Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:UCLA Football
Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:30 am
Edited on: December 2, 2010 10:31 am
 

UCLA guarantees Neuheisel's position is safe

Posted by Chip Patterson

There is plenty of reason for concern in Westwood over the UCLA football program.  Since hiring head coach Rick Neuheisel, the Bruins have gone 15-21, they have zero offensive identity, and despite the coaching of the legendary coordinator Norm Chow - the Bruins have no certainty at the quarterback position.  Neuheisel has already addressed the evaluation process for all the assistant coaches, but what about the evaluation of the head coach?

Even with the downfalls, UCLA still has Neuheisel's back for now.  Athletic director Dan Guerrero stood firmly behind his head coach when questioned about Neuheisel's status with the Bruins for 2011.

“Of course there’s never been any question of that,” Guerrero said outside the Bruin locker-room following UCLA's 55-24 loss at Arizona State on Friday. “There’s no doubt. Why would you ask that question?”

There are many reasons why both fans and critics would question Guerrero's confidence in Neuheisel.  The former Washington head coach was brought in with the promise to "end the football monopoly in Los Angeles," but even with a win over the Trojans on Saturday the Bruins will have failed to pick up more than three conference victories in the brief Neuheisel era.  Scott Reid, of the Orange Country Register, seems to suggest that Neuheisel's critics may also be Guerrero's critics.  If so, and the losing continues, there could be major changes on the way at UCLA.
Posted on: November 25, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2010 5:56 pm
 

Despite extension, Chow still has no guarantees

Posted by Chip Patterson

UCLA Rick Neuheisel would not make any guarantees for any of his staff, and many believed that legendary offensive coordinator Norm Chow was in jeopardy of being replaced.  Then, it was announced on Wednesday that that UCLA had approved a two-year extension for Chow.  The announcement was likely a result of the hot-seat rumors, with the extension being agreed on in July and approved late last week.  UCLA firmed their commitment with Chow after USC head coach Lane Kiffin made a play to get Chow out of Westwood.

But the Bruins offense has been far from impressive so far in 2010, ranking 111th nationally in total offense and 117th in passing offense.  Not what you would expect from a coach who has helped with two national championships and coached two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks.  Contrary to what the extension may imply, the status on Chow's job has not changed.  The deal was made before this dismal season, and Neuheisel reiterated Wednesday that each member of the staff would be evaluated at season's end.  Just because the deal has been approved does not guarantee Chow will be the offensive coordinator in 2011.  


Posted on: November 23, 2010 10:07 am
Edited on: November 23, 2010 10:08 am
 

Norm Chow on the hot seat at UCLA?

Posted by Chip Patterson

UCLA was able to find some hope near the beginning of the 2010 season with upset wins against Houston and at Texas, but the Pac-10 schedule has not been particularly friendly to the Bruins.  When UCLA kicked off conference competition, their opponents were well prepared for the Pistol offensive attack that carved up the Longhorns for 260+ yards rushing in Austin.  The Bruins offense has struggled to score in the second half of the season, never scoring more than 21 points since October 2.  There are many things to blame for the Bruins failures, but the one name that continues to come up is offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

"I don't want to talk about who will be or who won't be on the staff next year," head coach Rick Neuheisel said when asked about Chow's status with the Bruins for 2011.  "Our staff is intact and we're ready to go. I honestly haven't even start to think about that road."

Neuheisel did go on to say that Chow, along with the rest of the staff, would be evaluated at season's end.  Chow is one of the great offensive minds in college football across the last 30 years, and his legacy was cemented with two national championships and two Heisman winning quarterbacks at USC.  But something at UCLA is clearly not working.  The offense has looked less like a Pistol for most of 2010, and more like, well, this.



Posted on: October 26, 2010 9:04 am
Edited on: October 26, 2010 9:09 am
 

UCLA loses two more to team rules suspensions

Posted by Chip Patterson

When news originally broke of UCLA's potential suspensions for the Oregon game, sources were reporting that as many as six starters would be absent on the field due to failed team-issued random drug tests.  When the school announced team suspensions: only two players, wide receiver Josh Smith and F-back Morrell Presley, were suspended for the primetime showdown with the Ducks.    

But UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel is not done handing down the punishments in Westwood.  Wide receiver Rick Marvray and offensive tackle Sean Sheller have been issued one game suspensions for violating team rules and will not play against Arizona.  Similar to the suspensions of Smith and Presley, the Los Angeles Times is citing multiple sources in the program who have said all four suspensions are tied to positive tests in a recent drug screening.  According to the Times, UCLA's drug policy calls for a one-game suspension upon a third positive test. The first positive test results in the team doctor being told, mandatory counseling and future testing. The second failed test results in the coach and associate athletic director being notified, with more counseling and tests.

The suspensions cannot be blamed for UCLA's ineffective offense against the Ducks last Thursday, but it certainly did not help.  It is one of many issues on that side of the ball, along with consistency, efficiency, effectiveness, and not throwing the proverbial offensive fecal matter all over the field.

(Artwork courtesy of Tom Fornelli, Esq.)

For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Oregon helps color-out fad up and over the shark

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Oregon
fans, Chip Kelly and the rest of the Duck football program have a request for you :

 

Imagine a television backdrop where every fan in Autzen is wearing brilliant bright yellow. Chip Kelly, along with all of us in the athletic department ask you to "yellow out" the stadium this Thursday, as we won’t only be in 3D, but the game will be televised nationally in primetime on ESPN.

Be a part of this spectacular show with your yellow best.. and once again make Autzen rock the nation.

Strangely enough, when this neutral college football fan imagines a television backdrop where every fan in Autzen is wearing brilliant bright yellow, the result is a peculiar desire to claw his own eyes out. It's crime enough against good taste (and the continued proper functioning of viewers' retinas) when the Ducks themselves trot out the all-yellow look . An entire stadium of yellow-clad fans matched by an entire team of yellow-clad Ducks might require the surgeon general to recommend some kind of protective goggles if we're going to watch the country's No. 1 team's likely beatdown of visiting UCLA .

Nonetheless, the Oregon administration feels that "yellow will best represent our football program and fan base to the rest of the country." And it might, if this becomes the tipping point at which college football collectively realizes that the color-out fad has run its course, and afterwards recognizes Oregon for taking the necessary final step towards its eradication.

That won't happen, of course; if Lane Kiffin 's candy-corn blackout at Tennessee couldn't stop the color-out bandwagon, nothing will. (It's a safe bet we'll also find out later that any and all visiting recruits "loved it.") But you do have to give Oregon credit for trying.

A certain, twisted kind of credit, that is.

HT: Dr. Saturday

 



Posted on: October 18, 2010 10:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 4:37 am
 

Midseason Report: Pac-10

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Midseason Report separates the contenders from the pretenders in each conference race, and in the Pac-10, that means cleanly separating its top half from its bottom half ... and wondering if anyone can catch Oregon. Here's what's happened so far and what might happen down the stretch.

1. Oregon (6-0, 3-0) - Jeremiwho Masoli? The Ducks missed the memo that the offseason dismissal of their starting quarterback spelled the end of any national title hopes, blazing to six straight wins by an average margin of 38 points. That’s been good enough to make them the consensus No. 1 team in the polls entering the second half of the season, and for Chip Kelly to confirm (again) that no one has a better offensive mind or more talent for coaching dual-threat quarterbacks. First-year starter Darron Thomas has racked up more than 1,400 total yards in leading the Ducks to the current No. 1 ranking in total offense. But even Thomas can go overlooked next to tailback and Heisman candidate LaMichael James , the nation’s No. 1 rusher at 170 yards per-game. The Duck onslaught has overwhelmed every team unlucky enough to face it so far, including previously undefeated Stanford , who gave up 49 points in the final three quarters and lost by three full scores at Autzen. Don’t pencil the Ducks in for a national title bout just yet, though; they were outgained by 226 yards in their only serious road test to date, at Arizona State , and still have to visit three dangerous teams in USC , Cal , and Oregon State . Where the Pac-10 title is concerned, however, it’ll be a shocker if it winds up anywhere but Eugene.

2. Stanford (5-1, 2-1) - Not many coaches can claim to have done a better job over the past few seasons than Kelly, but Jim Harbaugh might be one of them. His stunning reclamation project in Palo Alto has only picked up speed in 2010 as behind potential No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck (1,538 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 65.7 completion percentage), the Cardinal haven’t missed a beat without departed Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart. UCLA was embarrassed 35-0, Notre Dame bludgeoned 37-14. and USC out-shot 37-35. The 73rd-ranked rush defense could stand to find more consistency, but with Arizona and Oregon State both coming to Stanford Stadium, the Cardinal could nonetheless be favored in their final six games. 10 or even 11 wins are within reach ... though with Oregon holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, it'll take some major help to reach Pasadena.

3. Arizona (5-1, 2-1)
- The Pac-10 has the Wildcats to thank for the conference’s most impressive non-league win to-date, the wire-to-wire 34-27 win over otherwise-undefeated No. 13 Iowa . But Arizona hasn’t been nearly as impressive in conference play, escaping Cal 10-9 on a last-minute touchdown, losing at home to Oregon State 29-27, and sleepwalking past hapless Washington State 24-7. Quarterback Nick Foles has been outstanding, completing better than 75 percent of his passes and averaging 267 yards a game. But now Foles is due to miss three weeks with a knee injury, and the ‘Cats haven’t been able to get key senior running back Nic Grigsby (340 yards this season) on track. With road trips to Stanford and Oregon still to come, Mike Stoops will have to recapture the magic of the Iowa game in a hurry to keep the Wildcats a factor in the Pac-10 race.

4. Oregon State (3-3, 2-1) - Give the Beavers this: no one in the country has played a more difficult schedule. There’s no shame in losing competitive games on the road at top-5 outfits like TCU and Boise State, and not a whole lot in being a two-point conversion away from a thrilling win at Washington . But there’s not that much respect in being only .500, either, even with a big road win at Arizona. And with James Rodgers out for the season, it’s worth asking if the Beavers have enough offensive firepower to hang with anyone in their brutal USC-Stanford-Oregon closing stretch. Still, Mike Riley 's teams usually improve as the season progresses, and quarterback Ryan Katz has shown flashes of brilliance (most notably in the 390 yard upset in Tucson). The Beavers will still have their say in how the Pac-10 ultimately plays out. They always do.

5. USC (5-2, 2-2) - Maybe we should include Washington in this space. After all, the Huskies both beat the Trojans at the Coliseum and stand a half-game ahead of USC in the Pac-10 standings. But it’s hard to take a team that’s lost to a flatly terrible BYU squad and Arizona State (at home!) all that seriously. The Trojans, on the other hand, are two field goals -- one Washington’s, one Stanford’s, both on the final play of the game -- away from being undefeated. And the way Matt Barkley is throwing the ball these days (742 yards, 8 touchdowns, no interceptions the last two weeks) and freshman Robert Woods is catching it (19 receptions, 340 yards, 5 touchdowns those same two weeks), it’s safe to call Lane Kiffin ’s team the one in the Pac-10 that no one would want to play. Just ask Cal. Then again: how dangerous can the Trojans really be if Monte Kiffin ’s 90th-ranked defense doesn’t stop allowing the occasional 500-yard game? USC could upset Oregon in L.A. and enter the final week of the season in contention for a championship, or they could be mathematically eliminated in another two weeks. Anything is possible here.

Prediction: Sorry, Ducks fans: the guess here is that Oregon won't become the first Pac-10 team other than USC to advance to the BCS championship game. Even the best offenses can have off-games on the road, and that defense -- which was gouged for 600 yards in Tempe and another 518 against Stanford -- isn't going to be able to take up the slack. Whether at Los Angeles, Berkeley, or Corvallis, Oregon is due to trip up somewhere.

But they won't trip up twice, which means that they'll still be able to settle for a second straight Pac-10 championship and Rose Bowl berth. Stanford will crack double-digit wins, but it won't be enough, and perhaps maybe not even enough to push the race into the season's final week.

Everyone else? Three conference losses at the minimum, though USC will end the season with a ton of momentum and the consensus honor of being the league's third-best team.



Posted on: October 13, 2010 10:32 am
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:34 am
 

Source: UCLA suspensions for failed drug tests

Posted by Chip Patterson

So far, the only result from yesterday's buzz about punishments at UCLA has been the suspension of wide receiver Josh Smith and F-back Morrell Presley for the Oregon game on October 21.  Certainly not the rumored three to six players, but losing two starters will still put a dent in the Bruins offense.  The official reason for the suspension was a vague "violation of team rules," but reports out of Los Angeles have offered suggestions as to the specific violation.

The Los Angeles Times has cited two sources from within the UCLA program that have tied the suspensions to a team-issued random drug test.  According to the report, UCLA's drug policy calls for a one-game suspension upon a third positive test. The first positive test results in the team doctor being told, mandatory counseling and future testing. The second failed test results in the coach and associate athletic director being notified, with more counseling and tests.

This is falling right on the heels of two Washington State players being arrested with 38 marijuana plants in their residence.  Would anyone suggest that perhaps the Bruins is in cahoots with their Pac-10 green-loving brethren.  I certainly would not suggest it, but the ferret might.

For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 4:32 pm
 

Report: UCLA suspended as many as six players

Posted by Chip Patterson

UCLA needs some time to lick their wounds after receiving a 35-7 thrashing from Cal on Saturday, particularly before taking on the No. 2 Oregon Ducks in Autzen Stadium next Thursday.  Unfortunately, the greatest concerns of the off-week may not be getting healthy, but preparing as many as six backups to start against the high-powered Ducks.  

Late Monday night, the Los Angeles Times reported at least three starters would be suspended for violation of team rules.  The report cited a source close to the situation but did not name any players or hint as to the team rules violated.  Then on Tuesday, the OC Register updated the story with a confirmation that "as many as six players, multiple starters" would be suspended for the Oregon game.  The story from the OC Register also gave no suggestion as to which players were involved or what rules were violated.  Neither head coach Rick Neuheisel nor UCLA sports information director Marc Dellins have been available to comment on the situation.

Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more on this story as it develops.

For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.    

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com