Blog Entry

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

Posted on: July 15, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 12:40 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The consensus has been that after three seasons with no achievement more impressive than a handful of blue-chip signings and an EagleBank Bowl victory over Temple, Rick Neuheisel must either guide his UCLA team back to the postseason or get fired trying.

One person at UCLA who won't argue with that consensus? Rick Neuheisel, as it turns out:
The UCLA football coach must win at least half of his games and play in a bowl or he's gone, and he knows it.
"I hate talking like that, but, as an alumni, I would say absolutely yes," Neuheisel said Thursday. "At the end of the day, I am responsible for this program."
That's from a conversation between Neuheisel and Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke, during which Neuheisel tocuhed on various aspects of last year's disastrous 4-8 campaign. One of those aspects was the hiring of since-departed offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who the Bruins paid some $500,000 to coach somewhere else. Despite Chow's pedigree, it's clear from Neuheisel's comments he feels he never should have hired the current Utah OC in the first place:
"I was more enamored with Norm's profile than anything else," Neuheisel says ... "I was trying to hit a home run ..."
"It just didn't work, and it's not Norm's fault. It was that chemistry thing. We didn't have the usual give-and-take that staffs need to be successful," Neuheisel says. "You have to have a staff that develops a recipe for success and stays united behind it. … I don't think that always got accomplished and, because of that, there's a trickle-down effect on your players."
The result of the Chow hire was that between Neuheisel and his star offensive coordinator, Plaschke writes, the Bruins saw their offense pulled in two different directions. He neglects to point out, however, that with neither Neuheisel nor Chow having any experience with the pistol offense installed before last season, Neuheisel also gave his team a third separate direction for the offense to juggle.

Here's how Plaschke describes Neuheisel's attempt to remedy the situation:
[H]e hired a bunch of strangers to everyone but him, coaches whose main attribute was that they shared his boundless optimism and energy. Anonymous guys. Neuheisel guys. He hired Mike Johnson to bring NFL offensive smarts, Joe Tresey to bring a Midwestern-style defense, and Jim Mastro to bring some secrets from that crazy Nevada "pistol" offense.
That's right: he hired a dyed-in-the-NFL-wool pro-style coordinator to oversee a doubling-down on the pistol ... or, in other words, he created -- on paper -- the exact offensive identity crisis that caused so many problems for his team last season.

We're wishing Neuheisel the best of luck. As good as the Bruins' defense shapes up to be, we're guessing he'll still need it.
Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: July 17, 2011 9:49 pm
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Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: July 17, 2011 7:22 pm

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

When Neuheisel says that he made a mistake im hiring Norm Chow and that he didn't follow directions it's more an indictment of Neuheisel's management style and personality than Chow's incompetence or inability to adapt. I would be proud to hire Norm Chow as my head coach or even as an OC. But since I already have Jim Harbaugh this is a moot point. Neuheisel was going to take the 49ers job....but then said that he was never offered the job. I hate to think how much worse of the 49ers would be now if they had hired him. I say fire Neuheisel now and make a clean start. UCLA deserves so much more than a head coach who is content with winning at least half of his games and playing a bowl game. So going 6-5 and playing in any lowly bowl game is good enough for UCLA and it's alums.

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: July 17, 2011 2:43 pm

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

Everything you said was SPOT-ON except you failed to mention one Pac 12 Program that's most definitely on THE RISE, The U-Dub....The University of Washington Huskies.

That coming from an avid Ole Miss Rebel fan in Seattle.  Hotty Toddy!!!

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: July 17, 2011 4:53 am

win 6!

he has to win at least "half his games" to keep his job?  WOW!!!  Win 6 games in a creampuff conference and easy schedule--now that's pressure!!!

Since: Jul 15, 2011
Posted on: July 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

Without question, UCLA (along with Miami) has got to be THE  best opportunities for a good coach to become great, hands down.  It’s located in the Mecca of high school recruiting, offers everything a young man could want, and the school is geographically located next to Beverly Hills and Brentwood!  Many, many local recruits would much rather attend UCLA than USC if only they could compete equally.

One good coach, not great, from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, etc. should snatch up the UCLA position at the end of this year, especially while the Trojans are struggling, and turn that mediocre program into a national powerhouse because the potential is there given the right coach.  I say this not as a UCLA fan, but as an observer.  Brady Hoke was posturing to take it, but Michigan beat the Bruins out.  The potential is definitely there if they can land the guy, but Neuheisel is not the right man for the job.  Don't rule out Mike Stoops leaving Arizona for Westwood either ~ it might make a perfect match.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 16, 2011 2:09 pm

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

We're wishing Neuheisel the best of luck. As good as the Bruins' defense shapes up to be, we're guessing he'll still need it.
Me too. UCLA is a nice alternative to the arrogant and cheating USC. Their current coach is a sleazoid. Haden will have him out soon. Until he does, that team is doomed to lose and scandal will follow.

Honest,ly, now is the year to have a big season in the Pac-10. USC is coached by a fool, Stanford lost it's soul when their coach left and Oregon has gone through a lot of turmoil. California is always California, which means a fast start, then a tumble that won't stop. The Arizona teams are solid, but outside of Oregon, no true top teams.

Neuheisel is a good offensive guy. He was a terrific college QB and has been a decent college coach. Now taht he has his staff maybe they'll jell and the Bruins will have a 7-8 win season. In a competitive, but hardly dominate league he has a shot.

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: July 16, 2011 1:56 pm

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

I think the biggest mistake was letting DeWayne Walker leave.  Still, they have talent on the squad.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: July 16, 2011 11:52 am

Even Neuheisel agrees: it's bowl game or bust

I am not one to point out the shortcomings of UCLA. I sorta like the disorder in Bruin land. This allow us to keep on beating them as long as they are destroying themselves.

In my opinion they should have Karl Dorrell. He was just getting the players he needed to run his offensive scheme and put in his defense. In the last year of his contract they had a pretty good year. Though Dorrell’s record was not sterling, I think he was making progress.

His teams had many many injuries to include the starting quarterback being out for almost an entire season. I think the quarterback that came back had injury problems also. The linebackers were injured. The brothers, Bosworth that played linebacker were constantly injured, and played few games together.

In fact they beat us on our home turf.

Hiring Neuheisel was ok, however, when you hire a new coach you are starting from square one and perhaps behind square one. The current players on the team were recruited to play in the former coaches system.

The new coach would have to get rid of the coaches from the former coach, start recruiting the players necessary to run his offensive and defensive schemes. Hire the coaches necessary to run his schemes.

Rick came in with high expectations, hiring Norm Chow to run an offensive scheme they could not agree on thus complete chaos. Even the defense had problems.

I see Rick has installed a completely new coaching staff. This will set them back at least a year as the players are not use to the terminology from these guys and understand what the coaches expect.  There might be trust issues and an attitude “I can’t wait to get the  hell outta here.


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