I wanted to to post a few thoughts on on Thursday night's debacle in Tucson, But So. Cal '52 offered up his take and I didn't want to be redundant.
These are two articles on that mess...
Both pretty much set up where I want to go.
To many, it is a forgone conclusion that Rick Neuheisel will be gone at the end of the season. Hard not see it coming based on his performance...not just this season, but overall.
But, I want to go back to when Slick Rick was hired.
I remember when many UCLA faithful were dancing in the streets when Neuheisel was hired. They down played the negatives at his previous coaching stops while trying to pump up the perceived positives.
There were those who used their lawyer skills to rationalize his NCAA past.You know, how they were only minor violations, the NCAA over reacted, blah blah blah.
They thought they had their answer to Pete Carroll. That was the first and most telling mistake. They so badly wanted to be as good as USC was. They wanted the attention, they wanted to be relevant, they got tired of being ignored.
They so badly wanted these things, that they were willing to overlook the obvious...some outside of the UCLA community said it, like Kyle from Dawg Sports.
Rick Neuheisel is a third-rate con artist with a quick-fix mentality who knows nothing about building a program and whose teams invariably go downhill after the first year or two. He isn't a fairer-haired Steve Spurrier, he's a skinnier Jim Donnan and the last thing in the world we need is for a restored Georgia program to be saddled with the toxic baggage of one of the game's worst ambassadors.
Rick Neuheisel is out of college football. Woe to the program that makes the mistake of bringing him back to the sport that is better off without him. We should bid good riddance to bad rubbish.
While I have had my disagreements with Kyle in the past, he is smarter than me and he nailed this.
I remember when Tim Floyd was hired. Some on the UCLA side used Floyd's past record in saying he would never amount to anything at USC. That's a different discussion, but if those who disliked the Floyd hire used his past record to rationalize a bad hire, then why not turn the scope on Neuheisel in the same fashion?
The fact is, Slick Rick isn't all that.
The negatives were obvious to anyone who could read a won loss record and compare years and players. Neuheisel always seemed to have a better record with other coaches players...only see his record plummet with only his players
on the roster.
Kind of like now.
The perceived positives were also obvious.
A totally different personality when compared to his predecessor. An infectious personality who could recruit. A change in attitude who many thought could change the culture in L.A.
Remember all the slobbering ABC/ESPN did when they interviewed Neuheisel at the Rose Bowl in 2008?
Man, that was shameles.
Then there was the monopoly ad in the LAT.
We all saw how that went over...
The fact is, for all the hype, all the noise, all the speeches...Rick Neuheisel hasn't done much. Even some of the UCLA faithful have given up.
I usually support my case with facts but today I am going to write with emotion because that is the way Rick Neuheisel coaches. When UCLA hired Rick Neuheisel people were burned out from years of Karl Dorrell, not just as a failed coach and bigger failure as a recruiter but as a person with a personality that, to be blunt, did not inspire.
The GoodBy contrast, Rick was a charismatic Hollywood hire. A guy who went from walk-on to Rose Bowl MVP. Rick was the only Rose Bowl MVP to also win the Rose Bowl as a coach. The guy who threw down the gauntlet in his first days as football coach with that famous full page ad (or let himself be part of that effort).
I still go back to the rationalization that many tried to put forth that Slick Rick was The Answer...
It was hilarious to read then...it is sad now.
You get what you pay for.
Every move Neuheisel has made was to be like USC. He never set his own identity.
I never understood that, and yet many UCLA faithful ate it up.
Of course, I could be premature here.
Guerrero may decide to keep Neuheisel...based on some of the comment I have read, if that happens they may go from dancing in the streets to rioting in the streets!
Neuheisel can stay or go, I don't care. But with all that I have read since Thursdays implosion it brought me back to when he was hired.