This is just a thought. I'm going to over simplify it and not bring in all the players, stats, highlights and lowlights. I'm not an NCAA CFB expert or anything.
I'm just doing a simple side by side comparison of UCLA's most recent 2 coaches.
We all realize that they want to become a solid football program. In the general sense "we" all would like that too, with close games, great games, and true rivalry. However, the little trojan inside all of us still wants to see the destroyed.
Nevertheless, I'm going to speak about "CRN" as they like to call him. Let's not worry about his time at Colorado or UW. First off though, let's bring up good ol' Karl Dorrell. He was a nice guy, a conservative fellow, and a bit on the quiet side; unlike his predecessor Bob Toledo or Pete Carroll for that matter, it seemed that his humble demeanor wasn't angry enough.
Now Toledo seemed like a solid coach, with a 3-4 record against USC and 4 bowl appearances. Like Toledo, KD had his highlighted opportunity midway. Through KD's 5 year stint, he too managed 4 bowl appearances. However he was only 1-4 against USC. But that one was sure lasting, wasn't it kids?
As you can see, pressure came on beating USC, not necessarily having a winning record or going for the MNC. Nope. They just wanted to duplicate Donahue's solid record of maintaining that nice little streak in our beloved rivalry; well maybe a rose bowl game.
Enter the prodigal son. I mean he has everything KD doesn't. The charm, the fire, the talk. How about the walk? Eh, somewhat, but keeping it inside D1, this is where it gets funky.
You see, KD's record at UCLA stands like this. Just keep in mind the 3rd year:
|2003||UCLA||6–7||4–4||L Silicon Valley|
|2004||UCLA||6–6||4–4||L Las Vegas|
I put up the fourth year because he broke USC's streak. Now if we step a little bit back in time, we'll see BT's record for:
|1997||UCLA||10–2||7-1||W Cotton Bowl Classic|
|1998||UCLA||10–2||8-0||L Rose Bowl|
Now for shits 'n giggles, let's even bring up TD's record:
|1976||UCLA||9-2-1||6-1||L 6-36 Liberty Bowl|
|1978||UCLA||8-3-1||6-2||T 10-10 Fiesta Bowl|
Okay I digress, I meant to only to talk about KD and RN. How is RN holding up?
What, no bowl yet?
Just kidding. So off to a wishy-washy start. It's okay, it happened to Donahue. The point I'm trying to make is that all coaches seem to follow a similar pattern: Working with what you got and not expect miracles. With the exception of BT, for the most part, year 3 has proven to be a crucial point. I can understand that RN wants to be the fire back in UCLA's eyes that hasn't been seen in well over a decade. But that doesn't happen overnight. What does happen is having a decent season record that does make you (at least) bowl eligible as given by his predecessors.
I believe that it will RN can give UCLA a solid record consistency, and even some bowl appearances, perhaps after his "rebuilding year(s)" is over. he's a far cry away from any of UCLA's predecessors though; and by no means is he the messiah some fan bases make him off to be. Short of duplicating the Y3 tradition, I would believe that 2010 will illustrate that "CRN" is more show than go.
While I'm thankful that he gave us back the home jerseys tradition, outside of that, it's just hot air. I can't help but wonder if the loyalist Bruins will turn on him as well. I'll end it on this note, a nice little
letter demand found online years ago about "dumping dorrell:"
- 1-3 against Southern Cal.
- No Pac-10 championships.
- No BCS bowl games.
- 1-10 on the road against teams with a winning record.
- Worst starting 3- AND 4-year record of any UCLA football coach since WW2, including Bob Toledo who was fired.
- Worse winning percentage than Bob Toledo, who was fired.
- 3-11 against ranked teams.
- 2-7 against top 10 teams.
- Only 6 conference wins against teams over .500.
- 19-14 in the Pac-10.
- 8-17 against teams with a winning record.
- 10 losses to unranked teams.
- He has a losing record after October, 6-12.
- Embarrassing losses to Wyoming, Fresno State, Arizona, Washington State at home and Southern Cal.
- Only 1 big game win.
- Revolving door for assistant coaches.
- 80% of Bruins fans polled on Bruinsnation.com disapprove of the job Karl Dorrell is doing.
Funny how those highlighted items strike a resemblance to what RN is doing now. So again, we'll just have to see what "CRN" does in Y3 (and maybe Y4). A MNC, hell even P10, championship doesn't matter. Just beat the Trojans, right? That's what you were really hired to do, what KD couldn't.
Between you and me, I wouldn't be surprised if BN (or whomever) ask for his head after 2010. Then again, he could just become Los Angeles' very own Charlie Weis.