The UCLA Football Bruins finally decided to part ways with head coach Jim Mora. Thus, three consequences have come into effect with the move.
In a stunning move, UCLA Bruins Athletic Director Dan Guerrero made the move most thought inevitable. Sunday morning Guerrero fired UCLA Football coach Jim Mora. After struggling through a third straight season a strong losing effort against rival USC Trojans could not help Mora.
With the Bruins now at 5-6 and the 28-23 loss against the Trojans, Mora still had a chance to win a final game at home against their in-state rival the University of California Golden Bears and remain eligible for a postseason bowl game. But a possible 7-6 finish to the season was not good enough for Guerrero to keep Mora (perhaps Guerrero is thinking of his own job too).
So what does the firing mean for UCLA in the next few months as a replacement must be found and what consequences ensue?
1. Josh Rosen should and will leave for the NFL
All season the question of which is the best college quarterback that plays in Los Angeles, Saturday Josh Rosen confirmed that between him and Sam Darnold the NFL should be where Rosen plays next year.
It wasn’t just the 421 passing yards and 3 touchdowns that Rosen threw for, it was Rosen’s command a confidence that made him stick out. Many times during the game the television analysts pointed to Rosen’s intangibles. Whether it was his footwork or his deft at throwing the deep ball, Rosen showed time and again he has the skills for the next level.
Despite a paltry rushing attack and getting zero from his offensive line throughout his college career, it’s time to move on. He risks diminishing returns if he stays in school with a first-year coach and possibly his fourth offensive coordinator in four years.
2. Chip Kelly Rumors
Coaches get fired all the time, but most get fired in the off-season. Which it’s curious as to why Mora was fired with one game left in the season. When a coach is fired early that means the team wants to jump into their search quickly. One name keeps popping up.
Chip Kelly has been the name that everyone has wanted in college football, having had great success with an innovative offense at Oregon (and mediocrity in the NFL) Kelly is the name that seems to be popping up.
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It makes sense at Oregon Kelly finished as a top 5 team his last three years and played in a National Title game. Kelly is also familiar with conference and recruiting as he lured quality players to Oregon from California.
Bruins fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, Kelly is also considered a front-runner for the Florida Gators job. The Gators may be able to offer a Kelly more money and the academic standards at Florida are easier on recruits than an academic elite school like UCLA.
3. Time for UCLA Football to rebuild
Bruins fans can want and hope for a quick turnaround all they want, but unfortunately, it’s not going happen that way. Any new coach is going to want to bring in their own coaches and schemes.
Seeing the writing on the wall, players like Rosen and others will forgo senior seasons for a shot in the NFL. Recruits who felt beholden to the old regime may de-commit affecting depth. All these moves create a domino effect that saps a team that wasn’t good to begin with.
For UCLA football fans hoping that coaching would fix the team, they will have to realize that there will be some more losing before whoever comes on gets the Bruins back on their winning ways.