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A Dose of Reality

Over the last 4 weeks a lot has been made about Slick Rick getting hired at ucla. He's grabbed all the headlines with his retaining of DeWayne Walker, which keeps the recruiting class intact, and the hiring of Norm Chow as the offensive coordinator. All the bruin blogs and message boards are abuzz with their interpretation of finally being relevant.

I have no problem giving credit her its due, Slick Rick has managed to put together a pretty good coaching staff. I have no doubt that ucla will be improved in the years to come. They really didn't have anywhere to go but up so any good news should be seen as an improvement. Some in the fan base are fairly realistic in their expectations, 2008 will have a lot of growing pains with 2009 showing marked improvement and who knows after that, you have to start somewhere.

But there is another part of the fanbase that is simply delusional and they are showing they aren't "reality based".

From Dohn's Blog:

During the hiring process, you repeatedly stated that the UCLA job was not viewed highly nationwide and gave several reasons why, thereby insulting the entire Bruin Nation. Included, was your belief that because of these reasons, DW was our best option. Given that UCLA now has, arguably, the best coaching staff in America, would you like to retract those statements?

The best coaching staff? Compare UCLA's coaching staff with Florida's coaching staff, or a bunch of other coaching staffs. Tell me why Bob Palcic is a great offensive line coach, or what makes Reggie Moore a great receivers coach, or Wayne Moses a great running backs coach. How do you know. Compare it with every other program in the country. Break down how UCLA's staff is better than Texas' staff. To say UCLA has arguably the best coaching staff in the nation is ludicrous to me. By the way, UCLA got, at the very least, it's fourth option when it came to the head coach. Not to mention they hired someone that Georgia Tech passed on, SMU didn't want to get involved with and Duke wasn't sure about. In short, UCLA was one of the few schools willing to give Neuheisel another chance. And that is not a shot at Neuheisel, because I think he's going to be a lot of fun to deal with.

As usual Dohn nails it dead solid perfect. There is no question that Neuheisel and Chow have some success. Walker is an average DC but he can recruit. The other pieces to the puzzle I am sure are adequate but as Dohn pints out in the comments section a coaching staff is more than three guys. This staff isn't even completed and some are already anointing them the greatest ever.

Can we at least see what sort of team they can cobble together in 2008 before anointing them "The Greatest". The one comment in the thread comparing the wining percentages of Texas and Florida is rich, ucla hasn't played a game yet so how do we know how good they will be. Everything looks good on paper but what will their results be?

If we are going to bring up the past (Neuheisel being one of two coaches in the Pac Ten that has won a Rose Bowl) then two things still stand out, 1) He hasn't won when he hasn't broken the rules, 50 minor recruiting violations show a pattern of intent, which got him into trouble with NCAA and 2) RN is an average recruiter whose teams end up going soft once he weeds those players that are not his own. He won't have much of a problem there as he is losing 20-or-so seniors so we are going to see how his players perform real quick.

It will be fun to watch but lets not get ahead of ourselves, do something on the field first then lets talk.