Weekly Answers, Pt. 1

Check out the first batch of weekly answers…

1) A few questions about Dan Guerrero: Do you think DG understands how upset UCLA fans are with the state of the football team? Does he have a list of possible replacements for CRN? Does he fire RN midseason, or wait until the end of another awful year? Is DG’s job in jeopardy? – UCLArt
I definitely think Guerrero knows about the fans’ ire, but I think as the athletic director he has the duty to act in the best manner for the program, and that does not always align with what the fans’ desire. Regarding No. 2, I’m sure he’s formulating some ideas, and regarding No. 3, I don’t think he makes a move during the season seeing as there are two new coordinators, a less-than-ideal situation. Regarding No. 4, not at this point.

2) Assuming a regime change come season’s end, what names should be at the top of the list of coaches that can and would be willing to change the course of UCLA football? (Given who’s available today.)
- Reformed Droog
As a beat writer, I don’t like to speculate on specific coaches, but all I know is that whomever coaches UCLA next season, a much-higher measure of discipline must be instilled.

3) Simple question: Do you think the players have quit on the coaching staff? – uclaike
I won’t go that far, but I’ll say that on Thursday they sure didn’t show a lot of fortitude.

4) In light of the very unsurprising meltdown of the NBA season, do Honeycutt or Lee now regret leaving early? It seems like playing for UCLA this year would be so much more valuable to their careers than being drafted in the second round and then doing nothing. – Anonymous
Neither will say as much despite being asked that probably 10,000 times, but I have to believe they feel a twinge of regret, if not a full-on smattering.

5) Who makes the call on starters? I ask because some choices are baffling — for example, we have a linebacker who has been getting walled off, pushed out of holes, and generally caught out of position/beat physically on nearly every big running play for the opposing team (like last night when this particular LB could be seen watching play after play go right past him) — and yet he has started for the past 2 years. I respect the guy’s grit and tenacity, but he’s simply not good. So is it the LB coach that’s playing him? The DC? Or the HC? – Anonymous
The position coach handles matters of rotation and playing time, with consultation from the other coaches on that side of the ball.

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  • Reformed Droog

    Really, Jon? Someone references Jeopardy and you don’t even bat an eye?

    It’s like I don’t even know you anymore…

  • Rich

    I was listening to the college football radio station on Sirius/XM yesterday and their guy said Mike Leach would be a great get for UCLA. Is anybody listening?

  • localbruin

    Guerrero’s job is in jeopardy, and here’s why.

    If he moves Loseheisel out, then implicitly the clock starts ticking down to the end of the Guerrero era if the third football coach in succession is a bust. Therefore, rather than attack this problem directly, DG has every incentive to defer, so he will flank it for one more year, buying time and hoping for a big turn next year. If he gets that turn, problem solved and the DG era continues with no expiration date. If he doesn’t get it, he fires Loseheisel, has lost nothing yet has bought himself another year on the payroll and the (5 year) countdown begins next year, not this year.

  • Coach Thom

    localbruin…neat summation of what will probably occur. Meanwhile, we Bruin fans must continue to wear shopping bags over our heads whenever we venture into public places. Disgusting and totally demoralizing.

  • BruinFaithful

    Rich:

    Where these the same guys who said CRN would be a GREAT hire for UCLA?

    Do you really want your Head FB Coach running up and down Westwood in neon spandex?

    There’s a reason why nobody has hired Leach yet. Think about it.

    His background check doesn’t look so good. A bunch of schools took a look at him, until his background check came back.

    He’s a loose cannon, who is stubborn, and a lone wolf. He could have kept his job at TT if he had just apologized publicly like the School President asked him to. He told him to F off. He thought he was BIGGER than Tech. He was wrong.

    Look at Bruce Pearl at Tennessee. He had issues as a coach at the D II level. Tennessee gave him a shot. Sure the guy can coach, but do you really want the face of your BB Program bodying all up on Erin Andrews on National TV like a pervert? Or hanging out getting drunk and trying to hit on the Coeds? Or on live TV in the student section with his shirt off? Not to mention all the NCAA Violations. This guy thought he was casting for the movie “Old School”. It’s not always just about the X’s and O’s.

  • FG UW fan

    Disagree with Local Bruin.

    If DG stalls and lets RN go into next year and the team goes 8-4…sure, crisis solved.

    But if the same thing happens and the team goes 4-8, then I see DG getting canned. Letting RN continue into next year and monumentally failing again will be seen the same as hiring a 3rd coach who turns into a mounumental failure by 2016.

    I think both would result in a new Athletic Director.

  • FG UW fan

    Agree with BruinFaithful.

    Leach would be a bad match for UCLA. Belotti would be a better match, but might be too past his prime to be worth it.

    Maybe Pendergast, Cal’s DC?

  • Anonymous

    C’mon people, is 8-4 next season a remote possibility given the state of the program now? To save DG and RN’s behind??? I would love to dream but after this many years of disappointment I don’t dare no matter how RN spins it.

    RN gets canned now, at the end of the season, or (gasp) at some point next season, won’t be able to turn this sinking ship around. As some had stated, even if we start afresh today, it’s going to take a couple of years. Gold has explicitedly cited a “higher measure of dicipline” is needed.

    DG is trying desperately to stave off controversies now as he is gunning for the NCAA. We should stop pleading DG to can RN but instead, plead the UC Regents or the power that be to clean house and start over again.

  • Anonymous

    Why is everyone blaming the AD for the football mess? He hired the guy all you babies were pining for a few years ago?

  • BruinFaithful

    LocalBruin:

    I disagree that DG’s job is in jeopardy, regardless of what happens with CRN or the next coach he hires or the one after that, if any.

    I think the only thing that will put DG job in jeopardy is a MAJOR outcry from the Alumni and such.

    I totally agree with Jon’s assessment, of DG’s plan. DG knows CRN is dead man walking and all his talk of support is AD Speak. He two Asst. Coaches with VERY little Co-Ordinator experience. Comepltely different than AZ, who has a DC with 20 years or so of DC experience. DG feels he is stuck and is exploring options for CRN’s replacement. At least I hope that is the case.

    I think Jon knows a lot more than he is letting on. He has admitted as such many times. There are certain things he cannot mention. However, look no further than to Jon’s change in tone about the coaches the last few weeks. He has become decidedly hyper critical, which I totally agree with, of this staff and it’s choices. Saying things he was very careful not to in the past for fear of being shut down by the staff. Now, he doesn’t care. He knows CRN is TOAST.

  • localbruin

    BFaithful,
    As John McEnroe used to say: You Cannot Be Serious!!!” You are taking Jon Gold’s wink’s and nods as an indication that he “knows more than he’s letting on”?? No. Jon just has a nervous twitch. This is the same Jon Gold who “knew” that Datone Jones was a “man among boys”, was “NFL ready” and we were lucky he was out last year because otherwise he’d be in the League now. Hahaha. This is the same Jon Gold that downgrades the team to comatose after the Texas loss, but upgrades them to likely bowl participant after the OSU road win. (Now he’s back to a comatose diagnosis…go figure.) Seriously. Jon’s a great guy, but let’s not go overboard here.

    DG is not immediately in danger with a bad 5th year from Loseheisel. Here’s why.

    DG is a UC administration darling. He leads the world in NCAA championships, right? He’s on the inside at the NCAA itself, right? The programs are all running clean, right? (so far as we know!) He raised enough money to get Pauley redone, right?

    The football program will bite him in the butt if it doesn’t turn up within a few years, but for now, he’s immune based upon his other brownie points (for which I unenthusiastic).

    He’ll play out the string with Loseheisel and face the music next year, if he must.

  • XDB SportsEd

    JD Morgan wouldn’t have put up with this “friggin’” football nonsense. Bottom line for Guerrero, if football support continues to erode and the new Pauley doesn’t consistently sell out, he’ll have some ‘splaining to do and being the NCAA Belle of the Ball won’t matter.

  • Anonymous

    localbruin, that’s where you are wrong. DG has not raised enough money for the pauley rebuild. hopefully the threat of pauley is the carrot that gets dangled out there so a real coach can come in and get some cultural changes in the AD.

  • localbruin

    XDB, concur. Only matter I’m discussing here is the timing involved in reaching your conclusion and DG’s strategy. I see him deferring on Loseheisel if at all possible. Five or more wins this year gives that option to him since he can claim “improvement”. Regardless of the final record, his bosses won’t be pressuring DG in any way this year.

  • BruinFaithful

    LocalBruin:

    Your criticisms of Jon speak to his inability to properly scout players and teams, not his ability to hear what is going on inside the program. Those are two different things. Jon has never been this critical of this team. In the past, he was more critical of our expectations, rather than the coaching. Ask yourself why this has changed. As a beat reporter, he has clearly stated that there are things he knows that are going on, but bites his lip in order to mainain the lines of communication with the staff. Now he doesn’t care, because he knows this staff is toast.

  • localbruin

    BFaithful,
    As Billy Joel used to say, “You may be right, I may be crazy”.

    Jon’s critical tone will vanish instantly with a big win. He’s like a well greased weather vane atop the barn, always pointing whichever the wind blows. Besides, he’s out of material by now and needs to keep everyone guessing and reading, hence the suggestion of intrigue.

    It’s pretty simple. What will decide this is the final record and the trend from here. If the record improves from here with a big finish, DG will clearly defer and keep Loseheisel. Five wins, and barring a complete collapse where every game from here on out reminds us all of the AZ fiasco, Loseheisel, and DG stumble through to next year like two drunks holding each other up.

    DG doesn’t have the stomach (figuratively) for what comes after Loseheisel is dismissed.

    Think his chair is hot now? What happens when he brings in New Coach and the team struggles out of the blocks? What happens when his re-re-re-building program starts looking like a 405 lane widening? Somebody begins to think DG is better suited to a desk job in Indiana for the NCAA, that’s what.