Let me put this out there right out of the gates, the possibility of Mike Bellotti being hired at ucla does not have me "quaking in my boots". Every move has its trade-offs so while they hold their collective breath across town, as this deal is not yet done; there is no reason for SC fans to be afraid as some across town would like us to be. Quite simply ucla's chances at having a better football team improve but how much? Past performance is not indicative of future results so there are no guarantees.
Like him or not, Plaschke makes some good points with is column today (except for Bellotti's record against PC and the fact that Oregon has not been to the Rose Bowl under Bellotti). So if ucla ever expects to be taken seriously even a little bit they need this hire to be a home run, I'm not sure Bellotti is that hire. Everyone else on their current list will show that ucla are either not prepared or not serious about being a National player in football. You can live off of 11 banners hanging in a dilapidated Pauley Pavilion and 100 total NC's for only so long, football and basketball is where it's at. SC has made the commitment with hoops with coach Floyd and the Galen Center and while the results are not in yet you can make the argument that the effort has been made.
Pete Carroll loves to be challenged and as good as Bellotti is, having him across town instead of up in Eugene could be just the ticket for PC to dial it up a notch. Sure, Bellotti has a pretty good record during his tenure in Eugene but he doesn't exactly have a stellar record against USC in the PC era (2-3) and he doesn't have a great post-season record the past 4 years 0-4. So while it is possible that Bellotti could beat PC in a head to head match-up that warm and fuzzy feeling of a win against SC would quickly be dashed if there is no consistent run into the post season.
If Bellotti comes he is the perfect fit in regards to all of the prerequisites that both the fan base and the administration have set forth but that is only half the battle, as you still need to produce on the field and there are some obstacles at ucla that Bellotti has not had to deal with before in higher academic standards, higher cost of living for his assistants, sub-par facilities when compared with those at Oregon etc. Bellotti has a winning record up in Eugene but he his hardly put his team in the national hunt for a title on a consistent basis.
Watching the dominoes fall could get even more interesting with who could fill Oregon's head coaching position. Could Boise State's Peterson be interested? He would be a good fit there, as would Pat Hill from Fresno State. All this does is improve the Pac 10 with quality coaching, as great as the conference is it seems that this year the Pac-10 was less than stellar.
Of course the big question is if Bellotti is just using ucla to leverage more money out of Oregon. Who knows but if that's the case ucla will be left at the altar again leaving them with the bridesmaid with all those warts...Neuheisel.