Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports

Cal APR not enough to get Bears into bowl game at 5-7, Hawaii to face Tony Franklin's Middle Tennessee State

Cal's season is officially over, and the Bears will not make a bowl game as a 5-7 team.

All 80 bowl teams have been announced, and  California (5-7) is not among them. The Bears' season is now officially over, but given head coach Sonny Dykes's reported flirtations with Houston (bound for the Las Vegas Bowl against San Diego State) and Baylor (bound for the Cactus Bowl against Boise State), it's certainly felt like the season has been over for quite some time.

After starting off 4-3, with wins over Hawaii, then-No. 11 Texas and then-No. 18 Utah, Cal lost four of its final five games, beating UCLA in the season finale for the first time since 2012.

Hawaii (6-7), the Bears' first opponent of the year in Sydney, Australia, made the Hawaii Bowl, and will face former Bears offensive coordinator Tony Franklin's Middle Tennessee State.

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 Cal's only path to a bowl game would have been its multi-year Academic Progress Rate, which stands at 960. Teams with a 5-7 record are taken, in order of multi-year APR, when there are not enough 6-6 teams (with fewer than two wins over Football Championship Subdivision teams) who qualify.

North Texas, which finished 5-7 with a 984 multi-year APR, will play Army in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Black Knights are 6-5, with their annual game against Navy this coming Saturday. Mississippi State, which finished with a 971 APR, will face Miami (OH) in the St. Pete Bowl on Dec. 26. Cal would have needed both of those teams to reject a bowl bid, and likely Arizona State, which is tied with the Bears' 960 multi-year APR. Texas (971) had already stated it would turn down a bowl game.

The APR is used by the NCAA as both a real-time and four-year cohort indicator as to the academic health of intercollegiate athletic programs. Cal's one-year APR this past spring was 997 -- the highest in school history -- helping to offset the final years of Jeff Tedford's tenure, when the Bears posted a 923 single-year figure, and a 935 mutli-year figure -- the lowest in the Pac-12 and one of the 10 lowest in all of the Power 5 conferences.

Cal finishes the season with the nation's No. 4 passing offense, averaging 358.8 yards per game through the air, and as the No. 11 total offense, gaining an average of 513.2 yards per game. The Bears were No. 23 in the country in scoring offense (37.1 ppg), but ranked No. 127 in scoring defense, allowing 42.6 points per game. Cal was No. 125 (out of 128) in the nation in total defense (518.3 ypg allowed) and 127th in rushing defense (272.9 ypg).

The Bears have not announced whether or not defensive coordinator Art Kaufman will return, though given the fact that his initial contract ended in May of 2016, and the UC Berkeley Office of Public Records has not acknowledged a request made last week for his extension covering last season, those extensions are generally only for one year. Kaufman has not been seen on the recruiting trail, though Dykes and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital have been seen watching defensive recruits. Cornerbacks coach John Lovett is still out recruiting, but requests for the the latest contracts for safeties coach Greg Burns and defensive line coach Fred Tate have not been acknowledged. Reached via phone, a Cal official could not comment.

Sources have indicated that a new defensive coordinator is waiting in the wings, with one source indicating that contact talks had been occurring as of last week. Again, a Cal official could not comment on whether those talks occurred.


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