Why so obvious?
1- Not just head coaching experience, but SUCCESSFUL head coaching experience -- both at the college and pro levels.
2- He's young and EXPERIENCED, (as opposed to what Dorrell was or what Dwayne Walker is).
3- He's an alum who brings fire (possibly MORE fire) than that idiot at U$C. He wasn't just a receiver, but a leading, successful QB who reached the pinnacle as a Bruin player (barring a national championship).
4- He has an offensive mindset that's been missing from Westwood for YEARS. He could have lit this program up had Donahue not ignored him years back.
5- He's made mistakes and can reasonably argue he's learned from them. We all commit errors and most of us learn lessons from these very errors every day of our lives. Here, we have a SEASONED Rick Neuheisel who knows not to repeat the transgressions from his past. That's a commodity, NOT a LIABILITY! Plus, it's already been noted and proven (in court, no less) that his past errors weren't all that bad to begin with. Arguably less controversial than Harrick's indiscretions. If anything, a coach with Neuheisel's past almost ensures we have a clean program in the future. Also, RN isn't dumb. He'd be stupid to try anything fishy, esp. since he'd be living out his dream job.
6- He WANTS TO COACH FOR US (remind you of Howland somewhat?)!
7- As Bruin Blue, Nestor and others on this blog have noted, his record speaks for itself:
'His teams have finished in the Top Ten three times in his eight years. He has played in three BCS games, winning them all. He has a Pac-10 winning record of 23-9,. He won all four Apple Cup games against rival Washington State.'
If that's not convincing, I don't know what is.
8- A little bit of flair, of independence, is important and it goes a long, long way. Do we want some lackey who kisses the chancellor's and the AD's ass? I don't see Neuheisel doing this ever... This type of independence, this type of verve will attract top-notch recruits.
9- He's a player's coach. Troy Aikman, who was successful at UCLA and enormously successful in the NFL knows what he's saying. Aikman rarely speaks out on such matters, if he's recommending RN, the administration should listen.
10- Leach? June Jones? C'mon, who are we kidding! Texas Tech and Hawaii? Al Golden at TEMPLE? Mike Riley? John Harbaugh? Norm Chow? Neuheisel is a steal compared to all of these... Last I checked Hawaii is still not a football powerhouse... Bellotti might have been the only reasonable alternative... Other than that, we're hanging on to the only negative on RN's resume... focus on what is important here. We're about to let a gem slip away because our priorities are misplaced. Hire Rick Neuheisel!
Plaschke's article in today's LA Times emphasizes this lack of a priority given ucla football. Terry Donahue's quote says it best, and exemplifies what is wrong with our program, our history and the thinking that has been engrained in our collective psyche for decades.
Says Donahue: "'USC is the football school, UCLA is the basketball school, we all know that," Donahue said before pausing. 'But UCLA is still a great institution that can get great players from across the country.'"
That, fellow alums is what's wrong with UCLA football.
This supposed inferiority complex that LA Times beat writers and everyone else ascribe to us. USC may have more championships in football, but some of us don't EXPECT it EVER to be that way. I for one don't have an inferiority complex.
If we hire Neuheisel now, it'll be the first step in forever vanquishing that supposed $C shadow looming over us. We may be tired of alums right now thanks to Dorrell, but here's one alum that could take us to the promised land. To me, it's simply crystal clear, I don't understand why DG doesn't see it that way.
For this reason, I say again... the Obvious pick: Rick Neuheisel.