Pregame Guesses: Utah Utes Edition

Too little, too late?

After getting our windows blown out by Hurricane Wildcat last month, Bruins Nation officially declared Rick Neuheisel’s program a disaster area and ordered it condemned from the top down. From that point on, no amount of spackle and duct tape could seal the leaks and I’m running out of weather metaphors. Point is: as much as we might like the guy, Rick Neuheisel needs to go. (I’m reminded of that old saying "The world’s full of nice guys – that’s why there isn’t much of a demand for them.")

But since the Debacle in the Desert, Neuheisel has regrouped, at least on the surface. The Bruins topped a weak Cal Bears team in semi-convincing fashion, then held on to win against an ASU Sun Devils squad that’s notoriously weak on the road and that featured a particularly poor placekicker.

If the great "What if" scenario after the Arizona game ended with "UCLA wins out" then Neuheisel is theoretically two steps closer to making the case that he somehow turned things around and somehow deserves another year.

He doesn’t.

 

Because if it took three and a half years and a half dozen bad beatings to finally get serious and harness the talent on this team, then beating Utah tomorrow and Colorado in a week doesn’t mean much at all.

The problem is – we’re not the ones making the decision. Dan Guerrero is making the decision. And if he didn’t replace Rick Neuheisel after the Arizona game, then it seems safe to assume that he’s looking for an out, a way not to make the change.

I sort of get that. Dan Guerrero hired Rick Neuheisel and Rick Neuheisel’s failure is going to be his failure as well. Dan Guerrero desperately  wants Rick Neuheisel to pick up a few wins down the stretch of his fourth season and then will try to spin that into some sort of "proof" that the team has turned the corner and Rick deserves another year.

Again, he doesn't.

***

Before the guesses, I wanted to take a moment to praise the play of Kevin Prince the last few games. Though it wont be, or shouldn't be, enough to save his coach's job, Prince has played real well the last couple of games. His mastering of the read option -- the key to running the pistol -- has made him a legit, dual threat quarterback. It occurs to me that the reason we've had so much trouble distinguishing between Prince and his running mate Richard Brehaut is because they are almost exactly the same. Speaking of Brehaut, he's supposedly ready to return and that relegates Brett Hundley back to third string. Which is a good thing, because it would be a shame to burn a year of Hundley's eligibility at this point of the season.

Final thought, a confession: I/we like to use the Pregame Guesses column to sort of "capture the zeitgeist" of the program in any given week. Reading through this post, I'm not sure I was able to accomplish that this time around. The real reason is that I'm having a hard time reconciling exactly where we are. On one hand, we've won the last two games, our next two games are winnable and that would set up a great match-up with USC with the Southern Division title on the line. I should be excited. We should be excited. But I'm not. We're not. It's because we're caught between the fantasy of a short winning streak translating into good things for the future and the more-likely reality that what we're witnessing is not to be trusted, it's false hope. 

It doesn't matter anymore.

It's too little, too late.

With that, here are your Pregame Guesses, Utah Utes edition:

  1. Which team will have more total yards, UCLA or Norm Chow's Utah team?
  2. True or False: Joeseph Fauria will finally score another touchdown?
  3. Within five yards, how many penalty yards will be assessed against the Bruins?
  4. Bonus Question: Who wins the battle for the Pac12 North: Oregon or Stanford. 
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