It's Saturday, and it's time for some Bruin football. This is a big one. Our orange-wearing, BBQ-lovin' twin university, the University of Texas comes to Pasadena where the Longhorns will meet the Bruins for a rematch of last year's upset UCLA win in Austin. Game time is at 12:30 p.m. PST, either on ABC or ESPN (depending on where you are). Once again, the Bruins will have a chance to make a splash on national television against a top program.
The pre-game thread should be going up around 9:30 a.m., but before we get to that, let's take a look at some of the bits and pieces of football news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Over at The Oklahoman, Barry Tramel starting discussing what the conference scheduling alignment would look like if the Pac-12 did expand to the Pac-16 with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and today's opponent, Texas, joining the conference. While at least one option looks good for those of us who wouldn't mind a return to the Pac-8 as one of two divisions in the new Pac-16, the other ideas kind of suck.
- Moving on to our roster, Jon Gold puts our squad on blast for the lack of any real wide receiver rotation, despite a lot of off-season talk about getting more, faster, exciting guys into the mix. As Gold notes, we still see way too much of vanilla
Brian Poli-DixonNelson Rosario and designated punt catcher Taylor Embree, while talents like Shaq Evans, Randall Carroll, Josh Smith, Ricky Marvray, and Devin Lucien languish on the bench. If Rick doesn't want to play the best, most talented guy, then I'm sure his replacement will be happy to do so.
- As we noted earlier this week, UCLA might have a bit of a crisis when it comes to place kicking, as Kip Smith, who just seemed to mentally turn it around against SJSU has missed practice this week due to a hip flexor issue. Well, we're one step closer to using a walk-on, as Tyler Gonzalez, a former HS soccer player turned UCLA soccer manager, has been officially added to the UCLA football team roster according to the L.A. Times. Sadly ironic that the school of Kai Forbath, Justin Medlock, and John Lee has to turn to a walk-on with no football experience to handle FG duties.
- Turning back to Barry Tramel, he's got UCLA picked as his upset special. This, of course, after noting that UCLA doesn't much of a football program anymore. As of the time of that article, the line was Texas by 3.5. Let's hope the Bruins can destroy the spread and bring another Texas scalp back to Westwood.
- Finally, it's mid-September, which means a new academic year is about to get underway in Westwood. In fact, nearly 39,000 undergraduate and graduate students will converge on Westwood, with classes set to begin next Thursday. In other words, there will be no excuse if the student section at the Rose Bowl is looking sparse. If you're a freshman, there's no better way to spend your first UCLA weekend than going to Pasadena and tailgating in the shadow of the Rose Bowl before watching the Bruins take on Texas (which, comparatively speaking, is pretty awesome; certainly better than say, the 6-3 home opener snoozer against Illinois in 2003). Texas is in town, the Bruins still have hope (despite their pathetic showing against SJSU) and the student body is back: the Rose Bowl better be rocking.
Those are your pre-game Bruin Bites. Sit tight and the pre-game thread will be up soon. If you're a Bruin in exile, we have all the latest information on where to watch the game with fellow Bruins here. If you're anywhere remotely close to the greater Los Angeles area, you should be at the Rose Bowl in blue and gold. No excuses. If you haven't done so already, make sure you get your pre-game guesses in before kick-off at 12:30 p.m. PST.
Let's get to it and drop the Horns again.