It's hard not to feel at least a little sorry for fired Cal football coach Jeff Tedord. Cal was horrible (1-10) before he arrived, and so were the ancient football facilities in Berkeley. Now that facility upgrades have been completed, tickets must be sold to pay for that project.
So, the man most responsible for those improvements is out.
On the surface, Tedford failed because he didn't recruit or develop winning quarterbacks.
It's a shortcoming that puzzles us because it was his work developing Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington that got him the Cal job.
But the bottom line -- of course -- is money. Because Cal could not afford to pay its best assistant coaches the going rate, many left -- including current Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. Of the 11 assistants on Tedford's 2012 coaching staff, only three had been with Tedford more than three seasons.
Don't think that matters?
Ask Oregon and Oregon State, where unusual stability among assistant coaches is an overlooked aspect of those programs' success.
Tedford's firing might not have been big news in the Northwest on Tuesday, but it could soon become big.
If Cal offers Justin Wilcox the chance to become a head coach, figure Washington will be looking for a new defensive coordinator and to replace a proven recruiter.
Though he is not a big name (yet), at 36 someone like Wilcox could fit Cal's tight budget and bring a new energy to the Bears -- much like Steve Sarkisian (now 38) has done for the Huskies.
You will hear a fair amount of whining this week -- especially among fans who have DirectTV -- about the Civil War between No. 5 Oregon and No. 16 Oregon State being televised on the Pac-12 Network. But don't tell us this shows a lack of respect for the Ducks and the Beavers.
This decision was about a lack of population, not football. Fox chose the game of interest to all those TVs in California -- Stanford at UCLA -- over the game whose audience is mainly in Oregon.
On the bright side Beavers and Ducks, your teams will get to play a midday game for a change.