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Bruin Bites: RN Gets Exposed in Palo Alto, UCLA Exposes Big Tobacco, Other UCLA Innovations

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In non-football news, it's been a slow weekend around UCLA (other than the non-revenue sports, which we'll cover in tomorrow's non-revenue round-up).  Obviously, the topic on the minds of Bruins everywhere is how much longer the Rick Neuheisel era will last in Westwood, following Saturday's loss to the Stanford Cardinal. In what is becoming a tradition for the Sunday edition of Bruin Bites, we again lead in with discussing how Rick has FAILED once again as the UCLA head coach.  Honestly, it's getting old (if only we had, say, Urban Meyer at the helm).

Well, with that, let's get to it and go through your bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse (starting with a bit of an editorial):

  • Yes, Rick was exposed pathetically in Palo Alto. Facing a Stanford program that is only in its fifth season following it's 1-11 campaign in 2006 under Walt Harris.  Think about that folks. 1 -11.  With Walt Harris.  And it's Stanford, which has more stringent academic requirements than either UCLA or Cal.  Despite that, Harbaugh and Luck turned the Cardinal around, winning last year's Orange Bowl and standing high at #6 in the country now.  There's no excuse that UCLA under Rick Neuheisel, who inherited a program in better shape, with more natural football advantages (location, recruiting base, media exposure, etc.), is currently struggling the way it is.  None.  Oh, and if we learned anything last night on the Farm, it's that Rick has the talent to play with Stanford.  Across the board, except at QB, UCLA has at least equal talent, and at many positions (RB, TE, among others), better players.  The talent is there.  The coaching clearly is not.  Rick, you're running out of time to turn it around.
  • On that topic, Rick has made the AP's top-twelve list of coaches on the hot seat, checking in at #2, behind only perennial SEC also-ran Houston Nutt.  My bet is that after the Cardinal exposed UCLA as a talented team without anything resembling coaching (hence, why I will no longer refer to Rick as CRN, just RN), is that Rick moves up to the top spot on the list. At the pace we're going, I wouldn't expect Rick to survive the season.

  • Moving on to UCLA news, the big story around Westwood (non-sports story, that is) is that UCLA researchers and scientists have, just as Stanford exposed RN, exposed Big Tobacco for knowing that cigarette smoke contains cancer-causing radioactive particles since at least 1959.  While the fact that smoking causes lung cancer is nothing new (side note: don't smoke), the UCLA study, led by Dr. Hrayr S. Karagueuzian, professor of cardiology at UCLA's cardiovascular research laboratory, established that Big Tobacco has been deliberately hiding that information for over 50 years.  The story, being featured by CBS News, has also been followed by ABC News here, which in another piece, quotes some pathetically lame Baghdad Bob-esque excuses from one of Big Tobacco's mouthpieces.  Good work by Dr. Karagueuzian and his team.
  • Fortunately for Bruins, we have academics to be proud of, because during the fall, our football team isn't doing us any favors in the ol' office Monday smack-talk.  UCLA genetic scientists have commenced genetic autism research on mice that, so far, has promising results for treating folks with autism.  Good stuff.
  • Finally, in other UCLA academic news (hey, I said it was a slow weekend), UCLA engineers have developed a more cost-effective method of converting the normal pressure and vibrations from vehicle traffic into electricity (called piezoelectricity, which I'm sure a South Campus major can explain to all of us from North Campus), which in turn, could reduce gas consumption by up to 10%.
  • Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites for the tail-end of the weekend.  Try to take in some NFL action, see some actual coaching (the Patriots are playing the Raiders and the Packers are taking on Denver as we speak, so there's two teams where you can actually see some coaching), and fire away with your thoughts, comments, and additions.