Sunday Morning Quarterback: UCLA Needs to End its "Chip Fatigue"
It's time for Martin Jarmond to put his stamp on UCLA football.
After last week’s loss to Southern Cal, I was somewhat willing to accept the loss and the fact that Chip Kelly would be back for another season next year because of the financial issues facing the UCLA Athletic Department.
Then, last night happened.
Now, today, I’m tired. I’m suffering from a case of “Chip Fatigue.” I’m over Chip Kelly.
I’m tired of watching the Bruins lose. I’m tired of listening to Chip Kelly not answer questions. I’m tired of UCLA not being eligible to go to bowl games. I’m tired of UCLA coaches who fail to turn the program around. I’m tired of UCLA being in the bottom of the conference standings.
I just want the Bruins to win.
And, when I think about the progress this year’s team has shown, I am led to questions about what could have been. This year’s team was arguably a handful of plays away from being undefeated. Instead, they finished an underwhelming 3-4.
In at least three of those games, it was bad in-game management and play calling by Chip Kelly and the coaching staff which resulted in those losses.
That, coupled with the results in the previous two seasons, have led me to conclude that Martin Jarmond needs to consider doing something to improve the program in the long-term. If he can raise the money to buy out Chip’s contract, he should probably do it.
That’s before considering the state of recruiting.
To be sure, UCLA’s results during the Early Signing Period were much better than expected. But I don’t get why there seem to be so many Bruin fans who are jumping for joy with a middle of the conference recruiting class. Is it because recruiting has been so terrible under Kelly until now? Why is everyone forgetting about the talent level which came into the program under Rick Neuheisel and Jim Mora?
That’s where UCLA’s recruiting should be. Accepting mediocre recruiting efforts because it wasn’t supposed to be even this good is about equivalent to accepting “moral victories” and those are never acceptable.
Three losing seasons combined with three so-so recruiting classes should be grounds for dismissal. Period. I don’t care if our Athletic Director was only here for one of each of those. He needs to look at the totality of the job that Kelly has done — and it isn’t good.
In fact, the only thing that could potentially save Kelly’s job at this point is the department’s financial situation.
On the other hand, if Chip wants out of Westwood, he should consider negotiating a much lower buyout fee which Kelly can afford. If Kelly wants to leave, I’d say look at Kelly’s paystubs and offer to let him go in return for what he was paid this year after taxes, probably around $3 million.
Heck, if Kelly’s agent drives a hard bargain, I might even consider settling for less or even nothing. Let him walk.
Then, make those Urban Meyer rumors that Jarmond dispelled last week come to reality. And, if Meyer who already works part of the week in LA for Fox doesn’t want to make it an everyday thing, go out and get either an up-and-coming head coach in a non-Power 5 conference….cough, cough, Luke Fickel, cough, cough…or a coordinator not named Sarkisian from one of the football powerhouses to come to LA.
But, please, for the love of UCLA, I hope that Jarmond does something to end the mediocrity associated with Bruin football.