We will start the Monday offering our congratulations to the US Soccer team which had an incredible weekend down in South Africa. In an unbelievable fashion they were able to move on to the semifinal round of the Confederations Cup (international tournament featuring world heavy weights such as Brazil, Spain and Italy) by beating up African Champions Egypt by a score of 3-0.
Team USA needed multiple miracles yesterday to move on to second place in a group of Brazil, Italy and Egypt. They needed to make up a 6 goal difference with Italy and Egypt. Well Italy unbelievably lost to Brazil by a score of 0-3 and after the US beat up Egypt 3-0 they moved on to the semifinal round against Spain (who are on a 35 game undefeated streak). The reason we take note of this excitement here on BN is because of the strong Bruin connections with the national soccer team (which you can look up through our previous posts in the archives). Anyway, US takes on Spain as a huge underdog this Wednesday. They are going to be huge underdogs but after this weekend everything else is going to be gravy.
There is nothing like the atmosphere of college football and at UCLA, that atmosphere is one of the best. Besides the fact the Bruins play in the world famous Rose Bowl and has been home to such greats as Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and future Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, the fans of UCLA football are as loyal as they come. No matter how bad or how good things have been, the Rose Bowl has always been filled with boisterous fans every Saturday.
The 2009 college football season is about two months away and tomorrow the UCLA football team will be on their final push before going up against San Diego State on September 5.
"We are working out four times a week. Running, lifting and throwing to make sure we are ready for our first opponent," said Senior Linebacker Mike Schmitt.
Nobody knows how disappointing last season was as much as the UCLA football team and they are making sure this season they will be ready come game time.
The Bruins showed some promise during the spring with the offense showing some more consistency and the defense continuing to dominate even without the sound defensive mind of former defensive coordinator Dwayne Walker. This is Coach Neuhiesel's second year and like he has done at the previous program he will make sure that history will not repeat itself.
Well Adam Maya from the OC Register believes the UCLA football team is going to improve (slightly) next season and compete for a spot in the bowl game. He offers 10 reasons why UCLA is going to be in a bowl game next season. I thought the following observation about UCLA being "one" team under CRN was interesting (emphasis added):
There was an obvious (and understandable) divide between the offense and defense mounting by the end of last season, the roots of which seemed to stem from a few seasons back. The current crop says that is all behind them. For now, I can only go off their word. "I remember when I was a freshman, there was hazing and all that stuff," Bosworth said. "We didn't really do that. We kind of took everyone under our wing. We made sure everyone is in the program, not steering away or unfocused. I think the offense and defense is one team."
Hmm. Seems to me like Adam is sensing something we sniffed out years ago by offering frank comments on the kind of product Dorrell was offering up on the field. It didn't take a lot to come to conclusion after three years of Karl Dorrell that chemistry was missing in the UCLA football program. It will take a while for CRN to undo the long term damage Karl Dorrell did to this program. If we can take an incremental step by putting together a 6-7 win season this year, it will be a major rebuilding block for the upcoming seasons.
Lastly, in case you missed it ESPN's Outside the Lines, did an interesting segment on NBA's "one and done" rule this weekend which included comments from our Coach Howland who has been talking about increasing the one year rule to "two years":
I thought Coach's comments was poignant. However, I am still not sure where I fall into this debate. While I don't think the "one and done" rule is working because it is allowing players like Jrue Holiday to lollygag for one year and waste everyone's time in college, I am not sure whether the two year rule will make a huge difference. There is also the idea of adopting the baseball rule, which is let the kids who want to go into NBA right away have their wish and for the rest who wants to try out college commit to three years in college.
Again, it's a topic that probably deserves a lot more well thought out discussion. So might as well open up the forum for it here.