Spaulding Roundup: Oregon's No. 1 "Buzz," Prince Still "Hobbled," & Other UCLA Notes

If anyone here is harboring crazy dreams about UCLA rising to occasion and upsetting the number 1 team in the country, think again. The history is exactly is not on our side. Bruins are only 4-10 when playing the No. 1 team on the Associated Press poll. The last time we beat No. 1, Classof66, Fox71 and others were decades from geezerdom. It happened in January 1, 1976 when we beat the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl. Since then we have lost 6 in a row to No. 1 - Nebraska in 1983 and 1984, Oklahoma in 1986 and 2003 and USC in 2004 and 2005. So things are not looking so hot.

As for Oregon, there is a buzz in Eugene but Ducks - at least publicly - are shrugging their shoulders at all the hullaballoo around number 1:

For the first time in the 115-year history of the program, Oregon rocketed to the top of the college football polls Sunday, and veteran defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti conceded that, sure, he sensed at least a touch of excitement during the Ducks' morning practice.

"Everybody's buzzing and it's cool, I'm not going to lie to you," Aliotti said. "But as far as the meaning to me, it's really nothing. ... Everybody I'm sure is happy. But it means absolutely nothing to me until sometime in December."

Like Aliotti, the rest of the Ducks seemed to offer a collective shoulder shrug after learning that they were ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press and USA Today/coaches polls.

Well Aliotti certainly knows all about how it means nothing to be at the top of BCS at this time of the year if a team chokes in December. While the number 1 ranking has put the Ducks "in the driver's seat" they are doing their best to keep their heads down and focus on UCLA:

 "We are in the driver's seat, but none of that stuff really matters until December," center Jordan Holmes said. "It's something to tell your kids and grandkids. But we just have to focus on the task at hand. And that is UCLA."

Kelly said he hasn't called any team meetings or lectured his players about avoiding the distractions the national spotlight will bring. He doesn't think he needs to point out that the No. 1-ranked team in each of the last two weeks has lost - first, Alabama, then Ohio State.

"They're smart kids," he said. "They can read the internet. They all watched football yesterday. They know what is going on. They understand what it is."

As for the Bruins, news out of Spaulding is not really all that great. More after the jump.

Here is Coach Rick Neuheisel after a gloomy (weather-wise apparently it was just like Oregon) practice yesterday:

As you can see CRN confirmed that Kevin Prince is still our starting quarterback "right now." CRN mentioned that Kevin Prince is still "a little hobbled" and he and his coaches are going to "wait and see" how he performs as the week goes on. The news from a giddy Chris Foster is not all that encouraging:

"The quarterback in the 'pistol' offense doesn't just drop back and throw," Prince said. "If that was the case, I would be fine. The fact of the matter is we've got to run the ball. I have to prove to myself that I can run the ball and make cuts."

Through Sunday's practice, Prince said he hasn't been able to do that "to the full extent I want to."

I don't know what else I can add to these reports at this point. From any angle you look at this situation, it's a lose-lose proposition for Neuheisel and Norm Chow.

At least it was encouraging to hear that Anthony Barr was back in practice. Bruins are going to need him in Eugene. It also appears that Dalton Hilliard and Glenn Love are also back with the team and ready to go. Right now it appears that Sheldon Price and Nelson Rosario are not going to be ready by Thursday.

Thursday night is going to be homecoming for freshman DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa. Aaron Fentress from the Oregonian wrote up a nice piece on Owa, who had a solid performance in his first start against Cal registering two sacks. Hopefully he will continue his steady rise this season and his intensity will rub off on rest of his team-mates.  Owa is going to take full advantage of this trip and stick around in Oregon for the weekend to hang out with his mom and 3 brothers - Ighodaro, 17; Ihoghama, 15; and Osawaru, 12. Apparently Ighodaro is already playing as a LB and I sure hope our coaches are keeping an eye on him.

Lastly, Peter Yoon from ESPNLA has a "first look" at the Ducks. The tidbits there are already well known to everyone here on BN. Right now the Ducks look unstoppable from both sides of the ball and the Bruins don't seem to have any answers.

GO BRUINS.

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