It's the morning after and, to be honest, I am not even that upset. As a lot of us were saying over and over during the game (peppered throughout our game thread), we had seen this movie before.
We have seen the movie in which a better coach (in this case, an old washed up legend and his lame duck son-assistant) schools Dorrell.
We have seen the movie in which a poorly coached Dorrell team fails to make any half time adjustments (in this case, getting outscored 7-31 in the second half and, specifically, getting blitzed 0-21 in the second half).
And, we have seen the movie time and time again in which Dorrell chokes away opportunities presented after proverbially turning the corner. Plaschke of all people nails it following another classic Dorrell debacle (emphasis ours):
The Seminoles didn't much care either way.
Yet when it came down to sticking out their necks and extending their fingertips and stretching their nerve in hopes of grabbing the victory, the Bruins backed off, and the Seminoles didn't.
Dorrell played it safe. Bowden played it for everything it was worth.
The Bruins followed their young guy and stumbled. The Seminoles followed their old guy and soared. [...]
The story of the night has been the story of not only this season, but of Dorrell's entire four-year UCLA career.
When the opportunity for greatness knocks, often nobody seems home.
Up 17-10 with a 4th and 1 near the other team's goal line, once again, KD blinked. In those situations, I still go by the axiom I have heard from coaches like Madden and Parcells over the years. If you don't have the guts to go for 1 yard in that type of situation, in which you have a chance to put a dagger into your opponent's heart, you don't deserve to win the game. Dorrell blinked yet again (like he has so many times over his mediocre tenure in Westwood) going for the safe 3.
What would have happened even if the Bruins didn't convert? They would have had FSU pinned deep near their goal line up 17-10. It didn't matter anyways, the 'Noles just drove 76 yards following that wimpy Dorrellian FG, and closed the gap to 20-13.
Oh, and the Bruins did get the ball back near mid field with 2 TOs and 18 seconds left on the game clock. But KD, of course, took the knee yet again.
I really thought the much hyped 'staredown' during the Southern Cal game, in which Dorrell showed some semblance of a pulse, was some kind of positive watershed moment in Dorrell's mediocre tenure in Westwood. I was wrong.
We are stuck with the same coach who doesn't have the guts and courage, who his apologists spin as someone who is somehow smart, and plays it safe to win.
The delusional supporters of this mediocre coach can do whatever they want to make themselves believe that the UCLA football program is headed in the right direction under this loser [that's what you call someone who is 1-3 in bowl games, has won less than 8 games 3 out of 4 years, and has zero championships to show for is (and there is a lot more to his atrocious record as chronicled in Bruins Nation for more than a year)].
But no one is really buying Dorrell's nonsense and the typical BS that comes out of his mouth following these classic Dorrellian losses. From the Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton:
These start-over moments always begin with the requisite amount of optimism, even after a crummy defeat. Especially after a crummy defeat.
"We'll continue to grow this program," he said. "We'll be assertive. I'm encouraged by our effort. I don't have any questions about where we're headed."
The rest of the football world does, though.
And the players can make all the excuses they want, and try to put a positive spin of how they let the game slip away, but, judging from this by Patton, looks like it's not just us who have gotten sick and tired of this act:
Too much of this. Not enough of that. And it all feels like we've been here before.
It gives us some hope going into next season. Now, more than ever, Dorrell is going to be under pressure to produce. If he doesn't win the Pac-10 and beat Southern Cal in 08, it will be time for Dan Gurrerro to pick another selection from the Netflix of the coaching pool.
There are lots of other good coaches out there who can surely come up with movies that are a lot more enjoyable.
After all, the popcorn sure is lot more tasty when we are watching Bruin hoops (and, again, stop embarrassing yourselves with the asinine take that UCLA is just a basketball school). There is a reason for that, ya know. It's not rocket science. It's coaching. We have a good one for UCLA basketball and a bad one for UCLA football.
We are tired of the bad one coming up with the same tired movies over and over again. That's all.