UCLA’s interest in Steve Kragthorpe for the school’s head football coaching vacancy has to be somewhat puzzling to one group of fans. They wanted Kragthorpe gone after the season. Expectations were high, the results bitterly disappointing. Never mind the reasons or excuses, they wanted him gone.
Now evidence has emerged that U of L was shorthanded by Bobby Petrino’s regime, with 43 players missing from four recruiting classes. Only 11 players remain from the 2005 class, and 15 from the 2006 class. They either never showed up, or they left after being exposed to Petrino. Fans will never know for sure.
Couple a lack of depth with the fact that seven defensive players graduated in 2006. Small wonder the defensive unit looked like they were new to the game of football. U of L fielded a defensive unit with players who had never played together. Some key players were new to the college game, a few playing on defense for the first time.
Kragthorpe was a brave man, succeeding a coach who had been so successful at U of L. He would have been a catastrophe to some if the Cards had lost only two games. Even now, he might be considered foolish by some for sticking around when his team will be inexperienced and shorthanded next season. But he appears to be committed to doing what it takes to strengthen this team, the critics be damned.
If the Brohms continue to support him — and Brian Brohm’s piece in the C-J suggested that they strongly do — there must be something to the man. Maybe, just maybe, the folks at UCLA and SMU recognize that Kragthorpe has the qualities that are necessary to be successful for the long haul. Fingers crossed, he’s not jumping ship anytime soon.