I am no apologist for KD. I have already voiced my disappointment with his playcalling since Washington. But now is not the time to even think about firing him. Right now, I am more concerned about him saving the team from itself.
I was never more proud of our team in a losing effort than after the last ND game. They played magnificently. After the WSU loss I am not so proud. No question some of our kids quit today. Some on defense, many more on offense.
Of course, it's easy to blame KD. He quit on them by playing not to lose at ND, right? And their morale is his responsibility, right? To be sure. But the worst thing to do would be to give in to the quitters by getting rid of KD now. That would reward the bad players for not being true Bruins. It would do more harm than good to our program and to their character to even think of it now.
Ironically, I think there was more fire in KD today than during any game in his career at UCLA. I think he rightfully called out his players to stand up and make plays at halftime and many of them chose to lay down and hope he gets fired. I'm not saying all, just some. And that's shameful.
This is what got Bob Toledo fired more than anything. It was obvious he had lost control, that the whole team had quit on him. This most likely is what will happen to KD if he can't rally the team.
I hope he can. I hope he does. I hope he sits the quitters and suits up the never-say-diers and whoops the rest of our schedule, especially SUC. But more important than winning is never quitting. And some of our Bruins quit today, early and often. And for that they should never be rewarded.
This is the kind of season when boys learn if they are men or not on the field. Everybody's tough when they're winning, when they're undefeated, when everybody sings their praises. But the men are the ones who'd rather puke than miss a tackle, or a block, or an assignment, or a down, or quit. The men are the one's who sell out on every play even after they're run over in the mud. It's time for KD to sort the wheat from the chaffe and to see if he can be a real coach and turn around this team and get them to play to the limits of their ability and not their fickle fans or press clippings.
It took years for the greatest coach of all time, John Wooden, to become that great coach at UCLA. I'm not saying KD will ever be a JW or even a Ben Howland, but I know he's not a quitter and now he needs to teach his players not to be one's either. And in that process he may take his team and his program to a higher level.
I really think the fire's in KD's gut after today's game. He knows better than anyone that some of the players quit on him today. He should call them out again, and put the fire under them. If he can do that, the results will speak for themselves at the end of the season. If he can't, well, he can't, but let's give him the chance to fight through his first real coaching crisis, a team tainted by quitters. True champions may be beat, but they never quit!
I hope and pray the Bruins end up 8-4 with a victory over SUC and a bowl game. But most of all, I want them to learn to never quit. Yes, I want the Bruins to be football champions, but not just on the field, in the game of life, too.