USC at UCLA
Details/TV: Rose Bowl, Saturday at 5 p.m., Channel 7:
The master scoreboard shows UCLA has won just 30 of the previous 83 meetings. But since Bruins coach Jim Mora has figured out a way to go 2-for-2 in his first two seasons running the program, there are no doubts left about any kind of monopoly swing. “UCLA runs L.A. now,” Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley could say with supreme confidence after he threw for 208 yards and ran for two touchdowns in a 35-14 win at the Coliseum last season — UCLA’s biggest margin of victory over USC since 1970 in a game where the Trojans came in favored by a field goal. Perhaps as a direct result of that, USC has its third different head coach on the sidelines in the last three years for this matchup.
UCLA’s jump from No. 18 to 11 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, perhaps changing for the better when the latest is announced Tuesday, plus its home-field advantage, gives it a reasonable favored status — a field goal, by most oddsmakers. Plus, all that recent history thing, too. What other incentive is there to win? UCLA takes this one, and the last one against Stanford, and it wins the Pac-12 South. USC wins this one, and Arizona State loses one of its final two games, and the Trojans have the division title.
THE BEST OF THE REST:
MLS PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS:
GALAXY vs. SEATTLE:
Details/TV: Leg 1: At Seattle, Saturday at 2 p.m., ESPN:
In the Landon Donovan-lives-to-play-another-round scenario, the Galaxy yielded the right to have home field for the second leg by losing to the Sounders in the season finale, 2-0, on two late goals by second-half substitute Marco Pappa. A 2-2 draw forged with Seattle in the next-to-last game of the season just a month ago came after the Galaxy had carved out a 2-0 lead at halftime. In their playoff history, the Galaxy have won the two previous series against the Sounders in 2010 and 2012.
BOXING: MANNY PACQUIAO vs. CHRIS ALGIERI
Details/TV: At Macau, China, Saturday at 6 p.m., HBO PPV ($69.95)
A month before this scheduled date to defend his WBO welterweight title, Pacquaio was playing in a pro basketball game in his native Philippines. “After he does (this fight), if he wants to try out for the New York Knicks, that’s OK with me,” said promoter Bob Arum. The 35-year-old Pacquaio (56-5-2, 38 KOs), still the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani Province of the Philippines, said basketball is good training for his footwork and balancing. Besides, the games are on Sunday, and he’s not training for fights on Sunday. Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) always has his bachelor of science degree in Health Care Management and a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition to fall back on. Chew on that.
The Clippers must figure out Chicago (Staples Center, Monday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket) before heading out on a seven-game, 11-day road trip that starts in Orlando, Miami and Memphis …Long Beach State meets up with UCLA at Pauley Pavilion (Sunday, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Net) after facing Xavier and Kansas State … More at this link.