Monday, January 24, 2011

Pop Quiz #1

Now that Norm Chow as officially been named as the OC for the Utah Utes, how well he get along with Utes Head Coach Kyle Whittingham after having well known falling out's with Pete Carroll at USC, Jeff Fisher at the Titans, and Rick Neuheisel at UCLA?

     That all depends on the situation that Chow encounters at Utah. It's always his ego that gets in the way, and such was the case with UCLA. It was so apparent in fact, that during Neuheisel's presser the other day, he maintained that everyone had to check their ego at the door. If that's not ashot at Chow, I don't know what is.
     What Chow has to realize is that he is living on past reputation now. He has not developed a decent QB in a long time (Matt Leinert) and it's been even longer since he developed a QB that had great success over time (Philip Rivers). Chow also has issues when he is asked to coach a kid that he does not approve of, which is what has stunted the development of Richard Brehaut with the Bruins (Chow preferred Kevin Prince, and cried like a baby when he was forced by Neuheisel and an eventual season ending injury to Prince to finally have to coach Brehaut).
     Whittingham has serious talent at Utah, and Chow has a first rate protege in Jordan Wynn, but Wynn has got to remain healthy, which he never was in 2010. If Chow locks onto Wynn, and something happens to him, you may see a collapse in productivity, and Utah fans will be stuck wondering why they even bothered.
     One other thing to remember is that Chow is bitter that he was never offered a head coaching job. He is now 64, and his chance is gone, and he seems to carry a grudge about it, and always thinks that he is better than his boss (Carroll, Fisher, Neuheisel). The only real saving grace is that he seems genuinely happy to get back to Utah.

UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel just named former 49ers OC Mike Johnson as the new Bruins OC and the DC position yet to be filled, and with national signing day fast approaching, how will this effect the Briuns recruiting class?

     The Bruins recruiting class has actually picked up a bit, but as of a week ago, only 8 kids had signed with Neuheisel, with only one of them being a 5 star (QB Bret Hundley was a late elevation to 5 star). The Bruins have picked up a solid commitment from Steve Manfro of Valencia (my nephew had the displeasure of playing against him in the Foothill League this season) and things are starting to work themselves out. They still have a ton of catching up to do.
     Randy Shannon is the likely new hire at DC for the Bruins, but my question is Neuheisel hiring his eventual replacement? Neuheisel has to get the Bruins to a major bowl in 2011. A simple bowl trip will not do. That is what will effect recruiting. The low number of signings tell me one thing. First of all, the Bruins are young and don't have a ton of holes to fill, and second of all, kids are not convinced that this staff will be around very long.
     At the Army All Star game in San Antonio last month, every kid there that was on UCLA's radar turned down the Bruins at the last minute. Manfro was a steal, but the Bruins will have to steal many more big play guys in the 11th hour, and if there is even a hint that the administration doesn't believe in Neuheisel, than they will certainly go elsewhere.

Speculation surrounding Texas A&M is that they are once again going to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. If they do leave, what will it mean to the future of the Big 12 Conference?

     The question assumes that the Big 12 has a future at all. It is still general opinion that this conference has a 5 year window of life left to it, and some people are hedging the bet at less time than that. Dan Beebe didn't fix the problems here, he simply put a band-aide on it.
     Texas A&M was just days away from ditching the conference for the SEC last summer. Pressure from the Texas legislature kept the Aggies in line with Texas, but there are issues up the ass in regards to the Texas-Texas A&M relationship. With Texas now signing their TV megadeal with ESPN to host their own network, you know that blood will boil over it, and brand new rifts are going to split in the delicate framework that was created to save the league. I am guessing that if the Big 10 came back around for Missouri tomorrow, the Tigers would jump ship. If the SEC keeps making big offers to lure the Aggies, how long will it be before the Aggies tell even the state legislature to stick it? It wouldn't take much.
     The Big 12 is facing the inevitable rift that will shatter the conference to the foundation, and that foundation isn't very strong to begin with. Sit tight, because the latest round of conference shifts is just the beginning.

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