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Recruiting vs. Winning Something

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So according to Rivals.com at this snap shot of time Dorrell's football program has the number 1 recruiting class in the country. Here is how the current top-10 recruiting classes look in June:



For more on this check out godblesstyus95's initiated discussion in the diary section here.

This is good news and all for KD and his unstable coaching staff. However, as this great post from Bruinzone points KD actually has to win "something" of note with any level of talent before we go nuts over a good start with his 2007-08 recruiting class (emphasis added):

It appears as if the football staff is doing an excellent job recruiting the 2008 class. But, although there is reason to be pleased, perhaps we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves here. Lest anyone forget, recruiting is only part of the picture. These talented young men have to be well coached or their talent will result in no championships and fewer wins than some seem to be counting prematurely.

Take a look at rankings of recent recruiting classes (link). Many schools at the top of the ranking have fared well. But there are always some who, despite a good recruiting class, or perhaps several, still seem to underacheive and disappoint. Bruin fans are all too familiar with this phenomenon.

My point: KD has yet to prove he can win anything of note with any level of talent. Maybe he can with the type of talent we appear to be recruiting. But, given the performance of the past four years, perhaps we shouldn't count all these wins and championships until KD proves he can coach these guys at a top level. Colorado, Virginia, Mississippi State, Alabama and Maryland, among others, have all had some pretty good recruiting classes in recent years. What have they won with their talented players?

By the way, does anyone think that any of the defensive players being recruited this year will be coached by Walker beyond their freshmen or sophomore seasons? If Walker is as great as so many here believe, what happens when these players are set to contribute and we have a new defensive coordinator?

Again, I'll temper this euphoria with a dose of reality. Everyone predicted championships from KD when he was hired. In fact, both KD ans DG stated that conference championships were the goal. Four years later, we haven't even come close to that goal. In the end, all that matters will be the final scores.
That sounds just about right.

Again its great that the recruiting is off to a great start. However, given Karl Dorrell's track record I am going to repeat every chance I get how important it is to temper our excitement over recruiting euphoria. We are still talkking about a head coach whose team has never been able to succesfully close out a season on or off the field. So while all this early success is nice it is not going to matter much if Dorrell fails to bring home at least a Pac-10 championship at the end of 2007.

Oh and a note for all the newbies on BN. If Dorrell delivers on the expectations of this upcoming season we will praise him just like Howland, Savage and other UCLA coaches who are winning or contending for championships in other athletic programs. We will give Dorrell his due. Its a matter of him gettting the job done - winning a championship - on the field.

The bottom line for this Nation is for Dorrell to put UCLA at number 1 at least in the Pac-10 at the end of the day on December 1, 2007. He talked about Pac-10 championships and beating Southern Cal when he got here and now he needs to deliver, and only then we can legitimately celebrate top ranked recruiting classes.

GO BRUINS.