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Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Bigelow’

No. 38: California

While college coaches have struggled transitioning to the N.F.L., former N.F.L. defensive assistants, when promoted to defensive coordinator on the F.B.S. level, have largely experienced a smooth transition to the college game. Take Todd Grantham, for instance, who has helped lead the Georgia defense back into the upper echelon of the SEC over two seasons with the Bulldogs. There’s Greg Mattison, who worked miracles with Michigan last fall, his first season in Ann Arbor. After an up-and-down debut, Monte Kiffin has U.S.C. playing the sort of defense that wins championships. California has its own former N.F.L. assistant in Clancy Pendergast, but his record since moving down to the F.B.S. prior to the 2010 season has been defined by a troubling lack of reliability. Sometimes his defense hangs tight with nation’s best, such as it did against Oregon two years ago. But then it doesn’t, such as in the case of Colorado, the Ducks, U.S.C. and Arizona State last fall, and that’s the problem. The Golden Bears haven’t played defense with a reasonable level of consistency for the entirety of Pendergast’s tenure, which might explain why the program is a game under .500, at 12-13, over the same span.

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