BERKELEY -- Former Raiders coach Hue Jackson expressed interest in the Cal football job, and luring Chris Petersen away from Boise State might not be as far-fetched as some Bears fans think.
Jim Sochor, who coached Petersen at UC Davis and gave him his first coaching job, said Tuesday the changing landscape at Boise might tempt Petersen to make a move after years of resisting big offers.
"A lot of changes have taken place there," said Sochor, referring to the Broncos' scheduled move to the Big East Conference in 2014 and the arrival of a new athletic director last year. "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he's had maybe some change of heart. At some point I do believe he will go elsewhere."
Sochor hopes that place is Cal.
"He'd be great at Cal. He has all the requisites that Cal would be looking for," Sochor said.
An Arkansas website, HogCountryonline, posted a story suggesting the Razorbacks were close to a deal with Petersen, although no other media outlets were reporting it Tuesday evening.
Jackson, 47, who was Cal's offensive coordinator in 1996, told this newspaper Tuesday in a phone interview he has not been contacted. Now a Cincinnati Bengals assistant, Jackson said he would welcome a call from Berkeley.
Jackson, who led the Raiders to an 8-8 record in 2011, his only season as head coach in Oakland, believes Cal's potential has a high ceiling.
"I think they can be as good as they want to be," he said. "They should have an opportunity to compete for the Pac-12 championship, BCS bowls, the national championship. Why not Cal?"
One week after Cal fired Jeff Tedford, there was no indication that athletic director Sandy Barbour was close to naming a replacement.
Besides Petersen and Jackson, there were more moving parts with others thought to be on Cal's list:
The X-factor is Petersen, who is 82-8 in seven seasons at Boise and has been linked to jobs at Penn State, UCLA and Stanford in recent years. On Monday, he addressed the annual rumors, telling reporters that "99.9 percent is always completely false, the problem is 0.1. But there hasn't even been 0.1."
One potential complication might be that Petersen and Tedford are good friends. Sochor said there are factors that might work in Cal's favor.
Petersen's father still lives in their hometown of Yuba City, and Petersen's son Sam, who had a brain tumor and cancer of the spine when he was an infant, is healthy at age 13.
Petersen played quarterback for Sochor in 1985 and '86 but didn't initially want to go into coaching. "We had to talk him into becoming my head freshman coach," Sochor said. "Once he did that, it was all over. He was a natural."
Sochor pointed to Petersen's familiarity with the UC system, as well as his prowess recruiting in California and nationally. "It all fits," he said.