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UCLA Settles on Rick Neuheisel

That’s Neuheisel — N-E-U-H-E-I-S-E-L. Better get it straight since it’s the name I’ll be pounding into the keyboard incessantly over the next several years. And I have to say, I am quite satisfied with the hire. I think Neuheisel can do what I want with UCLA football: make them achieve at reasonable levels. With Rick at coach, they’ll probably average eight wins a year, pulling 10 in a good year, and maybe only six in a down year. If he recruits a few superstars, heck we could even sneak into a BCS game or two. What I’m wondering is why it took UCLA three weeks to hire a man they could’ve had a long time ago. Is Neuheisel not ashamed that the Bruins took this long?

See, UCLA was looking to take the hottest girl in school to the prom. They knew they could get laid if they asked Rick, but what’s the fun in that? Once the hot chicks were already taken or showed no signs of interest, they settled for the sure thing. And you know what? Sometimes that’s the best way to go. You have a guy who wants the job and will work hard at the job. A guy who’s had a questionable past but has likely learned and will try to avoid the same pitfalls that brought him down elsewhere. I expect Neuheisel to be around the Bruins program for the next 10 years or so and I’m satisfied with the hire. Now retaining DeWayne Walker as defensive coordinator would be a great bonus.

Karl Dorrell: Duke Football Savior?

I’ve said for quite some time that I wanted Karl Dorrell out as UCLA’s coach. I was happy to finally get my wish this week, but I still maintain that I want Dorrell to succeed, just elsewhere. Well, looks like Dorrell’s opportunity to coach in the collegiate ranks may be coming sooner, rather than later, as SI.com reports:

Former UCLA head football coach Karl Dorrell is drawing interest from Duke University, SI.com has learned.

Duke would like to schedule an interview with Dorrell in the near future, but it is believed that the Blue Devils are still in the process of formally contacting the coach.

Maybe Duke is just drawing upon its common lines with Dorrell — they were two of the three schools to lose to Notre Dame this year (Stanford was the other, as The Driver points out). Perhaps it’s that sort of distinction that unites. As for coaching at Duke football, it’s no easy task. Ted Roof was fired after winning just 6 games in 5 years. Yeah. Those won’t be easy to come by for Karl. Duke football has gone winless three times since the turn of the century. Their last ACC title? 1989 when they were co-champs under Steve Spurrier. That would be some high company, Karl.

UCLA Football Mathematics

May the dream come true. This week, UCLA football has the opportunity to make up for the mistake made five years ago. Hire The Mooch, and all will be forgiven and forgotten. Please let the dream come true.

UCLA Completes Four Passes, Beats Oregon, Dorrell Lives, Rose Bowl Alive

A few weeks ago, I thought Dorrell had lived his last life. Apparently this cat has twenty of them. Somehow or another, the Bruins beat Oregon, eliminating the Ducks from Rose Bowl contention. UCLA completed four — count em — just four passes in the ballgame. Yikes. Luckily for UCLA, Oregon was in similar quarterback hell, alternating between second, third, and fourth stringers. So what does this all mean? In this effed up world of college football, the Bruins are still alive in the Pac-10 race. They beat USC (yes, I’m laughing to myself), while Arizona knocks off Arizona State, and they’re in the Rose Bowl. Of course, give me a 95 mph fastball and I’m in the majors, you feel?

If UCLA could win a game in which they only completed four passes, why couldn’t they do the same thing against Notre Dame? Maybe Dorrell and the Bruins’ staff wasn’t sharp enough to figure out on the fly that they should just run the ball with a fourth string quarterback rather than let them throw passes and get picked (as Mike Bellotti did). So UCLA will likely finish 6-6, ruining at least one season in the process. Callahan, Morriss, Orgeron, Carr, and Franchione are gone amongst others. Will Dorrell join the group? I think and hope so. The numbers speak for themselves. But I’ll be darned if this guy hasn’t put fans on one hell of a roller coaster ride. And damn, he sure does have far too many lives.

Has Karl Dorrell Lived His Last Life?

Of all the disappointing seasons under Karl Dorrell — and there have been many — this year might be the most excusable. Down to a third and fourth string QB at times would hamper any team, program, and coach. It’s hard enough to win with a backup — but a backup to a backup? Yeah, that’s pretty much game over. So is it justifiable and fair that Dorrell would get fired after a season ruined by injuries? Well, the argument can be made that it was heading towards disappointment with healthy QBs anyway, and that he was set up for failure to begin with, as TJ Simers says. I’ll concede that the harsh academic standards and low coaching salaries makes the job of a UCLA football coach no easy task, but it can be done better than it is.

I’d like to see Dorrell succeed in his career — I really would. I’ve just seen enough of him in Westwood. It’s been five years of mediocrity, and this season can be heading towards 5-7. I’d like to see someone who can run a respectable program that wins on a more consistent basis. Now, why people are so hot on Mike Leach from Texas Tech boggles my mind. What’s so much better about losing 50-45 than 24-20? I’m still trying to figure that one out. Dorrell is not the answer, but neither is Leach. I’m not sure who the proper replacement is, but there’s no question that a change is needed.

Ex-UCLA QB Drew Olson Is an NFL Europe Star

I had no idea until I saw it on the crawl somewhere, probably on ESPNEWS. And I know I’m totally opening the door for Trojans out there, but this cannot go unmentioned. Over the weekend, or last week, or whenever the hell they played their last game, Drew Olson led the Amsterdam Admirals to a 41-31 win over the Hamburg Sea Devils. Olson threw for 304 yards and 3 TDs, and ran for another score. Sounds like he’s back to his UCLA form.

And for that matter, Drew was quite underrated with the Bruins. He was second all-time with 8,532 yards, 664 completions, and 67 touchdowns. And yes, he’s good enough to be a professional quarterback.