It's Saturday and UCLA is coming in on a two-game winning streak (which the Neubs are using to justify forgetting the rest of this embarrassing season, LOL), but UCLA will is on the road in Utah. So, if UCLA keeps it's Utah form up, today should feature a humiliating blowout (59-0 anyone?) that somehow the Neubs will spin into keeping Rick. Now bear in mind, UCLA has far more talent than the Utes. They will be playing without their starting QB, have an offense that dropped from 54th in the nation in 2010 to 110th in the nation in 2011 (hmm, why does this sound familiar?), and has an offensive line that gives up sacks like they're a sieve.
So, yeah, UCLA should win this game, despite what the WWL "analysts" on GameDay say (they're all picking Utah because, as they claim, we have not won a game outside L.A. this season: apparently, Corvallis is now within the city limits of the City of Angels). Yes it's a road game in Utah, but it's a game that a well-prepared, talented UCLA team should have no problem taking a victory from. A victory will be nice, it will be expected, and if it comes, it still will not change the need for wholesale regime change.
I know the Neubs are kicking and screaming ("but, but, but we're tied for first in the Pac-12 South, and we're on a winning streak!"), but I want to take a minute from football for a second and talk about the meta-narrative surrounding our athletic department as a whole. Last night, Ben Howland's "team" went out and got absolutely embarrassed by a mediocre LMU squad. Not only did they embarrass themselves on the court, but they managed to embarrass themselves off the court, with stupid, classless comments on Twitter.
So, please, everyone, let's take a moment to stop and think. When have both of our two major revenue programs been as much of a joke as they have been the past three years? When have we had a run, like these past three years, where both UCLA football and basketball were national punchlines?
We're a joke. Our football team is a joke. We went on national television and got absolutely stomped by an Arizona program that was 1-5 and without a real head coach. They had a defensive coordinator with zero head coaching experience. And they smoked us. Our basketball team is a joke. We don't have the athletes to play "Ben Ball" defense and we haven't been relevant since the true Ben Ball Warriors (DC, LRMAM, LMR, KL, etc.). These current UCLA basketball players don't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys.
Moreover, what's absolutely amazing is that Dan Guerrero has fostered not just a diseased culture of mediocrity at Morgan Center, but somehow he's managed to foster a sense of entitlement and classlessness among our major revenue student-athletes. Whether it's Sheldon Price celebrating making a routine tackle 10 yards past the first down marker in a blow-out loss like he's Deion Sanders winning the Super Bowl, stone hands Taylor Embree fighting with Shaq Richardson on national television, or Josh Smith talking trash about a third-rate team that just embarrassed him for being an overweight and lazy chump, UCLA's revenue student athletes continue to find ways to look absolutely foolish. They are the anti-thesis of a John Wooden player. And who is to blame? Ultimately, it's Dan Guerrero.
As we've mentioned before, folks needs to not focus on Neuheisel (or Howland), because, as we've said, he's done regardless at this point (and Ben will join him in our cross-hairs real quick if we don't see a commitment to Ben Ball and the principles of Coach, rather than the embarrassing, classless clown show that is our basketball program). It's now time to focus on the root of UCLA's problems: the tone-deaf, ineffectual chump running Morgan Center. As we've said on BN (and as many of you, on Facebook, on MexiBruin's petition, and other places across the social media landscape), nothing short of wholesale regime change will suffice.
Anyway, kick-off is set for 3:30 p.m. PST and the pre-game thread will be up later today. Before we get to the pre-game thread, let's take a look at some of the bits and pieces of football news from around the UCLA-iverse after the jump:
- Let's start with a football team that isn't embarrassing UCLA: our Navy ROTC flag football squad. The Daily Bruin took a look at the soon-to-be officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as they play through their flag football schedule in preparation for the annual Blood Bowl against the U$C Navy ROTC program. Unfortunately, our Navy guys stand at 0-4 (while our Army ROTC is 1-3, go Army!), which doesn't bode well for the Blood Bowl. But, honestly, who cares? These guys are still pretty freakin' awesome.
- Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News has a piece mentioning the ambivalence of the UCLA fan base over Neuheisel's two-game resurgence (I guess he hasn't been reading BN lately), but really noting that it's the various promoters of various second-rate and third-rate (read: the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, also known as the "WTF, When Did This Become a Bowl Game" Bowl) bowl games who are pleased that UCLA and Utah find themselves on the cusp of bowl eligibility, which should allow the Pac-12 to meet all of it's bowl commitments. The best comment though is that Wilner thinks Colorado will give us a run for our money. I agree: it's the perfect opportunity for our more-talented team to fall flat on its face. We'll see.
- In case you missed it, check out Jon Gold and Sam Strong's video from a few days ago where they, as they say, are just a pair of fat guys talking about football. Jon and Sam cover a pretty broad range of stuff, so if you have a spare 12 minutes, take a listen.
- In recruiting news, Rick made an offer to defensive end Kylie Fitts of Redlands East Valley, one of the top DE prospects in the Class of 2013. Fitts has also been offered by Boise State (so hey, if we axe Rick and get Petersen, we're still good with this recruit), and you can check out video of him in action here. Oh, and he's just a HS junior. Getting him would be nice. Let's just hope we have a coach that can actually develop the talent and potential there.
Those are your pre-game Bruin Bites. Sit tight and the pre-game thread will be up in a few hours. For now, feel free to fire away with your thoughts in the open thread or check out the BN previews of Utah (here and here) Finally, if you haven't done so already, make sure you get your pre-game guesses in before kick-off at 3:30 p.m. PST on FSN Prime Ticket.