Despite the unusually chilly temperatures gripping California, Westwood is celebrating the capture of UCLA's national-leading 110th NCAA national championship trophy by our outstanding, fight-to-the-death women's soccer team. Meanwhile
the Hoosier Loser's Steve Alford's basketball team got exposed in Columbia in a winnable game in his first real test as UCLA's basketball coach. And sadly, we were without football this weekend as our Bruins were stuck on the sidelines, watching Stanford crush Arizona State in the first Pac-12 championship game without our Bruins. So, while we wait for football to return on New Year's Eve in the Sun Bowl versus Virginia Tech, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with our hoops program, which fell to a disappointing loss to Missouri in the Hoosier Loser's first real test in Westwood, Jordan Adams was profiled prior to the Missouri game by the Los Angeles Times, focusing in on some pretty heart-wrenching adversity off-the-court that the sophomore guard has had to overcome recently. After you read everything he's had to endure, you can't help but root for him to succeed.
- Turning to Jim Mora's football program, the Bruins are hoping to have better success in their second bowl game under Mora, with Mora changing how the team prepares for their New Year's Eve date with Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl in El Paso. For once, it's nice to have a coach who isn't tied in to "his" method but is trying to improve based on past failures.
- Speaking of coaches, UCLA's new running backs coach, Kennedy Polamalu will be on the recruiting trail for UCLA this week, less than a week after getting the call from Jim Mora to replace the fired Steve Broussard. Despite being a former Trojan and being related to the most famous big-haired Trojan currently in the NFL, Polamalu sounds excited to work for Jim Mora and the surging #BruinRevolution in Los Angeles.
- And while we're on the NFL, two key Bruins on offense, Brett Hundley and Xavier Su'a-Filo, have both officially submitted their names to the NFL Draft evaluation committee, formerly known as the NFL College Advisory Committee. Both players have said they will sit down and discuss their NFL prospects with Jim Mora, who has 25 years of NFL experience, but ultimately it's expected the decision will come down to each player's relative projected draft position. As NFL.com's Andy Fenelon noted, with Marcus Mariota deciding to return to Oregon, it could lead players like Hundley, who Fenelon believes should remain in college for one more season of development, to jump into a thinner draft class than anticipated.
- For both players, the Los Angeles Times followed up with both, who are both saying they will wait until they receive their evaluations and then discussion with their families, coaches, and former teammates now in the NFL, such as the Packers' Johnathan Franklin. For XSF, as pointed out by our own very astute IEAngel, it's expected he'll return to Westwood since he was playing this season out of position, leaving NFL scouts with little action to really evaluate if he's NFL-ready at tackle. Hundley, on the other hand, given the likely prospect he'll project in the first two rounds, if not early in the first round (predominately on potential), despite some issues with his throwing mechanics and inaccuracy on some passes. But let's keep our fingers crossed that both will be back, which will put UCLA in perfect position to not only win the Pac-12, return to the Rose Bowl, but also make a serious run in the national title picture.
Alright folks, those are your bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse as we continue our celebration for Westwood's 110th NCAA national championship trophy. Fire away with your comments, additions, etc. in the thread.