Well, this sucks.
Apparently, the Sporting News has decided to rank Division-I FBS college football coaches nationwide. Our boy, Jim L. Mora, head honcho of UCLA football? He comes in 68th, which is definitely not a lucky number.
Here’s what they said about him in their rankings:
Mora, who led the Atlanta Falcons to 11 wins and a berth in the NFC championship game, is back at the college level for the first time since 1984, when he was a graduate assistant at Washington. He’s off to a pretty good start at UCLA, having signed a well-regarded initial recruiting class. But we don’t have the sense that he’s suddenly on the road to glory. He could struggle with the adjustment from the pro game.
Honestly, I’ve got faith in Jim Mora. Was I slightly upset when Mora was hired as UCLA’s football coach back in December? Sure, I’m not going to lie. I thought we were going to nab a big, established college name like Chris Petersen or something. When you have such high aspirations, it’s hard not to be upset.
Of course, Jim Mora is teaching us all that we may not have just “settled.” Not only did he have a “well-regarded initial recruiting class” but he’s also done a helluva job of hiring assistant coaches, with the most exciting one — Noel Mazzone — already having an impact based on UCLA’s Spring Game, which saw nothing but deep, downfield throws (something we haven’t seen in, like, forever).
We must also consider that Mora’s a no nonsense motherf***er who has an authoritative style of coaching: High discipline, high control, but high in warmth. Mora has no problems praising his players and he has no problem criticizing them to strive for better. I can dig that.
It should be noted that Gus Malzahn, a coach many UCLA fans were fawning over, is ranked a few spots below Mora at No. 70.
These rankings are obviously prior to seeing Mora coach in college, so it makes sense that he’s ranked lower. You can’t argue with the objectivity there.
But we can argue that Mora might not get stuck in the bottom 50 next time this list comes out. And hopefully, we’re right.