LJ dials up one of Coach Howland's favorite set plays. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Another Wednesday and another half-way point to the weekend, when Rick Neuheisel's team will take on the Arizona Sun Devils at the Rose Bowl. While some Rick apologists are looking to Saturday's game as his chance for great redemption, as Nestor laid out earlier, in the bigger scheme of things, Saturday's game won't change the trajectory of Rick's failed tenure in Westwood. As we've laid out, it's time for us to move on from Rick (a conclusion supported by casual observers of our program, such as Dan Patrick and Pat Forde), and ultimately true joy around UCLA football (where we are a relevant player in the national picture, regularly competing for conference titles and Rose Bowl appearances), will not return until we purge the diseased culture of mediocrity that envelops Morgan Center and, ultimately, the man behind it, Dan Guerrero. In short, Saturday will not change the need for wholesale regime change in Westwood.
With that, let's turn to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- If you missed it, former Bruin basketball player John Vallely helped spearhead this year's "Dribble for the Cure" campaign at UCLA, and as a result, Jill Painter at the Daily News profiled Vallely's efforts, how cancer impacted him and his family, as well as Coach Ben Howland and Coach Cori Close's participation and continued support of this amazing program, currently in its fourth year. Great stuff.
- Turning to football, UCLA football has a tendency to make mediocre QBs look like Heisman candidates. As we approach the Arizona State game, the Los Angeles Time took note that the Sun Devils' starting QB, Brock Osweiler, only decided to make the switch to football full-time (he previously was also playing basketball for ASU) after demolishing the Bruins last season filling in for then-starter Steven Threet. So after walloping Rick's Bruins with 4 TD passes, over 300 yards in the air, plus an additional TD on the ground, Brock decided to stick with football 100% of the time. Amazing. And yet so typical for us.
- Of course, the second part of this is that, for the first time in a while, UCLA's defense made an opposing QB look terrible, with Zach Maynard imploding against UCLA, throwing four interceptions. Maynard's poor performance has the Cal faithful up in arms and Tedford seriously considering switching to backup QB Allan Bridgford for their upcoming game against Washington State. Having make Maynard look rather pedestrian, now the Bruins will face a real test to see if last week was an aberration or if they can finally not make opposing QBs look like Andrew Luck Jr., as it'll be Osweiler staring down the Bruin defense on Saturday, just one season removed from stomping the Blue and Gold.
- Flipping over to non-revenue sports news for a minute, after a big weekend in the Bay Area, the women's volleyball team jumped from #6 to #1 in the rankings. The ladies will look to defend their top ranking this weekend as they take on #10-ranked Washington and Washington State at the John Wooden Center.
- While we're on non-revenue sports, the #1-ranked women's golf team is in action in the Rainbow Wahine Inivtational at Kapolei Golf Course in Hawaii. Currently, after the first round, the women hold a 18 (18!) shot lead heading into the final round. Stay tuned for next Monday's non-revenue roundup for updates on how the women finish and other non-revenue action.
- Turning to the academic side, UCLA researchers have developed a computer program designed to assist the LAPD in identifying which criminal street gangs are responsible for various crimes committed in East L.A., a community plagued with gang crime. Moreover, the LAPD hope to use this and other predictive crime models to help them identify locations that would benefit the most from an influx of officers and problem-oriented policing units. So while this kind of work won't help UCLA get any "street cred" (because, well, working with the police is frowned upon by a lot of young people in rough neighborhoods), it is good work that hopefully will help make our community a little bit safer (or, at the least, make the LAPD somewhat more efficient).
- Heading back to sports, Fox Sports' Rashaun Haylock profiled UCLA's starting point guard for this upcoming season, our own Lazeric Jones, or as he's known in these parts, LJ. LJ talks about his off-season workouts, things he worked to improve, and how he hopes he can have a big year, help lead the Bruins to another Pac-12 title, and deep into March Madness. Neat read.
- Finally, the UCLA community lost of its own this Halloween, as Hollywood heavy-hitter and founding dean of the School of Theater, Film, and Television Gil Cates passed away at the age of 77. Very sad day for many Bruins and for UCLA. You will be missed Dean Cates.
With that, those are your Bruin Bites for the middle of the week as we patiently wait another weekend of UCLA football in what should be Rick Neuheisel's swan song season in Westwood. It's been a long decade of irrelevance for UCLA football and it's time for wholesale regime change.
For now, fire away with your thoughts, comments, and additions in the comment thread.