How much time should we give Jim L. Mora to turn around our football program?

As you have heard by now, our recruiting class is sick (which is another word for “awesome,” old people). As of right now, we have the highest-ranked recruiting class in the Pac-12 according to Scout.com and Rivals (the first time this has happened since 2002). This comes after a bleak outlook for our beloved university’s football program, not just in terms of recruiting, but overall, when everyone was shocked to learn Jim L. Mora would become our head football coach.

Twenty-three recruits, three highly-regarded recruiters and a Noel Mazzone later, and all of a sudden, the excitement around this football program seems to have peaked for the first time in a long, long while.

Of course, many of us will enter the season with a crap-load of skepticism before getting all giddy over our football team, and for good reason: This school was equally excited when we figured Rick Neuheisel would be our savior back in 2008.

Things seem a little different this time around, for sure, but that doesn’t mean the result won’t end up the same. Which might — just might — lead to a little impatience from the Bruin faithful.

Just how impatient are we, though? We’ve been expecting to win the Pac-12 ever since the end of Neuheisel’s first year and the fan-base was incredibly upset throughout the entire 2011 campaign.

The question should be looked at more specifically, too. So, specifically, how many losing seasons will it take Mora to earn himself a pink slip? How many wins must he rack up per year to keep him on as coach? How long will we wait for his Bruins to get into a Rose Bowl (or a BCS bowl) before we say adios, amigo.

Personally? I have no idea. I can say this, though: A 6-6 season would be underachieving, but it wouldn’t be enough for me to ask for Mora’s head after the first year. 6-6 is where this team was at last season, and depending on how those six losses are accumulated (Neuheisel’s 6-6 squad either won by a close margin at home or lost by at least three or four touchdowns on the road), it might not be such a bad thing. If Mora’s squad gets, say, four of six losses by seven points or less, I can’t ask for his head immediately, because it’s possible that the team has a 10-2 record. Again, for me, everything is arbitrary.

But if Mora goes 4-8? I couldn’t stomach it, considering the team was inconsistent as hell last year and still got to .500 on the season.

Additionally, it’d be nice to get to the Rose Bowl — or a BCS bowl — within two years. If progress is slower than what I expect, I wouldn’t mind being shafted by the more-arbitrary-than-I-am BCS committee, especially if our record two seasons down the line winds up being 9-3 or 10-2.

But if there are two straight 6-6 seasons? I couldn’t stomach that either, for the same reasons I couldn’t stomach a 4-8 season to start.

But that’s me, and I don’t pretend to speak for the entire UCLA community. What say you? How patient will you be with Mora?

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4 responses to “How much time should we give Jim L. Mora to turn around our football program?

  1. I would at least let him be here for 4 years no matter what. His contract is 100% guaranteed, so each year we fire him early of 5 years is 2.4 million dollars wasted.

    2.4 million dollars isn’t a drop in the bucket, and I don’t think it’s possible to hire anybody BETTER than Mora with a 2.4 million dollar handicap. A good coach usually costs 2-4 million dollars, so we’d be paying 4+ million for a 2 million dollar quality coach.

    • Four years no matter what? You’re loyal, man!

      But you’re right — the contract issues keep eluding these damn posts. That said, there’s definitely not a lot of that kind of thinking in the blogosphere, no one is taking into account his huge contract. (including me.)

  2. Well, I’m exaggerating. If he started molesting little kids or something like that then obviously he’s gone.

    But we got seriously lucky with Neiheisel’s contract, with a base of only 250k (and 1 million in bonuses). We’re sort of stuck with Mora and Howland.

    But I REALLY doubt even the BEST AD (forgetting the fact that we have DG as our AD) could find a coach that is substantially better than Howland or Mora with only 2 mil a year.

    But yea, once I saw Mora’s contract, I knew that we would have to stick with him- better 4-5 years of crappiness before years of glory than decades of mediocrity.

    • Oh, we were hiring on the cheap for the longest time, no doubt. This time, I’m happier that we are able to spend more on a coach, but it’s a double-edged sword — our flexibility’s going to kick us in the ass.

      We’ve been at decades of mediocrity, it seems. I don’t know — this year seems different. First time we’ve ranked ahead of all Pac-12 opponents in recruiting classes since 2002 and I don’t know that we’ve had as awesome a coaching staff now than we’ve had in a while.

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