The big news coming out of Spaulding this week was clearly the Butkus Award given to a great Bruin, Eric Kendricks. You can watch the ceremony here. It is heart warming that such a good young man who has worked so hard for the team, got to be honored with the team he loves and that loves him. As most of you know, Dick Butkus was an incredible linebacker for the Chicago Bears and created this award to recognize great play on the field and encourage giving back to the community. This is a fitting honor for someone like Eric, who epitomizes what it means to be a Bruin. The NFL Network is running a series, A Football Life, and this week they aired an episode about Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers. You might want to take a look if you get a chance. It made me appreciate even more this award, its origins, and the honor bestowed upon E.K.
Eric is still in the running for the Lott IMPACT Trophy which recognizes the best defensive player in the nation. Last year Anthony Barr was honored (need we be reminded of AB's impact?), and this year Kendricks is one of the four finalists for the trophy along with Landon Collins of Alabama, David Helton of Duke, and Hau’oli Kikaha of Washington. By the way, if you click on the link you will see some great Bruins with Anthony, including Ann Meyers-Drysdale and Kermit Alexander accepting $25,000 for UCLA's general scholarship fund. Speaking of links, unfortunately it was Kermit Alexander who put the hit on Gale Sayers that slowed the great Sayers down. In the NFL episode, you can see Kermit's concern after the hit. The award show will be aired at 7pm PST this Saturday, live from Newport Beach on Fox Sports. Here is the video the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation produced about Eric:
Tuesday night former Bruin Quarterback and 1976 Rose Bowl MVP, John Sciarra was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. From the UCLA release:
Sciarra played quarterback at UCLA in 1972-75 and was named a first-team consensus All-American in 1975. He led the Bruins to a win over top-ranked Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl and was selected the Player of the Game. Sciarra finished seventh in the 1975 Heisman Trophy balloting.
John Sciarra led UCLA to upset #1 ranked Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Here is the first half of the UCLA-Ohio State rematch. Enjoy the game, Dick Vermeil's coaching, John Sciarra's playmaking, and the uniforms!
Congratulations John. Thank you for a great game!
Moving on to the Alamo Bowl, it looks like this game is going to be good for business in San Antonio. Kansas State has already allocated 9,000 of its 12,000 tickets. UCLA has been allocated 6,000 tickets. I am not sure why our allotment is so much less, I know geography matters. But it just seems to me that both schools should be given the same amount to begin with and get to return unused tickets.
As for the football, Bring on the Cats has a preview from the Kansas State perspective of our upcoming meeting, including a pretty accurate observation:
That last lost should give Wildcat fans some hope, as Stanford plays in plodding methodical style that should be all too familiar to Wildcat fans. UCLA is a big boom-or-bust team, and it appears you either have to be able to score lots (Oregon), or disrupt their pace (Stanford, Utah) to really get them off their game.
Coaches, it is on you to get our team ready for a game we should win!
Well, we haven't even finished this season and there is already discussion of the possible "chaos" in the Pac-12 Southnext year. Kevein Gemmell notes that five of our teams will have returning quarterbacks, that five of the six teams are in the CFP top 25, and points out the strength the south showed this year against the north, ending with a 15 and 10 record against them. Our division will continue to be strong and the Bruins need to find a way to get stronger and more consistent next year.
At the end of the day it will be interesting to see if UCLA has the QB to become a championship team. You look at Josh Rosen, who I've been around a lot over the last year, and he's as pure a prospect as I've ever seen. I don't know what Troy Aikman looked like when he was 17, but I imagine him looking a lot like this. Rosen is 6'4″, 230 lbs, makes every throw look easy, makes the hard stuff look easy, and he's brilliant on top of that. He's literally a savant from an intellect standpoint.
Josh and UCLA commit Fred Ulu-Perry were both named to the 2015 Under Armour Game Roster. The game will be aired on January 2nd at 4pm ET. Yes, January 2nd. UCLAluv, please remember to set up the Tivo!
Our mother ship, Sports Blog Nation, has a very cool interactive bowl map again this year, where you can find all the information you need to keep up with the bowl section including articles about the teams and links to school's blogs. Here is the link to our bowl.
Well, that is all for this morning. Don't forget to order your very cool Vintage Calendars (with a 10% discount) and as always...