It's been a crazy week, with Rick officially out, and UCLA once again looking for a football head coach (although with Chianti Dan still at the helm, I suppose I'm not surprised I feel apprehensive about how this will turn out). There's rumors flying everywhere, rampant Chris Petersen speculation, plus there's the mess that is our basketball program and the fact that multiple non-revenue sports are still in contention for big things this year. So, I'm going to keep this introduction short, since we're likely to be rolling with coaching updates regularly. Oh, and we're playing for the Pac-12 title and a spot in the Rose Bowl this upcoming Friday. Yeah, I know, that seems like a bad joke, but hey, I suppose stranger things have happened (and besides, wouldn't it be great to upset the Quackheads and send Rick out as a winner?).
With that said, let's turn to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting with women's basketball news, UCLA commit Nirra Fields, a big-time recruit who transferred from Oak Hill Academy to Mater Dei has been declared ineligible because of her change of residence was invalid as she is no longer living with the guardian she resided with in Virginia. Kind of stupid, but it's a rough break for the UCLA commit to miss the season.
- Jeff Goodman at CBS Sports took note of the the fact that there is an entire team of ex-Howland players currently in the college ranks, with Matt Carlino, Kendall Williams (a UCLA commit who was shown the door before even arriving in Westwood), Drew Gordon, Chace Stanback, and of course, Mike Moser. In fact, Goodman thinks that this team of ex-Bruins would not only give Howland's current team a game, but probably beat them. Based on the results so far, kind of hard to argue with that, especially with Mike Moser tearing it up (against top tier competition nevertheless). Good job Ben, real good job.
- Speaking of ex-Howland players, former Bruin Drew Gordon spoke with Diane Pucin at the Los Angeles Times, where he dropped his thoughts on leaving UCLA, the situation with Reeves Nelson's suspension, how it felt to be in Howland's dog-house, and on how well Kendall Williams, who committed to UCLA, only to be left hanging once Howland made it clear he was no longer wanted, has been playing for New Mexico. While Gordon has been widely known as a malcontent, given the state of the program, the exodus of players (even good ones, like LRMAM, ML, etc.), and Howland's reputation of playing favorites and being difficult to play for (and that's being nice), it's hard to dismiss Gordon's comments as the grumblings of a former malcontent with an axe to grind. It's an interesting perspective on the program, that's for sure.
- Finally, without any basis in fact, Matt Conner at SB Nation Kansas City is speculating that Rick Neuheisel might be a good fit for the now coach-less Kansas Jayhawks, arguing that "Neuheisel has a strong coaching resume overall and could do something special with the Jayhawks." Hey, I'm all for Rick getting another shot somewhere else, but boy, those folks in Lawrence really don't pay attention to football, do they, because these last two years have been especially painful. But, wouldn't it be ironic if Rick went to Kansas and turned them into a consistent winner?
With that, those are your Bruin Bites for the middle of the week as we roll through a crazy week here in the wider Bruin Nation. With football on tap this Friday, plus the crazy coaching search rumors, it'll be a full week, so stay tuned.
For now, fire away with your thoughts, comments, and additions in the comment thread.