Happy New Year to all of you in the wider UCLA family from all of us here at Bruins Nation. Heck, we'd even like to start the year off right by wishing our very own athletic director Dan Guerrero and head hoops coach Steve Alford have an excellent new year in 2015. And by "excellent new year" we mean spending as little of the next year collecting a paycheck from UCLA and as much of the new year being as far from Westwood as humanly possible.
It's New Year's Day and sadly, after all the preseason hype and reasonable expectation, our football Bruins are not playing today in the Rose Bowl. Instead, we're stuck waiting until tomorrow to take on Kansas State in the third-tier Alamo Bowl (made all the worse by watching a team we beat - a laughably lame Arizona
Wildcats Mildcats - get beat by Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl). But while we wait to watch four other teams play in the inaugural College Football Playoff, let's take a look at some bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
--- With the Bruins' season coming to a close tomorrow, a lot of folks are looking back and taking the time to honor Brett Hundley, what he did for the program, and the legacy he will leave behind in Westwood, including ESPN's Kevin Gemmell in a Pac-12 blog post.
--- One of those interesting angles to Hundley's career wrapping up tomorrow is some of the parallels to UCLA's only Heisman Trophy winner, Gary Beban, which was covered in a profile post by Ryan Kartje at the Orange County Register.
--- And with Hundley's UCLA career coming to an end tomorrow, of course, people are already looking to next year and who will take over for Brett in running UCLA's offense - more experienced but limited back-up Jerry Neuheisel or Josh Rosen, a true freshman with a limitless ceiling? Increasingly, it looks like Asiantii Woulard, the four-star QB prospect brought out of Florida as the tailor-made Hundley replacement is looking more and more out of the frame for the job (which begs the question of whether a move to WR is on the cards).
--- Turning to the Alamo Bowl itself, the Kansas State Wildcats will be coming out fired up, looking to exorcise their own program demons from the late 1990s, so expecting these kids not to be looking to beat the Bruins down would be a big mistake.
--- Finally, if you haven't read enough previews of the Alamo Bowl, here's one last one from Sports Illustrated. It's pretty generic but at least they picked us to beat Kansas State by eight points. That's a win I'd gladly take, even if it is in a bowl that's not being played today.
Alright folks, those are your bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse on this first day of 2015. We hope everyone has a great day off, and best wishes from all of us at Bruins Nation to all of you in 2015 - except you Chianti Dan, we hope you just walk away somewhere and never return to UCLA ever again.