I want you guys to cut out their columns. I want you to record their comments.
Then we'll see who ends up being right.
Neuheisel will restore UCLA to a Pac-10 power. Cut that out.
Neuheisel won't screw this up. Cut that out.
He will, however, after winning a Rose Bowl at some point... gloat. Not as much as "Scoreboard Baby!" but some.
But the juvenile and hysterical (predictable) attacks on Coach Neuheisel aside, there are other college football observers such as Neuheisel, who are recognizing the impact of this hire at UCLA.
For example, Matt Zemek at Bootleg.com (the scout.com site which covers Stanford Cardinals) observes how UCLA and Neuheisel might be up to something big.
Matt uses tomorrow's Rose Bowl involving Illinois as the backdrop to offer his reflections on this hire (emphasis added throughout):
It's true that Michigan and Iowa became victims of Bruin boldness and brilliance during that four-year stretch, but one could fairly say that of those three Rosy romps for UCLA, the 36-point annihilation of Illinois--yes, the one led by Neuheisel himself--was the sweetest one by far. The unranked Bruins, with four losses and a tie, thoroughly humiliated the 10-1 and No. 4 Illini. That improbable yet devastating rout cemented the aura surrounding the UCLA program in the mid-80s, because it conveyed the undeniable impression that even when supremely vulnerable, the Bruins could call forth confidence and summon up supreme swagger against a highly-touted opponent in a very big game. One Rose Bowl win over Illinois in 1984 captured the greatness of UCLA football. Now, with USC oozing superiority just before another Rose Bowl game involving those unfortunate Illini, UCLA has brought Rick Neuheisel back into the mix. It's a clear attempt--and a bold, brilliant one at that--to not just steal headlines and some Trojan thunder, but to match Troy's tidal wave of triumphs and trophies.
Yes, you have lil' ol' Illinois standing in the middle of history in these final days before the 2008 Rose Bowl: the Illini, already the recipient of one Rose Bowl beatdown 24 years ago, seem to be in store for another. Neuheisel's emergence as UCLA's new head coach is creating a war--no, not with Ron Zook's team, but with the team that is about to play Illinois on Tuesday. What happens between the white lines in a few days will receive an extra degree of scrutiny in Los Angeles, because every Angelino will be talking about how USC fared against Illinois relative to Rick Neuheisel. Much more importantly, Neuheisel will use the aftermath of the 2008 Rose Bowl to, in one way or another, begin building his program to the point where it can once again roll to victory on New Year's Day... instead of the hated Trojan Empire of College Football. "The Illinois Triangle," adequately explained, reveals how this hire by Dan Guerrero is primarily a response to USC and its recent ascendancy under Pete Carroll.
Again as we get ready for Spring Football and go through the long season, we will build on the point about having realistic expectations for next season. Next year or two will be difficult for Coach Neuheisel as he will have to work on rebuilding a foundation that was frankly built on creaky frame last few years. But just like we enjoyed Coach Howland's rebuilding efforts and remained patient along the way, we intend to maintain the same posture wrt to Coach Neuheisel.
But that's something we will save for the coming days/weeks/months. For today for the first time in long time in the world of UCLA football we are excited about the long term future of UCLA football under Coach Neuheisel. For the first time in a long time we can actually dream about UCLA football striving for something big and unleash a new era of peace, prosperity and domination over the Trojans just like the glorious 90s.