Interesting headline in Chris Dufresne's article today in the L.A. Times.
L.A. needs a USC-UCLA rivalry, but it's going to take time
Linebacker Rey Maualuga and USC are way ahead of Logan Paulsen and UCLA in the talent and stability departments, but new Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel will try to shift the balance of power in L.A.Pete Carroll's Trojans team is a cannon compared to the water pistol that Rick Neuheisel inherited with the Bruins.
That's the truth!
The question is how much time is it going to take? I really couldn't care less. They have their expectations and we have ours. Sure Neuheisel will make it fun again on certain levels but in the grand scheme of things but I'm not holding my breath.
I like this take:
Carroll beat the clock at USC when he assumed control in 2001, taking Hackett's haggard hand-me-downs to the Orange Bowl in only two years.
Neuheisel has talked openly about "playing for big prizes." He's already upped the competitive ante in town and served notice that it's only a matter of "when" UCLA chases down USC.
That's the kind of bravado Bruins fans have been waiting to hear.
I have said it before and I will say it again...in the words of the Late Johnny Unitas...Talk is cheap, lets go play!
Yes, ucla has to start somewhere but the stakes are different now. An 8-game winning streak against your crosstown rival is now not enough to quench the thirst of those who expect so much. Dufresne says it should probably take three years for ucla to get the positive end of the ledger but I would suspect that the landscape will have changed significantly by then. I do not expect Chow or Walker to still be there by year 3 but that is just me.
How quickly they forget, the euphoria across town needs to be tempered, as there a lot of cooks in the kitchen (two strong personalities) and we have seen first-hand how that can turn out. There are those from across town who love to point out that the wheels supposedly fell off because of all the egos on the USC coaching staff when Chow left SC after the 2004 season. Funny how ucla is literally in the same boat now.
Neuheisel has been chasing us since he was hired. He will make some progress and that's good for ucla but there are very few SC fans that are worried that they will catch up in the next two years.
As long as Pete Carroll is here Slick Rick has his work cut out for him.