Spaulding Roundup: DC Thoughts, Verner's Views, Finals Week & Other Notes

Can Bruins handle this (if it snows in DC)? Photo Credit: photoal (flickr)

Well yeah. It's not snowing in DC today but it did over the weekend a bit giving us our first snow of the year. The picture above is from another year though, which I think gives a little hint of what folks could expect in late December if we get a legit snow storm in Washington DC. Will the Bruins get to play in their first legit snow bowl (don't really count the one from Washington State during the regular season because it wasn't really snowing during the game) this December? Well as everyone know by now, we are not going to know until the end of Army-Navy game this upcoming weekend.

CRN is excited about rooting for the Midshipmen:

"Although we always support the men and women fighting for our country, on this particular three-hour stint, we're going to be anchor's aweigh away," Neuheisel said on Sunday. "We're excited about the opportunity and looking forward to getting into the ball game. We know we need a little bit of help, but we're looking forward to a chance."

Interestingly, from the LAT report today, it sounds like the Bruins did have a chance to accept an invitation to the Humanitarian Bowl. However, the payout for that game ($700,000) wasn't enough for our program:

UCLA officials received interest from other bowls, as Neuheisel said, "I know there were lots of conversations and I was also told that UCLA was a desired team."

Humanitarian Bowl officials showed particular interest, and the Bruins might have gone there if Army lost, but the bowl payoff "wasn't right," said a UCLA official not authorized to speak about the situation.

UCLA officials turned down a Humanitarian Bowl invitation in 2001 after bowl officials asked for a $300,000 sponsorship from the university, a former UCLA administrator said.

Wonder who was that former UCLA administrator talking to the LAT. Anyway, if Navy does come through for the Bruins on Saturday (you never can take an outcome for granted in an intense, emotional rivalry game), Bruins will have interesting decisions to make re. the quaterback situation. CRN seemed to indicate that Prince might be ready for the bowl game:

"He told me it was getting better when I saw him last week," Neuheisel said. Given some rest, I think he would be ready."

Prince of course is still recovering from his mild AC sprain (considered a "slight separation") of his throwing shoulder. I personally think the Bruins should start Craft and prepare Brehaut as the backup option, and let Prince fully heal for spring ball. However, I feel comfortable in having Neuheisel and Chow making the call. More bowl related and end of season notes after the jump.

Players in general sound pretty excited about the bowl game. Taylor Embree "wants it really bad":

"I saw (offensive coordinator Norm Chow) today, too, and he said it looked like we had a really good chance," sophomore wide receiver Taylor Embree said. "We had a meeting with coach Neuheisel last Tuesday, and he just said, 'Focus as if we were going to a bowl.' We're prepared. If we go to one, it won't be a shock. We're ready for a bowl. We want it really bad."

While ATV thinks Bruins could be an "exciting" team to watch during the bowl season:

"We're fortunate to be put in the position to try to get one, though, and that's all we can ask for. I think we did enough to deserve it, showed enough promise through the course of the year with our youth, and we'll be an exciting team to watch come bowl season."

Oh and speaking of ATV, if you haven't done it yet, I think you will want to read the last edition of Verner's views:

[F]our years have gone by way too fast for me as a UCLA Bruin. I remember the times when I used to watch the Bruins play and wearing the #1 UCLA jersey to high school and stuff to now, when I am leaving UCLA with an interception touchdown record and lasting memories to all the Bruin Nation. My experiences here have been top of the line and something I will cherish forever. From academics - competing against the top brains in the world in my math major was always fun - just walking around campus and seeing the variety of people and cultures on campus, it was beautiful to see. Through all this intermingling, you realize that everyone is basically the same and they have the same struggles as you. You can be an athlete, a pre-med student, or grad student - it didn't matter. Everyone is fighting for their education and that is what created so many bonds with people in all areas of UCLA life.

Having the pleasure of being the student representative for the library catalogue a while back to now being spotlighted on UCLA Big Moment spots are two others things that stand out. My time with this sector of UCLA has been difficult, however all the more amazing!

Football, man it's been the craziest roller coaster, but one of those that was worth the wait, but so short that you almost missed the thrills of it. Being in the Rose Bowl with our wonderful fans that were there from the beginning, to putting on the Blue and Gold was just simply amazing. I had the honor to be coached by DeWayne Walker for most of my career and finished up this year being coached by the great Carnell Lake! Many guys have helped me in numerous ways of playing the position. I appreciate their expertise on the field. I had a great time playing with my former killa bees and current ones -- Chris Horton, Rodney Van, Trey Brown, Dennis Keyes, and Bret Lockett to Tony Dye, Rahim Moore, Glenn Love, Courtney Viney, Aaron Hester, Sheldon Price, Andrew Abbott and everyone else. Each player is so good and made my job so much easier and helped contribute to my success. I will definitely miss all my teammates, I really love them all. The hard work and the grind I had to do with all of them makes them all special to me. They are all very talented and that's why I believe UCLA will be back at the top very soon and I can't wait to see that unfold.

You need to read rest of ATV's post by going here. ATV and his team-mates will be taking finals this week. Once they are done at the end of the week (per Jon Gold) they will have practices on Friday and Saturday. They are going to practice Saturday morning, have lunch and take in the Army-Navy game. Needless to say we will have an open thread here for that game cheering on Navy.

Lastly, before I end this good luck to all of your students this week. Yeah, I know we are hard on you guys sometimes. However, look at the ideas our discussions generated in last 24 hours. While we get down sometimes during the tough times, it is clear how much passion and dedication we have among a huge core of students and alums here in Bruins Nation. Often times when we call each other out, I personally think it only makes that dedication deeper forcing us to think hard about how we can make our community bigger offline. Hopefully we can keep the discussion that started yesterday going in the coming weeks/months resulting in what I truly believe will be the most rabid fanbase in the Western US. We have had two of the worst weekends in UCLA athletcs in recent history. Yet just look around this community this am. We are still here. Aren't we? Anyway, kick ass in finals and then head down to Anaheim.

GO BRUINS.

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