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Staying the Course = Not An Option

If you had any doubts about whether the effort here on BN and DD to expose the truth about UCLA football program is making a difference, I think this article from the Long Beach Press Telegram should put them to rest.  Here is LBPT's Bob Keisser on Bruin Nation's effort to Dump Dorrell:

Bob Keisser: Bruin nation: `Dump Dorrell'
Article Launched:11/11/2006 01:30:41 AM PST

Dan Guerrero, meet George Bush.

You are the Athletic Director at UCLA, and Mr. Bush is the President of these United States, and while your responsibilities are as different as, well, Westwood and Iraq, you do share a similarity.

Bush is losing his constituency. The Democrats seized Congress this week and, several months too late to help his party, the president finally nudged Donald Rumsfeld, the man who drew up the Iraqi game plan and became the litmus for all that's wrong there militarily, out the door.

In the time it took millions of Americans to use those new-fangled voting machines Tuesday, Mr. Bush decided he could no longer "stay the course," his phrase of choice for three years.

You haven't lost your constituency entirely, mostly because you made an excellent choice in hiring basketball coach Ben Howland. Maybe Mr. Bush should have considered a two-front war; win one of two and you're at least .500. Lose one of one and your legacy is spelled f-a-i-l-e-d.

But your football fan base is without question as animated as Iraqi naysayers and environmentalists on global warming. And they do not want you to "stay the course" with football coach Karl Dorrell.

The Bruins (4-5) take the field today at the Rose Bowl against Oregon State having lost four straight games and are in danger of finishing under .500 and bowl-less. In a world where 119 Division I-A teams compete for 64 bowl berths, the definition of sports largesse, and schools renown for their doormat-ishness like Wake Forest and Rutgers have already earned bids, this is tabloid embarrassing.

It's all about patterns, too, and we're not talking about anything Junior Taylor will run today. The Bruins were 6-6 in Dorrell's first season, 6-7 in his second, and are staring at 4-8 in his fourth, which makes the 10-2 mark in his third look like the anomaly.

No one would have ever predicted that the Bruins' game against the Beavers this November would be the most important game of Dorrell's career, but it clearly looks like a tipping point.

His record in Pac-10 play is 16-14 and it will dip under .500 if he loses the last three games. His run is being compared to the lackluster Bill Barnes era of the `60s, but even Barnes departed with a league mark over .500. Dorrell is 0-3 against USC, including losses by 25 and 47 points.

His overall record is 24-19 and nine of those losses were to unranked teams. Dorrell has lost three games to teams that finished the season under .500, and that number could grow to four by season's end (Washington is 4-6). Bad? Bob Toledo lost four such games in his seven seasons. Terry Donahue lost just five in his first 13 seasons, just one between 1981 and 1988, and only 11 in a 20-year career.

Dorrell's career record in November and December is 3-11. Only turkeys have worse Novembers.

Dorrell's critics, as you may know, have already mobilized.

The website launched a Dump Dorrell petition that inside of a week already has almost 1,000 e-signatures, and it received national notice this week from Sports Illustrated's On Campus branch. The website also has a poll asking visitors when Dorrell should be fired, and "this week" (40 percent) was barely leading "end of the season," (39).
Ok. I am not going to get into the technicalities of political analogies.  I was thinking about writing something in the coming weeks if Dorrell tried to save his job by firing his OC by saying  just like it doesn't matter whether or not the President fired his Defense Secretary considering his underlying strategic thinking is flawed, it wouldn't have mattered if Dorrell brought in a new OC, considering it's his WCO which is the problem. But in any event this Keisser article will more than suffice.

It just underscores the notion something is rotten at the core concerning UCLA football. And living in denial about it is not going to help anyone. I have already read the today's game articles in the LA Times, the Daily News, and the OC Register. But I gotta tell you no matter how much of blind follower you want to be of this team, it is incredibly difficult to get fired up over a football game in which we are spewing out must-win clichés so that we can stay on track for stupid Hawaii Bowl.

This is the time of the year this blog should be jumping with the talks of Bruins competing for slots in big time BCS games, vying for conference championships, and how people are preparing elaborate hopping tailgates on the golf course before watching games with crowd of over 75,000 raucous Bruins cheering on our boys in blue and gold.

This is the time of the year relishing November matchups with tons of anticipation.  Just not at UCLA.

I don't watch ESPN Sports Center any more.  I don't watch College Gameday any more. Because UCLA is not part of major college football landscape. We are irrelevant except in the eyes of bunch of delusional fans in the message boards, and clueless make nice beat reporters who are living in a world of denial about the status of our once relevant football program.

This time of year even fans of Rutgers, that's right freaking Rutgers, and Wake Forest find their teams which has never been part of the rubric of major college football tradition in part of major bowl game talks.  And ere we are at UCLA, where we are being subjected to the idea of how we have to give our incompetent head coach a chance by giving him another year, as  he has nothing to show for himself, except that he gives the perception of a "Thinker" in practice field and Morgan center office corridors.

None of us were demanding a national championship this year.

None of us were really demanding Rose Bowl championship this year.

None of us were even asking for a Pac-10 championship this year.

All we asked for was this program to show that last year's 10 win season was not a fluke, by following up with a strong season with a fairly deep and talented team (even per Dorrell's own words) and win a respectable 9 games and beat Southern California.

Instead we find our program again in a position (just like it has been during its first three years under Dorrell) as nothing but a joke.

We have fans unloading tickets.  We will barely have over 50k at the Rose Bowl today (with 10k free or discounted tickets for military veterans). No one except us, the beat reporters, and Beaver fans excited about Holiday Bowl will give 2 cents about this game You won't see highlights in the first 2 segments of Sports Center or Game Day, while everyone is going to go nuts over the game of consequence on Eastside of the town. From Paul Buker's blog in the Oregonian (via Dump Dorrell):
You definitely get a sense here that UCLA, after four straight losses, is old news in this market. I don?t think many Bruins? fans really believe their team can win tomorrow. I also get the vibe that we?re covering the JV game, even though the setting - the Rose Bowl - is one of the most storied venues in college football.
Welcome to the world of Karl "the Thinker" Dorrell's football.

Boring, dull, inconsequential, and irrelevant.

No wonder so few in the Bruin Nation thinks staying the course is an option.  Well it's good to see at least some folks are paying attention.  It just supports our assertion that keep talking about the truth, and organizing to get the word out offline do make a difference.

So again if you haven't done it yet, sign the petition to Dump Dorrell, and buy up those t-shirts to wear them on campus, at basketball games, alumni gatherings, and at the Rose Bowl. Our efforts are making a difference.

We will be back with our game thread later this afternoon. Yes we will be watching the game.