It's Thursday morning, which means we're so very close to enjoying another sunny California weekend. Let's not waste any time and get right to the bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Let's start with the most obvious piece of news around: football is king when it comes to college athletics. But, while Chianti Dan and our tone-deaf chancellor, Gene Block, seem to be completely unaware of this simple fact, it seems the folks at Arizona State realize that losing football games cost them money. In fact, as the Tucson Citizen reports, ASU projects that the 29-28 loss to UCLA cost Arizona State an estimated $225,000 in future gifts. Just one loss equated to nearly a quarter-million dollars. The money quote, though, comes from Stephen Ponder, then-senior associate athletics director for development (read: chief fundraiser):
"Everything is predicated on football being a winner."
- While this off-season resulted in a massive shift in the coaching landscape for the Pac-12 conference, with a host of new coaches getting some latitude before the axe falls, coupled with coaches with a history of either doing just enough (Tedford) or with strong squads (Kiffin, Kelly), Avinash Kunnath at our fellow SBN blog, Pacific Takes, breaks down Dennis Dodd's hot seat rankings, noting that it seems at the end of this season, the Pac-12 should be pretty stable. As for UCLA, Avinash is close but just slightly off the mark because it seems he has some faith in tone-deaf bureaucrat Gene Block actually firing Chianti Dan if football struggles:
Jim Mora, UCLA (2.5): The expectations will be high for a big name like Mora. It's likely the axe would fall on Athletic Director Dan Guerrero rather than Mora if there are early struggles though. The recruiting off-the-field has been very strong since Mora's arrival.
- Another year, another Director's Cup for the Stanford Cardinal. UCLA? Fourth place. So, while the Cardinal picked up three national titles this year (women's soccer, women's water polo, and women's lightweight rowing eight), while the Bruins could only notch one (women's volleyball), helping Stanford close the gap on UCLA's lead of national titles. At this rate, the Cardinal will have no problem beating us to 200.
- With the Olympics just around the corner, the Long Beach Press-Telegram profiled UCLA junior Turquoise Thompson, who finds herself at the U.S. Olympic Trials, trying to grab a coveted spot on Team USA for the 400 hurdles. It's a great read about a phenomenal UCLA student-athlete.
- Finally, tonight, former UCLA stand-out pitcher Trevor Bauer will make his Major League Baseball debut, on the hill for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Atlanta Braves tonight. Stay tuned, as Ryan will have more on Bauer's debut, with an accompanying open thread to watch Trevor's debut in The Show tonight.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites as we wind down the work week. Fire away with your thoughts, takes, and additions in the comments thread.