After moving up two spots during its last weekend off, UCLA again made gains in the AP poll despite not playing a game. The Bruins are now ranked No. 12 in the country, ahead of South Carolina and behind Oklahoma. UCLA last made the top 10 in October 2005.
Elsewhere in the conference, Arizona State earned its way back into the rankings at No. 22 by trouncing USC, 62-41, and getting Lane Kiffin fired. Trojans athletic director Pat Haden decided to ax him during the third quarter.
After winning UCLA baseball’s first-ever national championship, head coach John Savage was rewarded with a contract extension that pays him up to $1.025 million annually, plus a $100,000 signing bonus. His previous contract maxed out at $501,000.
The UC regents officially approved the contract on Sept. 18. USC reportedly offered Savage over $1 million after he won the College World Series in June.
The terms make Savage, who also won multiple national coach of the year honors this summer, among the highest-paid college baseball coaches in the country. LSU’s Paul Mainieri earns $750,000 in annual guaranteed salary.
Steve Alford’s recruits haven’t taken the usual route to UCLA. The first was his son. The second, an athletic forward who originally signed with Texas Tech in 2012.
His latest is Isaac Hamilton, a five-star guard whose eligibility for the upcoming season is still in doubt. The Bruins officially announced his arrival today, stating that the McDonald’s All-American signed a scholarship offer on Thursday.
— With no practices until Sunday, UCLA will take the rare weekend off to hit the recruiting trail. Linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich and receivers coach Eric Yarber are already on the road, and were absent from Thursday’s practice.
“It’s nice to go out 3-0,” head coach Jim Mora said. “People take a little more notice when you’re having success.”
The staff will get one more window to travel in-season next weekend after visiting Utah on Thursday.
— After rushing for 3.86 yards per carry under Karl Dorrell and 3.88 under Rick Neuheisel, UCLA’s running game has ticked up to a 4.74 average under Jim Mora. That the Bruins have maintained their success is a testament to offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, whose schemes emphasize creating space.