I haven't wasted much time taking on Rick Neuheisel's "brave" public comments since the Arizona debacle. They are empty coach speak that no one takes seriously except for reporters who are looking to find a easy to fill their "beat reports." Reporters like Chris Foster who will serve up tone deaf comments like this:
"Well, in my mind, from my vantage point, there has been lots of progress," Neuheisel said. "I understand the frustration of the fans out there. They may not be able to see it because they don't come to all the practices and they don't sit where I sit."
It's not that difficult to refute silly claims of progress from someone who thanks to a beat down of hapless Colorado now has an overall record of 21-27, needing to go 14-0 to catch Karl FREAKING Dorrell. For the sake of quick reminder (because apparently people have short memories) here are the cold hard facts on Neuheisel's "progress":
- Only two of Neuheisel's 27 losses by less than a touchdown. Six of 27 losses by less than 10 points.
- 20 of 27 losses by two touchdowns or more.
- 15 of 27 losses by three touchdowns or more.
- Neuheisel's Pac-12 record is an abysmal 12-23, which includes a 0-3 record against Southern Cal.
- UCLA total road record under Neuheisel is 5-17, for a .227 winning percentage.
- UCLA's conference road record under Neu is 3-18. Those 3 wins came against a winless Washington team, a horrific Washington State team and this year's terrible Oregon State. Those 3 teams have a combined record of 3-30.
So unfortunately for Neuheisel, not only we can "see" what has been happening on the field, we also "see" the big picture of his floundering program that has completely lost its way and will not be salvaged if it somehow pulls together miraculous wins to close the regular season.
Also, on the note of "seeing things," many of us saw an ugly sideline exchange between Taylor Embree and Rick Neuheisel during Saturday's game. Embree and Neuheisel got into a huge sideline spat, which resulted in Embree walking away, while Neuheisel appeared to be screaming, "don't you walk away from me." What we saw (video after the jump) was a player who had tuned out his head coach, even though his head coach have haplessly leaned on him to activate his pathetic playing not to lose mindset the entire season.
Here was the exchange:
You can see how Embree just completely disregards Neuheisel and walks away from him while Neuheisel asking him to get back. May be Neuheisel doesn't "see" how bad this all looks, but to rest of the world even including the Buffalo fans the exchange was pretty clear. If Neuheisel has any sense of control and authority over his program, he would have wasted no time in suspending Embree for this weekend's game against Southern Cal. However, he doesn't have that courage because doing so will handcuff his ability to coach with the mindset of playing not to lose.
Right now there is a massive sense of apathy and ambivalence (you can also call it "confusion") among the UCLA fan base who are sick of factually demonstrable under-achievements of last two seasons. They sick and tired of the schizophrenic, weird vibe from this football program. UCLA has no one except it's administrators and head coach to blame, create this sorry state of confusion in what is supposed to be the most exciting week of a UCLA football season.