After the end of the 2009 college football season, the California Golden Bears must fire defensive coordinator Bob Gregory.
Gregory has been the defensive coordinator for the Bears since 2002.
Yet California must not fall into the same trap as some schools by basing the decision on keeping Gregory around based on past performances of the team's defense.
What counts is what is going on right now and in the future.
As a Bear fan, I'm getting tired of high expectations on the defensive side and then having the defense not show up at all—specifically against ranked opponents. The offense may not have helped in certain cases, but when it become a pattern against those teams, then there is a problem, and it starts at the top with Gregory.
There comes a point in time where you stop blaming the players and start blaming the coaches. Right now it's time to blame the coach. It's gone on for far too long, and the defense has too much talent to look this pathetic this deep into a season.
In 2002 you could give Gregory a pass because he was just getting acclimated to coaching at Cal and using another coordinator's key players, but after a year or two, then it goes on Gregory.
Against ranked teams in '02, the Bears were 0-2 and the team gave up a total of 78 points in those games.
2003: Bears went 1-2 against ranked opponents, giving up a total of 62 points.
2004: Bears went 1-1 against ranked opponents, giving up a total of 17 points.
2005: Bears went 0-3 against ranked opponents, giving up a total of 109 points.
2006: Bears went 2-2 against ranked opponents, giving up a total of 103 points.
2007: Bears went 2-2 against ranked opponents, giving up a total of 110 points.
2008: Bears went 1-2 against ranked opponents, giving up a total of 67 points.
2009: Bears so far are 0-1 against ranked opponents, giving up 30 points.
Looking at the numbers, it's easy to tell why the Bears have a record of seven wins and 13 losses against ranked teams. The average loss for the Bears in terms of points given up in the 13 games is 29 points per game.
As mentioned before, the Bears have had some talented individual defenders come through during Gregory's time, such as Zach Follett, Worrell Williams, Brandon Mebane, Dante Hughes, Nnamdi Asomugha, Tully-Banta Cain, Ryan Riddle, Matt Giordano, Desmond Bishop, and Thomas Decoud.
Each one of those players was drafted by NFL teams. The Bears have had talented defensive players, so it's really a wonder why they cannot perform consistently game in and game out.
I could say look at USC! I know, bad example, because they get one talented player after another. But there's one thing that USC does that California hasn't done, and that's have a defense that comes out every game and play hard.
Most assuredly, though, is the fact that USC does not play the defense that Gregory likes, which is bend but don't break. USC is aggressive. They get after the quarterback; they have very athletic linebackers and a solid secondary.
Let's think this through a little bit more. California has also had talented defensive linemen when given the chance get get after the quarterback, the Bears have had athletic linebackers, and Cal has definitely had some pretty talented secondaries.
So, that excuse goes nowhere. It's Gregory's system that doesn't work.
I believe the icing on the cake for his firing came today against Washington State. Giving up 440 yards of offense to the worst team in the Pac-10 is unacceptable; furthermore, 6.3 yards per play is even more pathetic!
Look at the University of Oregon as well. Their defense isn't anything near what California runs, and they do not have nearly the talent that USC has, yet they still produce better than what Gregory defenses have done recently.
It's time to get rid of Gregory and insert a more aggressive defense!