Monday, July 24, 2006

Five More Years of Pain

Sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend. I think I'm still in shock that UCLA just gave football coach Karl Dorrell a new five year contract. While some might see the new contract as a sign of committment to the direction of the program, it looks to me like a sign of resignation in their crosstown rivalry against the USC Trojans. While the Bruins did go 10-2 last year, five of those victories required last minute combacks and could have easily been losses. More telling, they were humiliated in their losses, which included a 66-19 drubbing at the hands of USC. In his three seasons as head coach, Dorrell is 0-3 against USC by a combined score of 142-65. Last season was also Dorrell's first winning season as a head coach, so why is he being rewarded now? It can't be to provide stability during recuriting, as Dorrell has also been getting routinely destroyed in the recruiting war- not only losing players to USC, but to Cal as well. High school recruits that want to play in LA would much rather play for an enthusiastic coach like Pete Carroll who has embraced the glitz and glamour of Hollywood than the staid and stoic Dorrell who seems to put a moratorium on fun during gameday.

Before this deal was done, there was some overzealous speculation that "The Old Ball Coach," Steve Spurrier, might be interested in coming to UCLA. Of course most people who follow the Bruins knew that athletic director Dan Guerrero would never pay Spurrier his asking price (I'm sure part of the reason for Dorrell's extension is that like basketball coach Ben Howland, he's willing to take a hometown discount); however the thought of UCLA having the brash, offensive minded Spurrier to counter Pete Carroll's squad was just too tantalizing to resist. Now any hope of a change in direction for UCLA has been destroyed by the announcement of this new contract. I just wonder if the contract was written on a white flag.


At Mon Jul 24, 02:59:00 PM PDT , Anonymous insomniac said...

This is a test of the emergency commenting system

At Tue Jul 25, 12:26:00 AM PDT , Anonymous House of Sports Blab said...

Dorrel deserved some sort of extension, though. Granted, it was a tough way to get to 10-2, but I think it's safe to say that he put that together while (obviously) not having the team that USC has, or even Cal, for that matter.

Besides, nobody really remembers what the Bruins football team does if their basketball team plays great, anyway.

At Tue Jul 25, 10:45:00 AM PDT , Anonymous NFL Adam said...

UCLA, being a UC school, might not be able to give Spurrier the money he needs to come out to Westwood. Not that he would. But they would have to raise a lot of money from boosters to get him out here. They should have done this before he was hired by South Carolina.

At Tue Jul 25, 10:07:00 PM PDT , Anonymous MC said...

As House stated, it's really all about basketball when the team is good. Karl Dorrell should send a fruit basket to Ben Howland.


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