Monthly Archives: November 2011

UCLA will probably get to play in a bowl game regardless of how awful we are

Last year's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

The state of the UCLA football program is in a chaotic mess. The higher-ups are scrambling to find a new coach (more so now that Mike Leach was picked up by fellow Pac-12 team Wazzu on Wednesday) while the football team sits at 6-6, on the cusp of a losing season, which will happen should they lose to Oregon. (Note: They’re 30-point dogs. Ouch.)

I guess there’s a bright side to all this. Despite the fact that our beloved Bruins may very well end up 6-7 on the season, the team will likely still play in a bowl game (albeit a lowly one) after the Pac-12 title game.

I’m not really upset or mad about this. Sure, it was a little suspect that Dan Guerrero filed the petition before we even got to a losing record, but hell, we are 30-point dogs anyway, and we just lost to U$C 50-0. Any chance to see my Bruins play one more game is welcomed, even if the circumstances are bittersweet.

ESPN’s Pac-12 blog suggests that UCLA will play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (which gives a spot to the Pac-12’s sixth place team).

Of course, this isn’t the only bowl the Bruins can get into. If you pray hard enough before you go to bed every night, and if Kevin Prince saves about ten babies from the hiccups, and if UCLA just gets damn lucky, the Bruins could win their way into the Rose Bowl game with a massive upset of Oregon.

I’m not holding my breath, but whatever.

What this really means, though, is that we’ll get to see interim coach Mike Johnson in action for the Bruins this season. No one wants him as our next head coach (and he shouldn’t be), but it’s always fun to see different coaches in multiple seasons, regardless of how dastardly the results may be.

Can we just pick a coach already and move onto some good news?


Will Mike Martz make a good head coach for UCLA?

The coaching search for UCLA football’s next head honcho is both exciting and nerve-wrecking. While we’re stoked about turning over a new leaf (hopefully into football prominence), we’re a little worried about just how flighty Athletic Director Dan Guerrero’s decision-making really is. The dude’s burned through two head coaches (Karl Dorrell and Rick Neuheisel) during his tenure, and not many A.D.’s live to hire a third.

What if that third coach were Mike Martz, currently offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears?

Looking purely at wins and losses, Martz isn’t the worst option we have. He has a winning record in the NFL (53-32) and he’s also one of the architects of the greatest professional football offenses in history, engineering the “Greatest Show on Turf” as the OC with the Rams during the 1999-00 season, which culminated in a Super Bowl victory.

But beyond wins and losses, Martz is a terrible option.

Recently, Martz has had success this season in reviving a perennially-stagnant Bears’ offense. However, not only does this come with some questionable play-calling (as Martz is known for), but it comes after around four years of ups and downs as offensive coordinator for the Niners and Lions. Martz is a pass-happy fiend who likes to run his offenses straight into the ground or skyrocket them towards the moon. He kind of calls plays like we do in Madden: Pass, pass, pass, pass, and pass.

What UCLA has needed for quite some time is well-roundedness, and Martz is the opposite of that. His expertise is extremely limited to pass-centered offenses and though he’s had success as a head coach with the Rams, it isn’t as if head coaching is all about X’s and O’s in college football. You’d have to wonder that Martz would be too stubborn to adjust to the ever-changing talent on a college football roster and would be a terrible recruiter. (Martz doesn’t exactly have a shining, lovable personality with players in their mid-twenties, let alone kids between the ages of 18 and 23.) He lacks versatility and poise as a head coach.

It’s difficult to make the assertion that a proven offensive coordinator in the NFL (and, some would argue, head coach) won’t garner much success as a Pac-12 coach, where tackling is optional and offenses run rampant. That’s the case, though, because Martz is going to be competing with Lane Kiffin for recruits, and in the end, Martz’s demeanor will hinder the Bruins rather than help them. X’s and O’s are critical, don’t get me wrong, but so is bringing in top-level talent, and unless you’re U$C, you can’t entice players with cold, hard cash like you can in the pros.

So the verdict? Mike Martz is a crappy choice. NEXT!

A reminder that UCLA is more than just sports

Recently, some guy at BruinsNation put up a FanPost detailing how he sent in a bunch of UCLA swag to Chancellor Block in protest of the athletic department following a rough loss in football to U$C. The score was 50-0, so the anger was justified. I was also pretty darn close to sending in my swag, stepped on and tear-ridden in protest of our awful basketball and football programs.

But that wasn’t all the dope decided to throw into this box. In addition, he threw in a voided check for $2500 to the UCLA Fund, which supports researchers and academic programs throughout UCLA. Here’s the picture, which actually disgusts me:

Of course, at first glance, this isn’t too bad. That is, until a woman named Sirinya commented on the post, explaining that the UCLA Fund is separate from the support that UCLA Athletics receives from donors. When you donate to the UCLA Fund, you’re donating to academia. Of course, one can donate to the Athletic Department directly or, hell, to the Wooden Athletic Fund, which includes the following in its mission statement:

The Wooden Athletic Fund is the backbone of our fundraising efforts.  It exists because of the financial commitment thousands of individuals have made to its mission of providing opportunities for our 700 + student-athletes.

That’s pretty damned specific. So then what does the UCLA Fund say about what it supports?

Through fundraising, volunteer work, and stewardship, we help secure UCLA’s future by providing the necessary resources to sustain our excellence in academics, research, and community service. In short, by connecting supporters to numerous areas, departments, schools, and programs across campus, we make UCLA an even more amazing place.

Well, it looks like the poor saps at Bruins Nation were too busy writing and commenting and foaming at the mouth to actually read into anything Sirinya, who works for the UCLA Fund, was saying. Typical.

Continue reading

As UCLA football begins a new era, so does the UCLA blogosphere

It’s fitting that the first post here, at the Sons of Westwood, comes right after the firing of football coach Rick Neuheisel. Although our basketball program is the more successful of our two revenue-raking sports, football will always reign supreme as the dominant sport in any region.

Of course, it’d be mean of us not to wish Rick Neuheisel (RN) well. Our old head honcho bleeds True Blue and Gold, as do we. If you don’t believe me, just check out this clip, which comes not too long after Coach learns of his firing:

He’s almost teary-eyed, and it’s tough to watch. There’s no doubt that RN needed to jam, but he’s a fellow Bruin. (This is the same sentiment that Bruins Nation has, I know, but their analysis pre-firing was really harsh.)

Bruins stick together, regardless.

We must move on, though. The coaching search begins, and because everything’s moving in a new direction at UCLA, we’ve decided to contribute to the blogosphere and enjoy the ride.

As for who we want as our next head coach? Well …

Chris Petersen, ladies and germs.