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A State of Denial

One of the things that struck me after last weekend was Dorrell's post game comments in which he actually had the nerve to comment that his players "didn't finish."  I wonder why no one in the media pointed out his career record. Here is KD's record at UCLA broken up in W-L records in first 6 hames, and the remaining 6-7 games in his 3+ seasons:

Year First Half Record Second Half Record Result
2003 4-2 2-5 6-7
2004 4-2 2-4 6-6
2005 6-0 4-2 10-2
2006 4-2 0-1 4-3
Total 18-6 (.750) 8-12 (.400) 26-18 (.591)

So, let me see, a coach who has a career winning record of .400 during second part of football seasons, compared to .750 in first part, was saying after the ND game that it was his players who "didn't finish."

What I find so hilarious is reading or hearing from Dorrell supporters about how his teams have developed in his coaching career in Westwood, when his record at least to date points to the fact no one should ever associate the words "growing" and "learning" with Dorrell's football team.

So, here we are again, with yet another "must win" game, a "cross roads" game or a defining game in Dorrell's career.  At this point it is pretty clear that unless Dorrell wins 4 games rest of this season and beats Southern Cal, he will come up with yet another mediocre or less than average team in Westwood.

This takes me to another point concerning a timeline (I know a politically charged word these days). When Dan Guerrerro hired Karl Dorrell as the head coach here was the standard he was supposed to meet:

''My expectation for next year is to win the Pac-10 championship,'' Dorrell said. ''Winning the Pac-10 and beating our crosstown rival are the biggest things on my mind.''
That was the standard set by Dorrell himself and presumably also set as expectations by DG and other UCLA brass when they brought him to Westwood.

In fact, I heard from DG in person at an alumni reception in 2003 that he expected Dorrell not only to contend for the Pac-10 championships, beat Southern Cal, and finish in the top-20 year in and year out, but he was expecting Dorrell to have a NC caliber team in Westwood.

How long does Dorrell get to meet those goals?

Another hilarious argument you hear from Dorrell supporters is how Dorrell was pursued by the NFL last year.  Uh, yeah, from what I have heard, it was not as much NFL teams pursuing Dorrell as it was the other way around, with the coach putting feelers out.  Besides, one of the teams that apparently had some contact with Dorrell was the Oakland Raiders, which for all intent and purpose is not really an NFL caliber team (sorry Bruin/Raiders fans).

Then again, why would an NFL team be interested in a coach whose team not only melts down in the second half of the season, but also is:
  • 5-14 against teams with winning record
  • 0-9 against team with winning record on the road;
  • 0-3 against Southern Cal
And probably the most telling sign of Dorrell's marketability as a head coach. Keep an eye out for the openings for head coach at various college football programs across the country in next few weeks. Can anyone with any shred of intellectual honesty tell me that any of those programs would be interested in hiring him based on his achievements in Westwood?

Not unless you are in a state of denial.

The question is how long the UCLA administration will be allowed to stay the course should Dorrell fail to meet the minimum expectations for this season?


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