Don't think this has been mentioned anywhere else here, but according to Dohn over at his Inside UCLA blog, Ryan Mallett is not coming to UCLA due to the fact that the Bruins are not hiring former UM QB coach Scot Loeffler:
"(Attending UCLA) was possible in the early stages, but not anymore,'' Mallet said. "My coach at Michigan [Loeffler] didn't really get looked at much. He was interviewed, but he didn't get the job, and I just feel comfortable with what I've been through with him."
A tad odd to base your choice of school solely on where your former QB coach ends up, but that's his call. It's in some ways more interesting that it appears Loeffler is also totally out of the running for pretty much any position, assuming this information holds for the rest of Neuheisal's hiring process. I know he had kind of dropped off the radar screen a tad, but I was unaware that he had been completely nixed. Obviously, Ryan Mallett is probably not the world's most definitive source on UCLA hiring decisions, but it sounds like he and Loeffler are pretty darn close, so this seems quite legit.
Ah well - as many have said, it's not as if the cupboard is totally bare here at QB (BO/PC as the now, and Forcier/Crissman as the future, have plenty of potential). Though I do think Loeffler could have been pretty good, his record is a tad more spotty than his press might indicate. Borrowing the stats from a previous diary comment I made:
Loeffler worked for Central Michigan as the QB coach for 2000 and 2001. The year before he was hired, in 1999, CMU was 53rd in the country, at 218.2 yards per game. They completed 53.4% of their passes, for about 13.8 yards per completion. In 2000, CMU completed 51.2% of their passes, 11.7 yards per completion. However, a bit more digging shows their passing leader for the season, Derrick Vickers, was a freshman. 2001 shows a different problem - Vickers got hurt about halfway through the year, and his replacement, Derek Gorney was... not so good (74/150 - 49%, for 831 yrds, 5 TDs, 7 INTs). Before he was hurt, Vickers wasn't great, but he was servicable (116/211 - 55%, for 1156 yds, 7 TDs, 6 INTs). He played against a couple of excellent pass defenses: Eastern Kentucky (DII, true, but 3rd in the country that year) and Michigan State (19th). However, he also had a very weak game against an awful, AWFUL Ohio pass defense (109th) - CMU lost 34-3.
[all statistics found through the NCAA's stats website]
Upon review, it seems Loeffler was so/so at working with players that weren't obviously talented. He took a below-average QB and turned him into an almost-but-not-quite average QB. Granted, CMU's lack of talent and potential playcalling differences could factor in between '00 and '01, but for simplicity let's assume their about equal. As such, that's a moderate talent increase. So it may be that UCLA can not only do better than Loeffler, but they may be able to do much better, depending on which coach they end up hiring.
Then again, maybe not. We await your OC decision with baited breath, Coach Neu! :)