October 23, 2007

Prince Or Pauper?

Four games into the 2007 Pac-10 football season, the UCLA Bruins are one of only two teams still undefeated. Raise your hand if you thought that would be the case if somebody asked you the question back in August. If you are truthful, therein lies the problem facing the Bruins and their head coach Karl Dorrell. Not only did much of the national media think they would be a title contender this late in the Pac-10 season but even their own fans have expressed either indifference or doubt the closer it gets to basketball season in Westwood.

The reality is that UCLA is 4-0 in the conference and with a reasonably good chance of making that 5-0 when they face Washington State in Pullman this weekend, yet the big story in recent days amongst fans following UCLA football was whether a blog entry on the Sporting News indicating athletic director Dan Guerrero met with assistant coach DeWayne Walker was to discuss the possibility of replacing Dorrell at season's end.

"That meeting was set up in summer," laughs Dorrell, who says it was set up to correspond with the Bruins' bye week. "It just shows you how funny the media can be."

Something that was clearly not set up in summer was where the Bruins would be sitting among the conference members come the fourth week of October. At the beginning of the year, quarterback issues clouded the Bruins' future and even as recently as the beginning of the month, there was still no certainty about who would be the starting quarterback by the end of the month. But after overcoming injuries and having some stellar performances in conference wins over Washington and California, it appears that junior Patrick Cowan has emerged as the person in that position when the team plays best. Dorrell has begun to take notice and Cowan will be the starter when the Bruins take the field this Saturday.

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