- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Pressure can be interpreted many ways. Having spoken with all three of the new head coaches in the Pac-12 -- Oregon's Mark Helfrich, California's Sonny Dykes and Colorado's Mike MacIntyre -- all three have described the pressure of expectation in their own separate way.
All three take over programs in three very different states of being. Oregon is a national powerhouse that once again should be in the mix for a national championship. Cal is a program that has some talent and history, but has failed to meet expectations the past couple of seasons. Colorado is in need of a complete overhaul. So for your Tuesday poll question, which new Pac-12 coach has the toughest job in 2013?
Sonny Dykes, Cal: The Bears have been to one bowl game in the past three seasons and haven't won a bowl game since topping Miami in the Emerald Bowl in 2008. The Bears were a consistent postseason participant under Jeff Tedford, but the past few years had failed to reach the bar that Tedford himself had set. Enter Dykes. Cal isn't nearly as good as Oregon, but there doesn't seem to be as much rebuilding needed as Colorado. He enters the program at a very interesting time.
Mark Helfrich, Oregon: Chip Kelly went to four straight BCS bowl games, including the national championship, and won three conference titles in four years. Not exactly an easy situation to step into. Helfrich is an insider, so he knows the program and the level of expectation. Exactly what does he need to do, however, to assure those expectations are met?
Mike MacIntyre, Colorado: His architectural overhaul at San Jose State was impressive -- and the school upped its budget for both MacIntyre, his assistants and support staff. The Buffs haven't been to a bowl game since falling to Alabama in the Independence Bowl in 2007, and they haven't won a bowl game since topping UTEP in the 2004 Houston Bowl. He might have the longest honeymoon of the three coaches, but if there aren't signs of progress sooner than later, that honeymoon will be over in a hurry.