Training camp starts today. And although Karl Dorrell is now trying hopelessly to lower expectations to cool down his hot seat, thankfully his players are having none it.
Great article in the OC Register yesterday in which Bruce Davis declared what we have been saying for quite a while. UCLA football program has been a joke under Karl Dorrell (emphasis throughout):
"We’re too good of a football team to be really a joke sometimes," Davis said. "For us to beat USC and then come back and lose to Florida State … I mean, we had everybody in the country going, ‘OK, UCLA might be serious.’ Then it was like, ‘Oh, wait, no they’re not.’
Thank you Bruce.
Kuwada in that OCR article lasers into some of the glaring examples of Dorrellian incompetency of last four years:
The last time the Bruins played a game, with a chance to build on momentum stemming from a startling upset of No. 2 USC, they frittered it away. Just before halftime, playing with a lead, the Bruins got squeamish in the red zone, settled for a short field goal and eventually blew a second-half lead in losing to Florida State in the Emerald Bowl.
Eight months later, Bruce Davis, the Bruins’ All-America defensive end, described that game – that loss – succinctly.
"That was a big hit," he said.
And it [loss to FSU] is emblematic of the Bruins the past four seasons. The loss to the Seminoles marked the 10th time under Coach Karl Dorrell that UCLA has lost a game it was favored to win.
That is more losses as a favorite than any other team in the Pac-10 in four seasons. That is more than all but three of the 65 teams from the six BCS conferences.
It could be a maturity level or competitiveness of the players. It could be that Dorrell needs to work on better preparing and motivating his team week-to-week.
Yeah, the notion that Dorrell is good at neither preparing nor motivating is really shocking. lol
All seriousness though, it is becoming crystal clear Dorrell is under intense pressure. It is great to see the reporters writing what we – the alums, students, and the season ticket holders of UCLA football program – are expecting from Dorrell this season and what we have been saying for months. Kuwada was not the only UCLA beat writer echoing our points. From Chris Foster in the LA Times
Everyone is predicting that the Bruins will have the best season since Dorrell arrived, and why not? They have 20 starters back, the nonconference schedule has Utah, Brigham Young and a rebuilding Notre Dame team, and most of their key conference games are at home. That leaves no tolerance among Bruins fans for another 7-6 season. The Bruins faithful have a bare minimum of expectations: double-digit victories and a bowl date that does not come with a trip to Fort Worth, Las Vegas, San Francisco or El Paso. Oh yeah, and beat USC again.
Sounds like Chris is more in sync with the Bruin Nation than his predecessor, Lonnie White, the Trojan Alum who covered UCLA for the LA Times.
And now Dohn has come out and admitted that Dorrell’s seat is burning
Along with that pressure comes the underlying current that the offense must succeed this season for the Bruins to challenge for the Pacific-10 Conference title, and cool the heated embers now burning under Dorrell's seat
I will get more into that Dohn article (which is a profile of Norvell
) later today.
The same narrative of a coach under intense pressure to produce can also be found in the Sporting News
In a nutshell, UCLA could stay in the running for a BCS berth for three months or slowly, methodically fall apart, perhaps hastening the departure of its highly respected but only marginally successful coach.
I am going to let the point about Dorrell being a "highly respected" coach slide because that is just an absurd assertion which can’t be backed with any data or facts. But what is important is that even TSN (which is filled with Dorrell honks) can see the writing on the wall. Unless Dorrell delivers this year, he is gone.
So Dorrell’s hot seat is already burning and we haven’t even gotten to the season opener yet. Let’s not relent now. Let’s keep up this pressure until Dorrell clinches the 2007 Pac-10 championship