certainly the darkest moment of the Tedford era. For all his offensive brilliance, he was glaringly unable to come up with a successful, consistent offensive scheme after the Nate Longshore injury severely limited his effectiveness. And he was unable to motivate his players after it became clear that they were playing only for pride. So, great as he has been, Tedford deserves a healthy share of the blame for this disastrous season.
- Don't even talk to me about a bowl game. Bowl games are rewards for teams who had a good season; a winning season. The Bears had neither, and should they be offered a bowl bid, they should turn it down. (Yeah right, like that will ever happen).
- I can't put into words how much I hate the fact that the Big Game has been moved to the week after Thanksgiving instead of the traditional Saturday before Thanksgiving. Never mind that I may never be able to watch it again, because the new week corresponds with a work commitment that will keep me from being there in perpetuity. It just doesn't feel right; doesn't feel the same.
Overall it sounds harsh; six years ago, 6-6 would have been an excellent season. But with the talent, with the coaching, and with the fan support, there's no way to label this season other than to call it an absolute, total, stunning failure. Here's hoping that they come roaring out onto the field next September with fire coming from their eyes and smoke coming out of their ears.