Aug 31, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears linebacker Chris McCain (40) and Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter (2) after the ball is released during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Cal is hurting. Their star play-maker and best pass rusher, Chris McCain, has been dismissed from the team for undisclosed reasons after an incident Sunday night, the day after the team was doused by the rain, and Oregon, in a 55-16 defeat.
My immediate educated guess is a team rules violation, something similar to the likes of Sekope Kaufusi and CJ Mizell when they were dismissed from Washington State in the Spring of 2012. Remember it was precedent setting time for Mike Leach and his coaching staff as they tried to turn around the program from more than just a record standpoint.
McCain is/was a “bad apple” on new head coach Sonny Dykes’ good tree. According to this report by Golden Bear Blogs it looks like it was a difficult decision for the coach but had to be done for the betterment of the team in the long run. An article from Cal’s FS site Golden Bear Lair states that there are rumors that McCain faked in-game injuries and then miraculously returned, although I find that a little tough to believe. Either way it was multiple mishaps that ultimately finds him in school but no longer on the team.
What it means for the Cougars? Washington State didn’t take any advantage of the fact that Stanford was without two of their best players last Saturday, but this is a different animal altogether. Cal doesn’t have reserves in place that can match up to McCain’s athletic ability and they don’t have a team surrounding those reserves that can make up for the loss in the same fashion.
Apparently other injuries are piling up on Cal as well and they had already lost their starting safety, Avery Sebastian to an Achilles tendon tear at the beginning of fall camp. Washington State should have a field day against this defense and the offensive line really needs to shut out this defensive line from Cal after their (quite frankly) embarrassing performance against Stanford.