UCLA finally found its head football coach in Jim L. Mora. He comes to Los Angeles after a brief stint as a NFL analyst and head coaching jobs with the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks.
Some people think that this was a terrible hire for the university, which has been desperately trying to close the gap between in-city rival USC. But was it the worst hire of the college football season?
No, but it comes pretty close.
Mora never had a great deal of success as a head coach in the NFL, progressively getting worse the years he was with the Falcons and Seahawks. He also has been out of the college game for 27 years, and we all know how much has changed in that time.
But there are some obvious positives to having a former NFL coach on the college sideline, namely in recruiting. Mora is a charismatic guy and would certainly be able to sell kids on the idea of getting to the NFL through UCLA and building a new tradition.
As for the worst hire of the year, that honor has to go to either Texas A&M or Arizona State.
The Aggies just hired Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, and while he knows the Texas recruiting grounds well, it’s highly unlikely that his spread offense is going to translate to the SEC, especially the SEC West.
His teams have consistently crumbled against quality defenses, his own defenses have been atrocious, and when Case Keenum went down last year, the Cougars went from 10-4 to 5-7. Sumlin would have been a much better fit for Arizona State.
Speaking of the Sun Devils, they have yet to find a head coach after firing Dennis Erickson, but whoever it is at this point is going to be a train wreck of a hire. There are no big-time coaches left on the market, and whoever does become coach is going to always be looking over his shoulder because the rest of the Pac-12 hired top-tier guys like Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez.
Jim L. Mora may not have been the slam dunk Bruin fans were hoping for, but until proven otherwise, he is not the worst hire this year in college football.