Q&A with Waco Tribune-Herald

Here are some answers from Baylor beat writer John Werner.

1. What were expectations like for this team post-RG3? Has this exceeded even the best-case scenario?

I think 7-5 was the best most people thought Baylor could finish. Baylor coach Art Briles was never worried about Nick Florence following RG3. But there were big questions about the defense, and those worries came to fruition when Baylor lost its first four Big 12 games. Continue reading

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Bowl allotment sellout first for UCLA since 2006

UCLA announced yesterday that it had sold its entire 11,000-ticket allotment for the Holiday Bowl, most of which went to season-ticket holders and Wooden Athletic Fund donors. Around 1,000 were assigned for students and their guests, and the first 650 had been discounted from $65 to $25 thanks to anonymous donors.

The athletic department said today it was the first time they’ve sold out a bowl allotment since 2006, when the Bruins went to the Emerald Bowl after beating USC, 13-9. That year, UCLA also requested an additional 1,000 tickets from Florida State’s allotment and sold those as well. The Seminoles won 44-27, but the victory was later vacated due to NCAA violations.

Holiday Bowl tickets are still available at Ticketmaster and Stubhub (lowest going for $59.99).

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Pac-12 officials to ref BCS Championship

Per the Press-Register, national officiating Rogers Redding said today that Pac-12 officials will call the national title game. Conferences aren’t allowed to officiate bowls that involve their teams, and the BCS bowl rotation gave the Pac-12 those duties this year. (Notre Dame might not be in the title game had it not been for Pac-12 officials, but oh well.)

Five of the eight most penalized teams in the country come from the Pac-12: UCLA, Washington, Cal, Oregon and USC. Alabama — sixth-best in the country at 3.85 flags per game — is averaging less than half the penalties of any of those five teams. We’ll see if that ticks up on Jan. 7.

Conference USA will officiate the Holiday Bowl, as well as the Vegas Bowl. Teams from that conference averaged 5.53 penalties per game this season. Pac-12 squads averaged 7.24.

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UCLA vs. Baylor in Holiday Bowl

Kickoff is 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 27 at Qualcomm Stadium. It’s also on ESPN if you’re not available to make the trip. Johnathan Franklin and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams are featured at the top of the official site banner.

It’s certainly no Rose Bowl, but the Holiday Bowl is shaping up for a return to its traditional shootout ways. (The scores of the past three games have been 21-10, 19-7, and 33-0.) Baylor ranks No. 1 in the country in total offense, while the No. 17 Bruins are No. 20.

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