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Consensus

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The Pac-10 Media Day is coming up next week signaling that arrival of much anticipated football season is right around the corner. Dump Dorrell sets the table wrt to the scene around the Media Day (emphasis DD's):

This year is a different story, there is no consensus. This year the hype is muted, inconsistent and countered by a growing criticism in the MSM about the job Dorrell is doing (finally). Major outlets are saying that we will go 11-0 heading into the Coliseum or that we will win only 6 or 7 games.  Some are saying Dorrell is on the hot seat, or calling Dorrell one of the 5 worst coaches in college football.  There is no consensus on our pre-season rankings either. Experts rankings are all over the map. Some have us finishing #6 in the conference, some have us ranked #9 in the country, and yet others have us as a sleeper pick to win a national championship. Morgan Center of course is out hyping- they printed in a mockup of the Spring preview sent out to journos that we would win the Pac-10 and beat SuC by 20 points at the Coliseum this year.

But none of that makes sense. By now you know all about how we've got a great season lined up. All the returning starters, all the seniors, the easier road and OOC schedule, 2 returning QBs. Fans expectations are this year reasonably high. We SHOULD be highly ranked and competing for the Pac-10 title and a BCS bowl. What is wrong with this picture? As we have said, it's the job Dorrell is doing. If he were even a good coach, there would be more consensus and that consensus would be that we would be competing for the conference title and a Rose Bowl bid. We will get into that more later as the season comes closer into focus.

Now, however, we can't help but be excited about what we can do this season. This team CAN do something special, unlike last year's team. And despite the purpose of this site and our well documented case against Dorrell, we at DD are going into Training Camp and Media Day with an excitement that we haven't ever had in the Dorrell era. Could this be real?? We want to believe.
I think we are all in the same place here. We have had lots of back and forth discussions here last few weeks wrt to expectations v. predictions for this upcoming season. Judging by the poll results on the right (in which more than 1,000 folks have chimed in) overwhelming (almost 70 percent) of this Nation, expects UCLA to have a special season in 2007. There is no question about that.

Dorrell will be under severe pressure to produce. And it is not going to matter whether there is a mixed picture wrt to UCLA expectations from outside observers. I do think it is a positive sign that there is a mixed picture and lots of doubts about Dorrrell's competency from outside observers. Lot of it is due to concerns we have expressed here over last two yeaers. And I think this year if Dorrell fails to deliver on our expectations, he will be held accountable. I don't think he is going to be able to get away with a 9 win season. It will not work. If he and his supporter try to make the claim that 9 wins is a sign of progress, that will make the atmosphere around our football program even more unhealthy and toxic than it already is.

Now what if Dorrell falls just short of our expectations of winning at least the Pac-10 championship as this question implies:
What if UCLA finishes 11-1, loses to USC in a close one, finishes 2nd in the Pac-10, but finishes ranked in the top 10?  Do you want a new HC at that point?
I think if UCLA has an 11 win season with a loss against Southern Cal in a very hard fought game, there may be a good chance that UCLA could be headed towards a game bigger than the Holiday Bowl. It would also hopefully mean that UCLA had a season which included consistent performances on both offense and defense, playing solid, fundamental football through the entire season. In that case, Dorrell would have lot to build on and with the recruiting class coming in he would have the football program in good shape. So if that scenario comes into fruition we would be more than happy to embrace Dorrell and lay off him.

The ball is really on Dorrell's court now. He needs to show that after four years he can deliver wins with consistent performances game in and game out. To this date he hasn't shown that yet. Even during the 10 win season, it never felt like a great season because of the haphazard manner the Bruins were playing every game, going through roller coaster emotions and depending on their two Drews to bail them out game after game. That kind of 10 win season with multiple HUMILIATING and DISGRACEFUL losses will simply not cut it this season.

So our expectations from Dorrell is deliver at least a Pac-10 championship this coming season. If he falls just short delivering a season such as 11 wins (without humiliating losses) and featuring a win in a marquee bowl game, we may be all right with it. However, the bottom line is we are looking for consistency and we are looking for sure fire signs which will generate a consensus in this Nation that Dorrell has UCLA football headed towards the right direction. We are looking for the kind of consensus that pervades through the world of UCLA hoops, baseball and every other programs in UCLA athletics that gives us the feeling that our program is in good hands. If Dorrell hasn't generated that consensus by the end of this season, he will need to head towards the nearest golf course.

We are all for Dorrell making it happen and getting us to that point of consensus in the world of UCLA football this coming year. Hey ... we want to believe too.

GO BRUINS.