UCLA isn’t going to lose, but how might the Bruins look along the way?
UCLA offense vs. Colorado defense: Running back Jordon James (ankle) is a game-time decision for the Bruins, and coach Jim Mora said the team has missed him more than expected. Still, he could return to more of a timeshare in the backfield than what he left. Continue reading
No. 17 UCLA (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (3-4, 0-4)
Location: Rose Bowl, Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Last meeting: UCLA beat the Buffs, 42-14, in Boulder as Brett Hundley threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Colorado was in the midst of a 1-11 season under Jon Embree, who was fired after just two years.
Key storylines: The Bruins need to get their offense back on track after several lackluster efforts this month. The offensive line looks like it’s coming together again after losing three left tackles to injury, but quarterback Brett Hundley has veered from average to mediocre to awful this month. The Buffs provide him an easy target, but a high-volume performance that only looks good in the box score — see his 410 yards against Cal — won’t bode well.
Colorado is simply trying to become competitive. Continue reading
Here are the full results of the Pac-12 preseason media poll, with first-place votes in parentheses. Few surprises down the line, as Oregon was named both the North Division and conference favorite. UCLA was named the South Division favorite, and also receive three votes as the Pac-12 champion.
1. UCLA (12) … 130
2. Arizona State (9) … 124
3. USC (4) … 113
4. Arizona … 73
5. Utah … 58
6. Colorado … 27
1. Oregon (14) … 139
2. Stanford (11) … 134
3. Oregon State … 91
4. Washington … 81
5. Cal … 45
6. Washington State … 32
Pac-12 Champion: Oregon (13 votes)
Others: Stanford (8), UCLA (3)
» Two Arizona players joined Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA: All-American linebacker Jake Fischer, and transfer kicker Jake Smith.
» Promising Utah forward Jordan Loveridge has dropped 25 pounds since March, spurred in part by his father’s recent diabetes diagnosis. The 6-foot-6 rising sophomore didn’t want his dad to diet alone.
“As close as we are, it’s something that’s made us closer,” Bill Loveridge told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We talked about it once, and then we’ve just kind of gone out and done it.”
» Stanford is the only FBS school that employs African-Americans as athletic director, football head coach and men’s basketball head coach. Is that a big deal? David Shaw: “I think it is a story that it’s not a big story. That’s a great story!” Continue reading
With the week’s countdown over, here is a rundown of the Pac-12′s top 25 players as voted on by 11 different writers. I also included my ballot on the right side.
|Totaled votes||My votes|
|1||Marqise Lee, USC||Marqise Lee, USC|
|2||Anthony Barr, UCLA||Marcus Mariota, Oregon|
|3||Will Sutton, Arizona State||Anthony Barr, UCLA|
|4||Marcus Mariota, Oregon||Will Sutton, Arizona State|
|5||De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon||De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon|
|6||Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona||Brett Hundley, UCLA|
|7||David Yankey, Stanford||Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona|
|8||Brett Hundley, UCLA||Morgan Breslin, USC|
|9||Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington||David Yankey, Stanford|
|10||Morgan Breslin, USC||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon|
|11||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon||Ed Reynolds, Stanford|
|12||Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA||Trent Murphy, Stanford|
|13||Ed Reynolds, Stanford||Hroniss Grasu, Oregon|
|14||Scott Crichton, Oregon State||Scott Crichton, Oregon State|
|15||Shayne Skov, Stanford||Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA|
|16||Hroniss Grasu, Oregon||Hayes Pullard, USC|
|17||Trent Murphy, Stanford||Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington|
|18||Brandin Cooks, Oregon State||Shayne Skov, Stanford|
|19||Leonard Williams, USC||Taylor Kelly, Arizona State|
|20||Bishop Sankey, Washington||Shaq Thompson, Washington|
|21||Hayes Pullard, USC||Deone Buccanon, Washington State|
|22||Taylor Kelly, Arizona State||Brandin Cooks, Oregon State|
|23||Shaq Thompson, Washington||Bishop Sankey, Washington|
|24||Brendan Bigelow, Cal||Paul Richardson, Colorado|
|25||Silas Redd, USC||Eric Kendricks, UCLA|
The per-team tally in the final results: USC 5, Oregon 4, Stanford 4, UCLA 3, Washington 3, Arizona State 2, Oregon State 2, Arizona 1, Cal 1. Washington State, Colorado and Utah were shut out.
Also receiving votes, in descending order: Continue reading
» Cal’s newly renovated Memorial Stadium has a marvelous press box view of the San Francisco Bay, but the price may be looming, insurmountable debt. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the school would still be short $132 million even if it sold all 2,902 seats. Stagnated at 1,857, Berkeley is now spending $300,000 a year to “professionalize” sales efforts.
The campus had originally planned to raise $270 million of the $321 million cost through ticket sales.
The whole project seemed ill-conceived from the beginning, what with the reliance on non-binding pledges. An absolute face palm of a quote from John Wilton, vice chancellor for administration and finance: “They learned a commitment is not a commitment until you have a binding document. Now we feel we’re better off.”
In other news, the Bears landed 2014 quarterback Luke Rubenzer, a Scottsdale, Ariz., product rated three stars by Rivals.com. He has generated at least one premature comparison to Russell Wilson, which is fine but does little to avert crippling debt.
» Tucson’s city prosecutor dropped domestic violence charges against Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey, who had been allegedly involved in a December incident with his then-pregnant ex-girlfriend. Carey was an All-American for the Wildcats last season, a card he won’t hesitate to use in the face of trouble.
The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate reports this morning, which means anyone can go fiddle with the somewhat-cumbersome search engine and figure out which rivals they can mock for their classroom failures. While certainly imperfect, the APR — which factors in eligibility and retention — is still the only college athletics’ only comprehensive academic metric.
Here are the rankings for Pac-12 football, which average out the four academic years through 2011-12:
1. Stanford, 978
2. UCLA, 966
3. Utah, 963
4. Oregon St, 957
5. Arizona, 956
6. Washington, 954
7. Oregon, 951
8. Colorado, 946
9. USC, 945
10. Washington St, 942
11. Arizona St, 937
12. Cal, 935 Continue reading
– A USC player from the late 1990s and early 2000s says Ed Orgeron called him a “motherf—-r” for leaving practice 20 minutes early once a week for a statistics class. Best quote: “He M-F’d me all over the place.” Orgeron did not comment.
– These won’t be on the field, but Arizona is getting some unique display-model facemasks — including ones with an A-logo and “Cats” script.
– Stanford released a slick “You Can Play” video, one that features forward Josh Huestis and running back Barry Sanders Jr. Athletic director Bernard Muir opens by setting up chairs for everyone.