We have a full slate this week, with both Howland's squad gearing up for the beginning of Pac-12 play with a road-trip to the Bay Area, and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday against Illinois. It isn't exactly the kind of bowl we imagined when we said we wanted a Pac-12 vs. Big-10 end-of-the-year match-up. Oh well. Anyway, we find ourselves in the middle of bowl season (with the Holiday Bowl between Cal and Texas kicking off in a few hours). So I won't waste a lot of time pontificating in this edition of Bruin Bites.
With that, let's get right to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting with basketball news, former Bruin basketball player Ryan Bailey, is making quite an impact as the new head coach for the Brentwood School, leading his Eagles to a surprising 9-2 start. Brentwood, known more for academic success, is enjoying a solid season with Bailey at the helm. Funny how good coaches find a way to win, even in a tough academic environment.
- Turning to football, the Orange County Register discussed Patrick Larimore's injury and the impact it will have on the Bruins' linebacker corps in San Francisco for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, specifically, the amount of playing time that Jordan Zumwalt will now see at MLB against Illinois. Also, with Brehaut out, Nick Crissman has moved up to the #2 spot on the QB depth chart, behind starting QB Kevin Prince.
- Sticking with football, Dave Miller at National Football Post took note of Mora's hiring of Noel Mazzone at OC, calling it a "big coup" for UCLA. In discussing Mazzone's history, Miller takes note of Arizona State's strong offensive numbers this year (despite being a mediocre team), ranking in the top 30 or better in all of the major offensive categories.
- Speaking of Mazzone, UCLA's offensive players (especially the wide receivers) are excited to be getting a new offensive coordinator who has had past experience in developing potent spread offenses. Current Bruins started getting ready for Mazzone by taking in the Las Vegas Bowl to see how Mazzone coached up his offense. Suffice to say, the Bruins were pleased.
- Finally, the Los Angeles Times is reporting a story that should be of major concern to all Bruins: the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has filed felony charges against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran, as well as the University of California itself, in connection to the Dec. 29, 2008 death of Sheharbano Sangji from a chemical fire. According to the Los Angeles Times, Prof. Harran faces a maximum of 4 ½ years in state prison (which is very unlikely to be his actual sentence), while the University of California itself is facing a $4.5 million fine. Very troubling to say the least.
Alright folks, those are your mid-week edition of Bruin Bites as we count down the days until our final football game of 2011. Fire away with your thoughts, additions, and comments in the thread.