I guess impatience is the operative word today in many corners of Bruin Nation and the beat press covering UCLA in Southern California. Bill Plaschke, who has made a name for himself from being wrong time after time, is the latest columnist from the LA area to jump on the bash Guerrero bandwagon:
This is when he convinces boosters and donors of the program's strength. This is when he convinces recruits of the program's savvy. This is when he provides the athletic program with a strong, decisive face.
Instead, nearly a month into the search, UCLA's brow is furrowed and its mouth is agape.
And if you don't think USC is e-mailing that photo to every high school football player in Southern California, then you don't know USC.
So far, Guerrero has looked more like a beggar than a chooser, which means he either doesn't understand football or doesn't understand UCLA, charges he could disprove by simply making up his mind.
But I want to give DG the benefit of the doubt and see who he comes up with. Right now everyone is guessing there has to be another mystery candidate who Dan Guerrero is waiting for. The question I have is if he is worth the wait, not to mention a huge gamble on the part of DG.
I think we can infer that whoever that person is, a deal with him is not in place. Because if there was a deal in place, DG wouldn't have pursued Mike Bellotti so hard just last week.
So, who are we waiting for? Well let's look at the options from college ranks who are getting ready for their bowl games:
- Brett Bielema (Wisconsin) = No Chance
- Gary Pinkel (Missouri) = No Chance
- Randy Edsall (UConn) = I don't see it
- Jim Grobe (Wake Fores) = I would love to but I am not seeing it.
- Ron Zook (Illinois) = ROFLMAO
- Mark Mangino (Kansas) = No Chance
- Frank Beamer (Va Tech) No Chance
- March Richt (Georgia) = Pipedream
- Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) = See Above
- June Jones (Hawaii) = Maybe (?)
- Mike Leach (Texas Tech) = Not Sure (?)
- Mike Riley (Oregon State) = Maybe (?)
- Dan Hawkins (Colorado) = Not Sure (?)
I have no clue as to whether Hawkins would be interested. I don't think he will be, given he is in his second year at CU. But I don't know enough in this scenario. I can see how DG could make a play for Riley given he was his first choice last time around and has done a solid job in Corvallis.
As for June Jones, there may be a shot. We have heard stories about how Jones might have been interested but was turned off by the idea of having to keep Walker on his staff. Can DG seal the deal with Jones in the next 6-7 days right after his bowl game without having any contacts with him? I don't know. Note though, I believe Jones is represented by Leigh Steinberg, who if I am not mistaken is based in Los Angeles. It can't be that tough to draft up rough parameters of a deal working with the agent/attorney of the candidate and then close in the final hours.
As for candidates from NFL, we have Herm Edwards and John Fox, who have UCLA connections. I am not particularly excited about any of those options, but I will take any of them over the DyNoMite.
Speaking of the DyNoMite, DumpDorrell.com has a good post on how the guy might have overplayed his hand. He is now signaling that he might be open to work under Neuheisel. Uh hum. Sure DeWayne.
And we can't mention the DyNoMite without Dohn. Dohn has a report up on the latest state affairs, which starts with all the predictable grafs about what a super, awesome candidate the DyNoMite really is and then transitions into Neuheisel's NCAA issues. Dohn did let this out:
As I said above, I have a lot of questions about how this search has turned out. However, I am going to do my best to be patient. Though I think we need to make it clear to DG (firstname.lastname@example.org) that whatever he is planning, he should not be banking on the DyNoMite as his fallback plan. And if I were him, I would also stay in close touch with Coach Neuheisel, letting him know about where he stands and making sure he understands that if he were to take over at UCLA, we would embrace him as more than just a fallback plan in this coaching search.
So there you have it. We are kind of in limbo waiting for DG to show his hand. We will know enough in the next few days. Again, trying my best to have faith in DG. But given our history and what we have seen play out in public during the last few weeks, it is getting a little difficult to say the least.