UCLA’s Neuheisel is on the Hot Seat

UCLA Football Rick Neuheisel

UCLA’s Neuheisel is on the Hot Seat

The Pac-12 does not lack coaches on the hot seat. Washington State’s Paul Wuff and Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson are certainly in need of a winning season, but the hottest seat in the Pac-12 may belong to UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel. The former Bruin quarterback created a lot of buzz when he headed back to Westwood, but he has had problems from day one. In 2008, the Bruins managed to win a mere four games and finished eighth in the Pac-10 pecking order.

The following season there was some good news. UCLA squeaked out six wins in the regular season and even won their bowl game against Temple. However, the team still finished 3-6 in the conference. A quick start (and a couple games against the awful Washington teams) helped the Bruins get towards the six win mark. After that all it took was a home win over Arizona State to seal their bowl fate.

The 2010 season had its moments. UCLA beat Houston and Texas, neither of which turned out to be that big of wins, but both were ranked at the time. However, the Bruins were only favored once all season long, by a hefty margin against Washington State. And UCLA did actually do what they were supposed to do and beat the Cougars handily.

The problem under Coach Neuheisel has been consistency. This is a group that beats Tennessee one week and then gets annihilated by BYU the next. Eight conference wins and 19 conference losses over a three year span is not nearly good enough at UCLA. Unfortunately, the inconsistencies will likely continue in 2011 as Coach Neuheisel has tried to shake things up by bringing in some new coordinators and assistants. All that will do is increase the learning curve for a lot of the returning starters. This group has potential on both sides of the ball, but the schedule is pretty tough and there is little room for error if the Bruins want to reach six wins. And they probably have to reach six wins or there will be even bigger changes at UCLA.



Read the in-depth football preview for this team