You knew this was inevitable. You just didn't figure on it happening so quickly.

Temple football coach Al Golden, who just completed his second season on North Broad Street, was in Los Angeles yesterday to interview for the vacant UCLA job, according to sources cited by the Los Angeles Daily News.

Golden was reportedly the second candidate to meet with UCLA chancellor John Block. The first was former Bruin quarterback and current Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel, who went 66-30 in eight seasons at Colorado and Washington. He left both jobs in a maze of controversy, but is considered by many to be the front-runner.

Neuheisel confirmed yesterday that he had been contacted about the opening.

Others reported to be under consideration for the job are Eagles secondary coach John Harbaugh and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

Golden, the former Penn State tight end (1988-90), was the defensive coordinator at Virginia for five seasons before coming to Temple. In two seasons, he's taken the Owls from no wins to four. A year ago, he supposedly turned down a chance to talk to Boston College about its vacancy. Block was at Virginia at the same time as Golden, if you're looking for a connection.

A message left on Golden's cell phone wasn't returned. Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw also could not be reached for comment last night.

Karl Dorrell was fired after going 35-27 in five seasons. The Bruins, who finished 6-6 this season, are preparing for Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl against Brigham Young, a team they beat in September. Defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, who also is considered a candidate, is the interim coach. *