Now that Rick Neuheisel is out, the speculation has begun as to who will replace him. If you believe every outlet in the history of ever, Chris Petersen is UCLA's top target. Mike Leach, Dan Mullen, Butch Jones and a host of others have also been tossed around as names on some sort of possible wish list or something of the sort. It's a pretty impressive list of guys and a list that would have almost every Bruin fan ecstatic.
Pick at any of the names mentioned and maybe you're not a particular fan of one or two of them, but they're all well-regarded, very accomplished coaches. They're guys that a lot of very good programs would be thrilled to hire. They would fit the criteria that we've set out for whoever is hired to replace Neuhseisel. At the very least, they are acceptable hires and many would consider them excellent hires.
Then you get a story like this one from ESPN that is a stark reality check for UCLA.
Multiple university sources indicate that there is mutual interest between UCLA and former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable -- who was an assistant coach at UCLA under Karl Dorrell and is now with the Seattle Seahawks -- and former defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, who's now the coach at New Mexico State.
Read those names again. Tom Cable and DeWayne Walker. So that's one failed collegiate head coach and hey, another head coach who's currently failing! Neither should be even sniffing this job. That's not to bash on Cable or Walker as bad people or anything of the sort. They both had their moments at UCLA, but let's be serious. Neither should and will most likely not even get a fleeting glance from UCLA.
There's not a single appealing thing to either candidate. Neither has proven to be a .500 head coach, let alone a good one. Neither could put together a consistently good unit as a coordinator either. When UCLA needs excellence more than ever before, these aren't elite head coach candidates. They're not even second or third tier.
If Chianti Dan and his cronies in the Morgan Center somehow think either Cable or Walker is an acceptable interview, let alone hire, it will prove that they are not only unfit to run the UCLA athletic department, but we should probably book their bed at a mental institution.
Odds are, this report is false. Outside of unnamed reports from university sources who have ties to these two coaches who used to work at UCLA and most likely are pitching whatever will make their buddies happy, there's no reason to believe these reports are true. They're just more nonsensical speculation that we get every time a job comes out. That said, just because we don't need to book Chianti Dan's spot in a mental institution doesn't mean he's in the clear.
When these rumors started swirling on Sunday night, some Bruin fans got very scared. A head coach like Cable or Walker would just be asked for more of the same underachievement on the field and complete ineptitude at the Morgan Center. On pure logical and common sense, these rumors should have been laughed at from minute one, but they weren't. Now why is that, Chianti Dan?
It's pretty simple. The UCLA fan base has so little confidence in the decision makers and specifically Chianti Dan that there is a very real fear that someone like Cable or Walker could be our next head coach. Bruins think that little of the UCLA decision makers. They see a real possibility of a Cable or Walker taking over, no matter how illogical it may be. So there you go, Chianti Dan. You've convinced Bruins that you could do something stupider than you've ever done before and that is no simple feet. Take a bow, but don't spill your wine.