Today the UCLA Football team gets a golden opportunity, a second chance, to achieve its preseason goals. With a win today, UCLA will head to Levi's stadium on December 5th for a chance to become Pac-12 champion. With that comes a real chance to be one of the final four in the first National Championship playoff series. How real would that chance be? Well, UCLA would have this going for it:
- Champion of the 2nd toughest division in college football.
- Champion of the 2nd toughest conference in college football.
- The toughest schedule in college football.
- The toughest non-conference schedule in college football.
But before we can even have that discussion, UCLA must do something it has been unable to do since 2008, beat Stanford. All the focus must be on today. We have seen the possibility of competing for a National Championship slip through our hands before. Most of us can say with great detail exactly where we were when that horrible call was made in 1998, robbing our Bruins at a chance to be in the first BCS championship game. While Mora and company may be building something to last, it is rare to be in this position. Opportunities like this are difficult to come by and our Bruins seem to be playing with a new sense of focus, toughness, discipline, and togetherness that seems to show that they know it.
So as Fox says, we just need to win one game this week, and that game is today at the Rose Bowl at 12:30.
There will be some other really important things happening today. Troy Aikman will have his #8 jersey retired. The Hall of Famer will become the 9th Bruin Football player to be so honored and will be present for the ceremony at today's game. The official site put out this video to announce the honor be awarded to this great Bruin:
There will also be some other incredible people there today playing in their last regular season game at the Rose Bowl. Yes it is senior day (so get to your seats early) and it is a chance to honor the young men who have dedicated so much of their lives to our UCLA football team. Some of them we will get to see playing on Sunday, some we will not, but as IStandinSection16 said so well in yesterday's pre-game guesses:
All of them deserve our thanks, no matter what role they played in their time at UCLA. The team isn’t where it is or what it is without the contributions of each of the individual parts, from the walk-on scout teamers.
... to defending our logo!
To Jordan James, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Jefferson, Drew Huusfeldt, Erick Zumwalt, Librado Baracio, Sam Handler, Peter Hajimihalis, Tre Hale, Ryan Hofmeister, Malcolm Bunche, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa a huge thank you from all of us for all you have given to our team. It is not a long list, but it is a very mighty one.
There is one more very special person, who will almost certainly be playing in his last regular season game at the Rose Bowl. We all know who I am talking about. Brett Hundley was dubbed by some as the "savior" of UCLA football. But we all know it is a team game and it is not saviors we needed but leaders and we got an exceptional one in Brett Hundley. Brett joined our program after a long string of quarterback issues. From his first start as a red-shirt freshman until today, he has provided the leadership, skill, wisdom, courage, and consistency our football team so desperately needed at his position. There will be many more days to write about all Brett means to UCLA football and to the UCLA community, but today may be the last day we get to rise and cheer for him in the Rose Bowl. Go get them Brett! Chop down those trees!
Today's game begins at 12:30 at the Rose Bowl and will air on ABC. The game can be heard on am 570 Fox Sports LA, on smart phones and tablets via the free TuneIn App, and nationally by ESPN radio and Sirius 91/XM 91.
This is your open thread so have at it and as always...