Is Mora Less?

Happy Saturday to you, Followers.  Hope your weekend is off to a fine start.

In case you haven’t heard, late last night UCLA announced that Jim Mora, Jr. will be their next head football coach.  For some quick coffee time thoughts on the matter, read on.

Followers, much has been made on this site about the difference between good “NFL” coaches and good “college” coaches.  And, notwithstanding a really nice year in Atlanta, Mora showed himself to be on the low side of sniffing the mediocrity bar in the NFL.

But, when you look at Mora, his energy, his enthusiasm, and his history of defending his players, well, I think he has the makings of being one heckuva college coach.  That said, I am not sure that Mora will be able to make the kind of hay his is capable of in LA-LA land.

And the reason for this stance is pretty simple: UCLA is not a great football school.

After all, their practice field is 80 yards long, its a logistial nightmare to get students from Westwood to the RB in Pasadena, and as I noted on this site a few weeks back, it is a NIGHTMARE school to be an Assistant. 

You see, the cost of living in the LA region is simply ridiculous.  And as a result, guys like John Embree (CU’s current coach) had an hour and a half commute (each way) to work everyday.  And when you have a family, well, that just doesn’t cut the mustard (and experienced assistants tend to have families).

So, in the coming days, we’ll be able to see the extent to which UCLA is able to substantively address their infrastruture problem. Are they offering Mora’s staff a package of over 2 million dollars, one that allows staff to enjoy a reasonable standard of living close to the campus?  And if so, how will Mora use that money? Who will be his offensive coordinator?  What offensive philosophy will define UCLA in relation to its conferene counterparts? (by the way, I think Charlie Weis would have been a brilliant OC for them, but alas, FatHead is at Kansas now..)

Prediction:

I think that Mora is going to make UCLA a consistent 2nd place finisher in the South.  I think he’s going to recruit LA well, and I bet that he extends the reach of UCLA recruiting nationally using a similar model to Stanford’s. 

Ultimately, however, I think we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief (for now) that Mora went to UCLA instead of ASU.  My view:  UCLA is and will always be a basketball school;  while ASU is still waiting for the right coach to take them to the promised land.

Feel free to provide your thoughts on the Mora hiring..

All for now.  Go Cougs.

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