Saturday, November 26, 2011

Even If Neuheisel Beats USC, His Firing Is Logical


A thick layer of fog blanket parts of the community, a neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles and roams quietly across the prominent university, silhouetting a football program largely doomed to failure. The bad culture altogether has perpetually led to dissatisfaction under head coach Rick Neuheisel, who has been catching fire for a long time.

At this point, winning is not a remedy and it merely becomes a matter of time before Neuheisel is canned to end laughably a lousy tenure. It’s a good thing UCLA might part ways with the former Bruins quarterback for clearly sending the university into a downfall, but also for not stabilizing the nature within the most decorated athletic program. The same is not true about Neuheisel. He is not the most decorated. In one downcast sense, he is truly a flamboyant person, not the finest coach, not even a solid recruiter.

For what it turns out to be, though he is a nice person who has a place in history with a program he once quarterbacked, Neuheisel was never the voice of the Bruins. The gravity of failures, and grisly so – under his coaching stint when he was expected to lift the program into supremacy, can’t turn any worse unless he is enabled to protect his job security for whatever reason.

While he was given the job, in his best interest of the program when he was brought in mainly for being one of the finest names to the institution, he failed so badly and watched a program fall into bedlam. His dedication and qualifications were enough when he landed the coaching gig so easily in weeks after speculations snowballed, and after accepting a task of demands and expectations that he never surmounted beyond.

What’s notable is he personified the inability of this feeble program in Division I football, he epitomized awful leadership and recruiting that smudged the landscape and wasn’t enough encouragement to embolden his players. Hardly a week passes without Neuheisel’s job security called into question as much curiosity focuses on what his future beholds at UCLA, where he has not recruited vigorously, where his strategies have backfired and decisions fizzled.

It’s time for him to relinquish the Bruins, and so with that in mind, the clock is ticking on Neuheisel. If USC wins Saturday, with Neuheisel running out of time to mend his woes, it’d probably be the last game he ever coaches at UCLA. Except one can argue that Neuheisel, who has yet to beat the Trojans with an 11-21 conference record, can consider his season a success if he finally defeats his crosstown rivals. The man rarely goes a day without hearing that he’s never beaten USC, taking the criticism and still chasing the Trojans for his first victory in three seasons.

In a larger sense, UCLA has lost 11 of the last 12 games to USC, along with the last three under Neuheisel, entering into Saturday’s game. All is well for the Bruins, particularly if they win to assure a berth in the Pac 12 Conference Championship game. It’s time to grin, realizing that Utah lost to Colorado Friday, which gave UCLA the right to represent the South Division even with a loss to the Trojans.

The Bruins, a team with a bad season, merely 21-27 under Neuheisel in three seasons for struggles and uncertainty, would place themselves in position to settle for a decent bowl game.

The irony here is, though he’s an alumni and surprisingly carried UCLA to the highest level with Pac 12 teams losing to drop in the rankings, his body of work vanished quicker than ever. As of now, Neuheisel and the Bruins are fighting for survival and it is sadly the end, much too late for him to save his job.

But these inadequacies are from the motives behind Neuheisel, for scolding at his quarterbacks after mistakes, which escalated into sideline confrontations with his starter Kevin Prince. The ill-treatment of his quarterback started an unsteady coach-and-quarterback relationship.

Face it, Bruins faithful. Football is lifeless in one of the wealthiest regions and will never advance to new heights as long as Neuheisel is the Bruins voice of havoc and misfortune. Nearing his last days, after seasons of embarrassment, he has been supported and held his position, as athletic director Dan Guerrero is overly fascinated by Neuheisel even when he underachieved in his coaching job. Guerrero could have taken the easier path and jettison him a long time ago. And for what it’s worth, a notion that his predecessors were more capable, the Bruins were better when Karl Dorrell or even Bob Toledo was coaching.

There is nothing, aside from all the Neuheisel disruptions, as fun as a crosstown rivalry in which UCLA and USC are taking on each other, fighting for total domination, bragging rights and applicability, in a hostile territory surrounded by the boorish crowd at the Coliseum. The decision – or, in this instance, of firing him is possible and if so UCLA would have to buy out the final year of his $1.25 million contract a year, including buyouts for some of his coaches on staff.

This is the week he can finally beat USC, a school looking to extend its five-game winning streak against the Bruins.

This is the week Neuheisel can finally gain success.