Vincent S, California Golden Blogs: Tyrone Willingham. Kidding. Actually, Mark Helfrich. People are high on him as Oregon's offensive coordinator, but I feel that Chip Kelly is the real genius behind Oregon's offensive prowess. I'm not sure how much effect, if any, Mark Helfrich has on their game plan, and I don't really think that's something we should spend 3 years finding out. This is not Mike Belotti's offensive coordinator (Mike Belotti was known for cultivating top assistants); Chip Kelly retains much more control over his offense. Please, no to Mark Helfrich.
NorCalNick, California Golden Blogs: Herm Edwards scares me for a number of reasons. I think he would be a perfect Cal coach for all of those off-the-field aspects we expect from our head coach . . . but I don't think he's likely to solve any of the on-field issues that have submarined the 2nd half of Tedford's tenure. Cal fans have long complained about conservative decisions and questionable clock management . . . all things I already associate with Herm Edwards as a coach. Even more so, Herm is a defensive minded coach who has struggled to hire the right personnel to create a successful offense. Cal's offense is what is holding the Bears back right now, and I simply don't have faith in Herm to turn it around.
Bears With Fangs: I second NorCalNick. Herm Edwards might induce a Darth Vader level "Noooooo" from me. Sure it might seem like a sexy pick because of his Cal ties and his prominence on ESPN, but good god, just...no. I think he could certainly inject some energy into the team and the fan base, but I don't see Edwards as being the prime model for smart, disciplined football. And if things go south, I can easily see him being good for nothing but sound bites.
atomsareenough, California Golden Blogs: Hmmmm. I feel like Herm Edwards could go either way. He could be inspired and Pete Carroll-esque, or he could be mediocre and ineffectual. The type of hire that would scare me the most, though, would be a guy like Mike MacIntyre (SJSU) or Gary Andersen (Utah State), who's simply having a good year at a smaller school. If we're hiring a guy from a lower tier conference, then I want a track record of sustained success or at least a few years of consistently dominating that conference. One good year could just be a flash in the pan or having a lot of seniors or something, and that's not enough for me to want Cal to take the gamble.
Berkelium97, California Golden Blogs: Others have spoken at length about Herm Edwards, so I will not voice my concerns about him. With Herm out of the picture, I am in the same camp as atoms: I am worried about picking up an unproven, flash-in-the-pan candidate at a non-AQ school. To be specific, I'm going to say I'm worried about Gary Andersen. Unlike candidates such as Sonny Dykes, Charlie Strong, or Mike MacIntyre, Andersen has never coached at an AQ school. He had some good defenses at Utah and he has shown steady improvement at Utah State, but I would rather see a fuller resume from him. Dykes has proven himself as a solid offensive coach at multiple schools; Strong had some excellent defenses at Florida (though I am underwhelmed by the Louisville D this year, which is somewhat ironic since they are undefeated); and MacIntyre was in the NFL for five years, gave Duke its best defense in 20 years in his first year as DC, and was named the 2009 FBS Assistant Coach of the Year.
I don't doubt that Gary Andersen can be a great candidate down the road, but I would rather see someone else take the reins in 2013.