Three losses have eliminated UCLA’s chances of making the College Football Playoff, but the Bruins nevertheless returned to the rankings at No. 22 on Tuesday.
Two-loss Stanford, which is ranked No. 9, represents the Pac-12’s only viable national title contender heading into the final weekend of the regular season. However, if UCLA wins out and clinches an appearance in the Rose Bowl Game as the Pac-12 Champion, the Cardinal could give the conference two spots in the New Year’s Six Bowls.
No. 17 Oregon, No. 20 Washington State and No. 23 Utah round out the rest of the league’s presence in the latest playoff rankings.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora talked at length today about the Bruins’ preparation for USC, touching on Jake Brendel’s value to the offensive line, Jordan Payton’s pro potential, and what he thinks of Trojans’ interim coach Clay Helton.
The UCLA men’s basketball team will take any win it can get at this point, but how it looked on Monday night against UNLV doesn’t inspire much confidence.
If the Runnin’ Rebels — which has missed two straight NCAA Tournaments and is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Mountain West — took the Bruins down to the wire in a 77-75 decision, what exactly will No. 5 Kansas due tomorrow night?
UCLA deserves credit in at least a couple of areas. Its 3-2 zone defense held UNLV to 41 percent from the field. It was nearly flawless at the free throw line, hitting 23 straight after point guard Bryce Alford’s first miss.
There were several other causes for concern. The biggest was the disappearance of senior Tony Parker, who had opened the season with three straight double-doubles. The Bruins had tried to use both its centers in the same lineup this season, playing Parker next to 7-foot sophomore Thomas Welsh. That wasn’t possible against UNLV, as Parker faded back into his foul-troubled self of old. Continue reading →
Linebacker Kenny Young — a Louisiana native — shared some of his thoughts on the UCLA-USC rivalry, including how it compares to Alabama-LSU.
“It’s both crazy,” he said. “I’ve been up there in Baton Rouge when it’s Alabama-LSU. It’s crazy. But over here, last year when we played SC, it was crazy too. The whole vibe was different.”
Young added that he didn’t understand the nature of the Los Angeles football rivalry until he arrived in Westwood. He had only been familiar with the Trojans until his junior year at John Curtis Christian High.
“When I came here,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s that big?'”