Thanks to some late wins, help from Arizona State and Utah and the fact that USC is not eligible for postseason play this season, UCLA will play Oregon in the first Pac-12 championship game.
Unfortunately for Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel, that wasn’t enough to save his job. He was fired by the university, but he will coach the team for the championship, as well as any bowl—though, currently, UCLA must beat Oregon in order to go to any bowl.
With that in mind, would a huge upset of the Ducks be enough to put the coach back on the payroll?
Neuheisel came to Los Angeles under the premise that he would salvage the Bruins’ football program and end the monopoly that USC had on the city and the conference. He has failed miserably in both of those aspects.
When you are hired to fix a problem and you don’t, no matter what the profession, you will be fired.
College football is a more fickle business than most, but one big upset win does not make up for a .429 winning percentage during his four years at UCLA. Additionally, there are some big-name coaches currently on the market, including Mike Leach and, according to reports, Boise State’s Chris Petersen. If the school can actually lure him away from Idaho, that would be easily the best hire in the country.
Petersen knows the West Coast and is one of the best talent evaluators in the game. Giving him the resources to adequately sell recruits on starting a new legacy in Los Angeles would all but ensure a winning program.
Again, though, there are plenty of other coaches who would love the opportunity to coach in Los Angeles.
Oh, and there is one other fact that goes into this: USC just finished obliterating the Neuheisel-led Bruins 50-0 last weekend. You can’t lose to your rival that badly after four years of failure and still expect to keep your job, even if your team pulled an upset on a team like LSU.
There's no way he is getting his job back at UCLA.