As I watch the schizophrenic season unfold I appreciate the optimism many of the Briun Nation apply to even the bleakest moments of the year.
When Karl Dorrell was rightfully let go, I was openly questioning the hire of Rick Neuheisel and was hoping Chip Kelly would get a call. Rick has done to me what he does to recruits since he was hired. His passion for the school and the way he sells UCLA brought me fully on board soon after he got the job. This post is not calling for his head in any way, shape, or form.
I am a bit of a college football junkie as most of us are and read, listen, and watch way too much on the matter. Two things that have stuck with me recently is how fast coaches can truly turn programs around and it comes down to the jimmy and joes.
First, looking at the top coaches they have almost instant impact on their programs. This has been something that CRN had done at Colorado and Washington. Here we did not get that instant gratification, a large part of that was due to injury and some faulty recruiting from the Dorrell early years.
Second is talent level, I have attached the recruiting rankings from two of the bigger services in rivals and scout. I went back five years to include redshirts. If coaches are worth their salt it comes down to talent level. We are overplaying how bad the program was recruiting wise the last few years Dorrell was here. We have the second most talent using the recruiting services rankings in this time frame. Dorrell (more Walker and Scott) brought some talent into the program the remaining players from his time were parts of good classes. We hopefully all remember that lower 2007 class ties to our issue this year. We only had 11 players that year due to scholarship availability, but the average star of the player was almost a star higher then all but USC that year. There is no excuse to be getting housed by three PAC-10 schools we have beat on the recruiting trail every year these players were recruited. We have the horses to win now, all schools have players get hurt, transfer, and not live up to the hype.
It is painful see us in 9th in the power polls for our conference, does anyone want to make the argument that is our talent level with how well we have brought in talent the past five years? We all know that some coaches need to be really looked at it as the season heads into the final five regular season games. For me next season is Neuheisel’s pivotal year. It is time to see a disciplined football team on the field that makes optimal use of its talent.