(CBSSports.com) — Rick Neuheisel is on shaky ground at UCLA. In his first three seasons at the school, the Bruins have only managed to appear in one bowl game under Neuheisel, and have never won more than three conference games in his tenure. Including this season, Neuheisel is 18-25 and 10-20 in Pac-12 play at UCLA.
Coming off a 4-8 record in 2010, Neuheisel came into the season already on the hot seat, and if you heard the words of UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero on the Mason and Ireland Show on Tuesday, that seat isn’t getting much cooler.
“In intercollegiate athletics, we’re pretty much all day-to-day,” Guerrero told the show. “That’s the reality of our situation. But I said from the very beginning, the key for our program this year was to move the needle, was to obviously improve upon a four-win season (from) last year. We’re certainly not where we want to be as a program, there’s no question about that. We’re certainly not a top-25 team. We’re not there yet.
“But I was certainly optimistic about certain parts of our game the other night against Washington State. We’ve been real good at times throughout the course of the year but we haven’t been as consistent as we want to be. But we have six games left to play. The fact that we can talk halfway through the season that we’re still in the hunt to maybe play in the Pac-12 championship game is a positive. We’re going to look optimistically until there isn’t anything to be optimistic about.”
If that message from Guerrero wasn’t clear enough for Neuheisel, there was also this response to a question about whether or not UCLA had to go to a bowl game this year for Neuheisel to keep his job.
“I’m not going to be definitive about anything,” Guerrero said, “but I would say that if we didn’t get into a bowl this year, everyone would be very disappointed.”
And when everyone is disappointed, that usually leads to change.
UCLA needs three more wins to qualify for a bowl game this season, and with games remaining against Cal, Arizona State and a couple of road trips to Utah and USC still on the docket, those three wins won’t be very easy to come by.