CORVALLIS, Ore. -- For the Cal football team, the season-ending matchup against Oregon State on Saturday won't be a referendum on coach Jeff Tedford's future.The good and bad of his 11-year tenure will be sorted out Sunday when he meets with athletic director Sandy Barbour to discuss what's next.Still, Tedford will be the focal point in a game that offers few tangible rewards for the Bears. He has guided the Bears (3-8, 2-6 Pac-12) to heights they hadn't enjoyed in a half-century and became Cal's winningest all-time coach. Now he presides over a program that has won just 15 times in its past 38 games."It's frustrating. My expectations were way higher," senior running back Isi Sofele said. "We have one more game. We're going to come out and give it all we've got. This is our bowl game."Of course, it's really not. The Bears are missing the bowl season for the second time in three years after seven straight postseason appearances.There are lots of reasons, starting with the unusually long list of injuries. Erratic play along the offensive line and at quarterback and questions about the running back rotation are other factors.It's added up to Cal's worst season since 2001 -- the year before Tedford arrived.Now the question is whether he'll be around for his 12th season.The situation is more complicated than merely finding $6.9 million from donors willing to buy out the remaining three years of Tedford's Advertisementcontract.Cal cannot afford to alienate fans they hope will buy expensive endowed seats to help pay down the $321 million Memorial Stadium renovation debt. Some of those deep-pocketed donors want Tedford to go, others may want him back. For Barbour, it's a delicate balancing act.For the players, it's noise they try to block out."People just talk -- that's just how it goes," junior cornerback Steve Williams said. "I don't know much about what's going on outside. I know Coach Tedford's a good guy.""It's not my job to analyze their performance," said sophomore linebacker Nick Forbes. "I believed in them when I got there. I still believe in them."Tedford remains impressed that his players still have "motivation when the record isn't what you want it to be. All the things they're doing in preparation have been all positive," he said. "I'm happy that the foundation has stayed strong."The Bears will play their finale without three key offensive players -- quarterback Zach Maynard, wide receiver Keenan Allen and tackle Matt Summers-Gavin. All three are sidelined by knee injuries, and none are expected to be back next season.Allen is a junior, but he is expected to enter the NFL draft. Maynard and Summers-Gavin are seniors.The obstacles at Reser Stadium will include soggy weather, the Beavers' stubborn run defense, the big arm of sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion and sound effects unique to a football game.When opponents face a third down, OSU blares a recording of a chain saw to fire up the crowd."Annoying," Tedford called it.At this point, hard to blame the man for feeling that way.For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.Also Read
Cal's football finale at Oregon State could be final game for Bears coach Jeff Tedfordfeeds.mercurynews.com – Sat, Nov 17, 2012
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