Jeff Ulbrich leaves UCLA to join Atlanta Falcons coaching staff

UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich will leave the Bruins to join the Atlanta Falcons staff, two days after news first broke that he was considering an offer to become the NFL team’s linebackers coach.

Bruin Report Online first reported the news.

Ulbrich, 37, had just completed his first year as UCLA’s defensive coordinator, having been promoted after two seasons as the team’s linebackers and special teams coordinator. On Wednesday morning, shortly after four-star linebacker Roquan Smith had announced his commitment to the Bruins, reports surfaced that Ulbrich would be joining the Atlanta Falcons and new head coach Dan Quinn.

Smith then reopened his recruitment, and is currently deciding between UCLA, Georgia, Texas A&M and Michigan.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora said on Wednesday that Ulbrich had not yet accepted the offer, and said he would “fight tooth and nail to keep him.” Both Mora and Quinn coached Ulbrich when he was a San Francisco 49ers linebacker.

The Bruins will head into the 2015 season with their third defensive coordinator in as many years. Lou Spanos, who held the position for the first two seasons of the Mora era, left to become the Tennessee Titans linebackers coach in January 2014.

  • Sam C

    Good luck to you coach. Let’s not waste time and line up candidates as I’m sure coach mora already has . Clancy Pendergast?

    • Oz

      I find it funny how many people say Clancy Pendergast for the sole reason that it’s the only name they happen to know. Most people don’t know the assistants that are qualified to be candidates for a defensive coordinator job, so it’s always either Clancy or bring back Dwayne Walker.

      • Sam C

        Not a lot of names waiting around for u to call. Clancy is a good choice though I hadn’t heard walkers name bounced around yet. Time to get someone in here and stabilize and get some continuity.

        • Nemesis

          Did Pendergast just get hired by the 49ers? I don’t think he’s available.

  • UCLA owns LA Football

    Good riddance as whole.

    • Joe Vance

      Coach O has a job…LSU. Pendergast was hired by the Redskins last week. Have you guys been living under a rock with no Wi-Fi?

      • UCLA owns LA Football

        Joe, I think you’re talking to BruinAZ. I prefer other experienced candidates.

        • Joe Vance

          You’re right, sorry my bad.

      • gotroy22

        They all get their info from this blog so you can’t blame them for being out of the loop.

        • Tommy B Low Us

          Huh? Smells like bacon.

        • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

          Jack’s been doing a good job.

          He doesn’t hate UCLA like Wolf hates USC, so we don’t get a lot of non-Bruin-related posts.

          • gotroy22

            He’s the laziest sports blogger on the internet.

          • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

            As a Bruins fan, it is sometimes amusing to see how he stirs up his readers.

      • Tommy B Low Us

        Thank goodness coach O has a job already. There is a reason Mora wanted him to be head coach at the clown college.

  • Tommy B Low Us

    I would like to see Mora get salty and go and poach the georgia DC. Or go after several top DCs in SEC land. Maybe they could flip several more recruits out of the SEC that way. Go Mora!!

    • jameskatt

      It’s probably going to be in the extended family, not a total stranger.

      Mora is going to hire someone he knows who has a similar philosophy.

      Both he and Quinn coached Ulbrich at the 49ers. And they ended up fighting over him since he gets along well with their personalities.

      It will probably be someone with NFL experience. NFL experience will play well with recruits.

      Despite being only the linebacker coach at Atlanta, I would look at Ulbrich’s move as a step up. After all, the NFL is the big game.

      Certainly, it is up to the Athletic Director to give their coaches the best offer to stay in college. It is difficult when the NFL offers more money, however.

      • Tommy B Low Us

        I feel confident in Mora’s judgement, but I do wish it would be someone that could open up recruiting. One well respected SEC coach would do wonders for recruiting.

        • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

          During last season’s debacles, I wondered if Mora’s friendship with Ulbrich impaired his judgment a bit.

          It seemed as if Mora gave Ulbrich a chance to learn on the job that perhaps he didn’t deserve.

          I’d prefer a DC with a record of success. UCLA deserves that.

          • gotroy22

            And he thanked Mora with a stab in the back! Silly ruins…

          • Tommy B Low Us

            Here piggy piggy. I smell bacon.

          • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

            Carroll and Kiffin, the absconding Caesar and his protege.

            If coaching perfidy is the criterion for “silly,” then USC is the undisputed Clown College.

  • BruinAZ

    How about Ed O???

    • Sam C

      Great thought though I think he signed up to coach at lsu

  • Laker Rod

    This is bad. To leave a position where you are defensive coordinator and move on to a position coach…wow. I don’t care if it is the NFL. As I have said before, UCLA has an issue with both players and coaches leaving with accomplishing very little. Success is “relative”. Sure back to back 10 win seasons sounds good for UCLA…but these are failures at USC. No Pac-12 title at all and only one Pac-12 championship game.

    What is the source of this issue? Is it Dan Guerrerro not being fully committed to football? What is it? So frustrating. Hundley leaving early…he’s no champion. Ellis McCarthy leaving early.

    UCLA…champions made here. Ha! What a joke!

    I issue a challenge to the entire UCLA football program. Get coaches and players who are committed to truly winning a championship prior to leaving. Don’t leave early.

    • Laker Rod

      And to make it clear I’m not putting in on the players or coaches who have left or have decided to leave early. There is something wrong with the program. Too often players cannot see the team winning a possible championship and figure this is as good as it’s going to get so they jump ship.

      We need more Anthony Barr’s. He stayed his senior year and it paid off.

      I like Mora because I do believe he’s committed to take UCLA farther than they have ever been before but he needs support from the athletic department and school and he has to get coaches who are committed. To promote Ulbrich to DC with no prior experience as a DC and then for Ulbrich to leave after only one year…so disappointing.

      UCLA has again created the perfect situation of coming up with “excuses” if for whatever reason the team under achieves. Oh…we had to bring in a new defensive coordinator…. There is a new quarterback….

      • cmwilliamsd

        This team only lost 5 players. 4 starters, 3 graduating seniors 1 graduating redshirt junior. McCarthy is the only true junior leaving. He never reached his potential and was a spot player this year. With two true sophomores playing ahead of him.This incoming class has 5 players who are ranked number 1 at their position in the country. And you see no progress in this program? As For coach Jeff his true loss was as a recruiter or position coach. He did not have the ability to be a DC. Spanos was great,but was forced out because he was a terrible recruiter. His halftime adjustments were fantastic. A move back to the NFL as a position coach is a sideways move for Jeff. It is a positive move for the Bruin program. Look for someone from the NFL to replace him.

        • EncinitasBruin

          Preach it, bro.

        • EncinitasBruin

          Preach it, bro.

        • Laker Rod

          Of those top 5 players NONE are linemen. Some folks still don’t know where football is won. UCLA got only 1 D line guy also for 2015. They are not going to win championships with this type of recruiting.

          You don’t seem to understand my point. It’s about players and coaches moving on before accomplishing that ultimate goal. Who knows what could have happened had Xavier Sua-Filo stayed for his senior year and Spanos had stayed. Any team is only as good as it’s weakest link. Could UCLA have won the Pac-12 title?

          Imagine if Brett Hundley came back for his senior year. Same for Ellis McCarthy.

          Who’s going to leave early after 2015. Or are the Bruins always going to come up just a little bit short? You see my point?

          • cmwilliamsd

            Spanos didn’t leave. He was forced out. Couldn’t recruit. Assistant coaches leave successful programs everyday. Check out what’s happening in Seattle. Overall UCLA has done a wonderful job holding on to coaches. Hundley did all that he was going to do. I look at Rosen as a move up. Some people rate Rosen as the best QB prospect in the last ten years. If your name implies anything? It should tell you your worries should be focused more in the direction of the LAKERS. No there is a program in trouble.

          • Laker Rod

            Rosen? LOL!! You need to read up on the success of true freshmen at the college level. Very few are successful. Even one year of redshirting makes a big difference.

          • cmwilliamsd

            What makes you think he’s not among the few? Guys don’t enroll early to redshirt. He will start and be fantastic. Same exact offense as he ran in High School. Really Laker Rod I have heard of the glass half empty guy. But your the bone dry glass guy. Are you ever optimistic about anything? Smile the sky is not falling.

          • Laker Rod

            Odds are against any true frosh QB leading a team to a conference title. Care to name any? I repeat…”true” frosh. I don’t care he’s enrolling early. Hundley enrolled early also and he still redshirted and even as a redshirt frosh…Hundley had that horrible game against Cal.

            Had nothing to do with glass half empty. Your glass is filled with too much booze.

      • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

        Those are reasons, and UCLA didn’t “create” them.

        As to the larger point: If you were a junior in any major and someone offered you a job in that field for millions of dollars a year, would you say, “No, thanks. I want to boost my school’s academic ranking”?

        • Laker Rod

          Tim Tebow. Matt Leinart. This “after” winning national championships. There are plenty of others out there too who returned.

          And for those who left early…I repeat…look at what they accomplished…they actually won a championship and where they got drafted warranted them leaving early.

          On the other hand, UCLA has players and coaches leave early without winning championships or end up being drafted high. Hundley is a projected 2nd round pick? Oh brother. XSF wasn’t even a 1st rounder. He basically sat on the bench too.

          And keep in mind that UCLA cannot always pull rabbits out of the hat by going to the JC ranks when guys decide to leave early.

          So all I’m saying is that UCLA needs more players like Eric Kendricks who stay for their 5th year. It’s good Jake Brendel is returning for his 5th year.

          UCLA isn’t going to win with 5 star guys like Ellis Mcarthy who are 3 and out guys. It’s no different than Howland with his one and done guys.

          UCLA needs to get plenty of top linemen each year and redshirt them and have them be comitted to 5 years. They can’t continue to sell recruits early playing time to come on board.

          UCLA has not won a conference title in over 15 years. Has not won a national title in 60 years now.

          The balance needs to shift to redshirting and having more stability in the coaching staff. 3 DC’s in 3 years is not good…it would be different if UCLA had won some Pac-12 titles there…but there is NONE!

          • ProbationU

            You make a lot of points, Rod. Not sure how valid they are. How did staying that extra year work out for Tebow, Leinart and Barkley? Tebow is broadcasting. Leinart is doing DISH commercials and Barkley is riding the pine in Philly…probably joining the other two very soon.

            Recruiting top 4 and 5 star players does pay off. Take a look at the recent recruiting rankings and you will see who is winning championships. UCLA’s problem isn’t from guys leaving early, it has been from not getting enough NFL-type prospects, particularly on the OL.

            McCarthy is not ready for the NFL after 3 years and probably wouldn’t have been ready after 4. He is making a mistake. What makes teams work is quality depth, so when the 4 and 5 star guys leave early, there is another one right behind them. It works pretty well for Nick Saban.

            And as far as the JC route, take a look. UCLA takes very few JC players. We recruited a total of 1 this year.

          • Tommy B Low Us

            Well said. I was think all the same stuff. I sure hope Mora thinks outside the box, and lands a DC that would draw more Florida and Alabama guys.

          • Laker Rod

            It’s not about not necessarily working out for those players who did stay…the point is that they did stay because they saw a chance to win something more.

            In the mean time, we have UCLA guys leaving early without having won any championship. Heck Ellis McCarthy wasn’t even a starter!

            And please don’t preach about Saban and Alabama. One program’s formula for success doesn’t necessarily carry over to that of other programs. That’s my whole point and I’m the one pointing out that UCLA can’t get JC players and accordingly UCLA cannot rest all it’s hopes on getting 4 or 5 star recruits to commit. If Bama did this and didn’t get the guy in a certain year they can make it up by going the JC route. Same for USC and other programs. Can UCLA do the same? Hardly.

          • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

            What fan doesn’t want their best players to stay as long as possible and win every year?

            But no fan’s need for vicarious validation outweighs a young man’s economic and professional well-being.

    • Lifelong Bruin Fan

      I have a different viewpoint. I don’t think Ulbrich was qualified to be the DC in the first place. I was disappointed when Spanos left, but not Ulbrich.

      I see this as an opportunity to take UCLA’s defense to another level. I think Mora perhaps felt obligated to give his friend Ulbrich a shot at the DC position when Spanos left, but now he has no such constraints so he can go after who he feels is the best qualified person for the job. And as an aside, I thought Ulbrich should have been fired right after the Oregon game for his insubordination.

      As for people leaving the UCLA program early, this is not unique to UCLA. As the entire quality level of our football program rises, the impact of players leaving early will be felt less, and we will be in a much better position to attract top tier coaches (as long as we can pay them, which seems to be the case now). Mora definitely has the program moving in the right direction, and I think he has the opportunity to create a program on par with any of the elite programs in the country if he has the wherewithal to stay put and continue building upon what he has already so far. The foundation is taking shape and it’s looking good. Now to start actually building something beautiful.

      • Laker Rod

        I wish I had more of your positive outlook and it’s true that we could end up with a better DC.

        As for people leaving early, I don’t think it’s the norm at other top programs. Even after winning a championship guys stay for their senior year like Matt Leinart. Barkley returned also. Tim Tebow. USC has a big time safety who returned. Remember…this is after winning a Pac-10 title or better and for those who did leave early…they were high round draft picks…usually 1st round. UCLA has guys leaving end they end up in the 2nd or 4th round.

        • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

          It would be hard not to end up with a better DC.

          • Laker Rod

            Oh really. So far not that many DC candidates have even been mentioned. There doesn’t seem to be a line forming either. Will the new DC even have previous DC experience from a major program and was successful for a long period of time?

            I’m actually surprised and disappointed that more DC candidates have not surfaced at this point. I would have thought many would want to coach under Mora and at UCLA which is a program which appears to be on the rise.

          • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

            Oh really.

            Ulbrich was inexperienced and didn’t take instruction.

            I can’t be hard to beat that combination.

    • MPPBruin

      The idea that athletes should all stay 4 years is a fan’s mentality. Just like all of going to school, these athletes are here to prepare themselves for the next level of their careers. For these guy’s that means getting to the NFL in the best possible position, which doesn’t necessarily mean they won a championship. For every player that stays an extra year to improve their draft status there are other players who stay an extra year and blow out their knee or suffer some other career ending injury. The only people who would benefit from Hundley staying another year would be us fans. Hundley doesn’t owe us anything else. He already has his degree. But its easy to sit here on my computer and say that they should stay and give us more. I have nothing to lose.

      If we want to be a top program like the Alabamas, Ohio States and yes, the USCs, we need to start with ourselves as fans, supporters and alumni. I cannot honestly say that our school has the same kind of loyal following that other schools do. When was the last time you were at the Rose Bowl or Pauley and truly felt that it was an electric atmosphere that felt imposing on the other team? We have a lot of growing up to do as a school if we want to be like those other schools. It’s going to take a lot more than 3 winning years to get there. If we want to keep our athletes and our coaches we need to figure out the kind of culture that other schools have that make it such a special place that they don’t want to leave. I just don’t think that we’re on that level yet.

      • cmwilliamsd

        Or go from a top ten first round draft choice. To a forth round bench sitter like say Matt Barkley. Cost himself millions and more importantly a chance to play

    • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

      Leaving a violent sport, a year early, in order to avoid serious injury, in exchange for millions of dollars, fame, and the fulfillment of lifelong dreams?

      These young men have more important things to worry about than fulfilling anonymous fans’ football fantasies.

      • Laker Rod

        But yet other schools seem to have players come back for an additional year…this is even after winning a conference championship or even BCS title.

        And it;s never about fulfilling a fan’s fantasies…it’s about fulfilling your own goals about becoming a champion. Doesn’t seem to exist for UCLA football.

        • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

          And it;s never about fulfilling a fan’s fantasies…it’s about
          fulfilling your own goals about becoming a champion. Doesn’t seem to
          exist for UCLA football.

          You’re moving the goalposts.

    • gotroy22

      “What is the source of this issue? Is it Dan Guerrerro not being fully committed to football?” BINGO!

      • Tommy B Low Us

        Burp. Wow lots of bacon in here.

  • Sam C

    As an alternative I always wondered hey where’s ken norton jr. He’s now DC for the raiders!

    • cmwilliamsd

      A major hire would be Pepper Johnson. Just passed over for Giant DC job. Ben coaching in New England for 13 years and one more in Buffalo. Dying to be a DC. Has the NFL pedigree both as a player for the Giants and as a coach. Just signed with the Jets. But maybe he could be released from his position.

  • MPPBruin

    I hope Mora goes after a successful college coach, rather than trying to brig in someone from the NFL. I wouldn’t want to replace Ulbrich with another coach who really wants to be somewhere else. Mora seems to have found his place in the college game. But I think he’s probably more of the exception than the rule.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    I blame Pete the Cheat calling in favors to bail his failed protégé out after another cross town beat down.

    • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

      If that’s true, then it’s going to backfire, since the Bruins’ defense can only improve.

    • gotroy22

      I love it that Ulbrich exacted his revenge on Mora for their lovers quarrel on national television during your annual Oregon beat down .

      • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

        Lovers’ quarrel trying to beat the second best team in the nation > calling dADddy down to the field to harass officials.

        • gotroy22

          They didn’t seem to be trying very hard now, did they? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

          • Tommy B Low Us

            Burp. Needs more salt.

          • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

            Beaten down by the beaten down.

            Makes Trojans the bottom of the food chain.

  • Bruin’77

    How about Johnnie Lynn? Former Bruin cornerback, played for several years in NFL, has held several positions as defensive coach in NFL (includining a couple of years as Defensive Co-ordinator for the Giants)…currently DB position coach for Raiders…

  • keptycho

    I agree with “good riddance.” I look at this as a great opportunity for Mora to entice a strong DC to come to UCLA. This should be a very desirable position for a good coach that wants to be part of a winner. Mora has built a strong, respected program here and I think he will get many good applicants.

    • Sullyball

      keptycho, I agree with you 100%. Now that we’ve established ourselves as a true national title contender we have a chance to attract a top-level DC. Sure, I’d like Roquan Smith to stay with us. But it’s more important that we hire a DC with big-game experience, who knows how to make impactful in-game adjustments, and who really understands how to generate a consistent pass rush.

      • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Santiago Matamoros

        (And who knows how to develop players.)

    • gotroy22

      Finally a smart ruin. The question is, will Guerrero go cheapo and force Mora to hire another unqualified pal? That is the sad history of ruin football: penny wise and pound foolish.

      • Sullyball

        Well, that’s the rub. Peeps are going to call us the ruins until we actually win something. And, as with winning in any business, that usually comes down to paying employees commensurate to their abilities. Hopefully the forward momentum we’ve generated will result in the hiring of an ALREADY dominant DC.

      • Tommy B Low Us

        Ba ba boo boo. I smell…bacon

  • 92104bruinfan

    Given Ulbrich’s ties to Quinn, not entirely surprised he decided to leave. I’m in the minority, but I really wish he would have stayed another season or 2 as DC to not only establish some continuity but also for the Bruins to get some return on enduring his growing pains his first season. Not sure what high level DC candidate is available in early-mid February. Go Bruins!

    • MPPBruin

      Ulbrich’s first year is a sunk cost. Keeping him to gain an ROI wouldn’t have made any sense. I think he could have continued to improve, but I’m not too concerned that he’s gone. It would have been nice to have a little more notice though.

  • Laker Rod

    Instead of just brushing the issue aside and saying it’s every team’s problem…perhaps we need to worry simply about UCLA. They are the team that hasn’t won a conference title in over 15 years and a national title in 60 years. So what’s the formula for success? We got close a few times but like I said…you’re only as good as your weakest link.

    • MPPBruin

      It was your point that there was something rotten about the culture at UCLA causing kids to leave early. Kids aren’t leaving UCLA early at any higher rates than anywhere else, so let’s eliminate that from our set of options.

      Our recruiting has been much better in the last 3-4 years than it has been in the decade before that, so there’s a start to getting back to national prominence. We’ll have a shiny new training facility in a few years. That’s another piece of the puzzle. I think that retaining Mora and the central pieces of this staff and not running them out the door at the first bump in the road will be another added benefit. We’re all learning how to participate at the highest levels of the sport. It’s not going to turn itself around in 3 years.

      • Laker Rod

        There was two points. Not just the kids but the coaches also. I already provided examples of how Florida and USC, etc retained players and coaches even after winning conference titles and even national titles.

        Why do you try and lump UCLA into a group of other mediocre programs to show how they have players who left early also. Don’t those programs need to address this issue also?

        And our recruiting hasn’t gotten any better than in the past. You just see it this way because we are finally seeing results on the field. Mora and staff have done a much better job of “developing” players that’s for sure. USC is still being ranked higher which they normally are but they are not beating UCLA lately.

        The new training facility is a good thing. The recent Rose Bowl renovations are also good but this didn’t stop Ulbrich from leaving to simply be a position coach. We still have MCarthy leaving.

        • MPPBruin

          The Florida and USC players you mentioned seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Also, those guys went on to do nothing in the NFL, but you already knew that. You should probably stop citing this because it only serves to make your argument weaker.

          As for players leaving early, with this many players leaving early it just has more to do with the state of college sports. It has nothing to do with the success of these programs. We’d all love for all of our players to stay 5 years, but that’s just not realistic. Since this is your issue then you figure our why players want to leave early and what we could do to encourage them to stay in school, particularly if leaving may provide more benefits to their careers than staying.

          For recruiting, our rankings have definitely gone up in the last few years under Mora. Scout publishes their rankings and our average star ratings and overall rankings have clearly increased recently. Many writers say this as well. Our development has played a part in that as well, but starting out with better athletes always helps.

          As for Ulbrich and McCarthy, I don’t know them so I have no idea what their motivations really are. Maybe Ulbrich just prefers the NFL and always thought that college was second fiddle. Maybe the Falcons paid him more. Maybe he felt like a position coach suited him more than a coordinator. Maybe McCarthy’s family has money problems. Maybe he doesn’t enjoy school. Point is that it might not always have something to do with UCLA, but rather what these individuals need to do in their own lives. It’s easy as a fan to speculate on it, but neither of us have any insight here.

          • Laker Rod

            They are not the exception. Go back to Florida State when they won two years ago. The year before that they had guys who ended up staying their senior year to realize their championship. Same with Notre Dame in getting there.

            It goes beyond Ulbrich. Bienemy and Cable bailed after the 2005 season and so did MoDrew. MoDrew only 2nd rounder. Brian Price left early. The teams went 6-7, 4-8, and 7-6 while he was there. Akeem Ayers left early also. So little accomplishments. Sorry if the truth hurts. And keep going with excuses because often that’s all UCLA football is about…excuses.

            I still think Mora is the right coach who gets this program where it needs to be but he’s been making mistakes along the way. He should think more long term.

          • MPPBruin

            Funny you should bring up Florida state because they had four guys leave early the year before they won the championship. Four more the year after that. I guess they don’t have the recipe for the secret sauce either.

            I’d be more receptive to your argument if you were able to give a real cause for UCLA’s lack of success. If you were going to say that we don’t pay our coaches enough, or athletes don’t get the kind of support they need, or administration micromanaged the program, then I’d be listening. But just pointing to the fact that people have left is not persuasive. There are dozens of reasons that people might take other jobs or leave school early, but you haven’t provided any.

            Having read a lot of your posts now I’ve finally realized what’s going on here. You really do think UCLA is inferior and you’re trying to get me to agree with you. This may be the worst case of Battered Bruin Syndrome that I’ve ever seen. Or maybe you’re actually a trojan and I’m only now realizing it. Shame on me for being suckered in.

          • Laker Rod

            You don’t seem to get it because they still won it all. And there were 14 seniors on the two deep roster along with 13 juniors on that Florida State team at least. How many seniors has UCLA had these past few years on their team?

            You’re just a person in denial who can’t admit that UCLA has plenty of players and coaches leave early without accomplishing much.

          • MPPBruin

            Now what you’re saying is that even though they had guys leave early they were sufficiently stocked to overcome those losses. But they still lost guys which contradicts your original point that these programs don’t lose players early. You couldn’t prove that so you’re shifting the goalposts.

            As for UCLA, this last year the program had 9 seniors and 25 juniors. Not surprising that we’re included in some preseason top 10 lists.

            Obviously ucla has lost some players early. For some of these guys it was the right decision and others not. But for it to explain why it’s has made ucla less competitive overall they need to have more guys leave at higher rates than other programs. You haven’t proved that and the data you do provide doesn’t stand up to the most basic scrutiny.

          • Laker Rod

            No I didn’t. I pointed out 14 seniors in the two deep along with 13 juniors. You mentioning UCLA had 9 seniors is not the same because 9 of the seniors were not necessarily on the two deep. Do you even see the difference. FSU and other team had other guys coming back to accomplish something.

            It’s pointless for you to even try to debate this. UCLA has had too many guys leave before accomplishing any type of championships.

          • Laker Rod

            Here is something else. For 2015, the most UCLA has projected for seniors in the two deep are 8. 1. Fuller 2. Payton 3. Lucien 4. Brendel 5. Goforth 6. Orjioke 7. Moreau 8. Wallace. It’s possible there is much less. Goforth could be a RJr vs Sr. Same with Orjioke. I would like to think Wallace and Lucien would still be part of the two deep. You may feel otherwise.

            Now in comparison, in 2016 we project to have a gang load of seniors but it all depends “if” guys decide to stay. I count 25 seniors on the two deep for 2016. 11 on offense and 14 on defense. Wow. But will they stay?

            Will Myles Jack stay? Eddie Vanderdoes? Ken Clark? What about Goforth and Orjioke if they are actually redshirt juniors in 2015. Ish Adams? Priest Willis? What about guys like Redmond and Benenoch?

            I hope you are starting to see my point.

          • MPPBruin

            This point is really the crux of our disagreement. All schools eventually face the problem of juniors deciding whether they will return for their senior year or go into the draft. Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and any other top school has the same problem. Any school that recruits at a high level will eventually face this issue. So going back to the FSU example, they did lose guys early but recruited well enough for their cupboards to still be full. It appears that we’re in that position now.

            For this to explain why UCLA has mired in mediocrity for the last 15 years, you need to show that they have had higher rates of athletes leaving than other schools. I don’t think that’s the case and the list of underclassmen who have entered the draft proves it. If other schools lose players too then UCLA is not at a competitive disadvantage.

          • Laker Rod

            I don’t know why it’s necessary to continually point this out to you. Some teams are winning championships while others are not. For you to simply just say all schools lose players early doesn’t make any sense.

            And you have attempted to change the subject of the debate. UCLA has fallen short of Pac-12 championships 3 years in a row and also no South championship 2 years in a row. The question is why? What does UCLA need to do to get over the top? My point to you and others is that UCLA has to quit losing players early to the NFL without even accomplishing a championship at UCLA and also not even getting drafted high. Has nothing to do about UCLA being mediocre for the last 15 years. There are other reasons in addition to the above.

            Oregon has been losing players early and the same with USC in the past but Oregon is still winning and USC with Pete Carroll was winning each year and no they were not cheating. Often I saw USC replenish their roster via transfers. Lofa Tatutupu was a transfer and he wasn’t even highly ranked. SC has some other key transfers also. They did not lose coaches until after they won conference championships or national titles.

            UCLA doesn’t have this same luxury with transfers.

            Just think if UCLA has Xavier Sua-Filo in 2014. Could have made all the difference in the world. 1 extra win and the Bruins win the south. Could they have beaten Oregon in the championship game? Maybe not…but why? How did Oregon lose? Ohio State and Arizona ran the ball down their throats. Stanford has beaten Oregon with this method also.

          • MPPBruin

            If all schools have players leave school early, but some schools are able to be more successful in that environment it’s because there is some other variable that is affecting their success. That’s why pinning your analysis on players leaving early is faulty. You need to find the trait that makes the successful programs tick.

            A better way to go about your concern about players leaving early would be to ask what else could UCLA offer that other schools aren’t that would make them want to stay in school despite the environment in college football generally that makes players want to leave. This organizational cultural benefit would give UCLA a competitive advantage, whereas you seem to have been positing that UCLA has been at a disadvantage because there has been a culture that pushes talent out.

            I don’t disagree that getting more years out of your most talented players would be advantageous. Obviously it would. But its important to get this argument correct because it affects what you do to solve the overall competitiveness question. If UCLA isn’t losing players at higher rates, then I want them to look at the other variables of success that can be changed. I don’t want coaches to spend time barking up the wrong tree.

          • Laker Rod

            I already pointed out that “variable” to you. Other schools can easily get JC transfers which allows them to redshirt certain freshmen. UCLA doesn’t have this luxury.

            So we either start accepting more transfers and/or try to get players to stay longer…especially if they have yet to win anything.

            And I still don’t think you have proven that UCLA doesn’t lose more players at a higher rate than championship schools. You seem to want to compare UCLA to all other schools….well…those other schools are not winning themselves and have their issues too.

            I’ve seen a few UW guys leave early without accomplishing anything also. Part of the reason why they can’t get over the 7-6 hump for the most part. But let’s not worry about UW. That’s their problem. We need to focus on UCLA.

          • Laker Rod

            I already proved to you how Florida and USC had guys come back even after winning conference titles and national titles. I already proved to you UCLA had guys leaving after accomplishing nothing and not even being drafted high. You try to disprove this by including other schools which are mediocre programs which doesn’t make sense. I already mentioned the JC transfers also in how schools like Bama and Ohio State can make up the difference.

            UCLA will again have a low number of seniors in 2015. They will have many projected seniors in 2016…if those guys stay. Big if.

          • MPPBruin

            The list of “mediocre programs” includes recent national champs like Florida State, Alabama, Auburn and other perennial top 10 programs that we’d probably trade places with quickly. Florida State lost guys to the draft the year before they won the championship, right after they won the championship and this last year too, so there goes that argument. When you look at the big picture and not cherry pick certain data then you come to a different conclusion. That’s how research is done, rather than relying on confirmation bias.

            I suggest we move on from the idea that losing players early is why UCLA hasn’t won a championship. Clearly you’re not motivated by evidence so we’re not going to come to agreement on that.

            I do agree however that being able to get more JUCO transfers would help. This year we got Zach Bateman from a JC. Is the reason we don’t get more JC transfers because of academics? If so then I’m not sure if that’s something we can change quickly. I would rather be less competitive on the field if it means that we have to lower to standards of other schools.