Happy New Year, Bruins Nation! Almost. I’ve actually set this article to publish at 11:59pm PT.
It’s my last minute pre-AB 5 post! This will also serve as your New Year’s Day Bowl Game open thread. So, please feel free discuss all of the action from the Outback, Citrus, Rose and Sugar Bowls in the comments below.
Let me start this off with some suggested New Year’s Resolutions for those in the UCLA Athletics community and I’m going to start with the most important one first.
Chancellor Gene Block and the AD Search Committee
Your New Year’s Resolution is simple: Find the absolute best choice for UCLA’s new Athletic Director. That should be someone who has experienced success at a Power Five program with both football and basketball. Stanford AD Bernard Muir and Florida AD Scott Stricklin should be at the top of your list. At the very least, please resist the temptation to anoint someone who already works in the Athletic Department. Oh, and don’t even think about hiring Mark Harlan. He burned his bridges here with Bruin fans.
After nearly 20 years of having Dan Guerrero at the helm, the department needs some fresh air and a general staff makeover.
Putting the sarcasm aside for a brief moment, we wish the best for you as you continue to fight cancer. No one should have to suffer from that terrible disease.
Now, as for your New Year’s Resolution, you should resolve to retire a little earlier than scheduled. We were kind of hoping today would have been your last day, after all. You should also resolve to retire to Italy with a lifetime supply of a fine Chianti. I did say I was putting the sarcasm aside for a brief moment.
Chip’s New Year’s Resolution is a multi-parter. First, as I recommended this morning again, fire Jerry Azzinaro. Do you want to save your skin and, you know, actually build a successful program? Or, is it more important to keep your buddy employed? Failure on this test could cost you your job with the new AD.
The second part of Kelly’s resolution is to land more blue chip talent. That would begin by successfully recruiting Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) running back Jalen Berger. And, it really pains me to say that since Don Bosco Prep is one of my high school’s biggest rivals. But Berger needs to be the beginning. Two or three more blue chip recruits would be a good thing. So, go do it!
Coach Cronin’s New Year’s Resolution is pretty much a no-brainer. His resolution is to have a light bulb go off collectively with his team in order to get consistent play out of them during Pac-12 play and, even more importantly, during the Pac-12 Tournament as winning it may be UCLA’s only way to get into March Madness this season.
Chris Waller and the UCLA Gymnastics team
For all of you, the resolution can’t get much better. So, keep it up! And, go win your first National Championship with Coach Waller as head coach!
You’ve been a refreshing change of pace since taking over for Mark Harlan, who did his best impression of Baghdad Bob, in trying to move the student section at Pauley entirely behind the basket. (Yes, we here at Bruins Nation have a very long memory.)
For that, we resolve that you deserve to finally get a shot to run an Athletic Department, just not in Westwood yet. Go prove you can run an entire department at another school and, then, perhaps you can return to UCLA in the future.
For Bruins Nation, the community’s New Year’s Resolution is to continue to be the absolute best group of UCLA fans you will find anywhere, despite whatever changes come as a result of AB 5.
Finally, my personal resolution is to help make sure that resolution happens, one way or another. It will mean a little bit less of my writing for the short-term. But, hey, after five and a half years of running this site pretty much non-stop, I probably deserve a litte time off, even if I’d rather not have to do that.
With that said, let’s take a little bit of a look at this year’s New Year’s Day Bowl games. Here’s the complete schedule of bowl games:
2020 New Year’s Day Bowl Games
|#18 Minnesota vs. #12 Auburn
|#14 Michigan vs. #13 Alabama
|#6 Oregon vs. #8 Wisconsin
|#5 Georgia vs. #7 Baylor
These games should live up to the hype. Can Jim Harbaugh and the #14 Michigan Wolverines beat Nick Saban and the #13 Alabama Crimson Tide?
What do you think about the Rose Bowl game? Are you one of those folks who always back the Pac-12 teams during bowl season? Or, are you like me and don’t understand why anyone would root for the teams that UCLA just finished competing against? Although, I will probably pull for the Oregon Ducks against the Wisconsin Badgers because I’m just tired of seeing Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Can’t the Big Ten send anyone else to Pasadena?
When the Sugar Bowl kicks off, I’ll be pulling for Matt Ruhle and the Baylor Bears to upset the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s not that I have anything against Georgia. I just think the success of Ruhle, a former UCLA assistant, is one of the best stories of the year in college football.
What are your thoughts on this year’s New Year’s Day Bowl Games? Do you have any resolutions for UCLA sports? Add them in the comments below.
Happy New Year and, of course.....