The new deal ostensibly locks Dorrell in L.A. through 2011, but as BN shrewdly notes, that means, well, about as much as it did the last time UCLA "extended" a coach's contract. Or the time before that:
From the outside, the notion of Dorrell being judged by no less a standard than beating Southern Cal for the Pac Ten title next year seems absurdly high at the moment where termination is concerned. No coach would be in a favorable position to close that gap at UCLA by next fall, and Dorrell probably only needs to show another firm move in the general direction of the Trojans. Beating them helps; barely cracking .500 overall does not. SMQ agrees another 7-6/8-5 sort of season would be tedious and probably grounds to declare "quagmire" after four such efforts (or worse) in five years. But the Bruins were 10-2 in 2005 without really coming close to winning the conference, and double-digit wins in '07 ought to be enough to keep Dorrell around another year, title or no (though that too is likely conditional on not getting beat by SC by seven touchdowns, as UCLA did in '05, or losing to Arizona by six scores at home).
But 2011? Hardly - it's standard, showy tack with nothing behind it but a desire to avoid questions about the impending guillotine for another mediocre campaign. Dorrell was out of his current job without the upset of USC in December, and it's directly on the line again in the fall.
Whoa, Karl: Mike Shula was happy about his "extension," too.
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