October 13, 2011
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero didn't give coach Rick Neuheisel the dreaded vote of confidence during an interview with a local ESPN radio station Tuesday, but that might have been better than the noncommittal answer Guerrero did give when asked about Neuheisel's job security.
"In intercollegiate athletics, we're pretty much all day-to-day," Guerrero told the radio hosts. "That's the reality of our situation. But I said from the very beginning, the key for our program this year was to move the needle, was to obviously improve upon a four-win season (from) last year. We're certainly not where we want to be as a program, there's no question about that. We're certainly not a top-25 team. We're not there yet."
UCLA is 3-3 this year and coming off a dramatic 28-25 win over Washington State last weekend. The Bruins now play a hapless Arizona team that might still be reeling after head coach Mike Stoops was fired earlier this week. Guerrero said he was optimistic about the team's play against the Cougars.
"We've been real good at times throughout the course of the year but we haven't been as consistent as we want to be," Guerrero said. "But we have six games left to play. The fact that we can talk halfway through the season that we're still in the hunt to maybe play in the Pac-12 championship game is a positive. We're going to look optimistically until there isn't anything to be optimistic about."
Guerrero didn't want to say that a bowl berth would be the only way Neuheisel would keep his job, but stressed that the administration would be disappointed if the Bruins didn't make the postseason. And the schedule is favorable for the Bruins, who are 2-1 in conference play. They still have to play Utah and Colorado, who are both winless in the Pac-12, and next weekend's game against Cal could go either way. The Bruins also play Arizona State and rival USC.