I’ve said before that Rick Neuheisel was the right choice and that his chance of success in his first year, coming in with little to work with, and then beset by injuries, was unlikely. I’ve also mentioned that Ben Howland was 11-17 in his first year, so give Neuheisel some leeway.
That said, some of the other candidates for the job have fared pretty well, others, not so well. Boise State’s Chris Petersen has an undefeated season so far, but Al golden has had a disappointing 5-7 year at Temple, and a candidate who was met with skepticism and disbelief when discussed, John Harbough, has had a tremendous season as a rookie head coach in the NFL, taking the Baltimore Ravens, led by first-year and unheralded QB Joe Flacco, to 8-4, 2d place, and a probable playoff spot, coming off last year’s 5-11 and total housecleaning, which included Neuheisel. Of course Norm Chow and DeWayne Walker are part of this year’s painful UCLA experience.
That pain promises to get far, far worse, on Saturday. sc figures to dominate the Bruins, and the brain surgeons will not be satisfied with a 35 point win, as they were against ND. The sc coach may call of the dogs on offense, but given the sc defense and the disaster masquerading as an offense for the Bruins, it will be much more difficult to keep the sc defense from scoring at will, especially in the later stages, where the Bruin offense will be weary from all that time on the field, and the sc 3d string defense will be out to impress the coach.