I’m not going to lie…
After my alma mater’s football team, the Bruins of UCLA, not only played like a beginning Pop Warner team that got smoked in every way possible by the Arizona Wildcats last Thursday night, embarrassing themselves and the entire Bruin Nation with a bench clearing brawl and getting six of their players suspended in the process, I felt a depression that was bigger than the team’s losses to crosstown rival USC, of which there were many over the past ten years-plus.
And it wasn’t merely due to this particular loss, or any one of the many losses these past few years under Rick Neuheisel.
It was due to the fact that the quality of play and execution from the Bruin players has been steadily getting worse, with this year reaching new lows.
I won’t go into details, as it would take way too long and depress me further, but I will say that the vast majority of UCLA fans and alumni, more than ever, are calling for Neuheisel’s immediate dismissal.
I, admittedly, have not been one of those fans/alums for a long time as I have, for lack of a better term, been an apologist. However…
While I’m not officially getting on the run-Rick-out-of-town bandwagon, I do have one foot on it as of this moment.
I’m going to give Neuheisel one last chance to make things right, for him and his staff to fix things and get the players to execute well and win at UCLA’s next game vs. California at the Rose Bowl next Saturday, October 29th.
If the Bruins perform like the did against Arizona, stinking up the place and embarrassing the UCLA community with their inept play, then, surprisingly enough, I STILL don’t think that Neuheisel should be fired.
He should do the honorable thing, concede failure, and resign.
He should say something like:
“I have tried my absolute best, worked my tail off and put my heart and soul into making this program better and returning it to among the elite teams in college football, but most unfortunately, it didn’t work out…
As evidenced by the brawl at the Arizona game, I have lost my team and have failed to bring this program to greatness. Since that is the case, I feel like I have no choice but to step down.
Perhaps by doing so, the athletic department can start fresh and bring in someone new who can do what I ultimately couldn’t do, which is to make the UCLA Bruins relevant in football again.”
Maybe I’m too much of an optimist here, but hopefully Neuheisel won’t have to make that speech.
Hopefully his Bruins will rally, beat Cal, go on a hot streak and become bowl eligible.
I know it’s wishful thinking to roughly 95% of the Bruin fans out there but…
Time will tell.