What does ‘an improved program’ mean to you?
“UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: We have to get more wins. We have to win more than we did last year. Eight or more.”
Is that your goal, or the program’s goal? Do you need that, or does everyone around you need that?
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: “Well, I haven’t been told I’d be fired if we didn’t win eight. But I want to keep the momentum going. The momentum of this program is tangible. By winning seven, by getting to a postseason game and winning it, we were an attractive entity to recruits, and it parlayed itself into a top class. Kids that in years past wouldn’t have even considered UCLA, came to UCLA. Not just considered UCLA, but came. We have to keep that rolling. If we go to the postseason again and win again and show improvement so you can look at the graph and it still looks like it’s climbing, that’s tangible evidence that this thing is going in a positive direction. That’s why I say eight. We have to win eight. I’ll be crushed if we don’t win eight. How do you win eight? You win every one you line up. It’s no different formula. It’s not like I’m saying, ‘OK, here are the four I want to lose.’ That’s not what I’m doing. It’s just that I want all signs to point that this thing is going where I said it would go. We can do that, if we get all hands on deck, because there is nothing given to us in this schedule. Nothing. Nothing. There is nothing out there where you can write down and say, ‘OK, we’ve got that one.’ That’s not the way it is. And that’s not true of most colleges. Most colleges can tell you right now they’ve got some wins scheduled in there. The argument will go on forever and ever which is the better way to go about it, and I can argue both sides. But it doesn’t matter. This is what we have – now let’s go make it work.”