Does Chianti Dan have any clue that this man is a pretty good coach who just rebuilt a program from scratch and also happens to be at the same school that gave UCLA Red Sanders? (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Let's pick up where B left from this morning's Bruin Bite thread on Chianti Dan being a total fail. We have been running a poll today asking whether members of the Bruin community will buy or renew UCLA football season tickets or anything associated with UCLA if Chianti Dan hires Kevin Sumlin. We have over 500 votes in already in less than 3 hours and the overwhelming majority of this community is voting down Sumlin.
Right now over 70 percent of BruinsNation - which is overwhelmingly made up of UCLA alums spanning decades - are speaking up against Chianti Dan's quest to woo Sumlin. If folks have not been paying any attention let's recap again the major reasons we have no interest in seeing Sumlin as the next UCLA head coach:
- Sumlin didn't build the Houston program: Sumlin is not much more than the "flavor" of this college football season. While he is riding the hype around Case Keenum and Houston's "run" in Conference USA before choking in the Finals, it was Art Briles who built that program. 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.
- Questionable experience as a "co-offensive coordinator": Sumlin's backers like to play up his experience as a Sooners "co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (2006-07). That shouldn't mean much here on BN given previously ineffective UCLA OC and Dorrell assistant such as Jay Norvell - aka "Training Jay" has held the same position in the Sooner program.
- Troubling feedback from Sooner fans on Sumlin's recruiting track record: Sumlin's recruiting track record at a BCS program is not all that steller. As noted before as a Sooner coordinator Sumlin did not do all that great of job when it comes to scouting talent. Read this piece from ESPN on OSU stars, who could have been Sooners. Instead of offering studs such as Justin Blackmon, Sumlin offered scholarships to Dejuan Miller, Josh Jarboe, and Jameel Owens. Owens transferred early on, Jarboe was kicked off for being a complete screw up, and Miller has never really had a big impact. Of course not going for Weeden wasn't a big deal for the Sooners as they have been well stocked at QB over the years, but they could have certainly used Blackmon in 2009, paired up with star receiver Ryan Broyles. So the Sooner alums we know are not all that crazy about Sumlin either.
- Big losses in big games as a head coach: I am sure most Bruin fans saw the way Sumlin's Houston team got blown up by a well coached Southern Mississippi team on its own home field yesterday. It wasn't close and it was not the first time Sumlin's team has lost a conference championship game. Sumlin's team has laid egg both times it has had opportunities to win a conference championship. Yesterday's Houston performance was so putrid that even Texas A&M is now having second thoughts about wooing Sumlin.
BTW it is not a coincidence that Texas A&M is the only other program besides Chianti Dan that initially put a full court press on Sumlin. A&M along with UCLA is one of the most mismanaged college football program in FBS - especially given the way it has flailed around since the departure of R.C. Slocum.
There is an also serious talk about major UCLA boosters boycotting the program if Chianti Dan is foolish enough to hire Sumlin. So this whole pursuit of Sumlin is an epic fail from all angles and it is just one more example of how Guerrero has no clue or instincts when it comes to understanding college football.
Speaking of Guerrero's lack of instincts and understanding of college football, we have another damning story to share after the jump.
If folks remember from yesterday's coaching hot stove thread we discussed how pursuing a top tier coach involves lot more than throwing a suitcase full of cash at him. We discussed how a strategic pursuit of a top shelf candidate involves building relationships for weeks (if not months) and making sure a strong relationship is built so the recruiter can have the candidate thoroughly vetted anticipating any and all hold ups. Well it's now becoming clear that Chianti Dan didn't do any of that and his effort looks that much more pathetic when you compare to UNC Athletic Director's pursuit of Petersen. From FoxSportsCarolinas.com:
From a football perspective, Petersen could get jobs perhaps more national in scope, but the caveat at Chapel Hill is that he and Cunningham [North Carolina athletic director Lawrence "Bubba" Cunningham, BN Ed.] developed a strong relationship when Cunningham boldly tried to lure Petersen from Boise to Tulsa a few years ago. In declining, he told Cunningham to give him a call when he got to a BCS school.
Well, Cunningham is at a BCS school, one for years regarded as a "sleeping giant" by many respected minds in the sport, and this might be the right time for the Petersens to leave Boise. [...]
He's also a football guy. Cunningham's time at Notre Dame helped him understand the balance between having big-time football and running a program the right way.
Cunningham hired Brady Hoke at Ball State, and all Hoke did was take the long-struggling Cardinals to the MAC championship and a national ranking. Hoke is currently in his first year at Michigan, and has the Wolverines 6-0 and ranked 11th.
At Tulsa, Cunningham hired Todd Graham, who is currently in his first year at Pittsburgh. The Panthers are struggling, but Graham inherited a messy situation. Graham went 36-17 at Tulsa, winning 10 or more games three times. He was 3-0 in bowl games.
As coaches often spend time in offseasons learning from peers, Petersen spent four days with Graham in 2008, and they quickly developed a friendship, further solidifying the ties between Cunningham and Petersen.
Hmm. Compare how Cunningham has gone about methodically building a relationship with Petersen after making a bold pitch to get him to come out to Tulsa from Boise to what Guerrero has done since he pathetically went after him in 2007. While Cunningham was out there solidifying their relationship based on initial contract, Guerrero has been out there burnishing his NCAA bureaucratic credentials and sending around ridiculous "blog" to the UCLA community, insulting all of out intelligence.
It is shameful the way Guerrero has bungled it. It is also shameful the way he sat on his rear end when he could have had a methodical search plan in place even before the season started and the formally launch it the day after Arizona.
What is even more telling is the way Guerrero is just wildly and pathetically flailing away at Sumilin with no indication of having a contingency plan after putting all his eggs in the Petersen basket. If he did he'd consider coaches like James Franklin from Vanderbilt (does Guerrero even know that Red Sanders also came from Vanderbilt?), or Charlie Strong from Louisville or even Dan Mullen. Guerrero is now going after Golden even after Golden signed a contract extension. In that case why is he not considering Strong from Louisville who also signed a K extension during mid-season?
Guerrero cannot provide any satisfactory answers because his actions indicate the efforts of a visionless, weak and passive bureaucrat who is neither a fan of this game, nor has any understanding of the modern college football landscape. At this point it is a huge disservice on the part of Chancellor Block to let this fool to continue to conduct a joke of a search process. No one here has any confidence left in this man and if he ends up hiring someone like Sumlin, it will be imperative upon all UCLA alums not just to cut off all our financial support for the athletic program, but to the entire school.