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Football Open Thread: UCLA Meeting Illinois In the "Coachless" Bowl in San Francisco

For those who are in the Bay Area, if you don't have your New Year's plan locked down yet - Bruins are going up to NorCal:

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has extended an invitation to the UCLA Bruins to participate in the 2011 edition of that game, scheduled to be played on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 12:30 (PT). The Bruins (6-7) will face Big 10 team Illinois (6-6) New Year's Eve.

The last bowl game between the two was a 6-3 snooze fest in favor of the Bruins in El Paso (the Sun Bowl). There is also the twist of Coach Rick Neuheisel's greatest day as a Bruin - the win over Illinois in the 1984 Rose Bowl. The last time these two programs played each other was during KD's first two years when the Bruins' swept the series against a struggling Illinois program in 03 and in 04. Our overall record against the Illini is 6-5.

The matchup is set up for ridicule given both programs are on the market for now for a new football coach. However, the Bruins do have somewhat of a "fresh start" with interim coach Mike Johnson, and let's hope Johnson will take advantage of the practice opportunity to develop the underclassmen, and perhaps end the season on a good note.

May be, just may be by then the Bruins will also have a new coach in place, who can unify the fan base looking ahead to 2012. Speaking of the coaching search, we will have a reset in the morning. We are hearing some pathetic whispers about Steve Sarkisian being interested in coming to Westwood. The answer for Sark is a NO. Consider this is a Sunday night open thread.