It's not that we don't have the money after the new Pac 12 TV deal but it's that top flight coaches won't be flocking here, and we need to be a little more realistic. I agree that we deserve the best and one day hope to get the best coach in the country but right not were not at that point. By no means is this an attack on us and I don't mean to sound negative and apologize if it comes off that way. People don't see UCLA the way we do because we are Bruins. People don't see UCLA the way even CRN does. He gushes about Janss Steps, the Rose Bowl, etc.. but that's because he is a Bruin like us. I know this is the best school in the country and we all feel that way but don't forget that there are beautiful campuses all over the country, there are beautiful and newly renovated stadiums all over the country.
People aren't looking to make parallel moves when it comes to their careers, they are looking to take a step upward for the most part. However, like us, coaches are not immune to the advantages of being in LA also which can attract some good coaches but not in the upper echelon ala Gary Patterson, Chris Peterson, Urban Meyer, etc.. And with all the realignment in college athletics right now, there are more schools in bigger conferences such as TCU so don't dream about Gary Patterson.
What's the appeal of coming here if your already in a big conference? Most football programs get much more support and love from their athletic departments and administration. And the answer can't be because we are UCLA. That doesn't work for those outsiders who don't feel the same way we do. We have to look at younger coaches who are on the rise, or those at lesser programs, but the huge splash coaches probably aren't an option. Because our athletic department is less willing to take risks on guys with problems in the past (CRN excluded) I think that Leach isn't a realistic possibility either. Let me to leave you with just a few names to consider:
1) Skip Holtz- Current Head Coach at USF. He arrived in 2010 and went 8-5 in his first year, and is 4-1 to start this year with a win over Notre Dame to start the year. Was a combined 38-27 at ECU from '05- 09 but finished his last two years at 9-5 while winning Conference USA. Granted USF is in the Big East which is technically considered a major conference but not near the level of the Pac 12. They are not a real national program like TCU and he is widely respected as a good offensive mind. Keep in mind he's the son of Lou Holtz so imagine all the love we'll get on ESPN. And I think that we would have a legitimate shot at getting him since lord knows he hates USC as much as we do.
2) Gary Pinkel- Current Head Coach at MIssouri. Previously head coach at Toledo. Has had at least 7 wins in each season since '05 including 12 wins in '07, and 10 wins in both '08 and '10. Proven winner in a major conference with explosive offenses and have up 30 points only once last year. I think we all saw what he was able to do with Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin and that was definitely fun to watch.
3) Although it's a longshot, and my personal choice, Bud Foster. Defensive Coordinator for Virginia Tech since Frank Beamer took over. Many will say they want a coach with head coaching experience but this is a guy who has anchored the Virginia Tech defense for nearly two decades. He has won the award for best assistant coach in the country and had the top ranked defense in the country for consecutive years in '05 and '06. He has recently expressed interest in head coaching vacancies in '07 at West Virginia and Clemson in '08. Although he is probably seeking a head coaching job on the East Coast and is an extremely high profile guy, a defensive coordinator coming across the country from a top program is a lot more likely then a head coach.