Have to say that it has been a great couple of days to be a Bruin. First the beatdown of Southern Cal in their own house on Saturday night, and now with today's announcement of Lane Kiffen's permanent replacement.
USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) December 2, 2013
Yes, two months after the LAX firing of Lane Kiffen gave Southern Cal AD Pat Haden a clear opportunity to backchannel every possible coaching candidate, setting up the chance to make a big splash in this year's coaching market, he ended up going back to the past by hiring Pete Carroll's former offensive coordinator.
But now that the Washington job has opened up, we are going to have to deal with the easy narrative that Sark's move southward has set up for the sports media: Will Jim Mora leave UCLA for Washington? Personally, I don't see it happening, at least not now - the timing just does not make much sense for him - but given his alum status and how he left his first NFL head coaching job in Atlanta, the media will be pushing this storyline. And given his success in the past 2 years in Westwood, expect Washington to make an offer and for their fans and boosters to be very vocal about it.
Of course, Bruce Feldman had to bring up the wildcard in this whole thing - Dan Guererro and the UCLA administration. While I can't say that I have faith in Dan to reasonably counter a strong UW offer if Mora actually is tempted to leave, in a way it could be DG's weakness that helps keep him at UCLA. It seems like Coach Mora along with his staff and inner circle - guys like Rip Scherer - have been given (or have simply taken) a high amount of control over the football program along with the opportunity to oversee the next generation of facilities and build up a culture in Westwood.
In addition, don't underestimate the draw of Mora's family. While he is a UW alum and considers himself a Seattle native, he has strong ties in SoCal beyond those that he and his wife have developed over the past couple of years. His parents live in Palm Springs - and have been able to attend several UCLA games since Jim took the job, and his oldest son is a freshman at Claremont McKenna.
There is other news concerning college football and UCLA today. Really, there is! As we noted this morning, Steve Broussard has been fired from his position as UCLA Running Backs coach. Best wishes to Steve in finding another coaching position. Additionally, if Mora were seriously considering ditching UCLA for UW, there is no reason for him to fire Broussard today rather than leave him in place and allow the new guy to decide which coaches to keep and get rid of.
The Pac-12 announced its postseason football awards today. We will have another post discussing the results later on tonight, but the big Bruin takeaway is that Myles Jack was named the conference's best defensive freshman AND best offensive freshman. Congrats Myles!