If you read some of the Bruin message board these days you will see Dorrell supporters breathlessly trying to lower the expectations for this coming season saying that even if their beloved coach put together an 8 or 9 win season, they would still consider it as successful season.
Obviously all of that is total nonsense. For four years we have been led to believe this is going to be Dorrell's year.
Again we have 20 returning starters, 10 seniors on defense. We have heard incessantly about the hype around DeWayne Walker. We have heard how Norvell is going turn out to be another DeWayne Walker.
If these conditions were in place at any other school with a profile that matches our overall history in college football (an all time top-20 program if you go by the AP polls), expectations would be nothing short of a conference championship season.
And no matter how hard the Dorrellistas try to spin folks out of those expectations, no self respecting UCLA fan should fall for their BS.
Everyone and including Karl Dorrell is on record saying this put up or shut time for UCLA football. From Mandel on SI.com:
It's put up or shut up time for coach Karl Dorrell, who enters his fifth season sporting a modest 29-21 record but also has his most talented and experienced team to date. After finally knocking off USC last year, Bruins fans will be highly disappointed if this team doesn't contend for the Pac-10 title.
And then from Mr. Make a Move himself
"I think the [biggest] challenge for us is the bigger expectations on our program. Our players in this program, they expect to play well; we all expect to do great things this year and this is the debut of showing what our capabilities are. That's what we think about.
"You keep talking about the experience from having returning starters, but that only takes you so far. Now it's about being productive; about scoring points and stopping `em and all those things. It's not on paper anymore. The season's starting, it's time to put up. "
Yes it's about Dorrell doing "all those things" which includes as Simer noted in his typical column
in the LAT today, UCLA actually finishing the season as Pac-10 champions:
A year ago everyone in the football program wore a blue wristband, a reminder of the team's goal to win the Pac-10 title, but it's probably not a good sign if they needed to wear a wristband to remind them of such a thing.
This year the band is white, and it reads: "Finish Pac-10 Champs."
HT to Dump Dorrell
for pointing us to that article. BTW it was the DD guys who last year brought our attention to those RIDICULOUS blue wrist bands. Anyways more from Simer who has this from Dorrell on "finishing" this season:
"We've got to finish whatever we're doing," Dorrell adds, and a favorable schedule looks as if it could give the Bruins a chance to be undefeated when they take on USC. But what are the chances of UCLA moving forward without some sort of misstep?
However that plays out we can safely say for the first time in his four plus mediocre years Dorrell is facing real scrutiny and pressure heading into a football season. There are expectations of conference championship, and Dorrell is on the record on what should happen if he doesn't come through:
"I like that," he says. "It's the chip on my shoulder. And that's OK; it keeps me on edge. I've operated my whole life that way: if I don't do my job, I'm going to get fired."
Just remember Karl - "all those things" - you referenced above includes bringing home UCLA's first Pac-10 championship since 1998.
Again for everyone's quick reference: 20 returning starters + the defensive hype around DeWayne Walker + expected improvement from a DeWayne Walker like OC - all the mistakes from last year's scapegoats should at least equal 3-4 more wins from last season (including a victory over Southern Cal), in Dorrell's "Show Me" season
Plus Karl promised us "stuff like that" (ya know Pac-10 championships and victories over Southern Cal) when he was introduced as the head coach of our football team
''My expectation for next year is to win the Pac-10 championship,'' Dorrell said. ''Winning the Pac-10 and beating our crosstown rival are the biggest things on my mind.''
Four years later we are still waiting for Karl to deliver "all those things." And now even AP sports writers are coming out saying it is time for Dorrell to live up to promise
So time for Dorrell to start making his move by blowing out the Trees out of Palo Alto this Saturday. We can only hope he is a man of his word. If he is we expect him to step aside if he doesn't deliver "all those things."