Ahh yes, it's another Wednesday, which means another half-way point to the weekend and Rick Neuheisel's team will have an opportunity to purge the demons of past trips to Utah. Road trips to the Beehive State have not exactly been kind to UCLA (the most recent debacle coming in 2008 as BYU romped all over Rick's Bruins 59-0 in Provo). While the Neubs are busy hyping themselves up for a game against a lower-tier Pac-12 team, in the bigger scheme of things, Saturday's game will not change the trajectory of Rick's failed tenure in Westwood. 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:
- Starting with football, with the Bruins going to Salt Lake City, the story lines revolve around former UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow facing off against his old team. Unlike Joe Fauria, Kevin Prince is looking forward to facing off against Chow, someone he calls a family friend whom he enjoyed a "close relationship" with. Norm, on the other hand, is playing down facing his former and embattled boss, calling it just "another game" that Utah needs to win to be bowl-eligible.
- In news that should please those wanting to save Brett Hundley for next season, Sean Ceglinsky at CBS Sports is reporting that the return of Richard Brehaut has, according to Neuheisel, made it very unlikely that Hundley will see game action, preserving his redshirt status for the season.
- Sticking with Sean Ceglinsky, he is also reporting for CBS Sports that Neuheisel has officially decided that Johnathan Franklin will remain the starting RB, with Coleman coming off the bench for significant portions of the game. In other words, expect nothing to change against Utah: Rick will continue to under-utilize Coleman, not using him until late in the game.
- Turning to campus news, the renovated dining commons at Rieber Hall will now be serving more upscale Asian dishes in lieu of the standard dorm food. The now-exclusively Asian offerings at Rieber are part of a wider push to improve campus eateries, which is pretty awesome for current Bruin students.
- In basketball news, Ben Bolch at the L.A. Times has a pretty good article on DC and how he's managed to navigate the financial uncertainty of the NBA lock-out by planning ahead, saving money, and being fiscally savvy. Pretty neat read and great to see that DC, one of my favorite Ben Ball Warriors and Bruins, has a good head on his shoulders. Whenever the lockout ends, it'll be exciting to see him running the Pacers' offense.
- In other basketball news, Coach Cori Close got another commitment to her women's basketball team, adding 5'9" guard Nirra Fields from Mater Dei, one of the top-rated female guards in this recruiting class, to the Bruin roster. Welcome to Westwood Nirra and good to see that Cori is keeping UCLA in the mix on the recruiting trail.
- Finally, Lucas Giolito and Max Fried, the stand-out pitching duo from Harvard-Westlake who committed to John Savage's UCLA program were profiled in the L.A. Times, discussing their choice of college and the likelihood that neither talented pitcher will end up in Westwood following the Major League Baseball draft, where both are expected to be taken early (in fact, Giolito is in the conversation to be the top overall pick). While Savage has managed to keep first-round talent in Westwood before (Gerrit Cole), it'll be a monumental job if he can keep either pitcher from going pro.
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.