UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel Fired, Will Coach Friday In Pac-12 Title Game

Neuheisel is 21-28 at UCLA, including 13-23 in Pac-12 Conference games.

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UCLA Football Granted Bowl Waiver By NCAA If They Lose Pac-12 Championship Game

The UCLA Bruins football team was in a strange situation this week. Despite being a 6-6 football team that only went 5-4 in conference play, it was enough to win a pretty bad Pac-12 South Division with the USC Trojans on probation. UCLA will thus be playing in the inaugural 2011 Pac-12 Championship game, and if they beat the Oregon Ducks they go to the Rose Bowl. If they lose, they'd have been at 6-7, and technically would not qualify for a bowl automatically since they have a losing record.

UCLA has appealed to the NCAA though, and it looks like there will be one more game for the Bruins to play win or lose. Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reports.

The NCAA approved the UCLA football team’s petition for a bowl waiver should the Bruins not defeat Oregon, per UCLA SID.
Nov 30 via webFavoriteRetweetReply


If UCLA does fall to 6-7, they could probably be the first 6-8 college football team ever if they lose their bowl game. UCLA is now likely to be selected for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, the next in-line in the Pac-12 bids behind the bowls that should take the remaining teams eligible in the conference.

For more on UCLA football, hit up Bruins Nation.

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Chris Petersen, UCLA Football Head Coaching Candidate

The UCLA Bruins football program is ready to move on from the Rick Neuheisel era. Their main target is a popular one every season when college football head coach vacancies open up. According to Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times, UCLA is targeting Chris Petersen, the long-term successful head coach of the Boise St. Broncos.

People close to the UCLA program said Boise State's Petersen is atop the Bruins' wish list and Guerrero was expected to soon head to Idaho packing an offer that would pay more than $3 million per season.

Plans to renovate the Bruins' practice facility and a commitment of about $2 million for assistant coaches are expected to be part of the package.

Petersen has a long track record of success at Boise, but has turned down previous offers to coach at bigger programs. It'd be interesting if Petersen was targeted and took the offer this time around. You'd have to figure he has to be tired of having to play at a mid-major where perfection is demanded. Boise has two one-loss seasons and is probably making consecutive bowl trips to the Poinsettia Bowl.

Additionally, past coaches who have left Boise (Dirk Koetter, Dan Hawkins) have had minimal success elsewhere at big programs. It'd be a pretty big risk for Petersen to leave Boise, because the program seems pretty set to win for years to come.

To discuss UCLA football, head to Bruins Nation.

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Rick Neuheisel Fired, But UCLA Football Will Apply For A Bowl Waiver If Necessary

The UCLA Bruins might be changing course and direction with a new head coach now that Rick Neuheisel is gone, but that doesn't mean they want this season to end prematurely.

See, UCLA is stuck in an odd situation. They're a 6-6 football team going to the first ever Pac-12 title game, as USC is ineligible for the contest because it's their last year of bowl probation. So if UCLA loses to Oregon (as expected), they will finish the season at 6-7 with a losing record. This would technically make them bowl ineligible.

However, if the Bruins decided to apply for a bowl waiver in case there weren't enough bowl-eligible teams (which might happen), UCLA could still play one last game during bowl season.

UCLA has requested an NCAA waiver for bowl eligibility if Bruins finish 6-7, says they will go to a bowl if it's granted.
Nov 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

If UCLA did lose and earned their bowl wavier, they are almost certainly headed to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. If the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl didn't want them, they could end up elsewhere in any obscure bowl that did want them.

To discuss UCLA football, head on over to Bruins Nation.

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Rick Neuheisel Fired: Tom Cable Mentioned As UCLA Football Head Coach Candidate

The UCLA Bruins are looking for a new head coach after they relieved Rick Neuheisel of duties. One potential candidate that's been circulated (and probably just circulated, which means you shouldn't take it too seriously) is Tom Cable. Steve Corkran with the story.

Former #Raiders coach Tom Cable's name being bandied about as potential replacement for fired UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel.
Nov 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

There are a few things to like about Cable.

  • He was the offensive coordinator for the Bruins in 2004 and 2005, when UCLA enjoyed their greatest success as a program the past decade.
  • He has good experience on the offensive line, where UCLA has struggled lately.
  • He helped turn around the Oakland Raiders and bring them back to respectability with an 8-8 season last year.

There are a few things not to like about Cable.

  • He's been a bad college football coach so far, going 11-35 at Idaho. Note: It was Idaho, but still.
  • He's associated with Pete Carroll as he's worked with the Seahawks this season.
  • He's had misconduct issues, both personal and professional.

To discuss who UCLA should hire as their next head coach, go to Bruins Nation.

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Rick Neuheisel Fired: Offsensive Coordinator Mike Johnson To Coach UCLA On Interim Basis After Friday

Though head coach Rick Neuheisel was fired by the UCLA Bruins today, he will still lead the team this week in the Pac-12 Championship Game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The Bruins are 30-point underdogs against the Ducks. Should the Bruins play in a bowl game this year, offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Mike Johnson will coach the team.

Johnson will assume interim coaching duties after Friday, while the school undergoes a national search for its next coach.

Johnson was hired by the Bruins in January, replacing Norm Chow. Johnson coached with Neuheisel with the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL in 2006 and 2007, and most recently Johnson was the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers before coming to UCLA.

When Johnson was hired, Neuheisel said, "I decided that going forward, I will coach the quarterbacks and will be more hands-on in the area of play calling with a new coordinator." With Johnson leading the squad and a three or four weeks to prepare, it will be interesting to see what changes will be made, if any, to the Bruins' playbook.

Then there is the matter of UCLA even qualifying for a bowl. If they lose to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game, the Bruins will be 6-7, though they are likely to petition the NCAA for bowl eligibility even though they would be under .500. Given USC's bowl ineligibility, there would only be six teams in the conference eligible for a bowl not counting UCLA.

For more on UCLA Football, head over to Bruins Nation.

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Rick Neuheisel Fired By UCLA, Will Coach Pac-12 Championship Game

According to a tweet by ESPN's Joe Schad, Rick Neuheisel will not return as the head football coach at UCLA next season. Neuheisel will coach the Pac 12 championship game against Oregon on Friday.

There was plenty of speculation that Neuheisel was in his final days as coach, including this L.A. Times piece by Chris Foster that spoke of it soon becoming a reality.

That reality is here now and Neuheisel couldn't do much about it. During his four seasons with the team, he led them to a 21-28 record, including a 3-25 record against teams that finished with a winning record. In UCLA's press release about the firing, Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero spoke on the decision.

"I have a great deal of respect for Rick Neuheisel and the manner in which he has run this program during his tenure as UCLA head football coach. Decisions such as this one do not come without a great deal of heartache. However, it is apparent to me that a move was necessary at this time in order to give UCLA the best chance to enjoy the success that we all desire."

In a recent piece by the Associated Press, Neuheisel spoke as to why he thought he deserved to keep his job.

"I was told we needed to move the needle, and if the needle moved, that we'd be fine. I'd get to continue along my five years of my five-year contract. We have won five conference games, as opposed to three last year. We have won the right to represent the South in the conference championship. We have certainly had some unfortunate evenings where things haven't gone our way, but I think the program is headed in the right direction."

It wasn't enough.

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UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel Likely Fired After Pac-12 Title Game, According to Report

There has been speculation that UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel will not be coming back next season, and according to the L.A. Times' Chris Foster, that is likely becoming a reality. UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero will meet with Neuheisel after their matchup with the Oregon Ducks next Friday for the Pac-12 Championship to discuss his future with the program, and according to those with knowledge of the situation, will likely be let go. 

According to Foster, Neuheisel's chances of returning are 'bleak' after Foster spoke with people close to the situation, even if he managed to sneak into the Rose Bowl by beating the Ducks. AD Guerrero spoke bluntly on the situation:

"We will do a valid assessment when we're done strapping on the uniform," Guerrero said Saturday night at the Coliseum.

A Pac-12 title could possibly be Neuheisel's saving grace, though when asked Guerrero would not comment on that. Neuheisel owns a 21-28 record in his four seasons with the Bruins, including a 3-25 record against teams that finished with a winning record over those four years. That includes Oregon, who could possibly be Neuheisel's swan song with UCLA next Friday in the Pac-12 Championship. 

And what does Coach have to say for himself? Well, not much: 

"All I'm trying to do is my best."    

Hopefully he's got an upset up his sleeve. 

For more on UCLA Football, head over to Bruins Nation

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USC Vs. UCLA: Will Rick Neuheisel Keep His Job?

After the UCLA Bruins' worst defeat against the USC Trojans since 1930, it wasn't surprising that Rick Neuheisel's job security was in question. With the Bruins having at least one more game in their season, it was unlikely that any immediate action would be taken. However, shortly after the game, the hot seat reportedly got a lot hotter. 

SPORTSbyBROOKS
Multiple sources close to UCLA football program have told me tonight that Rick Neuheisel's firing will be announced tomorrow. Sunday.
11/26/11 10:35 PM

Firing Neuheisel tomorrow would be an admission by the UCLA athletic department that the Bruins have no chance in the Pac 12 championship game. While removing Neuheisel from his position would certainly appease some factions of the alumni, giving up on a season with potentially two games left in it would certainly anger others. Thus it's not surprising the Athletic Director is reportedly still behind his football coach. 

DuranLA
Per UCLA A.D. Dan Guerrero, Rick Neuheisel IS coaching Friday in PAC-12 title game
11/26/11 10:38 PM

Guerrero then went on to call the game a devastating loss. Regardless of how his employment status shakes out, tonight's loss was certainly an embarrassment for a coach who launched an ad campaign stating USC's monopoly on Los Angeles football was at an end. 

At least Rick Neuheisel can take solace in knowing he's not the only Pac 12 coach who's job is in jeopardy. Reports late Saturday night were that Dennis Erickson and Paul Wulff were out at Arizona St. and Washington St. respectively, and that Arizona St.'s AD might be out as well. It's hard to remember a time when there was this much potential turnover in the Pac 12 coaching ranks. 

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