Saturday, October 13, 2007

Luck runs out

A couple of weeks ago this blog became very popular on some Cal message boards because Mergz felt that Cal's lack of credible defense would eventually catch up with them. We tried to reason with these people and explain that championship defenses don't give yards by the bushel. The most creative counterargument was that Cal's defense was designed to bend but not break. Well it bent, bent, and broke today, giving up 31 points to the unranked Beavers of Oregon State.

We also pointed our resume-based BlogPoll ballot where we had Cal ranked high, but only tentatively until they eventually and predictably stumbled. Well here we are. Are any of the Cal faithful going to drop by and say "you guys were right"? Doubtful.

Also running out of luck was Les Miles and his LSU Tigers. At least he had the balls to blame himself for the loss, not like Ron Zook who will never accept responsibility. The announcers of today's Illinois/Iowa game said that Zook was worried about a letdown among his players. Here he is advertising his fears about his players' mindset before game time instead to trying to remedy it. That's nothing new for Zook who famously once said of an opponent, "that's what we're going to look like in 3 years." In his post game press conference, Zook explained that he saw this coming. As if we are supposed to give him credit for making a self-fulfilling prophesy.


Shay said...

re: Cal

You were right about the Bears losing at some point, but it was hard to blame the defense for the loss -- they got put in poor field position over and over again because of fumbles and bad special teams play. OSU frequently had to drive about 10-15 yards to get points. Check the stats: Cal outgained OSU 478-339.

Right prediction, wrong reason.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, it's *extremely* easy to blame the Cal QB for making a mistake that quite frankly some boys still in the womb would know not to make.

That was the most boneheaded, brain-dead play I've seen in years. We're talking Joe Pisarcik level here.

Shay said...

He was a freshman QB starting his first game; the normal starter (Longshore) was out with an injury. These things happen.

Mergz said...

Shay - I would have thought (in fact, I did think) that Cal was going to lose by getting blasted offensively.

It was the mistakes you cite that did the Bears in, including the gut wretching mistake by Riley at the end.

But givinig up 339 yards to Oregon State is no small shakes either - the defense failed at least a bit here.

Shay said...

Cal's defense gave up a couple of TD drives in the second half when they couldn't afford to, it's true. But all in all, it wasn't a bad effort, given the tough spots they were put in. You can't expect them to hold EVERY time.

OSU had gained 370, 310, 432, 514, 248, and 351 yards in the games prior to this one, so 339 was actually below their season average. Defense was not the reason Cal lost; uncharacteristic turnovers did the greatest damage, and having an inexperienced RS freshman QB in the game did the rest.