The gap between UCLA and USC

It’s USC-UCLA rivalry week, so it’s a good time to revisit Rick Neuheisel’s the-monopoly-is-over-ad and the gap-is-closing with USC.
This is what Neuheisal said on Monday.
“We have closed the gap,” Neuheisel said. “We have a chance to win the championship. The gap has closed. I don’t know it’s all the way done. We’ll talk after the ball game.”

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.
  • spedjones

    haha, the guy’s on crack.

  • TK Bruin

    USC is mad as a wet hen, since it cannot play in a bowl. The only gratification they can get now is decimating the lowly Bruins. It’s no wonder they are favored by 14 1/2 points. Yikes.

  • A Big HUH???

    Gap has closed’s not? Whatever. Play Ball. Go Bruins!

  • rejn

    If the gap is truly closed, then why doesn’t it feel like UCLA has a shot at winning the game? Unless UCLA pulls off another 13-9, I figure USC will win by about three touchdowns. Hope not, but….

  • Gutty Lil Bruin

    The gap is definitely closing. We should only lose by about 24, which given the talent gap, is real progress by CRN and his staff. A few more years and Rick will have us right there.

  • PV Bruin

    Just to show how far we have come…. 20 years ago, UCLA winning a game against USC is considered normal… nowadays, it is considered an upset…

    Talking about being nostalgic…

  • lostbruin

    The GAP? The gap in Talent Development, Coaching, Administration, oh did I say talent? On paper UCLA looks good somehting we can tell our kids hey they can do it! but in reality this UCLA doesnt decide if they are going to play until the get a tweet its game time. To all UCLA players: its Game Time! Suck it Up and Play like a gutty-little-bruin! Im tired of this embarassemnt!

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Saturday’s game will go a long ways in clarifying whether the gap has closed or not.

    I was on the sidelines of last year’s game and I can tell you first hand that the game was close until USC broke it open in the 4th quarter with an audible from Kiffin to Barkley that resulted in a screen pass touchdown down the sidelines.

    UCLA has the players to compete with USC, and I hope they prove me right on Saturday. It will take UCLA’s most complete game of the season to win but they are certainly capable of it.

  • LEY

    Stop the Run and Hit Barkley or at least make him pay for throws!!! He does throw Interseptions and we have to be able to run!!! Both the OF and DF Lines have to dominate!
    Bruins by 5 points.

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here

    Ruins, my name says it all. Get ready for more of the same this Saturday….

  • Reformed Droog

    To paraphrase “When Harry Met Sally”:

    I’ll have what he’s having…

  • Blitzed

    Give Neu credit. He’s good at spinning things. He’s assuming the people who hear him say that won’t realize the only reason we are still playing for the conference is sanctions. USC is still technically in first place. If the gap has closed, why is USC being discussed as a Top 3 team next year when they are eligible again? Why aren’t we being discussed with them? They are still getting the better players. We’re still fighting for scraps and losing games.

    I get that he is eternally optimistic. But anyone with eyes can see the gap plain as day.

  • Anonymous

    More of Neuheisel’s lawyer talk. The gap was the size of the Grand Canyon. It’s still a giant gap even if they closed it a little.

  • The question is not if there is a gap, but whether the Bruins can jump it with a Skycycle X2. I hope for favorable wind conditions and no prematurely parachute deployments.

  • MichaelRyerson

    We got ’em right where we want ’em! I hope they show up! oh wait. sorry. seriously, it seems to me the pressure’s all on ‘SC. I think they’re ripe.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Sorry CRN, but the gap isn’t closing as much as the chance we do have to actually win this game. Once again, our 27-20 victory over U$C on Saturday doesn’t mean that we have matched the giant crosstown program-wise.

    I mean, come on … really?

    No, that will surely take a regime change, the ultimate gift back to his alma-mater that CRN could ever give. The wise move would be to pull that off this week. Administration probably still lets him coach in the Pac-12 title game or a toilet bowl game, whichever would follow.

    Do it on Friday, CRN. Confirm your status as a Bruin legend. And then watch the fur really fly at The Coliseum.

  • Cafela

    Not entirely true, Blitzed. If we beat SC, unlikely as it may be, we would advance to the Pac-12 Championship outright with a 6-3 conference record and hold the tiebreaker. I hope that’s still what we’re all rooting for…

  • bcucla8691

    I don’t care if we close the gap right now. I want our guys to line up against SUC and play hard and tough. It’s time to get crazy, play fast and hard and leave it all out on the field, especially against our rival. Let’s go, let’ go!! Go Bruins!

  • Nestor

    I’m rooting for USC because the loss will finally get rid of Neuheisel. Plus, I already know that Bruinsnation has more than enough clout with the Morgan Center to get rid of both the AD and the head coach. Yes, I/we are that awesome! Sorry about all those who got banned…but then again…u r less experts at everything that is UCLA than I am.

  • I’m with bcucla8691…

    Lets be rooting for our Bruin players to play their hearts outs. Forget Morgan Center, forget the AD. Just go out and play smart, passionate Bruin Football! GO BRUINS!!

  • gilligan

    NEWS ALERT: Michelle Bauchman says she ready to win the Presidency!!!!
    C’mon, RN you got to be kidding. USC just beat Oregon and took Stanford to triple OT and UCLA beat a bad Colorado team and all of a sudden UCLA is a great team. What did I miss? UCLA hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record on the road under RN, UCLA has a bad defense with a one dimensional offense that is going to compete against good teams?
    I would be furious if I were a UCLA fan b/c this guy has yet to show that he can coach and develop talent. What is UCLA going to do when UCLA loses by more than 21pts, keep RN for another year or move in a new direction?

  • Bruin Zealot

    I can never root for Ketchup and Mustard to beat us so that we can get rid of a coach. Never happening, as terrible as we maybe, always have to root for powderkeg blue. Having said that, I think this will be CRN’s last game. I think ASU will win their game and go to championship game and we’ll be 6-6 with several awful and inexcusable losses. But unless school administration is committed to providing necessary resources the football program to be able to compete at the national level, I can only expect more of the same from the next coach. Look at what programs are doing around the country and know that the gap is still there, but not only from across town, but nationally as well. Hope I am wrong this about Saturday, but I stopped being optimistic a while ago.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    BZ: Well said.

  • samo hopar

    So I guess all you morons would reply “No, the gap is as large as ever. We have no chance of winning and it will continue to be this way for the foreseeable future.” It amazes me just how dumb UCLA alumni really are. Morons.

  • Blitzed

    @Samo…Why is it dumb? There is absolutely no evidence that the gap has shrunk or even gotten smaller. There is no reason to believe this team can compete with USC. If you honestly believe the gap has shrunk, you are either blind or been drinking way to much of whatever Neu drinks.

  • SUC cheats too much

    It’s pathetic when the sucsters of good ‘ole SUC can only brag about football since everything else is irrelevant. Heck, I bet most if not all the Walmart shoppers who wear that ketchup and mustard trogan jersey don’t relate SUC as a university, only as a semi-pro football team.

    Cheat on, condoms!

  • Amillennialist

    Their play will decide.

  • samo hopar

    @ Blitzed … Of course I know the gap has not shrunk, just like Neu knows. But what’s he supposed to say? What would YOU say? He HAS to say the gap has shrunk as the coach of UCLA, whether its true or not, whether he believes it or not. It’s dumb to suggest that he should say otherwise. Especially, during game week. Do you guys expect him to come out and say no, we are leagues behind USC in every tangible and intangible manner? Maybe he should be honest and realistic. “We have less talent on the roster, on the coaching staff, we lack the support of the student body and the administration, our facilities are behind theirs and our students care more about Diddy Reese than football. We are awful and could barely win in the Pac12 south, 10x worse than the SEC east, which is saying something, when playing at home. Hell might as well not show up to the game.” Now that’s what a good coach would say.

  • There is no gap! after we kick the trOJans’ asses on Saturday we will have the same conference record as them. Had the kicker from Utah kicked the ball higher than chin high USC loses…had the Oregon kicker kicked that easy 37 yard field goal USC loses in overtime…that is two losses more and USC would be 5-4 in coference on game behind UCLA…had UCLA not had a melt down vs. Arizona we would be two games ahead of USC – provided those shitty kickers would have one their job…so you SEEEEEE? there is no freaking GAP!!! The monopoly was over a long time ago!! just look at the recruiting RN has gotten together.

  • Marc

    Yet another comment from Rick that misses. He’s had quite a few of those over the last couple of years. The one thing he is supposed to be really good at is public speaking, yet he misfires too often, leaving him and UCLA up to ridicule.

    Show us all on Saturday, Rick. If you win, then you can say something like that. Thank you.

  • Blitzed

    @Samo….You know what I would like to hear Rick say? Nothing. Not a damn thing. How about that for a change? Instead of him running his mouth and making all these outrageous claims, he shuts up and uses the play on the field to do his talking? That’s something I think we would all enjoy.

  • Bunch of negative people in this blog.


    Let’s be realistic about this, otherwise we’re as “delusional” (as the trojam fans like to call us) as people claim we are. CRN saying “the gap has closed” is as asinine a comment as saying “the monopoly is over.” Both statements are completely rediculous especially in light of the fact they’re both WRONG. SUC is WORLD’s apart from us, they are much better all around: better athletes, better coaches, better players, better in every sense. The only hope we have this weekend of beating them is if they suffer an emotional let down after beating the Zeros. If that happens we have a chance, but I can’t see it because nobody ever comes out flat for a rivalry game. GO BRUINS!

  • cv

    Rick hasn’t even closed the gap between himself and coach Karl!

  • Trojan Conquest

    This is the perfect kind of year for UCLA. They do just enough to save Neuheisel’s job. Or have they? Actually, I’d love for UCLA to really close the gap and have this game mean something nationally. Maybe then they could play it during the day. And after finally getting back the tradition of both schools wearing their colors, I really hope UCLA doesn’t do something stupid like wear all white.

  • samo hopar

    @Blitzed So I guess when the press asks him questions like that he should just stand there grinning? Or just walk away? Or maybe stand solemnly and silently? I get the frustration, but these comments are just ridiculous.

  • uscfd

    If ucla had played Oregon and Washington this year, instead of OSU and WSU, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

    As you guys like to say “wait until next year”.

  • Sandy Underpants

    This thread confirmed that most UCLA people (and I use that term loosely), don’t even follow football. BruinRob doesn’t even know that the blocked field goal attempt by Utah would have only tied the game against USC. How many field goals did UCLA lose to Utah by? 10?

    Speaking of field goals, I hope you have a really good kicker, because you’re greatest accomplishment Saturday is going to be getting a first down.

  • dodgerfan

    BruinRob sounds like either RN in disguise or a bad RN clone. XD

  • Not So Fast My Friend

    Nice to see several posts acknowledging the issue was coaching, not the players. Players play the way they are coached.

    If you’re blaming the players, then that goes back to coaching and an inability to identify quality recruits.

    See you guys next year! By the way, burn those ice cream uni’s and go back to the traditional ones. Those were awful.