It's been a crazy week around UCLA, with the coaching search feeling more like a roller coaster than an intelligently planned, well-executed hiring process. Oh, yeah, that's right: Chianti Dan is in charge, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that our coaching search feels sloppy and half-ass. Never mind that our basketball program continues to be a total fail (and at this pace, we'll be looking for a new basketball coach real soon) embarrassing the four letters (the irony being that even Rick's teams looked more prepared and played with more heart than Howland's feckless, weak-willed, out-of-shape ramble).
Despite this parade of horribles, the worse news is that Chianti Dan, the buffoon who is easily the worst athletic director in the nation, flew down to Houston to beg over-rated Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin to stay in the game for UCLA amid reports that Sumlin is about to accept the Texas A&M job. Okay, let's set aside the fact that Kevin Sumlin is woefully under-qualified. I mean, I guess I'd look like an offensive genius too if my entire head coaching career was supported by an all-world, sixth year senior QB and I inherited a program built by someone else. Oh, and don't mind that Sumlin was exposed last year for being a mediocre coach when Keenum got injured (this happening after Rick Neuheisel already had Sumlin's Houston Cougars on the ropes in the Rose Bowl) and embarrassed on national television by a much better coaching candidate, Southern Mississippi's Larry Fedora. Even if Sumlin was worth pursuing (he's not, and Dan if you hire him, we will turn up the heat on you ten-fold), once again Chianti Dan has been caught with his pants down, playing catch-up, and demonstrating how half-ass his "coaching search" is being conducted. Rather than cultivating a relationship behind the scenes, sending out feelers, and planning a hiring process, Chianti Dan, having been forced to fire Neuheisel, is now scrambling to make a football hire since it's painfully obvious that, being a moron with no vision for this athletic department, he has done nothing to plan for the contingency that he'd need to fire Neuheisel (which should have been obvious after the Debacle in the Desert). But knowing Chianti Dan's bumbling stupidity, we'll end up with some retread failure like Herm Edwards, a guy who the closest he's been to a football field the last few years has been Coors Light commercials.
One last thought: if Chianti Dan hires Kevin Sumlin, especially with other more viable candidates in play (Petersen, who has yet to deny he's interested, Fedora, Butch Jones, Dantonio,, etc.), we will call for nothing short of a scorched earth full-on war against Chianti Dan and will not stop until he is fired.
So, before we get to the Bruin Bites for this Sunday morning, don't forget to sign up at the Fire Dan Guerrero Facebook group. With that, let's take a look at the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse after the jump.
- Let's get this started with a total LOL moment. I stumbled across this gem of an "article" while writing this and I decided it was just too amusing not to start with it. In one of the most clueless, poorly written things I have seen written on the internet, some moron (or lulz-genius) wrote an "article" titled "Rick Neuheisel 'The Irreplaceable'" on the "WattGlobe Network" (WTF) that UCLA is trying to replace Rick Neuheisel. Here's the money quote: "Rick Neuheisel is a great head coach of UCLA and it is really hard to replace him." LOL, I nearly peed myself.
- Sticking with Rick, there's speculation that he could land on his feet with his good friend Jon Embree at Colorado, working on Embree's staff in some capacity on the offensive side of the ball, if Embree loses an assistant. Oh, wouldn't that be ironic? But if it happens, that'd be a big net gain for the Buffaloes, who will get a tireless recruiter and a good position coach.
- Guess what? We're not the only ones who think Kevin Sumlin is overrated. Larry Brown at Larry Brown Sports agrees that he's overrated, noting that Sumlin is riding the wave of success on the back of Case Keenum, a QB he didn't even recruit. So, LOL at all the morons who think getting Sumlin will be some kind of coaching coup.
- With UCLA in transition, the biggest fear is losing key recruits and key players to transferring. On that front, Lindsey Schnell at The Oregonian spoke with physical specimen sophomore defensive end (who we hope a new coaching staff will develop and utilize) Owamagbe Odighizuwa. Owa was a highly rated recruit who turned down the Oregon schools and Nebraska to come to UCLA, told The Oregonian that decided he is going to stick with UCLA, even though the coach that recruited him got the axe. There's a handful of good quotes from Owa in there and it sounds like he's a smart, level-headed kid. Let's hope the new coaching staff can utilize him and turn him into the impact player we all suspect he can be.
- Sticking with player-related news, Brett Hundley, the highly-touted QB expected to take the reins in Westwood, will also be sticking with the Bruins despite Neuheisel being shown the door. Like Owa, Brett has shown he has the poise, maturity, and level-headed mentality to weather this storm (and hopefully weather blitzes and read what the defense is doing). Keeping Hundley in the fold is huge for UCLA, especially given UCLA's inability to bring in more QB depth behind him.
- Turning to the recruits, a glance at Scout does not bode well for UCLA, with Hiva Lutui (a major offensive line prospect that the Bruins really need), Raymond Ford, Morgan Breslin, and Lacy Westbrook (another major offensive line prospect that UCLA desperately needs) all downgraded from solid commits to soft verbal commits. In looking at the limited public portions at Scout.com, Ford has totally re-opened his recruitment (which hurts since UCLA really needs to tap into the Serra talent pipeline).
- Finally, on the recruiting trail, UCLA-commit and four-star LB recruit Aaron Porter from La Habra told ESPN's Greg Biggins (portion not behind subscription firewall) that he remains a solid commit for UCLA and that he wouldn't mind if UCLA brings Chris Petersen in, since he came very close to committing to Petersen's Broncos.
- Speaking of transfers, if you want to feel like banging your head against the wall, read all about Mike Moser's resurgence at UNLV at Yahoo! Sports. Once you finish hitting your head against the wall at the sight of Moser tearing up UNC and drawing NBA interest, turn your attention to Ben Howland. Because 100% of the blame falls on Ben, letting Moser squander his talent on the bench while he played favorites, letting the Belgrade Bricklayer get minutes and suffer no consequences, no matter how he f**ked up. Ridiculous and a major strike against Howland, who is putting himself on the hot seat.
With that, those are your Bruin Bites for the end of the week as we gear up for another crazy week here in the wider Bruin Nation. With Chianti Dan's football coach search in full gear, it'll be a full week, so stay tuned.
And this bears repeating: if Chianti Dan hires Kevin Sumlin, especially with other more viable candidates in play (Petersen, who has yet to deny he's interested, Fedora, Butch Jones, Dantonio,, etc.), we will call for nothing short of a scorched earth full-on war against Chianti Dan and will not stop until he is fired.
For now, fire away with your thoughts, comments, and additions in the comment thread.