I don't care much for Dennis Dodd's use of the term "NCAA felon" and the tired "Slick Rick" slur but the first few paragraphs of this article brings it home:
This is why they fired you Karl Dorrell. This is why UCLA welcomed home an NCAA felon to win back the city, the conference and -- thinking way out of the box here -- a national championship.
Only Slick Rick could survive a Pick Six in his debut. Only Rick Neuheisel could transform a forlorn third-string quarterback into the campus hero -- in the space of a half. Only Neuheisel could get away with wearing a sweater vest and long sleeves on a sweltering Los Angeles Labor Day and look good doing it.
Only Neuheisel could stage the pep rally after the game. Yes, that was the UCLA football coach making his first postgame comments to the crowd after grabbing a microphone on a cheer stand at the Rose Bowl. He pumped his fist, led the crowd in UCLA's traditional 8 Clap and was done. For now.
This, dear Karl, is why Neuheisel was hired. It is because he can lead, because he cares, because he's a 47-year-old kid who has been an NCAA pariah and made it back to his alma mater, because college football is still a place where those kinds of things can choke you up. The average team around him knows it after their 27-24 overtime victory over No. 18 Tennessee.
"There's so much passion associated with college football," Neuheisel said after coaching his first college game in five years. "Not that there isn't any in the NFL ... but it doesn't have the same feel, everything hinging on every play. You have to get used to that."
I am certainly getting use to it!!
If Rick keeps this going for few years, they will eventually forget about "Slick Rick" and all those secondary violations and instead talk about his redemption. Plus if teh NCAA ever actually grows a pair they will have to write about the real "NCAA felon" from cross town.