UCLA Coach Search Hot Stove: More And More Names To Make Bruins Cry

Chris Petersen, nearing a deal. Wait, Petersen out. Kevin Sumlin, the next man up, but out. Petersen maybe not officially out? Dewayne Walker next. No, Al Golden is the target. Steve Mariucci is in the mix. Oh, he has to battle with Tom Cable though. But Mike Bellotti still wants in, plus there's the always appealing Jim Mora Jr.! Sadly, at least some of this is true, how much of it dependent on which rumors you believe. Isn't it just lovely?

Let's reset this starting with what we believe to be true. Petersen was Chianti Dan's top target, but unsurprisingly, he miscalculated what Petersen desired, while his stalling in firing Rick Neuheisel didn't help and neither did his inability to develop a relationship with the Boise St. head coach. Sumlin was Chianti Dan's number two and he even flew to Houston to meet him, but either Sumlin didn't look good in a suit or Chianti Dan realized that nobody in Westwood wanted Sumlin.

As you can see, all the things we know to be true paint a rosy situation, but not nearly as rosy as the rumors. Golden was rumored to be another top target, but every outlet says that the odds there are long. Of course, the pursuit of Golden isn't helped by Chianti Dan waiting to fire Neuheisel so by the time we began looking for a new head coach Golden had just signed a new eight-year extension at Miami. Told you things were looking good.

That's not it though! Sure, the first three targets are out, unlikely or recently deemed to be not good enough, but the rest of the guys being floated out there are top-notch guys. After all, who doesn't want a coach who hasn't been on the sidelines at all since 2005 or leading a college team since 1996 like Mariucci? Coaches with an 11-35 record as a collegiate head coach who have already destroyed UCLA's offensive line are impossible to pass up too so Cable looks good. Mora Jr. has never been paid to coach at the collegiate level and only had one winning season in the pros, but so what? Chianti Dan has already been played by Mike Bellotti once too so that must qualify him for the job.

The possibilities are salivating, I know, but we haven't even gotten to the best part yet! That's Walker, who has been lighting things up in Las Cruces, where he got New Mexico St. to 4-9 (4-9!) this season for their best record since Walker left Westwood for the coveted Aggies job. To Walker's credit, he did orchestrate the crowning achievement in the last decade of UCLA football, which is more than enough to ignore the 44 points his defense gave up the very next game against a bad Florida St. team, the 59 points that BYU put up on his Bruin defense or his complete inability to figure out the spread offenses, not that that matters since no one in college football runs the spread.

So look, Bruins, everything is fine. Chianti Dan has everything going exactly how he wants it. The candidates that turned him down already? It's not like they're that good anyways. The candidate he soured on? He was really just in Houston for the BBQ anyways (and let's be serious, we all want some good Texas BBQ right now). The candidates we've got now? Superstars! Do you really think that Pat Fitzgerald, Mark Dantonio, Charlie Strong, James Franklin, Dan Mullen, Larry Fedora or Butch Jones are better than Mooch, Mora Jr., Cable, Bellotti or our boy Walker? All aboard the Chianti Dan cruise!

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