Cal Football: 5 Problems That Could Cost Jeff Tedford His Job

John Bain@John_BainCorrespondent IISeptember 11, 2011

Cal Football: 5 Problems That Could Cost Jeff Tedford His Job

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    The 2011 college football season is crucial for Jeff Tedford's job security.

    The Golden Bear's have struggled under the guidance of Tedford who has yet to lead them to a conference title. Overall, Tedford's record with the Golden Bears is 72-42 since 2002 having yet to play a BCS bowl game, but they have played seven regular bowl games in his nine-year tenure, but that isn't the goal of the coach in the NCAA.

    There are several things Jeff Tedford will need to do to keep his job for the 2012 season, and it begins now.

A Losing Record

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    The California Golden Bears need to finish above .500 in 2011 if Jeff Tedford wants to keep his tenure at Cal going. Coming off a 5-7 season a year ago, the Golden Bears need to have a strong bounce-back season and do even better within the Pac-12. 

    The Bears have just 10 games remaining in 2011, and all but one game is against Pac-12 opponents. Many of the teams Cal is set to play are far superior on paper, but Tedford and the team will need to win the majority of the games if Jeff Tedford wants to retain the title of head coach of the California Golden Bears.

Disappointing Defense

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    Jeff Tedford and the Cal Golden Bears defense were ranked a dismal 40th overall in points allowed in 2010. In two games in 2011 thus far, the Cal defense has given up an average of 27 points per game, and that is not going to be good enough to continue to win games in 2011.

    Jeff Tedford and his 3-4 defense will need to step it up in the coming weeks and start forcing turnovers and making plays if they want to continue to build on their 2-0 record in 2011.

    Should the defense not start to limit the amount of points put on the board, they will fail to have a good season, and Tedford won't be returning for a 10th season as the boss.

Losing to Ranked Opponents

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    Jeff Tedford and the California Golden Bears were a horrendous 0-4 against ranked opponents in 2010, and that was a large contributing factor to the Bears' first losing season since 2001. Although Cal doesn't face a ranked opponent until October 6th, when they play Oregon, they will have to pull off the biggest upset in recent history. 

    Cal does not bode well against Oregon, despite just losing by two points to the Ducks in 2010, but they have not improved much on last season and will most likely take the loss. They will have opportunities to defeat ranked opponents when they play Stanford and ASU in 2011, and the results will be crucial to the lifespan Tedford has left at Cal.

Low-Scoring Offense

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    Averaging 36 points a game thus far in 2011, Cal is well ahead of its average of 26 points a game in 2010 on the offensive side of the ball. Their average left them in the middle of the pack in 2010 and was on par with the amount of points allowed on defense.

    Jeff Tedford and the Golden Bears will need to keep putting big amounts of points up if they want to continue winning football games in 2011. Cal's offense will carry much of the pressure to win in 2011, and so far so good, but until they face a strong defense, the games thus far prove nothing.

    Cal had 17 turnovers on offense in 2010 and already have three in 2011. They will need to protect the ball better if Tedford wants to keep his job.

Finish out of the Top 25

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    Following the first two games of the 2011 season, it appears as though Jeff Tedford and the California Golden Bears are poised for a bounce-back campaign, but nothing will be set in stone until they begin knocking off tougher opponents than Fresno State and new Pac-12 team Colorado. 

    The Golden Bears and Jeff Tedford must finish in the AP Top 25 at season's end if they want to keep him as their head coach. Two losing seasons in a row and finishing unranked will be devastating for the program, and they cannot afford another disappointing performance in 2011. 

    The Golden Bears were ranked just once in 2010 and finished outside of the Top 25 at season's end. For Tedford to return to Cal for another season, he will need to find a way to finish within the Top 25 in 2011.