UCLA football is in free fall.
Head coach Chip Kelly took a demotion to become Ohio State's offensive coordinator, leaving the Bruins at the worst possible moment. UCLA players have a 30-day window to transfer away (which is to say other college football programs have a 30-day window to pick the bones clean in Westwood). The pool of head coaching candidates is as small as it could be.
Finding a replacement for Kelly will not be easy. This job search isn't necessarily about upgrading on Kelly (though that's certainly the hope). It's about stopping the bleeding.
First let's look at one name that is sure to be mentioned but don't pass the "realistic" test.
Former Seahawks and USC head coach Pete Carroll
This would be incredibly dramatic, for the man who led USC to national title glory to save UCLA from its lowest straits in years.
Carroll spent nine seasons with the Trojans. Eligibility for the College Football Hall of Fame requires 10 seasons of coaching. So Carroll does have incentive to return to the college ranks as a bit of a stop-gap.
It just feels like an unlikely turn of events. There were other jobs he could have jumped on to serve the same purpose. He hasn't been in the recruiting game and he's never had to navigate NIL. This feels like too big of a project for Carroll to take it on at his age.
Now on to the more realistic candidates...