Chris Petersen rejected the chance to become UCLA’s next head coach. If that surprises you, you sustain yourself on blue and gold kool-aid. The Boise State coach reportedly turned down around $4 million in salary and $3 million to spend on assistants. Expect others with comfortable positions to follow suit, because UCLA just isn’t that great of a job. It’s sunny. It’s LA, but beyond that…
The team must be comprehensively rebuilt. The Pac 12 is not a conference that forgives speed being a liability. Even if you don’t wish to run a spread, your defense must have the athletes to stop it. Those athletes exist in the immediate area. You’re also recruiting against Lane Kiffin, Chip Kelly and now Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez to get them. Even if you get the players, you must build a winning culture from the ground up.
UCLA has no stability. The next coach will be Dan Guerrero’s fourth since 2002. The last two have been UCLA alums. Neuheisel was blocked last winter from hiring a former Trojan as defensive coordinator. Either the inmates are running the asylum or the asylum is being run incompetently. Why would anyone with a choice wish to work there?
No money has been spent. Other Pac-12 schools have spent tens of millions the past few years renovating their stadiums and building new football facilities. UCLA has done nothing and fallen behind.
This coaching search resembles Michigan’s in 2007, except UCLA is far less attractive. Petersen was never a reasonable candidate. According to T.J. Simers, their second-choice is Al Golden. Yes, Al Golden, the man who just rejected interest in the Penn State job and signed a huge extension in Miami. Steve Sarkisian is an “outside the box” choice? Why would Sarkisian leave $2.25 million per year and the Washington job?
UCLA missed the chance for realistic, decisive action. Arizona and Washington State already trumped them by locking down Rodriguez and Leach. With Texas A&M and Arizona State still in play, they aren’t landing Sumlin. Given the amateur nature of the search thus far, it’s doubtful they will be going after coordinators. The Bruins look destined for Tom Cable or Mike Martz, mediocrity and another coaching search in four years.
[Photo via Getty]