The California Golden Bears are off to an abysmal start to their 2012 college football campaign, which is putting head coach Jeff Tedford in the proverbial hot seat, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The shine and luster of a brand new stadium are not enough to mask the terrible play leading to the Bears' 1-4 start, which the Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins describes below:
it's the quality of the Bears' play - especially in pressurized situations - that's disturbing. They let their fans down from the very beginning, losing the stadium-unveiling opener to Nevada, and haven't offered more than scattered, fleeting glimpses of hope since that colossal downer.
The Ohio State game...became a referendum on Tedford's crunch-time play calling. The Bears were within striking distance against a vulnerable-looking USC before coming up small. On Saturday, they were up against an Arizona State program that had gone 1-8 against Tedford's Bears, with five straight losses in Berkeley.
Their chances at getting a win won't get any easier this weekend when they take on the No. 25 UCLA Bruins at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. Another loss could make it much harder for Tedford to keep his job moving forward. Here is Jenkins speaking to a Cal alumni before their game against Arizona State last weekend:
"I'm the last one off the bus when it comes to (firing) Tedford," he told me. "But we have to move on. His game management has been awful. I mean, that 4th-and-1 call at Ohio State (opting for a field goal) when we'd already racked up 500 yards! I like the guy, personally. This beautiful new stadium doesn't get done without him. But it's so frustrating. If this doesn't turn around, I really think they'll buy him out. I'm predicting that if we finish under .500, he's gone."
A .500 record and a bowl game berth could be enough to stave off a pink slip for Tedford, but that also requires overcoming a daunting schedule with not much momentum to build off of.