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Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.
How good is the UCLA coaching job? Depends on what you are looking for. If you want to live in a big city with easy access to top recruits, Westwood is the place. UCLA is now in the Big Ten, which is another plus. And there is history there of success. Not at the levels of Southern California, but better than some of the teams in the Big Ten the Bruins will now be competing against.
Chip Kelly's odd move to Ohio State opens a good job for somebody.
The goal for athletic director Martin Jarmond should be to find someone who is more than just a place-holder. Find someone who doesn't plan to use UCLA as his road to an elite NCAA school or to the NFL.
If the money is right (remember, L.A. is an expensive place to live), picking off a current head coach or top coordinator is certainly possible.
To figure out who makes the best sense for the Bruins, I turned to the newspaper of record: the Los Angeles Times.
It listed 13 potential candidates. offerings reasons why the hire would make sense and possible drawbacks. Very well done.
Among the head coaches mentioned, the ones that make the most sense to me are UNLV's Barry Odom, Toledo's Jason Candle and Minnesota's P.J. Fleck,
Of those three, I'd favor Odom because of the quick turnaround he pulled off with the Rebels. Plus, his time at Missouri gives him a better feel of Midwest football the Bruins are about to enter into.
I don't think UCLA should hire a current coordinator. It is not a starter job. Great coaches Dick Vermeil and and late Terry Donahue once ran the program.
Since Donahue's 20-year run ended in 1995, the school hasn't had a coach last more than seven seasons. Four years ended with an interim coach in charge, including 2011, when Illinois beat the Bruins in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.