Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More Encouraging News from the Football Program

Not really.

Brian Dohn, doing his usual bang-up job in his coverage of the UCLA FB program has a little piece in today's LADN addressing Karl Dorrell's innovative new recruiting strategy.

Get this: Dorrell's revolutionary new plan involves "taking care of our own backyard" and actually visiting prominent local high schools!

"Our job now is to take care of our backyard," said Bieniemy, who also is UCLA's running backs coach. "If you cannot take care of your backyard, it puts us in a situation where we're competing against these kids (on the field). The sad part is some of these kids are pretty darn good, and they come back and they play very, very angry against you. And you don't want that.

The decision for Dorrell to visit so many campuses is being hailed by high school coaches. The Bruins are recruiting several Notre Dame players, and Knights coach Kevin Rooney said this was the first time Dorrell has been on campus."(Dorrell) said he wanted to recruit locally more," Rooney said. "Yeah, it's important to see him there. It's important for the head coach to come."
For those of you that might not know, Notre Dame HS is located in the San Fernando Valley and produces several Division I Football recruits each year. The "decision to visit this campus" shuold be a no-brainer.

"I think they're far more conscious of what's going on locally than in the past," Narbonne assistant Craig Armstrong said. "I would say it's very important for Southern California, (with it) being a hotbed for talent. With recruiters coming from all over the country to get kids out of here, and then you have two major universities in UCLA and USC right here ... you've got to keep the top kids home."
Why are these amateurs just now figuring this out?

On UCLA recruiting inner-city LA:
"Pete Carroll comes to the Watts Coffee House and eats grits and bacon," Asante said. "When he does that, it's just that much more respect for that program. If he knows it's not beneath him to come here, then everyone else knows it, and sees it. The kids see it.

"UCLA is starting to catch up. They're doing a good job. The next step is for coach Dorrell to come here."

I seem to recall that one of the benefits bandied about by Dorrell supporters after his hire was the prospect that he would be able to go into the inner city, to schools UCLA has historically ignored, and be able to challenge USC's dominance recruiting those kids.

Nearly 3 years in to the Dorrell experiment, the media and local HS coaches are still addressing the fact that UCLA is just now catching on to the fact that Southern Califonia is a hotbed of college football rercuiting talent. There's a reason that Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Texas recruit the area so heavily.

Now Karl Dorrell has caught on. Way to go Karl!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Rose By Any Other Name

Apparent trouble with season ticket renewals prompts quixotic scheme to boost sales

We're hearing that the Morgan & Murphy crew is sweating about declining attendance figures. So much so, in fact, that they are apparently sending blue roses to people who have not yet renewed their season tickets in an attempt to revitalize apparently slumping ticket renewals.



Leaving aside the preciousness of this horticultural scheme, we would note that traditionally, a blue is considered a symbol for impossibility. We'll get back to that.

Attendance at the Rose Bowl has been declining:

2001: 64613
2002: 65396
2003: 56636
2004: 60,515

After the 2003 season, Karl Dorrell’s first, CFN said "UCLA’s attendance fell by almost 9,000 fans per game for pretty obvious reasons—most weeks they tough to watch."

True, attendance rose last year. But even if we don’t take into account that these numbers may be distorted by the USC game (and the 2002 figures may be artificially high for that reason as well), the simple fact remains that both of Karl Dorrell’s first two years have resulted in lower attendance than either of Bob Toledo’s last two years.

It’s difficult to find season ticket sales numbers, but here is what has been said in the past: by former AD Peter Dalis "Dalis' biggest concern for next year is avoiding the decrease in season ticket sales that schools get after losing seasons. [snip] 'Nobody's ever figured out how to sell tickets to a losing team in L.A. If you've got any ideas, let me know.'"

According to a Sep. 29, 2004 Daily Bruin article, DG feels no need to be accountable to boosters and season ticketholders, despite the fact that a large portion of the department's budget comes from those sources:

In 2003, boosters contributed over $8 million to the Bruin athletic department, about one-fifth of the total budget. The funding goes for equipment, scholarships, traveling and other necessities. Last year, these donations made up about one-fifth of the athletic department's entire budget.
Athletic director Dan Guerrero said. "We're pretty much a self-sustaining operation, so donations are critical to allowing us to make our budget." At many schools some boosters want to influence decision-making, but Guerrero insists he has not felt any pressure of this form.
However, Guerrero experienced significant scrutiny in just his second year, when football coach Bob Toledo and basketball coach Steve Lavin were roundly criticized by boosters for their teams’ sub-par performances. Several boosters allegedly offered to buy out contracts of both coaches in the middle of each of their respective seasons.

Some boosters think that their access to the athletics staff comes with a right to influence decisions. However (at least in the case of UCLA), that is not the case. Says Jim Pagliuso, a UCLA booster who has endowed a scholarship, "People that donate and think they have some kind of influence find out quickly they essentially have no influence."


You can inform the Morgan & Murphy crew that their cute little scheme isn't going to cut it. We need a real coach.

Some programs understand how to increase sales: hire a good coach and start winning, courtesty of Sports Illustrated "season-ticket sales [at Cal] are expected to reach 32,000, the most in school history."

It's not that hard. Save the flowers, hire a good coach. Sending flowers to fans isn't going to get us to the Rose Bowl. A real coach will. Therefore, it's fitting that the Morgan & Murphy crew chose the symbol for impossibility. In keeping with that spirit, if you receive one of these blue roses, don't buy into this goofy focus-grouped and empty marketing gesture. Instead give it to that really hot chick who you haven't been able to work up the nerve to ask out. Then send a letter to the Morgan & Murphy crew telling them why you won't be renewing your season tickets or making any donations until they show that their commitment is to winning.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The "talent" excuse again rears its ugly head

With four players drafted into the NFL and a 6-6 record Karl Dorrell did an amazingly incompetent job of getting the most out of his talent.

ESPN has conveniently added a feature whereby you can look up the number of players drafted by school. The Bruins, who some Blindos have labeled as lacking in talent, had four players drafted this weekend: Manuel White, Ben Emmanuel, Tab Perry, and Craig Bragg. By contrast, national champions $C had only five players drafted: Mike Williams, Mike Patterson, Shaun Cody, Lofa Totupu, and Matt Cassell. Here is a neat little reference of selected teams (CFN season ending top 25 and the rest of the Pac 10:

TEAM DRAFTEES RECORD WINS/DRAFTEES
UCLA 4 6-6 1.5
$C 5 13-0 2.6
Auburn 5 13-0 2.6
Oklahoma 11 12-1 1.09
Texas 3 11-1 3.67
Utah 5 12-0 2.4
Tennessee 3 10-3 3.33
Georgia 6 10-2 1.67
Va Tech 3 10-3 3.33
Miami 5 9-3 1.8
Louisville 6 11-1 1.83
Michigan 3 9-3 3
Iowa 5 10-2 2
LSU 3 9-3 3
Florida 3 7-5 2.33
Florida State 9 9-3 1
Texas A&M 3 7-5 2.33
Texas Tech 3 8-4 2.67
Cal 5 10-2 2
Boise St. 0 11-1 n/a
ASU 3 9-3 3
Wisconsin 7 9-3 1.29
Purdue 1 7-5 7
Ohio St. 3 7-4 2.33
Pitt 1 8-4 8
BC 0 9-3 n/a

Oregon St. 3 7-5 2.33
Oregon 2 5-6 2.5
WSU 3 5-6 1.67
Stanford 6 4-7 0.67
Arizona 0 3-8 n/a
UW 2 1-10 0.5

Teams bolded had a worse winning-efficiency for NFL-bound players. UCLA got 1.5 win for every draftee. National champion $C got 2.6 wins for every draftee, by contrast.

Only five teams did worse than Karl Dorrell. Two of those schools (UW and Stanford) fired their coaches. Two of those coaches, Stoops and Bowden, have won national championships, and until KD has a winning season, Barry Alvarez shouldn't be too worried about underachieving either.

So what do these numbers tell us?

Karl Dorrell dramatically underachieved with the NFL talent on his roster. With only three NFL draftees, oft-maligned Mack Brown managed 11 wins. Boise State won 11 with zero draftees. Boston College went 9-3 with no draftees. ASU went 9-3 with three.

Blindo just doesn't have the facts on his side. Again.

Karl Dorrell had more 2005 NFL draftees on his roster than the following teams: Texas, Tennesse, Virginia Tech, Michigan, LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Boise State, ASU, Purdue, Ohio St., Pitt, and Boston College, and Oregon State. All those schools won more games that Karl Dorrell did with more highly talented team (by this measure, anyway -- clearly, this measure is far from perfect, but unlike Blindo measurements, which always favor the incompetent Karl Dorrell, this one is objective).

Only Stanford, Cal, and $C had more players drafted this year than Dorrell.

No Pac 10 coach who retained his job was less efficient with his talent than Karl Dorrell.

Blindo continues to make excuses. The numbers say otherwise. Karl Dorrell is an abomination, and he must go.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It's baseball time



I don't want to jinx it, but the Dodgers are tied for the best record so far, and are also scoring the most runs per inning.

Since we're not Blindos, we know about the dangers of small sample sizes. For example, at 6-2, the Dodgers are currently on pace to win about 121 games. That's unlikely, to say the least, especially when you look at the history of major league baseball. To relate this UCLA football, Karl Dorrell is 12-13 over 25 games. Does this mean that we can predict Karl Dorrell will go 5-6 or 6-5 this year?

However, as most investors can tell you, past performance does not guarantee future results.

But, based on the analyses performed on this site, and by Mav, we noticed a significant correllation with how a coach, especially a UCLA coach, performs in his first two years, and his eventual level of success.

MSM is largely unwilling, or unable to undertake these sorts of statistical analyses. We highly recommend Moneyball, a fascinating book by Michael Lewis about statistical analysis in major league baseball, focusing on Oakland A's GM Billy Beane.

If you took the time to read previews, precious few MSM types picked the Dodgers to do well. However, bloggers and new media types thought otherwise. Belatedly, here are a few Dodger previews.

If anyone watched the game last night between the Dodgers and the Giants on ESPN 2, you were subjected to a horrendous five-minute long discussion of the infamous trade in which Joe Morgan spent basically the entire time dumping on Paul DePodesta for trading Paul LoDuca last year, who as we all know, because the MSM has beaten it into our head was the heart and soul of the Dodgers. Interestingly, Morganesque analysis is often relied on by Blindos in analyzing new Bruin football recruits. According to BTF, this is how one calculates the heart and soul of a baseball player:

Heart and soul is a multi-faceted concept, best expressed via example.

Paul Lo Duca has heart and soul, and serves as the heart and soul of any team he plays on.

Any 2002 Anaheim Angel has heart and soul.

How to calculate Heart and Soul:

1. Find the player's Productive Outs (derived from Productive Out Percentage)
2. Add 10 if he has ever been called "scrappy" by the team in the broadcasting booth
3. Divide by his height (in inches)
4. Multiply by his clutch hitting factor
5. Multiply by 2 if he is white
6. Multiply by 2 if he is Derek Jeter
7. Add four points for every properly executed fist pump he performs. If said fist pump comes after scoring a winning run in a postseason game, multiply his score by 4.


It becomes pretty clear that heart and soul is a meaningless concept, a fluff phrase used by lazy journalists who are enraged that Beane, Epstein and DePodesta types have attempted to introduce some sort of objective measurement into baseball, concepts which lazy MSM types, for the most part, do not understand. Here are Paul LoDuca's career stats. 2001 aside, they're pretty pedestrian, and he's notorious for having atrocious second halfs. But you can't measure heart (or soul). Sounds a lot like Blindo and his suggestions about how much more dedicated, excited, and full of heart and soul the new, Dorrell-type players are than their athletically superior, but heartless (and, presumably, soulless) highly ranked Toledo-recruited counterparts.

When DePodesta made the trade on July 30, 2004, they Joe Morgan and Harold Reynolds types claimed that the Dodgers had thrown the season away and handed the NL East to the Marlins. The Dodgers won their first playoff game since 1988 and the Marlins failed to make the playoffs. Reynolds and Morgan have since changed their story and declared the trade a failure for other reasons. By the way, after his lengthy dissertation on why the Dodgers are destined for failure, he pretty much didn't say another word after the Dodgers went up 4-0 in the third. Less Morgan is more. Those of you who are able to listen to Vin should count yourselves lucky.

But not all MSM types are clueless. As for college football, CFN is good. Peter Gammons is excellent, and as usual, he has a good article this week:

Then there are the Dodgers, who in many corners were dismissed as the trash-barrel residue of a statistical general manager who dehumanized players and sent the character people like Paul Lo Duca and Alex Cora out to pasture, replacing them with numbers. "It's not like I broke up a dynasty," said Paul DePodesta, who is in the media ridicule line behind only Kobe Bryant and Frank McCourt in Los Angeles. "We did finish first last season (and won a postseason game, the first since the Reagan administration). What some people fail to realize is that when we took over, we were an older team that hadn't won.

[snip]

The trade that began the questioning of DePodesta was the one last July 29 when he sent Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota and Juan Encarnacion to the Marlins in a complicated trade that brought Penny, Hee Seop Choi and Steve Finley. Penny broke down, but, as planned, Yhency Brazoban stepped in and replaced Mota, and had Finley gone to San Diego instead, the Padres would likely have finished first. DePodesta also freed the Dodgers from Encarnacion's contract. Time will tell if the Dodgers pitchers will not miss one of the best leaders in the game behind the plate.

Then this winter, Adrian Beltre was allowed to walk, Alex Cora was non-tendered, Finley was replaced by J.D. Drew and Shawn Green was dumped. That put Kent and Valentin at second and third, where Cora and Beltre played so well in the field, leaving the magical Cesar Izturis as the only above-average defensive infielder. Yet ... "Valentin has played more than 160 games at third in his career and played the position very well this spring," DePodesta said. One game.

When healthy, the Penny-Jeff Weaver-Odalis Perez-Lowe foursome should be fine. Alvarez and Scott Erickson add depth and kids like Edwin Jackson, Jonathan Broxton and Chad Billingsley are on the immediate horizon. If Gagne is healthy, the bullpen is fine.

There are a lot of baseball folks who wonder if Choi will ever be what his numbers say – a .380 on-base, .500 slugging guy. They wonder about Valentin and Kent, Bradley and Drew, and whether Dioner Navarro can be their catcher by midseason.

But the NL West does not appear to have a dominant, flawless team and while the Dodgers' infield defense isn't as good as it was, the outfield defense is probably the best in the division. So they try to win with starting pitching, get what is needed in July, and with only Lowe, Drew and Perez signed past 2006, the door is open to Joel Guzman, Russell Martin, James Loney, Andy LaRoche, Blake DeWitt, Chuck Tiffany and their kids.

The Dodgers were hardly a dynasty when DePodesta took over, and like most rebuilding jobs, there are going to be difficult and controversial choices. Lo Duca was one. Beltre was another. Cora. Green. People get hurt in the process, and while this is a people game, what DePodesta is trying to do deserves to be judged by the team's performance, not what baseball folks and we in the media think will unfurl.


Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, after that opening day loss to the Giants, Plaschke, Simers, and other MSM morons filed their stories, declaring the Dodgers' season over after one game (small sample size again: based on 1 game, the Dodgers projected to 0-162). They then pretty much failed to write anything until Plascke filed this gem.

I would suggest not reading it, but instead, reading the fisking at the propitiously-named Fire Jim Tracy. Here's a peek:

Welcome Back, Bill

Glad you could TiVo the game and skip to the last at-bat!

As months of catcalls became a long moment of cheers, a personal hailstorm interrupted by a strange and warm sun, the most embattled Dodger danced and soaked and basked.

Months of catcalls by who? Bill Plaschke? He reaches into his "ego representing 'everyone'” pitch early in the count today.

Not Milton Bradley, but Frank McCourt.

Alongside the Dodger dugout late Tuesday afternoon, the owner leaped out of the newly constructed McCourt Family Field Box with a dozen seats and two fancy TVs and protective railings.

How fancy? Are they flat screen? Do they have DVDs and Playstations? What are the protective railings made of? See, one problem with Plaschke is he never gives us any important details.

He pumped his fist at the field.

Paragraph

He pumped his fist into the stands.

Paragraph (Plaschke is thinking at this point: Can I think of anywhere else Frank McCourt might have pumped his fist? That would be more paragraphs! "pumped his fist at the fans?" "pumped his fist in the air?" "pumped his fist at his wife?" Come on, I can do this!)

He ran down the stairs and through the tunnel amid a chorus of roars usually reserved for guys with names like, you know, Arte.

I’m sorry, what did Arte Moreno win last year? Is Plaschke too dumb to remember that when the Angels actually won the series, they were owned by a mouse named “Mickey?” Or does he have so low an opinion of Angels fans that all they care about is the $3 beer? Anyway, if the Angels fans are sitting around roaring for Arte Moreno come July, that's probably not a good sign for the team.


Again, go read the whole thing.

What's the point? First, UCLA stuff is slow, and it's baseball time. Secondly, with the exceptions of the Gammonses, CFNs, and Dohns, the MSM is largely clueless. Sure, Simers seems to make fun of Dorrell, to the extent that it fits into his schtick. But if we finally do the right thing and fire him, I'm sure he'll either jump all over the firing, or demonize the new hiring (if it's a good one) in much the same way the LA media and Blindo have attempted to make false analogies between Howland and Dorrrell, or Dorrell and Harris.

The good thing is, the MSM morons don't have a monopoly anymore. Go Blue. Go Bruins.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Today's USC Football Crime Blotter

Well, not really, because USC handles these types of things "in-house." After all, what's a little assault and battery between teammates?

USC tight end Dominique Byrd fractured his jaw during an alleged altercation with receiver Steve Smith last week, although few know about the incident because Byrd is academically ineligible for spring practice.
Byrd's jaw was wired shut following the altercation, which took place when the pair argued while playing a video game, according to sources. (Note: at least it was for a good reason)

"I don't have any comment on that," Smith said following Thursday's practice.

USC coach Pete Carroll also declined comment, although sources said he spoke to Smith about the incident. Smith was not punished and has not missed any practices.


Coach Carroll is a brilliant coach. Rather than punishing Smith, he knows that Smith's feelings of guilt over the situation is punishment enough. Why hurt the entire team because of the conduct of one individual? (Especially when that individual is one of your few experienced WR's on the roster.)

Good thing Coach Carroll has a handle on things over there.

By the way, nice hit Steve.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

What are your Expectations for this Football Season?

7 wins is simply not acceptable to this Bruin.

However, I fear that 7 wins this year may be just enough to give the Morgan Center and their merry band of medocrity-accepting access whores the justification they need to back their boy wonder that never should have been hired in the first place.

After all, 7 wins is progress over 6, right?

Blindo will undoubtedly try to justify a 7 win season as some sort of progress, and evidence that Karl Dorrell is leading the program in the right direction. 7 wins would probably earn UCLA a berth in a lower-tiered bowl game, like the SV Bowl or the LV Bowl, against an opponent we should dominate (although that hasn't been the case the past 2 seasons).

However, looking at the 2005 schedule, a 7 win season should result in the firing of Dorrell.

Looking at the schedule:

Sat 09/03/2005 San Diego State @ SDSU

This should be a win. SDSU loses their entire LB corps and their top WR. UCLA should manhandle them, as they did last season. Win. [1-0]

Sat 09/10/2005 Rice-Rose Bowl

Rice has a FB team? Win. [2-0] (Although as Nestor observed, Rice could be to Dorrell as CSUN was to L*v*n. Rock bottom.)

Sat 09/17/2005 Oklahoma-Rose Bowl

Winnable, as OU is unproven at QB, and they lose alot of talent from their defense. However, AP will probably run for 200 yards, and the OU defense will be good enough. Loss. [2-1]

Sat 10/01/2005 Washington-Rose Bowl

Willingham will bring UW back to respectability, but not this year. Win. [3-1]

Sat 10/08/2005 Cal-Rose Bowl

Early on, this looks like it could be one of those significant "turning point games." Inexperience at QB and the losses of Arrington and MacArthur will severely hamper Tedford's wide open offense. Win. [4-1]

Sat 10/15/2005 Washington State @ Pullman, WA

WSU has had UCLA's number for a few years. In 2004, a JC Rb ran for 200+ yards against UCLA's D. Kevin Brown has a monster game. UCLA has the talent and experience to turn it around this year. Win. [5-1]

Sat 10/22/2005 Oregon State-Rose Bowl

Matt Moore throws for 2 TD's and rushes for 87 yards. However, he is flagged for flipping off Dorrell after a 25 yard TD run. Loss. [5-2]

Sat 10/29/2005 Stanford @ Stanford

See WSU game. Trent Edwards comes out on fire, but the Stanford OL and backs can't solve Larry Kerr's innovative blitz packages. Marcedes Lewis has a career game and wraps up the Mackey award. Win. [6-2]

Sat 11/05/2005 Arizona @ Tucson

A stingy UA defense gives up a long TD run to Maurice Drew, and Ben Olson connects with Junior Taylor for a 73 yard TD pass. Justin Medlock kicks 3 FG's. UA's impotent O has no answers. Win. [7-2]

Sat 11/12/2005 Arizona State-Rose Bowl

UCLA defenders pound ASU QB Sam Keller. [Win 8-2]

Sat 12/03/2005 USC Los Angeles @ Coliseum

With nearly a month to prepare, UCLA is the only obstacle in the way of a potential USC 3-peat. What other motivation does UCLA need? With Reggie Bush nursing a hamstring injury (and looking ahead to the NFL draft), UCLA comes out in a nickel defense and takes away the pass. Justin London levels Matt Leinart on a MLB blitz, knocking him out of the game with a concussion. UCLA gets a 95 yard kickoff return from Maurice Drew and a fumble scoop and scoot TD from Spencer Havner. The SC bandwagoners head for the exits early. In his post game comments, Karl Dorell is quoted as saying, "That was really fun!" Win [9-2]

2005 Record: 9-2 (7-1 in the PAC 10). Rose Bowl or Holiday Bowl. A competent coach, with the talent and experience that UCLA has this year at his disposal could win 9 games.

Now, do I think this will happen? of course not. Dorrell's incompetence is good for at least 2 or 3 losses to teams we have no business losing to. (See ASU, WSU and Wyo in 2004). Who will it be this year?

Personally, I believe that anything short of 9 wins cannot be considered progress. Add what should be a decreased margin of error caused by Dorrell's first two very disapointing seasons (have we learned nothing from the L*v*n era?), and 9 wins should be the minimum acceptable record for this team and this coach.

The Bruin Nation should never accept mediocrity.

The expectations for Dorrell should not be lowered to adjust for his incompetence.

No pressure Coach Dorrell.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Update on *alleged* Sex Criminal Eric Wright

USC is preparing to go on the assualt against a young woman who was apparently sexually assaulted by a member of their football team.

Meanwhile, Wright's attorney, Carmen Trutanich, is using the investigative firm of Warren Candias and Associates to gather information for the possible case. It's the same firm that gathered information for the first
rape trial
of Gregory Haidl, a highly publicized case in Orange County
.

In that trial, defense counsel conducted an all-out
smear campaign
against the 16-year old victim.
It’s amazing what a nine-member legal-defense team can accomplish. Of course, that tally does not include O.J. Simpson jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, an army of private investigators led by a retired FBI agent and several ex–sheriff’s deputies, an audio-visual expert (who made dozens of colorful, anti-Doe charts for jurors to ponder), several lurking fellows with unknown assignments, a full-time publicist, and editorial support from the two local daily newspapers.


Wright's attorney was able to make a sexual assault investigation against Herschell Dennis go away a few months ago. (Although it's the worst kept secret in LA that Herschell took the fall for the USC thugs that did actually assault the unconscious victim).

Money couldn't buy an acquittal in the Haidl case. Hopefully justice will be served against Mr. Wright as well.

UCLA is So Lucky to Have Coach Dorrell!

Karl Dorrell is doing a fantastic job.

It hardly matters that Karl Dorrell is 1-11 against teams with winning records, 12-13 overall, and 0-2 against USC. The fact that he really doesn't know what he's doing on the sidelines during the games is of no consequence (he's got other coaches to handle that stuff). The Fresno State and Wyoming game losses say nothing about the bright future of UCLA football under Coach Dorrell.

This season will be different. The kids have bought into Dorrell’s offensive philosophy now. They are committed and actually attending off-season workouts. There is a buzz around the program that is different than previous years’ buzzes.

Recruits from coast-to-coast are talking about how UCLA is rebuilding for the future, and how UCLA is a powerhouse in the making. Even though the MSM has not picked up on Dorrell yet, they will, and the NFL will be close behind. I am so happy that UCLA did not pursue that mercenary Steve Spurrier, or that young, up-and-coming offensive guru, Urban Meyer. Thank goodness that the Morgan Center never returned Mike Leach’s call! I’m so happy that SDSU passed on Coach Dorrell for a JC coach. Man, I bet they are kicking themselves right now after witnessing the complete overhaul of the UCLA FB program that Coach Dorrell has directed!

According to many spring practice observers, the offense and defense are clicking better than ever. The amazing thing about the performance of the kids at spring practice is that this is the same group of kids who lost to Wyoming just a couple of months ago. Coach Dorrell has managed to turn the program around in just a few months. Just imagine what he’ll be able to do with all the time he has to prepare between spring practice and the SDSU game! After all, we were able to post a moral victory against USC when Coach Dorrell only had a few weeks to prepare. That was fun!!

Spring practice reports also reveal that some of Dorrell’s unheralded sleeper recruits and walk-ons were actually starting in spring practice! I always knew that Dorrell had an eye for talent, and that he would be able to find that proverbial diamond-in-the-rough, despite the fact that some of his recruits had no other D1 offers. This just proves that Karl Dorrell is one of the best talent evaluators in all of college football. Even though I’ve never even heard the names of some of these kids before this spring, I trust Coach Dorell, as should every real Bruin.

Look for solid progress this season. 7 wins is a fair and reasonable goal, when taking into consideration that some of Bob Toledo’s malcontented recruits like Spencer Havner, Marcedes Lewis, Justin London, Junior Taylor, and Jarrad Page will still be on the team. Boy, I can’t wait until these guys are gone. Just think how much better this team will be without Manuel White and Craig Bragg and their Toledo-era baggage. (Coach Dorrell tried to send a message to Manuel White in the very first game he coached against CU by not playing him the entire game, but Manuel never really saw the light). Then, Coach Dorrell will be able to install his highly specialized hand-picked players for his sophisticated offense. Coaching is hard work! Just give it about seven years, because it will be something to watch!

If you need anyomore evidence, just look to what's happening with the BB team under Coach Howland. Coach Howland and Dorrell have similar overall records, therefore, Coach Dorrell is a great coach.

Karl Dorrell does things the right way, and we should be very proud of him. He’s also one of the best looking college coaches in the country. His cerebral style is just a good fit for UCLA. I for one will be a vocal proponent of locking Coach Dorrell up for a long term contract if he shows progress by winning 7 games in 2005. After all, he knows how to win, because he was a Bruin himself. If you don’t believe in what he’s doing, you are not a real Bruin, and probably a USC fan in disguise.

Thank you Coach Dorrell!

Go Bruins!

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