What Went Wrong in Westwood: Pt. 12

Ed. note: I’m taking a retrospective look at what eventually doomed the Rick Neuheisel era. He obviously did not lack a passion for the job, but questionable decisions and cruel twists of fate – and knees – led to his dismissal from his alma mater. I take a look back at a dozen of the pivotal moments that eventually sealed Neuheisel’s fate.

12. The Final Straw
Despite a 3-1 record after the Arizona disaster, if the writing was not already on the wall by Thanksgiving, the pens were being pulled out. Neuheisel had one last-ditch effort to save his job – though some maintain that his fate had already been sealed – with a potential game-changing win over USC. Neuheisel knew it, the players knew it, everybody knew it. Lay it all on the line, one more time. And the Bruins did lay something that night: An egg. As in, 50-0, the worst defeat to the hated Trojans since a 52-0 loss in 1930. After the game, athletic director Dan Guerrero said he would wait until after the season to assess Neuheisel’s future. Rick Neuheisel was fired as UCLA head coach two days later.

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  • Shawnymoe

    Look we all knew what happened in Westwood,the question is who is coming in to fix this mess?

  • Erica

    Jon, great work. Please do a another write-up of WHAT WENT WRONG WITH DAN GUERRERO. Fired 3 FB coaches under his watch and now going on hiring his 3rd FB coach. IS DAN GUERRERO UNTOUCHABLE? Please answer.

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Now this finally a blog

  • uclaone1

    Seriously?….Who really cares?…..Right now the focus is on the future…WHO is going to be our coach?….what will recruits do….what is our future….this is much to do about nothing…it is the past….

  • Anonymous

    Two words: Re. Hash.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Sometimes, to know where you need to go is to look back at what went wrong. Including way back, which seems to be much of our problem football-wise.

    A band-aid will not fix this, nor minor surgery. No, this is like total re-constructive surgery time. And thanks to Dan Guerrero’s mad timing, guess what? There’s NO ONE AT THE WHEEL!

    Nice work, Jon. Lest we forget, of course. Because CRN was not the heavy-hitter we needed, and then — as you spelled out so well — what did go right from there?

    And don’t expect Jon to have all the “next coach” answers. You really think much is really happening while Guerrero is busy banging whores in Vegas?

  • Surrender Monkey

    Can we beat Illinois? Does anybody know who the new coach will be? What about Tressel? Can he help? I can’t stand the endless jokes at the water cooler. We need a victory.

  • Trojan 70

    Good Lord, after reading all of this I am depressed for you poor buggars. And you wonder why you haven’t found a coach…