When your football team makes the front cover of Yahoo, not Yahoo Sports, but Yahoo itself - you'd hope it because they won a national championship, made some spectacular play, or broke some long-standing record. Not for our UCLA Bruins - they've landed themselves on the front page of a national media outlet because Jeff Ulbrich wasn't able to act like a professional on the sidelines (an extremely well-paid professional at that), but rather, a petulant preteen who isn't able to beat his opponent on Madden and has thrown his Xbox controller into the wall.
First, it was Mazzone allegedly flipping off a section of UCLA fans because, like Ulbrich, he can't maintain his professional composure. Now, we have a defensive coordinator - one of the highly paid adults who is supposed to be a positive example for the young men on this football team - acting like a child who would rather take his ball home and quit than figure out how to win. It's become evidently clear that Jim Mora has lost control of this football program - from undisciplined play on the field (which not only gives up huge plays to opposing offenses, but also leads to UCLA being one of the most penalized teams in the nation) to undisciplined outbursts by both the offensive and defensive coordinators in successive weeks - things are getting very ugly in Westwood, very fast.
In what was supposed to be an elite season for the Bruins - a deep and talented roster, stocked with top-end recruits, led by a Heisman quality junior QB with first-round NFL Draft skills and two of the most dynamic linebackers in the entire nation - UCLA has fallen flat on its face. The slow, stumbling starts against Virginia and Memphis were the first red flag. Texas was hard to gauge without Hundley, and the Arizona State beatdown should go into the dictionary for "false dawn" - because it's become clear that UCLA is not ready for the big time.
Three years later, Jim Mora has yet to win a single big game of consequence in Pac-12 play. There's still time for Mora to turn things around and deliver the conference title that was expected (as the bare minimum barometer of success) but he needs to take a real hard look at his assistant coaches - it's all fun having some "bros" around the sidelines (read: Ulbrich) when you're beating up on out-of-conference teams to give you high-fives and fist-bumps and all - but perhaps it's time Mora go out and find some real coaches to help this team reach its potential, because it's painfully apparent that Noel Mazzone and his stale offense (which isn't missed by anyone at Arizona State) and Jeff Ulbrich and his "defense" (which gives up points and yards like a sieve) need to go.
The talent is there. Clearly, the leadership is not.