UCLA listed as early favorite in all but one game in 2014

Heading into a season with national title hopes, UCLA has Las Vegas on its side.

The Golden Nugget released lines this week for 200 “Games of the Year” and have the Bruins as favorites in eight of the nine games featured. Oregon is a 3-point favorite at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 11, after romping to a 42-12 win over UCLA last season in Eugene.

The downtown Vegas casino gave UCLA narrow edges over Washington (-3.5), USC (-4.5) and Stanford (-3), but also made the team a three-touchdown favorite in the season opener at Virginia and again on Oct. 18 at Cal.

Odds weren’t listed for games against Memphis, Utah and Colorado — teams that combined for a 12-24 record last season.

The full set of early lines for UCLA: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pac-12 links: O’Bannon trial continues with testimony from economics professor

» O’Bannon v. NCAA rolled on through Tuesday with testimony from Roger Noll, a Stanford professor emeritus of economics. Noll, who calls the NCAA a ‘cartel’, has testified for seven-and-a-half hours through the first two days and will take the stand again Wednesday.

Former UCLA star Ed O’Bannon took the stand on Monday.

» Jeremy Bloom, a two-time Olympic skier and former Colorado All-American receiver, shared his thoughts on the NCAA. Bloom was declared ineligible for football in 2004 due to endorsements he received as a pro skier, but was still taken in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

» Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said eliminating National Signing Day could make sense. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA lineman Scott Quessenberry’s brother David diagnosed with lymphoma

Houston Texans right tackle David Quessenberry was diagnosed with lymphoma on Tuesday at age 23, a week after entering the hospital with coughing and fatigue.

The former sixth-round pick is the eldest brother of Scott Quessenberry, who started six games at left guard for UCLA as a true freshman last season. Another brother, Paul, is a defensive end at Navy.

From the Houston Chronicle:

“My fight has just begun,” Quessenberry tweeted Tuesday. “As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will fight this disease and I will win.”

Two oncology experts said Quessenberry faces a high-grade, life-threatening form of cancer that requires immediate treatment. He’s expected to face months of chemotherapy during a process that could last years. The many forms of lymphoma and multiple recovery scenarios make Quessenberry’s future health status difficult to predict. But his high “performance data,” including youth and excellent physical shape, should work in his favor if treatment goes well

“It’s a rapidly growing lymphoma. … But the tumors that grow most rapidly are usually the ones most sensitive to chemotherapy,” said Dr. Martha Mims, chief of hematology and oncology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Best wishes go out to the Quessenberry family.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pac-12 announces 11 a.m. TV window for football to reduce night kickoffs

The Pac-12 announced Sunday that it will introduce an 11 a.m. PT television window to reduce the number of night games that conference teams play this upcoming football season.

The morning kickoffs will replace an evening time slot on Pac-12 Networks, though exactly how many there are will be determined as the season progresses.

“This is a positive step for Pac-12 fans across the Conference,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “There has been an adjustment over the last two years with our new television agreement, and we believe fans — both in our stadiums and in the television audience — will benefit.”

The change is a move away from Scott’s stance last season, when he repeatedly defended the league’s frequent late starts by deferring to TV numbers. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Myles Jack, Malcolm Bunche lead UCLA on Phil Steele’s preseason All-Pac-12 list

Is UCLA’s best offensive player … Malcolm Bunche?

Maybe in the wonky world of preseason all-conference teams. College football writer Phil Steele released his All-Pac-12 selections today, going four lineups deep on offense, defense, and special teams.

Seven Bruins made the four offensive teams, but the one ahead of them was arguably the strangest pick in the entire list. Bunche is no doubt an important piece of UCLA’s offensive line this upcoming season, but he transferred from Miami in the first place because he lost playing time. It’s also unclear whether the 6-foot-7 lineman is best suited at guard at tackle, though he practiced more at the former in spring.

Quarterback Brett Hundley, right guard Alex Redmond, and Y-receiver Thomas Duarte each made the second team, with Duarte slotted in at tight end. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA schedules home-and-home series with BYU in 2015, 2016

UCLA’s rush of schedule additions never seems to end.

Its latest move? Etching in a home-and-home series with BYU in 2015 and 2016, replacing its prior games against Nevada. The Bruins will host on Sept. 19, 2015, and visit Provo on Sept. 17, 2016.

This doesn’t carry the same aura as scheduling Texas A&M (2016/2017), Oklahoma (2018/2019) or LSU (2021/20214), but the Cougars have at least made a bowl game for nine straight years.

While the Bruins lead BYU, 7-3, in the all-time series, the Cougars’ have taken the last two in memorable fashion: a 17-16 win in the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl, and a 59-0 blowout in Provo the following year.

Nevada and UCLA mutually agreed the cancel their series, allowing the Wolf Pack to fill its Sept. 19, 2015 slot with a trip to Texas A&M — one with a reported $1.5 million payout.

A full look at the Bruins’ scheduled nonconference opponents through 2024 below: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pac-12 links: An inside look at the life of a basketball recruit

» Worth reading: An inside look at the recruitment of Marvin Clark Jr., a one-time Oregon commit whose future flickered when he fractured his foot.

» Former USC coach Lane Kiffin’s three-year contract as Alabama’s offensive coordinator will pay him $680,000 for the first two years, then $714,000 in the third.

» Arizona State may ban beer kegs at its tailgates. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Former four-star linebacker Aaron Porter will transfer to Washington State

After leaving UCLA in early April, former four-star prospect Aaron Porter will transfer to Washington State.

Originally signed as a linebacker in 2012, Porter never played in a game for the Bruins — converting to fullback after falling down the depth chart. He was not enrolled for spring quarter and seemed unlikely to return to a team that played 18 true freshmen over him last season.

Cougfan.com first reported the news.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA announces five kickoff times for 2014 season

Five kickoff times for UCLA’s 2014 season are now set, with only one being slotted for a Pac-12 Networks broadcast.

The culprit is the Bruins’ home opener against Memphis, which will start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6. The game follows a week after UCLA opens its season at Virginia with a 9 a.m. PT start on ESPN, which was first announced last week.

The team’s primetime visit to Texas at AT&T Stadium will start at 5 p.m. PT on FOX, while the conference slate begins with a 7 p.m. PT visit to Arizona State on Fox Sports 1.

Seven games in October and November are still without finalized kickoff times, but UCLA’s regular-season finale against Stanford will start at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

Here’s the full UCLA football schedule for 2014 right now: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email