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Pac-12: Cal lands Dykes after targeting USU's Andersen

Published December 6, 2012 2:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

California's hiring of Sonny Dykes from Louisiana Tech as the Bears' football coach is an intriguing choice, and it also makes me believe that Utah State's Gary Andersen certainly could have landed that job if he wanted it.

Dykes operates the kind of entertaining, wide-open offense that will attract attention in the Bay Area as Cal tries to fill the renovated Memorial Stadium. He did a nice job in three seasons at Tech and had the Bulldogs on the verge of a BCS-busting opportunity until they lost to USU in overtime Nov. 17.

Having said that, Andersen has better credentials. In her news conference after the firing of Jeff Tedford, Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour spoke of wanting to hire "a builder," which fits Andersen's description. In replacing Derek Dooley at Tech, Dykes did not have to do anything resembling the heavy lifting that Andersen has done in Logan. Barbour also emphasized academic performance, and the Aggies have improved in that regard in Andersen's tenure.

So on the basis of Dykes' hiring, USU fans should be even more relieved that Andersen is staying. In turn, it will be interesting to see who becomes Cal's defensive coordinator – because Tech's defense was as bad as the offense was good.

Utah, meanwhile, will not play Cal until 2015 in the Pac-12 scheduling rotation.

As for Colorado, the Utes' theoretical rival in the Pac-12 South, things are messy. The school's first choice was Cincinnati coach Butch Jones, but negotiations fell apart just when a deal reportedly was imminent. Colorado is going to have to work harder now to find a replacement for Jon Embree, who was fired after only two seasons.