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Scapegoats of Westwood

Over at Dump Dorrell there is a great post on Dorrell and his various coordinators, who have been fired/scape goated since he took over the program in Westwood. I know we are supposed to keep the warm and fuzzy feelings intact over KD since the big win on December 2nd. However, we can't be living in denial over the unmistakable trend, which has emerged after four years of Dorrell in Westwood. From DD:

2003 Offensive Coaches Scapegoated

In his first season, 2003, Karl Dorrell's offense sputtered putting up less than 20 points a game and coming in near last in the country (ranked #110) in total offense. Karl fired OC Steve Axman, the highly touted quarterbacks guru who couldn't get Matt Moore or Drew Olson, or the rest of the offense, to perform. The defense performed better, but with such a lousy offense, teams weren't needing to run up the score to win. Defensively we ranked in the top 20. The problem with the team was the offensive assistants, not Karl. So the offensive coaches were fired, including many positions coaches (the ones we remember were OL coach Mark Webber and TE coach Gary Bernardi).

In 2004, KD hired former Idaho head coach Tom Cable, a West Coast offensive mind. UCLA improved on offense jumping to #28 in the nation in total offense and averaging 30 points a game. Karl could keep his offensive coordinator this time. On the defensive side though things started to look bad for KD and Kerr. We slipped to #106 nationally in total defense. Karl had another scapegoat in Kerr, but would give him 2005 to make things better. Still, we ended the season 6-6 with a loss to Wyoming in a no name bowl.

2005 Defensive Coaches Scapegoated

In 2005, KD's magical 3rd year 10-2 team, offensive coordinator Tom Cable opened up the offense to great results, improving to #23 nationally. It helped that Cable had 3 future NFL players at key positions but it was still a dynamic productive offense. Cable saw the writing on the wall however and bolted after last season's success to the NFL, along with 2 other position coaches. They knew with so many starters leaving, the KD bus was about to fall apart. Nevertheless, Karl Dorrell was suddenly a great coach on the rise.

The one problem: defense. We were lucky in 2005 to outgun teams at the end of the game to win. Our defense was horrible, ending the season near dead last in the country at #113. So Karl did what Karl does, he fires the person responsible, DC Larry Kerr. Karl was the genius offensive guru that now got rid of the problem with our defense. 2006 was looking to be a great year.

2006 Offensive Coaches Scapegoated

Unfortunately, with Cable gone the offense went back to being horrible, ranked #76 in the nation this year after a mediocre 7-5 season. What happened to KD's genius coaching? Cable left and Svoboda was hired is what happened. Had nothing to do with KD's coaching ability. We all now anticipate Svoboda will be fired and the problem on offense will be gone. We get to keep the great head coach Karl Dorrell.

On defense though, KD finally hit gold in his 2rd DC hire in 4 years by hiring DeWayne Walker prior to this season. Voila, the defense is good under Karl Dorrell. Or is it Karl Dorrell? We are still 7-5 and without new DC Walker we would have ended below .500 and KD would be looking for a new job. Even with a 7-5 season, and everyone knowing that Walker is the man who turned around our defense, everyone is talking about how great Karl Dorrell is as a head coach. It's amazing.
It is interesting to note that despite all the talk from Walker about being around UCLA for a long time, he only committed to a "one year" extension. And, we have yet to hear anything about our next offensive coordinator.

Here is a thought. Why can't Dorrell take over the offense himself? This is his WCO after all. He knows it better than anyone. So, why can't he take control over his offense and show it how it's done? This way he will have no one else to blame but himself should the offense misfire again next year.

Anyways ... we will see how the offense does against Florida State. UCLA has been riding the defensive performances of Walker's unit in its last three games. To get the job done on December 27, which is to crush the Noles, Dorrell's team will have to put together its first decent offensive performance since the first game of the season.

And you know what that means? If St. Patrick isn't getting it done against the Noles, KD should go with South Paw Jesus. If the offense keeps sputtering against Florida State, it's KD who should take responsibility, since he has been calling shots since he took over the play calling since the Cal game.

The buck will eventually have to stop at Dorrell's desk. Right? It might as well happen in a year during which Dorrell is expected to win (at least a Pac-10) a championship for the first time in his five mediocre years in Westwood.

No more scapegoats in Westwood.