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Thursday (Football) News & Notes

Bunch of football related news and notes to share with you this Thursday. Before you read any further be warned you may not find it pleasent.

So much for Dorrell signing the most talented OL recruit so far in 08 class. As some of you already alerted in the comment threads (HT bruinforever) Humani Stevens decommitted from UCLA after committing within days. From Bruin Roar:

After committing to UCLA this past weekend, Hemet (Calif.) offensive lineman Hamani Stevens faced a lot of questions about how solid his commitment really was. Stevens took an unofficial visit to UCLA earlier today and now says he is no longer committed anywhere.
As soon as there was a real possibility of getting an offer from Pom Pom, Humani asked out of his oral commitment to UCLA. Goes to show how much cache Dorrell’s program really has in California, despite the 13-9 aberration of last December. I know lot of you don’t want to hear that, but it’s a reality.

Moving on to coaching news, scapegoat number 2 from last season – OC Jim Svoboda – has found a new gig … in Montana. I thought this (HT to artybruin)was funny:
"I'm excited to be at a highly respected university like Montana State," Svoboda said. "I want to help continue the great tradition of I-AA football in Bozeman, and I look forward to working with a coach the caliber of Rob Ash, who I truly believe is one of the finest coaches at any level, and the staff has assembled."

While at Westwood, Svoboda was part of a staff that made three consecutive bowl appearances and last fall upset No. 2-ranked USC in its final regular-season game.
Funny … if someone was doing a college football version of the Daily Show.

And speaking of funny, scapegoat number 4 – John Wristen – is camping outside D-2 Colorado State Pueblo hoping and praying for a new gig. The school was kind enough to issue a press release and list him as one of the finalists. Here are those finalists:
• Kevin Coons – Head coach at Arvada West High School

• Robert Smith – Former head coach at Western Washington University

• Scott Maxfield -- Head coach at Henderson State University - Maxfield withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday.

• John Wristen -- Former assistant coach at UCLA, Colorado and Northwestern and CSU-Pueblo graduate.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Karl Dorrell’s former assistant is fighting out with a high school head coach to land a gig. Gotta love how Dorrell has restored the tradition at UCLA football as he so proudly proclaimed in the recent ESPN "all access" show.

Lastly, I know it’s time of the season when lot of the season preview magazines are coming out. If you haven’t done it make sure to read Sunday Morning Quarterback’s preview of Dorrell’s team. SMQ wrote it up during March, when all of us were preoccupied with Ben Ball warriors. So I didn’t pay any attention to it in midst of Madness. SMQ notes on UCLA are mostly on the right track, but once against like other outside sources gets confused between the concept of our expectation v. prediction of Dorrell’s performance this upcoming season.

In terms of prediction SMQ has this:
Non-Binding Forecast: Well, gee, how about 7-6? Dorrell's teams have never missed a bowl game, but also have never gone anywhere better in December than El Paso, and never anywhere in January at all. The Holiday Bowl would be an improvement as far as postseason destinations go, and that's said about a team whose previous coach, a guy now toiling at Tulane, had the program on the cusp of the mythical championship game less than a decade a go. It would seem, if the Holiday Bowl represents the highest of realistic expectations these days, Dorrell had better at least take his 19 returning starters and meet that. Probably won't, though, and anybody's guess what could happen from there.
Obviously we disagree with him in terms of realistic expectation for this upcoming season based on the arguments we have laid out during last few weeks. But still SMQ’s assessment provides us another example of how outsiders have no respect for what Dorrell is doing as the head coach of UCLA.