The end is never pretty.
Rick Neuheisel felt an obligation to talk with fans after Saturday night's 35-0 spanking from Stanford, and even that didn't go well. Slick Rick started to talk, only to learn the microphone was shut off. After help from a cheerleader, he tried to explain what the handful of fans left in the Rose Bowl had just witnessed.
"We can't get any wor[se than this] ...," he said before realizing what he was about to say.
As T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times points out, Karl Dorrell — the man who was fired after five seasons to make way for Slick Rick — was 10-2 in this third season as coach.
Where do the Bruins go from here in Year 3 of the Neuheisel Plan? Up next are Houston and Texas, meaning UCLA is a whisker from starting 0-4. After a winnable home game against Washington State, the team is back on the road for games against California and Oregon.
A 1-6 start is not out of the question.
Simers writes of Neuheisel: "As much as he gushes and talks about winning it all, maybe it was predictable his players would be in for a letdown against Stanford after losing to Kansas State.
"He says he detected none of that, which raises an even a bigger question: Are the athletes at UCLA just not as good as the athletes who attend other Pac-10 schools?
"What does that say about his recruiting, the gap between Stanford and UCLA now 35 points?
"There's still reason for optimism," Neuheisel said.
Based on what?
"What other choice do you have?" he said.