USC schedule lists UCLA as home game

USC is so confident about its dominance against UCLA recently that it’s listing their November game at the Rose Bowl as a home game. Scott Enyeart, who noticed the sly jab by the Trojans, says the schedule is a keychain-sized one that’s being distributed around campus at the bookstore and Heritage Hall.

USC has 12 games on its schedule for the upcoming season — six at home, five on the road, and a neutral-site game against Syracuse. The keychain schedule shows the Nov. 17 game at UCLA as a home contest even though that’s one of their five road games.

The Trojans have won 12 of their last 13 games against against the Bruins, including five of six at the Rose Bowl. Even though they dominated the Bruins 50-0 last year, being too overconfident can be dangerous. Games are won on the field, not on paper. Just ask Rick Neuheisel about that.

Photo, story via Scott Enyeart

Jim Mora Wants to End Dumb UCLA ‘Over the Wall’ Practice Ditching Tradition

Perhaps nothing reflects UCLA’s football program more accurately than the annual “Over the Wall” tradition. Each year, players go “over the wall” to ditch practice. It’s something I never understood, and something I’ve railed against in the past. What does it say about your program when a tradition is to ditch practice?

New head coach Jim Mora was unfamiliar with the annual escape, and he was not happy when it happened Tuesday.

“It’s completely unacceptable and will not be part of the program going forward,” Mora said. “It’s a privilege, not a right, to play football for the UCLA Bruins. With the commitment you make when you sign on there comes a commitment to do what is asked of you by your coaches on a daily basis. I can just tell you in no uncertain terms that that tradition will not be part of tradition going forward.”

I hope he stays true to his word. The only problem is if the entire team walks out, because then he’d have little leverage to enforce a penalty. I just hope the leaders of the team are wise enough to stop it. It’s incredibly frustrating to support the team as a fan when the players don’t care about practicing. I guess they’re content with going 6-7.

Jim Mora to be UCLA’s Next Head Coach … and I’m on Board with it

Jim Mora reportedly will be named the next head coach of UCLA’s football program Saturday, replacing Rick Neuheisel who went 21-29 over four seasons. The Bruins athletic department undoubtedly dropped the tip to the LA Times and ESPN LA late Friday night because they wanted to bury the news over the weekend. They knew this hire would not go over well with the fan base.

Our friends at Bruins Nation have been rightfully railing on AD Dan Guerrero, who botched the last two football hires. They did not want Mora as head coach.

Similarly, most fans had their hopes up after being told the Bruins were going to spend megabucks to get Chris Petersen from Boise State. UCLA’s head coaching pursuit was over-hyped, making Mora’s hiring a letdown in their eyes. I never bought into the hype because I knew neither Chris Petersen nor Steve Sarkisian were going to leave their jobs — certainly not for UCLA — so Mora is not a letdown to me.

So why am I on board with the Jim Mora hire? For several reasons.

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Rick Neuheisel Carried Off Field by Bruins After Last Practice, Cries (Video)

While Rick Neuheisel cried tears of sadness following his final practice as head coach of UCLA Wednesday, everyone else cried tears of joy. Alright, so maybe I’m in the minority as an emotionally shallow person who didn’t buy into Rick’s hype. The last four years of the program were wasted. There’s no way around it. But it was nice to see the team carry Rick off Spaulding Field after his last practice as head coach.

Rick had a difficult time speaking with the media after practice. He teared up several times:

Do the Bruins have a chance in the Pac-12 title game?

“Rather than thinking about winning, I want to think about playing our asses off,” Neuheisel said after practice. “I want to think about being furious with respect to the intensity that we play with. That will give us a chance, and we’ll see what transpires, but we are going to play like there is no tomorrow because there isn’t.”

It would be absurd to think that the Bruins win this game in Eugene. They’re 30-point underdogs. They were completely outclassed by the Ducks last year 60-13. I’d like to think the Bruins will have an emotional edge on Friday, but that would be a dream. I still don’t see how they can stop Oregon’s offense.

UCLA’s Athletics Have Gone Completely Down the Crapper

It was 1995. I can remember watching those precious few seconds tick away as Tyus Edney drove the length of the floor against Missouri in the Final Four. For some reason, I watched the end of the game in Solvang, California, apparently a dose of smorgasbord giving me the amnesia that is making it impossible to remember why I was there. The behind-the-back dribble to get by Jason Sutherland, the right hand lay-up over Derek Grimm to give the Bruins an improbable win. Later, a win over Arkansas in the national title game to set off a riot in Westwood of antediluvian proportions.

A few years later, the football team, rolling over opponents like an illegally-obtained SUV, debuted as the first ever top-ranked team in the BCS, only to be undone by Hurricane Georges, then two typhoons named Edgerrin James and Ron Dayne. Throw in one too many losses to USC in a variety of sports, and UCLA’s stock has fallen quicker than a Duke basketball player committing a flop.

Last week was yet another disappointment. UCLA’s run-up to Rivalry Week turned out to be more pointless than Geraldo playing tour guide to Al Capone’s vault, or an antiquated, 25-year-old reference made in one of my articles that hardly anyone understands anymore. Prior to last week’s UCLA-USC football game, the score of which more closely resembled a tennis match or a cricket massacre, Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel exulted how Westwood was closing the gap on USC. Apparently, that statement had about as much meaning coming from Michael Strahan’s orthodontist.

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P. Diddy’s Son, Justin Combs, Commits to Coachless UCLA

P. Diddy’s son, Justin Combs, committed to play cornerback for UCLA late Monday night. Scout.com reporter Brandon Huffman tweeted the news, and the timing is interesting.

Why would Combs commit to the program now, the day it’s announced Rick Neuheisel was fired? My guess is that he really likes the school and wants to play for the Bruins, regardless of their coach. So why accept his outstanding offer? Maybe he understands that few other major programs were interested in him, and maybe he knew the next coach might not want him. Why not accept the offer while he still had a chance?

We covered Combs over the summer when he performed well at a tournament, resulting in interest from several schools. However, the only schools that had reportedly offered him were Illinois, UAB, Virginia, Wyoming, UAB, Tennessee Tech, and Middle Tennessee State. If those were your options, and you wanted to play in LA, wouldn’t you commit to the Bruins even if their program were transitioning? Makes sense to me.

UPDATE: Combs told Scout.com “I was silently committed to UCLA for awhile, but now was the time.

“I have faith in the program that everything will be ok. My love for UCLA is so strong. I trust and know that everything will work out.”

Photo via @Jdior_

UCLA Recruit Bryce Treggs Mocks Bruins After Watching Arizona Debacle

Bryce Treggs is a senior at St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Ca. and he’s a UCLA football recruit. Treggs has committed to Cal, but the Bruins were still trying to sway him to attend UCLA. Apparently they told him to watch Thursday’s game against Arizona. That helped solidify his commitment to the Bears.

So not only is Rick Neuheisel screwing up the product on the field, he’s ruining future years by running such an embarrassing program. Not even the streaker can fix that.

USC’s football monopoly in LA may be over, but it’s no thanks to UCLA. We can thank another four-letter organization for that.

Thanks to Rumors and Rants for the screencap.