In the backchannels (read message boards) chatter is really heating up concerning the candidates for UCLA football head coach. Yeah, I know Rick Neuheisel has gaps to close this Saturday but what he does with our football team at this point doesn't have much relevance. It seems clear given the robust comment thread of the Rodriguez to Arizona post yesterday that most folks' mind is on the macro rather than the micro event on Saturday. So why not start having some open thread on coaching candidate related discussions.
On that note wanted to share some simple notes, building on a brilliant post from Achilles laying out the criteria for UCLA's search for Neuheisel's replacement. There are three names we don't want to see on the list:
Mike Bellotti Steve Sarkisian Kevin Sumlin
Why we don't want these guys at UCLA? Let's go over them after the jump.
First, let's start with Mike Bellotti. There is some rumbling that UCLA may be thinking about doing a dance with him. It'd be dumb because as Achilles pointed out it wouldn't be smart for UCLA to bring in a retread. Bellotti would have made some sense four years ago, when he was still in the profession. The window to bring him in here was after UCLA had fired Bob Toledo and Karl Dorrell. Not anymore. Bringing him in now will make UCLA look just like ASU when they brought in stale and washed up Dennis Erickson to Tempe. So let's hope the UCLA brass is not this stupid.
Speaking of bonehead moves, apparently there has been some internet chatter, spurred on by a wishful, uninformed, ignorant column in the Daily Breeze about Sarkisian and UCLA. Let's make one thing clear. Rick Neuheisel has not proven to be a good fit at UCLA as on field general. He shouldn't be coaching here past this Saturday (he should have been fired after Arizona). That said I'd rather have Neuheisel over Sarkisian. Neuheisel turned a solid Washington QB to a Rose Bowl champion. Sark on the other hand don't look any better than Neuheisel (despite the constant pimping by a fawning media), even after padding his schedule with patsies. No thanks. He is going to get canned in Seattle in 2-3 years anyway.
Lastly, apparently there is some chatter than Sumlin wants to coach at UCLA. Uh, no thanks. As pointed out by bluebland why this guy is over-rated:
Art Briles built the Houston program, and Sumlin's one good year with an uber-experienced Keenum proves nothing IMO. With Leach for the taking it would be extremely stupid to take a lesser disciple who hasn't beaten any good teams in his career.
You can see the record breakdown to get a sense of how it was Briles (current head coach of Baylor) who actually rebuilt the Houston program (and also brought in Keenum). Sumlin's coordinator experience is not all that impressive. As noted in his bio before coming over to Houston, a program build by Art Briles, Sumlin spent the previous five seasons at the University of Oklahoma, where he served as both the co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (2006-07). You know who is the current "co-offensive coordinator" for the Sooners? None other than Karl Dorrell's former OC - Jay Norvell - aka "Training Jay". So, no thanks. Sumlin would be a ridiculously risky and bonehead move for UCLA when the program needs a tier 1 coach to jump start our flailing program.
So the three names above are none starters as far as we are concerned. We sure hope UCLA is not dumb enough to consider them seriously.