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Dan Guerrero Needs To Bring Chip Kelly To UCLA

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Landing Chip Kelly would really show a commitment to football at UCLA.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

If I'm the UCLA Athletic Director, I'm already on the phone to Chip Kelly's agent trying to bring him to Westwood.

Because, after four years of Jim Mora, the football program is moving in the wrong direction. The program has regressed. The team just lost the same third-tier bowl game it appeared in when Jim Mora was hired and they lost to a team that backed their way in due to a lack of bowl-eligible teams.

I know it's hard to believe but, there are STILL some Bruin fans out there who want to cling to the notion that the football program has made a lot of progress under Jim Mora.

But, let's be honest.

The reason Jim Mora's program looks as good as it does is two-fold. First and foremost, it's because the combined Dorrell-Neuheisel era was as horrid as it was. It was clearly the darkest of days for the Bruin football program.

"But", say the Mora supporters in the room, "UCLA has never won so many games in a four year period." That's due to the expanded schedule that now includes 12 regular season games, plus conference championship games and, of course, bowl games. That's either 13 games if you miss the P12CG or 14 games if you win your division.

It has now been seventeen years since UCLA last played in the Rose Bowl. That is the longest stretch between Bruin Rose Bowl appearances since UCLA joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1928.

Meanwhile, Kelly's record at Oregon was impeccable: Four BCS bowl games in four years including an appearance in the 2011 BCS Championship, two Rose Bowls in three years (and it would have been three in a row if they hadn't gone to the BCS Championship in 2011), only three conference losses in four years.

To be sure, the Tennessee Titans may very well look to reunite Kelly with Marcus Mariota.

But, if Dan Guerrero doesn't at least pick up the phone and make an effort to bring Chip Kelly to Westwood, Gene Block should fire him on the spot.

There is no doubt. Notwithstanding Saturday's loss to Nebraska, Jim Mora has made UCLA football relatively respectable again. But, let's face it. The team has plateaued under Mora.

For whatever reason, players have been leaving the program in droves. The number of top recruits who have left Westwood over the past year or so is unbelievable. Many top recruits who have committed to the program have chosen to look elsewhere. Oluwole Betiku, whose guardian is Penn State great LaVar Arrington who was coached by DC Tom Bradley in State College, chose to first de-commit and then committed recently to Southern Cal.

On the pages of this site, we've discussed the current problems with the program ad nauseum. There has not been a simple solution to them before today.

Today's actions by the Philadelphia Eagles give UCLA's Administration the perfect opportunity. Hire Chip Kelly immediately while the ink is still wet on his Philly pink slip. Then once he has signed a contract to coach at UCLA, terminate Jim Mora and his entire coaching staff.

Heck, sign Kelly and don't announce it. "Strongly encourage" Mora to pursue another NFL coaching job. The Dolphins are interested and the Chargers might be.

Such action on the part of the UCLA administration would really show a commitment to the football program. Opportunities like this don't happen very often. It would be a defining action for Dan Guerrero's tenure at UCLA which so far has been mediocre at best.

The only question left is: Will Dan be able to pull it off?

Go Bruins!!!