UCLA Coach Jim Mora met with the media after the Stanford loss tonight.
While Mora sounded disappointed with the results of the game, he stood up for the effort the team is putting in each and every day.
I'm proud of our guys. You guys don't get to see the inner workings. You don't get their attitude or how they are in meetings. They're giving it everything they've got. They're giving everything they've got every single day. Everything they've got. Everything, every day. That's what you have to ask for and they do it.
In response to a question about "everything going wrong," Mora disallowed that premise forcing the reporter to rephrase his question as "when a lot of things are going wrong." But, then Mora said that UCLA is "a team that is still developing".
And, there you have it.
It's the changing of the narrative from we have a group of experienced guys to we're a team that is "still developing." He also mentioned that they have to continue to get better and that means going out and recruiting better players, coaching them up. and having them play better.
There's really only one problem with this. It's the fact that the same problems keep coming up year after year. Mora spoke about how every year it's a "new team", but what he didn't say is that the same problems still exist year after year. Undisciplined play, penalties and a predictable offense looks predictable that ends up being easy for certain teams to stop.
Sooner or later, the fact remains that if a "new team" makes the same mistakes as the "old team", then maybe, just smaybe the problem lies in the coaching and the direction the players are receiving.As an example, let's look at Michigan. This is a team that looked flat-out awful last year under Brady Hoke. But, Jim Harbaugh comes in and, with the exception of a season opening loss to a good Utah team, Harbaugh has the team playing like one of the best teams in the country.
Is this because Brady Hoke had recruited incredible talent and couldn't get the best out of them? Maybe. But, at the same time, maybe, just maybe, it's because Jim Harbaugh is a coach who can step in and take a team from one of the worst in the country to one of the best in the country. Why is it that Harbaugh can do that in five or six games and Coach Mora has been unable to do that in 3-plus years?
I know many Bruin fans are still so giddy over the difference between Mora and his two predecessors that they may be ready and willing to give him a contract for life. But, sooner or later, Bruin fans really need to ask themselves, "Is this the best we can do with Jim Mora and his staff?" After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Make no mistake. Compared to the previous two UCLA football coaches, the difference has been night and day. Mora has done a great job compared to what Coaches Rick Neuheisel and Karl Dorrell did with the program.
But, we are quickly approaching that point where there really needs to be some soul-searching to answer the question of whether or not Coach Mora is the best person to lead the program to the elite level.
So far, that answer remains a resounding no and will stay that way until he can prove that he can win the biggest games and I'm not just talking about beating U$C at the end of the season. Anyone who says "Just beat 'SC clearly doesn't have a desire for our football team to win its first National Championship since 1954.
The solution may be to bring in better offensive assistants. It seems to have worked when Kennedy Polamalu was hired. Maybe replacing other offensive assistants like Noel Mazzone, Adrian Klemm and Taylor Mazzone would help get the team over the Elite hump.
But, Mora really needs to do some internal soul-searching on this and quick because this year's team which showed much promise a few weeks ago is starting to death spiral fast.