Norm Chow Out At UCLA? Mike Johnson In? What's Next For The Bruins' O?

It's safe to assume at this point that Norm Chow is, by some as-yet unknown mechanism, done as offensive coordinator at UCLA. There's been little public movement, but our own Bruins Nation has been abuzz with the news of Rick Neuheisel's reported talks with 49ers OC Mike Johnson. (If you'd like a handy catch-up on Johnson's coaching history and schematic preferences, BN has a nice one available here.)

The blue-and-gold elephant in the room remains Chow, and what's to become of him. According to the Times, the question is one of money, and the waiting game is to see which side will jump first, with quite a bit of money at stake:

If Chow quits, he will not receive any money from his two-year contract extension. If he is fired, he will receive the full amount. If Chow is hired elsewhere, the amount of his new contract will be deducted from what UCLA owes him. The deal is believed to be worth about $1 million.
[...]
Chow could also be demoted and assigned to other duties for the duration of his contract.

And wouldn't THAT last bit make for a fun and productive offseason!

For all parties involved, it does seem better for Chow to move on. He never seemed comfortable helming the pistol offense, and the latest scuttlebutt seems to be centering around him joining Kyle Whittingham's staff at Utah. If SB Nation's Block U community's reaction is any indication, he'll be warmly welcomed by the Utes:

On experience and resume alone, Chow brings more clout to the program than any past hire in Utah athletic history. He's won three national titles (two at SC and one at BYU), coached countless successful quarterbacks from Steve Young to Matt Leinart and produced some of the nation's most potent offenses throughout his long and storied offensive career.

He also returns to the program he played at from 1965 to 1967, as well as the state where his coaching career reached its most prolific (when he was the offensive coordinator under LaVell Edwards at BYU from 1973-1999).

It's an ignominious end for a highly-regarded football mind, but if the Utah job does work out, Chow will be able to exact his revenge soon enough: Remember that the Utes are bound for the Pac-12 next season.

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