Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Polarizing Prospect

So, we've come full circle in the coaching profiles. I started out with Rick Neuheisel and it looks I might be ending with him as well. Everyone is now reporting that Rick is the leading candidate for the job. He is the only guy to have a second interview at this point and that is a prerequisite to getting hired at UCLA.

One thing I wrote in the profile is that Neuheisel is a polarizing candidate. You either love him or hate him and the passion on both sides is very intense. His profile got by far the most comments (and most debate) of any of the other guys mentioned. I'll come out and say that I am definitely in the Pro Neuheisel camp. I think his past troubles are behind him and he is a more mature and seasoned person. I'm also sure that, if Rick is hired, he will have strict language in his contract about morals and ethics.

If you look at the other candidates (Walker, Chow, and Harbaugh) a Neuheisel hire actually makes the most sense. Guerrero said in his new conference ,when Dorrell was fired, that he was looking for a candidate with head coaching experience. Well, out of the four, Rick is the only one with experience. I was totally convinced that he was out of the picture with his past run-ins with the NCAA, but he must have nailed the first interview because now he is the leading candidate for the position.

A Neuheisel hire also satisfies the long held UCLA rule that all coaches must be directly related to Terry Donahue by no more than one degree of separation. I'm just kidding about that. Well, no, actually I'm not. It is strange how every coach since Terry was at the reigns was either a former assistant (Toldeo) or player (Dorrell). Rick is also a former Donahue player, so the Bruin gods will be appeased once again.

Just to go along with the rumor mill, there is some crazy, crazy, crazy talk of Chow also joining the staff as an offensive coordinator. I guess he isn't that happy in the NFL and is looking for a return to the college ranks. So we could have a Neuheisel, Walker, and Chow combo leading this team. That would be, probably, the my biggest football fantasy of all time. Two great assistants, an experienced head coach with a PAC-10 title on his resume, and recruiting prowess unprecedented in UCLA's recent history. All of that means it can't possibly be true. Or can it? I'm going to send Santa a letter and see if he can make that happen. It would be a very Merry Christmas indeed!

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