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Roundup From BN Walk: Baseball Highlights, Verner’s Views & Other UCLA Notes

Let's start with a video recap of last night's 6-2 win over UCSB:

Bruins' 38 wins this season is tied for the 6th best in school history. The team is tied with the team from 1982 that also won 38 games. Bruins now head of to Berkeley for a tough series against the Cal Bears, who are making their own charge into the post-season.

The Bears have hit a rough patch of late after getting swept by the Cougars and losing to San Francisco Dons. So they are going to be fired up for their last home stand of the season against the Bears. Hopefully the Bruins can continue the consistent performance they have shown in last three road trips in this Pac-10 season. More notes after the jump.

Vener's views are back on the official site. ATV checks in with his latest update as one of the newest member of the Tennessee Titans:

[T]he weekend following the draft, I had to report to Rookie mini-camp. I took a flight with Stafon Johnson and Robert Johnson. It was such a long flight, but once we got there I was thinking this will be my new home, for hopefully, a long time. The facilities were so nice and I was just super excited to just be in the locker room. Seeing my practice jersey with the name on the back, the #20 Titan jersey and helmet was almost overwhelming.

The practices and meetings went well, as expected. I didn't get to do too much since it was just us rookies there, but it was good getting my feet wet again. We were in and out and just used the weekend mostly as an introduction to how the Titans did things. It was definitely way too short of a visit. The coaches are awesome and the rookies were really cool, so I know I am going to enjoy myself. I can't wait to get back out there. On a side note, I would like to send a shout out to the Nashville community which is dealing with the impact of the flooding. I was happy to see the team help out with the relief efforts. Many people lost their homes and much more. So please pray for them out there in their efforts to recover and get back on their feet.

ATV is not done with UCLA just yet. He is still working on finishing his coursework:

Since I am part of the quarter system at UCLA, I can't report until June while my fellow draft class is already back in Tennessee. So while I am here in LA, I decided to finish up another class, Math 167 - Game Theory, before I return to Nashville. I can't wait to get my degree, but I have a few more classes to complete before then. But, I will definitely get my degree or my mom would kill me. Plus, I really want it too. This opportunity to take another class has allowed me to stay close to the team for a little bit more until I part ways to try and contribute for the Titans this year and represent the Bruins this coming season.

Read rest of ATV's post here, which also includes information about a nonprofit organization he is trying to raise awareness for non-profit organization which is "committed to making a difference in the lives of children diagnosed with cancer and their families." I hope ATV doesn't stop posting. It would be awesome to have him keep blogging whenever he can even after he has gone on to the NFL.

Moving beyond football, Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News has been posting some pretty interesting information concerning the business of Pac-10 and expansion related chatter this off-season. One of his most recent posts focus on the TV deal which ACC just inked with tWWL. Wilner thinks the ACC TV deal bodes well for the Pac-10 financially (which interestingly could make the Pac-10 less interested in expansion):

[T]he fact that the ACC’s new deal, which takes effect for the 2011-12 school year, is more than double its existing contract ($67 million annually) … and the fact that Fox was interested enough to join the fray, thus creating a bidding war … bodes well for the Pac-10.

Also boding well for the Pac-10: That ESPN did not get the NCAA Tournament broadcast rights and, as a result, has money to spend

Per Wilner the Pac-10's TV deal with Fox is " worth approximately $43 million annually", which is a pretty pathetic figure compared to the Big Ten and SEC (numbers available in Wilner's post). Wilner thinks Larry Scott can muster up revenues "in excess of $100 million annually" when the league goes to the market next year. They should be able to given the deal with Fox was "artificially low" which is more of a testament to Tom Hansen's utter ineptness in managing the conference. More from Wilner:

In other words: The Pac-10’s revenue ceiling is higher relative to its current deal than the ACC’s. (On an absolute basis, for the reasons noted above, the ACC’s ceiling is higher.)

And remember, there’s more to annual revenue than just the TV deal. Bowl payouts are also part of the equation — as is a football championship game, which is a distinct possibility for the Pac-10 (even without expansion) and would add another $12 – 15 million annually to the conference pot.

Combine a lucrative new TV deal with a football title game and the bowl payouts and better branding and sponsorship and, in theory, the league could climb into the $135 – $150 million range in annual revenue.

In Wilner's subsequent interview with Scott, the Pac-10 commissioner seemed to agree with the speculation above as he labeled the ACC deal as "very favorable" and agreed that "Pac-10 is more undervalued than any conference." Guess we will see what Scott comes up next season.

Lastly, the Sporting News in one of those pre-season lists put Norm Chow as the third best OC in college game behind Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and Bryan Harsin (Boise State) (HT What's Bruin Blog):

3. Norm Chow, UCLA. Forget about UCLA's struggles the past two seasons; much of that was inexperienced personnel, poor protection and limited difference-makers on the outside. Coach Rick Neuheisel has upgraded the talent in Westwood, and if QB Kevin Prince plays with confidence, Chow, the game's best play-caller, will get it rolling again.

We can't wait to see what Chow comes up in his third season in Westwood.