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Neuheisel: What matters is that we play well next year

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, back from a brief vacation to Cabo to celebrate his 50th birthday, must feel like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

The Los Angeles and national media have been hard on Neuheisel for his strange handling of coaching staff decisions this off-season.

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson was hired with Norm Chow still on the staff. Boy, I bet that wasn’t awkward for Chow, who has since moved into a hotel in Utah.

The negotiations to land Nevada running backs coach Jim Mastro seemed to last for over a month.

Most heavily scrutinized is that Neuheisel has yet to name a defensive coordinator to replace Chuck Bullough, who was dismissed on December 18th. Randy Shannon, Rocky Seto, Steve Brown, and other candidates have interviewed. Neuheisel says the defensive coordinator hire will come this weekend. At one point, Seto accepted the job, but the offer was later rescinded.

"I understand the scrutiny," Neuheisel said."I understand the perception and all that kind of stuff but at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is that we play well next year."

"I understand the scrutiny. I understand the perception and all that kind of stuff but at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is that we play well next year."

Neuheisel also has the defensive line job open. Yesterday, Todd Howard accepted the defensive line job at Washington State. It was reported that Howard was dismissed early in the day. By night, Washington State announced him as their new defensive line coach. Who knows what happened there?

The Bruins’ non-conference schedule in 2011 includes at Houston, San Jose State, and Texas.