Want to call it horrid play calling? Go ahead.
Want to blame one of the softest secondary performances in recent memory? Be my guest.
But if you're looking for the answer to why Cal was blown out in its regular-season finale in Seattle, look no further than the two sides of the disgusting coin that transformed the Bears' promising 2009 campaign into yet another colossal underachievement.
Here's the truth: this year, Cal has been more of an emotional coin flip than ever before under Jeff Tedford, and it has been painfully obvious.
Four losses, by a combined 115 points, tells the tale of a team that just hasn't shown up for a third of its season…a team with no fiery leader capable of getting them pumped for a game against a 4-7 conference foe.
Is anyone really that distraught about missing out on a trip to El Paso? Not really.
But it's the way that the Bears were torn apart by the Huskies that should have Cal fans fearing for their limbs against Utah – the Bears' likely opponent in the Poinsettia Bowl.
I'll repeat (for dramatic effect): Yes, even Oregon State.
But what you witnessed in Washington was nothing short of a tank job.
The one team that had nothing to play for was as pumped as a BCS darling.
The other team, with a shot at a 10-win season, was as dull as, well, a 0-11 squad that limped into Memorial Stadium a year ago.
So who's to be held accountable for the Slaughter in Seattle?
Kevin Riley's numbers help his candidacy along.
In the Bears wins, Riley has completed 57% of his passes. In their four loses, the junior has made good on just 41% (including his 14-of-32 performance Saturday).
And while his offensive line didn't help (insert remark about Mike Tepper still feeling the effects of that Thanksgiving turkey), Riley's perpetual belief that he can hold onto snaps for 12 seconds has inflated the Bears' number of sacks allowed.
That said, a loss like this couldn't go on the shoulders of any one player.
Instead, I'm going right to the top, where Tedford's inability to keep his players enthused has created a catastrophic culture of contentment.
Maybe Tedford can't convey to his team that there's something to lose because he, in fact, has nothing to lose.
Maybe his job security has is the washer that has prevented any leakage of emotion.
I have never been the type to jump on bandwagons, especially ones that call for the dismissal of a program savior. And I'm not doing that here.
But someone should turn the heat up on Tedford's seat because, while his cooler than cool demeanor has gotten the Bears this far, it's not going to get them any further.
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