If you have not noticed lot of our posts are now increasingly targeting Dan Guerrero. It's not an accident. Morgan Center has given us the message that they have no interest in listening to UCLA alums and students rising from the concerns around student seating fiasco. We are going to return the favor now by keeping the focus on DG. We don't care how long this takes. This will probably not be fun for many readers on BN but the state of UCLA athletics hasn't been fun DG.
With that ... let's talk about Rick's hot seat. Scout.com ranks Rick among his Pac-12 peers:
7. Rick Neuheisel, UCLA
Career Record: 81-52
For some reason it's just not working. There might have been scorched earth when he was done at Colorado and Washington, going 3-0 in bowls with the Buffs and winning a Rose Bowl in Seattle, but he was a success at both places. After paying his penance, he was supposed to make UCLA a power again, and now in Year Four and after two eighth place Pac-10 finishes and a ninth, everyone is left scratching their heads. He has recruited well, USC has hit the skids, and the window should be wide open for resurgence in Bruin football. Now he has to show he can really coach and has to come up with a big year to stick around.
Hot Seat Status: The heat shield has been deployed, but it's not working. 15-22, a bowl win over Temple, and bottom-feeder Pac-10 status isn't exactly what the Bruins thought they were getting.
The Coaching Change Will Come ... Next year. He's only 50 and he has a great offensive mind, but the results aren't there. His 2011 team will be good. It won't be good enough.
Buzz: Neuheisel's hiring was meet with much fanfare as the fiery coach was determined to change the culture at UCLA. He created a marketing campaign claiming "The Football Monopoly in L.A. is officially over," a shot at rival USC. He even hired former USC offensive guru Norm Chow to run his offense. However, things haven't gone as planned. In three seasons under Neuheisel, UCLA is 15-22, with the only bright spot being in 2009 when the team went 7-6 including a win in the EagleBank Bowl. The Bruins have gone 8-19 in the Pac-10 and have finished no better than eighth in the conference standings. That includes an 0-3 record against cross-town rivals USC. This past offseason, the 50-year-old coach made major changes to his coaching staff firing Chow and defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough. With back-to-back top 20 recruiting classes, you would think the Bruins would be ready to make a surge but that hasn't been the case. Now, with the addition of two more teams in the conference, things could only get tougher for Neuheisel, who has two years remaining on his current contract.
Slight quibble with that blurb. It was Dan Guerrero's non-existent marketing department that came up with the infamous monopoly ad. But the main point here is the writing is on the wall for Rick. If we don't win 8 or more games and beat USC, UCLA will have to look for a new coach.
The question for everyone is why we should trust Dan Guerrero to make the right hire? If Rick fails next season and/or Ben Howland doesn't produce an elite season in Westwood, change at Morgan Center will probably need to take place at the top.