After the Ducks program began to take off in the mid-1990s, California hired former Ducks' offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford in 2002. As the Ducks' upward climb reached a standstill, Cal stepped up and looked like it might be the next in line to challenge USC.
The Golden Bears did win four of five games with the Ducks between 2004 and 2008, including a game for the ages in 2007. After they walked out of Autzen Stadium with a 31-24 win over the No. 5 Ducks, things began to change between the two schools. Cal did win the following season in Berkeley, as the Ducks fumbled gave away a game they dominated. Starting in the class of 2008, the Bears responded by going on an unprecedented run of recruiting success. The Ducks began to dominate the series on the field with a 42-3 win over the Bears in 2009. Despite the dominant performance over the then-No. 6 Bears, Cal beat the Ducks head-to-head for a number of elite recruits from 2008 to 2012.
Whether it was location, academics, Cal's plans for facilities upgrades -- which are now complete -- or former Cal assistant -- and current Washington assistant -- Tosh Lupoi, the Bears won the majority of the recruiting battles between the two schools. Similar to the recent history with USC, the Ducks don't care about recruiting rankings as much as they do the on-field results.
While Cal has beaten the Ducks for a number of elite recruits, the Bears have only finished higher than the Ducks one time in the ESPN class rankings going back to 2008. From 2010 until mid-January 2012, the Bears were the trendy program on the West Coast for recruits. When Lupoi left for Washington a couple weeks before the last signing day, the Huskies began to take the title from the Bears.
Here is a look at how the recruiting battles between the Ducks and the Bears have played out during the last five recruiting cycles (When both schools offered).
Trevor Guyton (Redmond, Wash.), Marvin Jones (Etiwanda, Calif.), Mychal Kendricks (Fresno, Calif.), Charles Germany (Milpitas, Calif.), J.P. Hurrell (San Mateo, Calif.), Anthony Miller (San Jose, Calif.)
Deandre Coleman (Seattle, Wash.), Alex Logan (Denver, Colo.), Dasarte Yarnway (San Francisco, Calif.), Charles Siddoway (Eugene, Ore.), Brian Schwenke (Oceanside, Calif.), Vachel Samuels (Lakewood, Calif.)
Stefan McClure (Vista, Calif.), Brennan Scarlett (Portland, Ore.), Jason Gibson (Gardena, Calif.), Todd Barr (Lakewood, Calif.), Viliami Moala (Sacramento, Calif.), Jordan Rigsbee (Chico, Calif.), Avery Walls (McDonough, Ga.), Richard Rodgers (Shrewsbury, Mass.)
De'Anthony Thomas (Los Angeles, Calif.), Colt Lyerla (Hillsboro, Ore.), Devon Blackmon (Fontana, Calif.), Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (Chino, Calif.), Anthony Wallace (Dallas, Texas), Andre Yruretagoyena (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Lake Koa Ka'ai (Honolulu, Haw.), Rahim Cassell (Lakewood, Calif.)
In the past five recruiting cycles, the Ducks and the Bears have been going to battle every year for top prospects from the Northwest to California to Texas and to North Carolina. The most important signings for Cal have turned out to be Allen, McCain, Barr, Scarlett, Kendricks and Marvin Jones. For the Ducks, the key signings turned out to be Clay, Littlejohn, Lyerla, Thomas, Marshall, Armstead, Ekpre-Olomu, Heimuli, Lokombo, Patterson and Jordan.
Since 2008, the Ducks and Bears each signed four prospects that the other one offered from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. On the flip side, the Ducks signed seven out of 15 players with a Cal offer that went to high school within a four-hour drive of Berkeley. Cal signed the other eight.
The departure of Lupoi last offseason to Washington has already hit the Bears hard. Lupoi has become one of the premier recruiters in college football and his departure led to the Bears losing their top two recruits, both within 90 miles of campus. Despite the completion of their 300-million dollar stadium and facilities upgrade, the Bears are making little noise in recruiting so far in 2013.