Some takes ...

The main issue revolving around the UCLA football program is the coaching situation. Of that, there is little doubt.

And a very nice play by cornerback Alterruan Verner does nothing to change that fact. ATV is a player and he made a play.

But beneath the dense cloud of uncertainty surrounding what AD Dan Guerrero may or may not do after the season (a cloud of uncertainty rivaled only by the thick fog which lies between the Motorola headset on our sidelines), a couple of other questions about the football team are slowly getting answered:

1 - UCLA's best quarterback is Patrick Cowan.

2 - UCLA's best tailback it Kahlil Bell.

These two players began the year at number two at their respective positions on the depth chart. Which is a worthy topic of conversation in its own right. But, for now, whatever. Both should start and play the rest of the way if the Bruins want a better chance of winning.

3 - UCLA's defense runs hot and cold, but when it's running hot, it's really pretty good. I think it's interesting that our most recent embarrassing losses came against non-conference opponents with whom we are (relatively) less familiar. Yes, the Utah and Notre Dame games were rematches -- Lordy, don't accuse me of making excuses for them, and, in fairness the defense played fairly well against Notre Dame anyway -- but they weren't Pac 10 games. Same with Florida State.

The Bruins, btw, have won seven straight conference games at the moment. It's mostly been done with defense.

4 - There's actually quite a bit of talent on this team. Which makes the inconsistency all the more frustrating. We've got playmakers in the defensive secondary, a pretty good wide-receiver core that may lack an All American but includes a number of guys capable of making a big play, solid running backs and some talent in the defensive front seven.

In end, it's all a bit of a tease. Even with the oft-mentioned academic limitations, this university is quite capable of recruiting good football talent. The right person running it could really leave a footprint on the national scene.

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