Bumped from the diaries. GO BRUINS - N
I would love to know what is going through Dan Guerrero's head right now.
First of all, I want to start out saying that, barring any off-field scandal, I think it's HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Guerrero fires Dorrell tonight, tomorrow, next week, the week after that, next month, or the next month after that. This team could totally implode over the next 5 or 6 games and we will still see Dorrell's clueless, dumbfounded mug on the sidelines. Any of you who think otherwise are no less delusional than some of the other "fans" on some of the other Bruin sites. What we want and what we get are two different things. This was a horrible, unforgettable, and unforgivable loss. But a career-ender? Not happening. Not yet.
Take a deep breath and consider this: fire Dorrell in midseason, and Guerrero is faced with the sobering thought of 17 senior starters playing for an assistant coach who, quite frankly, has no business running a program a la their clueless leader. A midseason fire may come across as reactionary and perhaps overzealous, and perception amongst the small fraternity of coaches will be paramount as Guerrero begins his search for Dorrell's successor. Keep in mind these are Dorrell's assistants; as much as it would make us feel good, it probably does nothing for the immediate betterment of the program, and may perhaps hinder our chances of bringing in a quality replacement.
Clearly though, Guerrero must be planning his next move. This team is likely headed to another disappointing, mediocre finish. I've got to believe he is committed to bringing consistency to our beleaguered football program. He also knows he's being watched closely by his peers. How he handles this situation will go a long way towards his own aspirations.
This move will come at season's end, and he needs to start preparing now.
I don't expect Guerrero to come out publicly and denigrate or chastise Dorrell in any way. That's not his style. Yet don't expect any vote of confidence either. Many of you probably remember his demeanor before the SUC game last year. I truly believe he was ready to pull the trigger and fire Dorrell after that game. Then 13-9 happened, and Dorrell was saved.
Even the most optimistic fan knows that 13-9 won't be happening this year, and hence there will be no saving Dorrell. Guerrero will have to pull the trigger. He is going to hear it now and for the rest of the season from all of us.
There is an elephant in the room that I feel is worth mentioning, not because I feel it should matter, but because it is something Guerrero will have to face head on: the fact that Dorrell is African American. No matter how justified Guerrero is in firing Dorrell, there will be plenty of backlash out there that the NCAA will be one less African American head coach. This is a problem. And Guerrero will have to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR that making a change is truly for the betterment of the program. It is already apparant and clear to us, but it will also have to be for everyone else. This will be his challenge.
Guerrero's other challenge will be to bring in a proven winner, and, of course, this will take $$$. Unlike in the past, I believe UCLA has to pony up and pay what it needs to to bring in a proven winner. Karl Dorrell is the 5th highest paid coach in the Pac-10. Say what you want, but the next UCLA head coach cannot and should not be 5th out of 10.
Guerrero's legacy will certainly be remembered for bringing in Howland and resurrecting our basketball program, for being a part of our "1st to 100" championships, and perhaps forwarding our baseball program, but ultimately, his legacy can and will be firmly placed by bringing in a head football coach who can consistently produce a winner, bring us back to Pac-10 supremacy, and take us to BCS bowl games.
Karl said it himself: "If I don't do my job, I'm going to get fired." Dan Guerrero, what are you thinking? What is your next move?
We are all watching.