Sunday, October 29, 2006

Karl Dorrell

People are up in arms around here these days over Karl Dorrell and the state of the UCLA football program. I tend to be more on the side of keeping him for time being. People don't like him primarily because of his in-game coaching, which is definitely a valid criticism. The play calling is way too conservative, and UCLA feels like it is playing not to lose rather than to win most games. The Notre Dame game was embarrassing, because UCLA should have won the game. The loss to Washington State this week was another bad loss. All that said, it doesn't make sense to dump him in the middle of the season, or even after the season, as many are calling for.

To begin with, this was necessarily a rebuilding year. This is a very young team that has played pretty well overall. Next year basically the entire team will be returning, and having the same system in place will likely result in strong results. If it doesn't, then by all means Dorrell should be in serious jeopardy. But this year wasn't the test to me in the first place. Additionally, switching coaches can screw with recruiting, and Dorrell has been doing a good job of that the past few years. Dorrell is also a class act, and doesn't deserve the sorts of malicious cheap shots that he has received nor the humiliation of being fired in the middle of a season after going 10-2 the year before. Even if he isn't winning, he instills a positive atmosphere and brings in young men with character. It's a program with class, and that is meaningful given what I consider to be the shady nature of UCLA's cross town rivals' current sports programs. Dorrell deserves a shot to prove himself further. His winning percentage as coach is pretty close to UCLA's overall football winning percentage. And he's got the added intangible of being one of the precious few black head coaches in college football. I like that fact given how ridiculous the overall makeup of college coaching is.

Obviously, this isn't the most ringing of endorsements of Dorrell. As I said at the beginning, I don't think he's a good in game coach, and that's a pretty big deal for a coach. But I think the jury is still out as far as a final conclusion in that regard, and he's got plenty of things going for him. Maybe people are spoiled by Ben Howland's success in basketball and USC's current success in football. In any event, Dorrell's still okay in my book.


Blogger YooCLA said...

Apparently you haven't noticed that "niceness" doesn't get you ranked in the BCS.
Dorrell has No wins agains SC, No wins on the road against ranked teams, and a worse Win/Loss % than Toledo. His marginal play-calling would not deem him worthy being at a JuCo.
A Nation of Bruins cannot be wrong.

12:56 PM  

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