Dykes: 'This is a very special institution'
Look for Cal's offense to take on a new identity. Sonny Dykes is all offense, all the time. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Sonny Dykes is an interesting choice for Cal. In fact, probably better than you might think a school with Cal’s financial squeezes would be able to attract.
But he comes to a program almost as down on its luck as Cal was when Jeff Tedford, his predecessor, arrived 11 years ago. And he will at least please the form-before-substance lobby at Cal because his Louisiana Tech teams were all offense all the time.
Which, in the Pacific 12 Conference is almost mandatory.
Dykes’ predecessor at La. Tech was Derek Dooley, who bombed spectacularly at Tennessee trying to follow Lane Kiffin. And let that rattle around your head awhile.
But not every coach from the same school is the same. If that had been true, Tedford would have failed just as spectacularly instead of being the most successful coach in school history.
So Dykes becomes athletic director Sandy Barbour’s big get, and in truth he is probably a better get than Cal fans probably figured to get given their grumpy attitudes about the last embers of the Tedford Era. Of course, people were surprised when she got Mike Montgomery to run the basketball program, but Montgomery was doing TV at the time. Dykes was very much a part of the coaching rumor Ferris wheel when she got him to agree.
Thus, with an entirely different offense that is heavy on throwing, which he inherited in part from his father Spike, the former Texas Tech coach, he will dramatically change the Cal football profile – one way or another. He will have a strange act to follow in that Tedford was still much beloved by a segment of the fan base even in the unraveling years, but winning cures everything. Absolutely everything. Even with the academic influence on campus, everything.
Now we will get ready for the fans complaining that the Bears don’t defend well enough. That is preferable to the rank and file complaining about a defensive coach, I guess.