Well, college football has finally come to an end for 2013, which means another long off-season of patiently waiting for the return of Brett Hundley and the #BruinRevolution in Westwood. Sadly, there won't be many smiles or distractions while we wait, as we're stuck watching the Hoosier Loser's limp hoops program (not to mention the detestable character of our new hoops coach), so we'll have to just bear down and hope the off-season passes as painlessly as possible. With that said, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with the 2014 football season, ESPN already has a "way-too-early" top-25 ranking for next year's college football season, with the newly crowned national champions, Florida State, projected to retain their #1 ranking. But of note, our very own Bruins, with Hundley back in the fold, are the WWL's way-too-early projected #7 team, with our Pac-12 foes coming in at #3 (Oregon), #4 (Stanford), #14 (Southern Cal), #19 (Washington), and #22 (Arizona State), which should make for interesting conference games.
- On a somewhat related note, the Portland Business Journal took note of some interesting data on college, noting that Adidas seems to be more willing to throw cash at programs (which I guess is supposed to make up for the weak and ineffective marketing, unlike Nike, which pays less but markets its teams exponentially better). Of particular interest: UCLA will get $7.5 million in cash and gear from Adidas, compared to $2.8 million to Oregon from Nike (which of course, doesn't include the hundreds of millions that Uncle Phil has personally given out to the Ducks, but I digress). So yeah, UCLA is bringing in some big Adidas money, so there's really no reason (especially with the Pac-12 Network money) for Guerrero to be cheap in making elite hires.
- Turning to our non-revenue sports, the unranked women's basketball team began 2014 on the right foot, beating Utah on Friday at Pauley, 55-38. Once again, Nirra Fields scored a game-high 21 points, while UCLA got big games from Atonye Nyingifa with another double-double effort (14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals), with Thea Lemberger (17 points, 5 steals) also notching a double-digit scoring night. Sunday, however, wasn't kind to the Lady Bruins as they came up just short in their bid to upset #12-ranked Colorado on Pauley, losing 61-59. Fields led all scorers yet again (23 points, 5 rebounds), while Nyingifa got yet another double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds). But it wasn't enough to slow down a deep Colorado squad that took the win with a 18-7 run in the last six minutes to overcome Cori Close's thin roster. With the split weekend, the Lady Bruins are now 7-8 on the year and 1-2 in Pac-12 play. They'll next be in action this upcoming Friday in Tucson against the Mildcats.
- Finally, our vaunted #7-ranked men's volleyball team took on #4-ranked Stanford this past Saturday to open their regular season, but were unable to get the 2014 season off to the right start, losing 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 20-25, 22-25) to the Cardinal. Gonzalo Quiroga led the Bruins with 14 kills, while Mitch Stahl added a dozen kills, but it was too little for a powerful Cardinal squad that had 4 different players post double digit kill numbers. With the loss, the Bruins start off 0-1 and will next take on Penn State in Honolulu on Thursday as part of the Outrigger Hotels Invitational.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites for this Tuesday morning. Fire away in the comment thread on the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse.