When Euphoria gets in the way of Reality

So all is right with the world in Westwood, The evil empire has been taken down and the guys in the white hats have restored order. Legitimacy has returned and the people of Los Angeles can come out of their homes and feel the warmth of the sunlight on their faces once again.

That is what the fans from across town would have you believe. In a way there is this sort of Karl Marx feel to it; we will take care of you and all will be well.

The fact is UCLA fans have just had their title game. They went out and beat their cross-town rival and now there is this sense entitlement that they have arrived.

Easy there big fella!

As great as this win was for UCLA and as important as it is in bringing back this rivalry to the national stage they have a looooooooooong way to go before they can get up to our level on the football field. One win, regardless of how it is viewed locally or nationally, does not a dynasty make. The fact is without the incredible run SC has had over the past few years this game would be just another game on rivalry weekend. Long winning streaks by both programs have made this, in the eyes of some, just another back yard brawl.

From Adande's column on Sunday:

The question now is whether they can keep the pressure on for good, make this a two-team town and a tossup game year-in, year-out. Was Saturday afternoon's hard-earned victory the peak, or the start?

When the euphoria from this game wears off and the Bruins reconvene for practice, they will be preparing for the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 27. Yet another season that will end before January. That's not acceptable to an increasingly intolerant UCLA fan base that has watched Carroll's successful run at USC over the last five years -- and UCLA's futility in this matchup that predates it -- and wondered why they can't have some of that success themselves.

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero shares their wishes, if not their frustration with Coach Karl Dorrell. If there's any heat on Dorrell, you won't find matches in Guerrero's pockets. Fresh off the victory Saturday, Guerrero didn't say "Told you so," but he did use the word "validates" twice.

"We made an investment in Karl," Guerrero said. "I don't like what I see in college athletics a lot, where coaches are being replaced without an opportunity to show their stuff in a general sense.

"That being said, we have expectations and we want to move this program forward. We want to compete on a national level. I understand that takes time. If I didn't think things were on the right track -- I mean, look at my career. I'm not hesitant to make those decisions [referring to his quick hooks for Bob Toledo and Steve Lavin after Guerrero took the job]. But I don't see that [with Dorrell]. I saw a lot of things this year that showed that we were on the right track."

It depends what parts he watched. This same Bruins team that took out the second-ranked team in the nation Saturday lost to the second-worst team in the Pacific 10 Conference 10 weeks ago. This three-game winning streak to finish the regular season was preceded by a four-game losing skid.


ed. note: I used some of this column in another post but there was some good stuff there so I used it again.

If we use their own words, our rivals from across town will have little faith in Dorrell's ability to keep the trains running and make something out this win. This win will not start a recruiting war nor will it dramatically change this rivalry back into one that matters until Dorrell puts a few more 10-2 seasons under his belt and gets his program into a prominent bowl game.

I would agree with our friends from across town that the WWL has made way too much out of the success that SC has had of late, they make stupid comments and expect unrealistic levels of success. There is an East Coast Bias towards our conference, not towards SC, but only because our fellow programs have not stepped up to the plate until only recently and then only some have answered the bell. Displaced Trojan said it best in recent conversation that we had, "it's true that we are somewhat immune from the common version of east coast media bias because of our history as a national power, playing in the Rose Bowl so many times, our national rivalry with ND, etc.  The media out here recognize SC, but they don't really know us". It has been up to SC to carry the load with its play anyone anywhere at anytime attitude. There are no tomato cans on our schedule, at least not in our out-of-conference schedule.

Karl Dorrell is the flavor of the month, but a loss to FSU in the Emerald Bowl will have him back in the doghouse guaranteed. I realize that Dorrell is not off the hook to meet "minimum expectations" but most would agree that he is going to have a hard time getting close again because he just won his biggest game and lightning doesn't strike twice. His own fans have called him out as an uninspired coach who couldn't even sway one of the best LB's ever to come out of Westwood to join his staff after he turned him down a couple of years earlier when he was looking for a job. You can hope to end on a high note but that is not the end that justifies the means. In fact, not beating FSU would make this win even less important as it would signal that Dorrell couldn't capitalize on that momentum thus dashing the hopes of Bruin fans everywhere on the rocks below. Sure it is something to point to but it's two steps forward 3 steps back.

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