It's Saturday and UCLA is coming back to the Rose Bowl following an embarrassing beat-down, Neuheislian loss to a sub-par Utah squad last week, this time to take on the even more hapless Colorado Buffaloes, who has become the doormat of the Pac-12 in their inaugural season. In other words, it's a game that UCLA, with the talent advantage (with the obvious exception of QB), should be able to win, especially at home. A victory will be expected and will be a nice boost to the weekend for the Bruin faithful, but if it does come, it will still not change the need for wholesale regime change.
Despite being alums or fans of the most popular college in California, it's been a long week for the wider Bruin Nation. Ben Howland's team has been flat-out embarrassing. With double-digit losses in two games scheduled to be tune-up games for Maui, UCLA might just have finally hit rock bottom (although I don't put it past Rick to out-do Ben this afternoon). Sometimes, it makes me wonder if Dan Guerrero, Ben Howland, and Rick Neuheisel are skillfully plotting some kind of dramatic relocation a la the plot in Major League, but then I realized that would require some measure of intelligence, which is something that Guerrero has demonstrated he does not have.
So, please, everyone, let's take a moment to stop and think. When have both of our two major revenue programs been as much of a joke as they have been the past three years? When have we had a run, like these past three years, where both UCLA football and basketball were national punchlines?
We're a joke. Our football team is a joke. We went on national television and got absolutely stomped by an Arizona program that was 1-5 and without a real head coach. They had a defensive coordinator with zero head coaching experience. And they smoked us. Our basketball team is a joke. We don't have the athletes to play "Ben Ball" defense and we haven't been relevant since the true Ben Ball Warriors (DC, LRMAM, LMR, KL, etc.). These current UCLA basketball players don't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys.
As we've mentioned before, folks needs to not focus on Neuheisel (or Howland), because, as we've said, he's done regardless at this point (and Ben will join him in our cross-hairs real quick if we don't see a commitment to Ben Ball and the principles of Coach, rather than the embarrassing, classless clown show that is our basketball program). It's now time to focus on the root of UCLA's problems: the tone-deaf, ineffectual chump running Morgan Center. As we've said on BN (and as many of you, on Facebook, on MexiBruin's petition, and other places across the social media landscape), nothing short of wholesale regime change will suffice.
Anyway, kick-off is set for 4:30 p.m. PST and the pre-game thread will be up later today. Before we get to the pre-game thread, let's take a look at some of the bits and pieces of football news from around the UCLA-iverse after the jump:
- In another total, tone-deaf move that makes one just LOL, the idiots at Morgan Center are considering "working with" Rick if he ends up falling into the Pac-12 championship game to compensate him fairly since he contract does not specifically address any bonus for playing in, but losing, the conference title game (when it was negotiated prior to conference expansion, it included a $100K bonus for winning the conference and $80K bonus for being co-conference champion, which is obviously no longer possible in the new Pac-12). This season has been a total and complete abject failure by Rick. The fans (except for the idiotic Neubs) want him gone. Even the MSM is talking openly about who will replace Rick. He's done. And yet, the tone-deaf morons led by Guerrero are considering paying this guy a bonus for the vespa clown show this season? W. T. F.
- Speaking of LOL football, Randy Shannon was interviewed by the Associated Press, during which he talked about his desire to get back into coaching and that he took a year off because he didn't find the "right fit" at Maryland and UCLA. Apparently, the right fit for Rick Neuheisel is a defensive coordinator who has implemented a new, revamped defense unknown to college football: the patented Joe Tresey vespa clown show formation. Since Shannon has already interviewed in Westwood once, I wouldn't be surprised if he's interviewed to replace Rick. But let's make this clear: Shannon should be a deep fall-back option at best, if that. UCLA must go after top-tier coaches (Meyer, Petersen, Patterson) with top dollar before settling on the second- (Leach, Golden) and third-tier options.
- Fortunately, whoever takes over the reins in Westwood next season will have some great talent to work with, including incoming four-star linebacker Aaron Porter from La Habra. Carlos Arias at the Orange County Register profiled the incoming Bruin football and baseball player, who is a leading candidate to be the Orange County defensive player of the year.
- Turning to today's game, ESPN's Peter Yoon previewed today's match-up against Colorado, noting that if the Bruins' pattern of following a loss with a bounce-back win, a victory over Colorado will make this UCLA squad bowl-eligible (giving more false hope to the Neubs). In his preview, Yoon has some interesting quotes from Kevin Prince, Kai Maiava, and Mike Harris, all of whom put out the same empty "coach-speak" jibe that sounds like they read from a Rick Neuheisel script. Ugh, sounds like Rick's lame, bland, play-not-to-lose mindset has spread to his players. Fortunately, a new coach will be able to come in, use the younger and more talented guys, and hopefully jettison the loser mentality from this program (which assumes that we're able to jettison the chief loser, Dan Guerrero).
- Finally, turning away from football, we should all take a moment to remember the loss of a former Bruin great, the outstanding Walt Hazzard. An outstanding player for Coach and one of the keys to Coach's first championship team (and hence, part of the foundation of the great years UCLA had with Coach), Walt was a great Bruin who will be deeply missed. Rest in peace Walt, you'll be missed.
Those are your pre-game Bruin Bites. Sit tight and the pre-game thread will be up in a few hours. For now, feel free to fire away with your thoughts in the open thread or check out the BN previews of Colorado (here and here) Finally, if you haven't done so already, make sure you get your pre-game guesses in before kick-off at 4:30 p.m. PST on third-rate garbage network Versus.
If you're in Southern California, you can, of course, catch the game at the Rose Bowl (although, we'd prefer it to be at an on-campus stadium that's fit nicely between the Hill and the IM fields, but I digress) but we wouldn't blame fans for not wanting to subject themselves to the disaster of a program created by Dan Guerrero's incompetent leadership.