After a highly-publicized whiff at Randy Shannon and an even higher-publicized ill-fated courtship of former USC assistant Rocky Seto (and some much-needed Me Time in Cabo), Rick Neuheisel has a defensive coordinator in place for the 2011 college football season. The lucky fellow replacing the luckless Chuck Bullough: Joe Tresey, former DC at Cincinnati under Brian Kelly and at USF under Jim Leavitt.
A funny thing happened on the way to Rocky Seto getting hired as the new defensive coordinator at UCLA. Shortly after Seto was announced as the next DC, our UCLA blog Bruins Nation wrote a scathing review and organized an effort to veto the hiring. Here is what they had to say about Seto.
Some of the lines we are hearing as "justification" for this mangled mess is that this guy is a Pete Carroll Jr. Think about that for a minute. Think how many key strokes have been spent on this blog and all over UCLA boards in last few years exposing his program. Think about all the moral righteousness from the UCLA community about not ever wanting to be like USC. Now folks are being asked to swallow the line that this Seto guy would be a mini-Carroll? Sorry. No can do.
Suddenly, the VetoSeto campaign had gone viral. It was all over Twitter and Facebook and came to the attention of the UCLA athletic department staff. One day after Seto had reportedly accepted an offer from the athletic department, UCLA told him that they would be going in "another direction" and that he would no longer be a candidate. The official company line is that an official offer was never made. Good one.
Bruins Nation is getting credit from different sources around the Internet for derailing the Seto hiring, but we will never know for sure whether or not it truly was their reaction that forced the Athletic Department's hand. But I'm sure it didn't help Seto's candidacy.
So then where does UCLA go from here. Now they have no defensive coordinator, and a lot of pressure to find one that will appeal to a fan base that has shown they are not afraid to voice their displeasure with any potential candidates.
As it stands now, Neuheisel isn't inspiring much confidence with his constituency. A second 4-8 finish in three seasons, combined with coaching staff turmoil,and a disappointing recruiting class isn't sending the Bruins into the offseason on an uptick.
There haven't been any reports that name other candidates for the vacant DC position. But I'm sure as soon as one comes out, you should be able to get an honest reaction from the fellas over at Bruins Nation.