Since January we have read a lot of profile pieces on Neuheisel’s return to Westwood. David Fox from Rivals.com has written another one re. CRN getting "another chance." If you just browse it, the article reads like number of others we have come across but when you read it closely you will come across a really interesting bit of info. Apparently Neuheisel was so determined to make a return to college coaches ranks, he even applied for the offensive coordinator position under Karl Dorrell and was willing to serve as an offensive coordinator if UCLA had hired Norm Chow:
[H]e asked Dorrell about the vacant offensive coordinator position at UCLA a year ago. He interviewed at Georgia Tech. And if Norm Chow – who interviewed with the Bruins – was given the UCLA job, Neuheisel said he would have sought the coordinator's position. Instead, UCLA hired Neuheisel, who in turn hired Chow as his offensive coordinator.
"I thought about it all the time," Neuheisel said. "I'm a big believer in charting your destiny and how you're going to get there. You keep thinking about what needs to happen before it happens. This wasn't the furthest thing from my mind. At times, it consumed me."
We can blame Dorrell for so many things. However, this is one issue I actually can’t fault him for not hiring Neuheisel even though Norvell is clearly no where close to CRN’s league. If KD had hired Neuheisel it would have been a total circus and it would have actually diminished Neuheisel’s stock as a college coach to end up working for a head coach who was heading towards a certain failure (while facing reasonable high expectations for a head coach in 5th year of a high profile BCS program).
What we can take from that bit of news is it gives us a glimpse into Neuheisel’s persistence and tenacity. It tells us something about his focus and determination in reaching his charted goals. And that brings me this - Neuheisel’s ultimate goal as the head coach of UCLA football – overtaking
He also seems to relish his role as underdog to the Trojans. At Pac-10 Media Day in July, Neuheisel indirectly pressed USC coach Pete Carroll into talking about the rivalry and the Dec. 6 meeting between the teams.
"You can't be the head football coach at UCLA and not find a way to compete successfully with USC," Neuheisel said. "It's just part of the deal. But the good news about that is when we catch them – and I said when we catch them – we're not only going to catch the leader in the pack, we'll be among the programs that can challenge for the big prizes."
By the end of Media Day, the questions about UCLA and Neuheisel's comments seemed to rankle Carroll. "He says what he's got to say," Carroll said. "They're just words."
LOL. Just words. Yeah that’s the same kind of snicker we heard from
Yeah ... I am sure all of that are "just words" to now to Lute Olson and his program - aka the "Standard" of the Pac-10 - who are still trying to figure out what happened.
It might take longer for Neuheisel to rebuild UCLA into the powerhouse it was during his time as a student when we were regularly going to the Rose Bowl and taking care of Southern Cal. There will be growing pains this year and next as he and his coaches methodically put together a broken football program.
We can already sense through the daily reports how the coaches are starting to put together the pieces little by little working on every aspect of our program. From paying attention to details in the weight room to fostering open competition to restoring the psyche of bunch of battered and bruised quarterbacks, there are going all out.
It’s all kind of fun. Isn’t it?
So let the Trojans lol, snicker, giggle, and dismiss all of this as "just words."
It’s been a while we have all felt this way about our football coach in Westwood. I won't go into Dorrell. I never had this feeling during Toledo era. I certainly didn't feel it during the waning years of Donahue era.
I know I am feeling it now (even during one of the more somber times in UCLA football history) because the more I read about our current head coach, the more confident I get in his ability to bring back our program to where it needs to be through his persistence, tenacity, relentless optimism, and (just like Howland) his clear and unmistakable love for blue and gold:
23 more days.