Pete Carroll must be relieved to have his job back. In the wake of USC's loss to Washington, it had been taken last week by irate fans and a crabby media contingent (including the student newspaper) labeling Carroll as overrated and unprepared. Now it's Cal's Jeff Tedford in a dismantled state after yet another Pac-10 powerhouse ventured feebly into the great northwest.
The really disturbing part about the Bears' Eugene experience wasn't the final score - OK, we realize Oregon is superior - but that Cal simply wasn't ready to compete. Verran Tucker had an inexcusable drop on a deep crossing route in the first quarter. Josh Hill picked up an Oregon fumble and immediately fumbled it away. Kevin Riley and Jahvid Best botched a simple handoff in the second quarter, a turnover that led directly to the Oregon touchdown for 18-3.
Teams ranked sixth in the nation, as Cal was at the time, simply don't do that. But it was so perfectly Cal. Seasoned alums don't simply expect a devastating, spirit-crushing loss each season, we know it will happen. Maybe two or three times.