We're almost to the weekend (finally) and it's been an interesting week, with Jim Mora breaking out of a recruiting funk to land he commitment of four-star WR Austin Roberts (who turned down Southern Cal and Alabama), giving us some good football news as we get even closer to the beginning of fall football camp in August. So, with our weekend upon us, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with King Ed's NCAA lawsuit, there's been some interesting developments (the big one being the NCAA severing their relationship with EA Sports), with six current college football players joining the lawsuit as plaintiffs (two from Arizona, one from Clemson, one from Vanderbilt, and two from Minnesota). The addition marks the first plaintiffs to be active, current NCAA student-athletes, which will bolster King Ed's and the plaintiffs attempts to certify the suit as a class action for a wide range of current and former NCAA student-athletes.
- Sticking with the lawsuit, the reaction from plaintiffs' counsel was not particularly warm or fuzzy, with King Ed's lead attorney Michael Hausfeld calling the NCAA's decision to end the relationship with EA Sports both "arrogant" and "petty"arguing that the NCAA is severing the relationship to try to distance themselves from the hugely profitable video games that ultimately led to the beginning of the lawsuit.
- But, don't worry if you've been a long-time EA Sports NCAA Football fan: EA Sports announced that they will continue to produce their annual college football game, but will simply not use any NCAA names or marks, which for Division I college football will have little impact to the game itself. Each university individually licenses their names, trademarks, logos, etc. through the Collegiate Licensing Company, which is entirely independent of the NCAA and which enjoys a strong business relationship with EA. With most of college football's major players outside the purview of the NCAA (the BCS playoff system, the Heisman Trophy, etc.), don't expect to see much change to EA Sports' College Football 15 than what you see in the final NCAA Football 14.
- Turning to real football, fellow SB Nation blog House of Sparky is going through the Sun Devils' six most important games of the season, and recently focused in on our Bruins. As our ASU colleagues note, "[t]he Bruins, not USC and not ASU, have won the Southern division both years of its existence and they come into 2013 as the team to beat in the South." Sounds about right, and expect ASU to come gunning for the Bruins as they need a big win in the Rose Bowl to help with their Southern California recruiting and bolster their own recruiting in Arizona, with UCLA having taken a lot of ASU's top in-state prospects in recent years.
- In more football news, NFL Networks' Daniel Jeremiah ranked the top college football players he expects to go at the top of the 2014 NFL Draft. And our very own Anthony Barr came in as Daniel's #3 overall college football player and the top linebacker in this draft group, edging out the outstanding Alabama OLB C.J. Mosley. And why is QB recruiting so important for UCLA? Because Brett Hundley is being projected as the #16 overall college player, and the #2 QB in the nation, behind only Louisville's junior QB Teddy Bridgewater(and yes, beating out Johnny Manziel at #22 overall). Oh, and let's not forget Xavier Su'a-Filo landed at #34 overall. As the season develops, Jim Mora's most important recruiting battle may not be on the road in the living rooms of high school recruits, but in trying to keep his very talented players with remaining eligibility (Hundley and XSF) in Westwood for an extra season.
Alright folks, those are your various bits and pieces of news from around the wider UCLA-iverse, as we count down the hours until the work week ends and the weekend begins. Fire away with your comments, thoughts, additions, and various opinions on all things UCLA in the comment thread.