Si.com's Stewart Mandel knows his College Football. After all, he was the writer who provided the money quote for the DumpDorrell campaign about UCLA being the "worst coached team in America" last year, and who could really argue with him? Well obviously with the hiring of Chow, things are looking a bit different in Westwood these days.At last, a viable threat to USC's West Coast supremacy has emerged.
Cal, Oregon, Oregon State -- all have poked and prodded at Pete Carroll's Trojans during their unprecedented run of six straight Pac-10 titles but have failed to knock the kings off their throne.
None of those traditionally second-tier programs, however, ever carried as much potential as the long-dormant school in USC's own backyard.
With the hiring last month of high-profile head coach Rick Neuheisel, UCLA officially amped up the heat on its crosstown nemesis. Landing former Carroll offensive coordinator Norm Chow, however, should send shockwaves reverberating through Heritage Hall.
USC can no longer view the Bruins as a cute, little plaything. Suddenly, they're a serious threat.
Shortly after his hiring last month, Neuheisel recorded a phone message sent to UCLA alums and season-ticket holders. It included this line: "The team across town has risen to national prominence, and it's time we meet them -- head on."
He goes on to talk about how it's not only Chow, but obviously the entire package that Coach Rick Neuheisel (saying that still hasn't gotten old) has put together that is garnering national attention. While I find the first part to be rather trOJan-centric, it's still an excellent read, and he also lays out that there is much work left to be done at the end of the article, which is something that we here at BN acknowledge and actually embrace. If there is no work left to be done, then there is no improvement left to be had. All one needs to do is look back four years and see how we took joy in the rebuilding of our basketball program. Attention America, UCLA is now serious about Football.
PS. Mandel sees Chow as a "stoic, Yoda-like figure". We here at BN think so too.