|ESPN.com: 2009||[Print without images]|
One more story on UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel's straight-uphill battle to dethrone USC's Pete Carroll, the current king of college football in the west:
When Neuheisel was the head coach at Washington, he played USC in 2001, Carroll's first year on the job there. The Huskies won a tight game. Afterward, the two coaches shook hands in the middle of the field. They began jogging away when Carroll turned, pointed at him and said, "Hey! We'll be back!"
The next year, they were back and beat Washington. Again, they shook hands afterward and this time, it was Neuheisel who pointed at Carroll and said, "Hey, we'll be back!"
Of course, Neuheisel wouldn't be back. He would be fired the next year by Washington for lying about betting in an NCAA hoops pool. Neuheisel sued and settled for $4.5 million, but couldn't get back into college football for the next five years.
Says Neuheisel now: "I told him I'd be back, and I am. I just didn't realize it would take this long."
He's still waiting. USC beat UCLA last season, 28-7.