Bumped. - N
Great post from "Koach Karl" on Dohn's blog, responding to Dohn's attempt to lower expectations for this upcoming season:
Ben Howland almost won the national championship last year with Pauley disintegrating around him. In fact, Ben Howland is the perfect example of people we should be targeting for head coaching positions at UCLA. Before he was hired, he had been a head coach at the D-1 level, was a proven recruiter, and had a long history of success rebuilding and sustaining troubled programs.
I am sorry, but these "excuses" do not make it okay to perform poorly.
Second, I am afraid that 10 wins last season will prove to be an anomaly in Dorrell's tenure. His record against winning teams is still depressingly dismal (5-11). He has an overall winning percentage of .595; a conference winning percentage of .583; conference finishes of tied for 5th, tied for 5th, & 3rd; an 0-3 record against SC; a 1-2 record in bowl games; 4 losses in 3 seasons to teams with sub-.500 records; and last but not least, a record of 0-7 against opponents who finish the year ranked in the top 20. All of these facts and all of the skin-of-their-teeth victories last year tell me that the soft schedule did in fact have something to do with the success last year.
When he was hired, he did not have even a decent resume, but the one thing people could point to is his potential to bring top-notch recruits to Westwood. Unfortunately, each of his recruiting classes has been ranked worse than the last (athough, to his credit, he did get Ben Olson and some solid lineman in last year's class).
Third, he needs to beat SC. I really don't care how good SC is, every UCLA coach is judged in large part based on his record against SC. Nobody is hiding the ball on this one-this was true when he was hired, and it is just as true today. Beat SC. Period.
Fourth, if you think 8 wins is overly ambitious this year, why is it mind boggling that UCLA fans want Dorrell gone? Two 6 win seasons, a 10 win season, and a 6 or 7 win season is not exactly lighting the world on fire. I will ask you in return: is this pattern of mediocrity really worth rewarding with yet another extension?
So, I respectfully disagree with you, but I do truly appreciate your reporting on UCLA football and basketball. You are clearly the best of the UCLA beat writers and I look forward to your columns (especially during basketball season!).Perfect.