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     UCLA vs. USC Preview 12/2/2006 College Football matchup
    Sports: Athletic Contests
    In 2004, the Los Angeles Times said that the Bruins could not win this game with machetes. The circumstances are the same. UCLA is riding the middle of the PAC 10, and USC is off to the BCS championship game again. It would seem the only fans of UCLA are located in Gainesville, Florida or Ann Arbor, Michigan this year.

    No doubt that USC is already salivating at its eighth big time bowl match up with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The previous seven were all Rose Bowl classics. The 1968 game was featured #1 Ohio State vs #2 USC with the Buckyes winning. They have also met in two #1 vs. #3 games.
    UCLA has met USC twice when the Trojans were ranked number 2 in the nation. The Bruins lost in both the 1988 and 2003 games. UCLA has pepped up its defense, and should not give up 70 points this year. On the other hand, the Bruin offense has struggled with Ben Olson and Joe Cowan at quarterback. Against common opponent Notre Dame, UCLA was able to amass only 17 points. They held the Irish to 20. USC was able to notch 44 points on the Irish while holding them to 24 points. UCLA is going to struggle mightily on offense again, while maybe preventing a blowout on the defensive end. Although, UCLA hammered Oregon State 25-7, the only team to beat USC this year. I consider USCs loss to Oregon State as the stupid game. Almost every team has one during the year where they get caught sleepwalking. UCLA had one last year against Arizona. In 1988, UCLA suffered a stupid game against Washington State when the Bruins were #1 in the nation, the last time they ever held that ranking.
    All bets are off when it comes to this game, regardless of the season records. History shows that upsets do happen, such as in 1959 when #4 USC lost 10-3 or the 1989 game where a Rose Bowl bound Trojan team ended up in a 10-10 tie. Most of the time, the lower ranked team loses to the higher ranked team. History also shows that the streak favors the higher ranked team, and USC is on such a streak now. They will tie the longest winning streak in the series (8 by UCLA from 1991-1998) if they win on Saturday. I would like to see a serious study done of the point spread and how it fares. My anecdotal evidence is to never take the points.

    Should USC get the BCS championship nod if they beat UCLA? In my opinion, yes they should. Florida needs to win the SEC championship to have a legitimate argument. Ohio State is the only undefeated team. All the rest have one or more losses. Michigan already had their shot at Ohio State and lost, in what I am already naming as the National Championship game for 2006. Who else do you get? The sole purpose of the BCS is to make sure that a team ranked #1 plays a team ranked #2 at the end of the season. The rankings have always been subjective.
    Previous Group29 looks at the game: 2004 Preview UCLA vs. USC 2005 Preview USC vs. UCLA
      
    Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 @ 11:03:34 UTC by BB
    "UCLA vs. USC Preview 12/2/2006 College Football matchup" | Login/Create an Account | 4 comments
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    UCLA already lined up with Florida State in the Emerald Bowl (Score: 1)
    by BB on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 @ 07:56:30 UTC
    (User Info ) http://www.group29.com
    At the marquee, UCLA vs Florida State sounds great, but the fact remains that it will be two 6-6 (or 7-5 for UCLA if they beat USC) teams fighting to avoid a losing season. Bobby Bowden fired his own son this year, and last year lost the head to head battle of titanic coaches against Joe Paterno in the Orange bowl. Bobby's time might be running out after heading up the juggernaut teams of the 80s and 90s

    A nice pre-game summary of UCLA vs USC
    http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/preview?gid=200612020064 [sports.yahoo.com]

    Columnists have pointed out that Pete Caroll sets winning the PAC-10 and going to the Rose Bowl as his annual goal. He is on record about not caring for the BCS. If UCLA wins, he gets his wish and USC will play in the Rose Bowl, probably against Michigan. This would be the best matchup that the Rose Bowl could secure. Otherwise, they might be smart to have Michigan vs Florida.

    The BCS system has been lucky to sign on the PAC-10 and Big 10 (11). Notre Dame is out of the top eight, and will not get an automatic BCS bid. However, they may end up sneaking an at-large bid. They will have to claw over Louisville, Rutgers, Boise State and Michigan to do it. Losing to USC was VERY costly for the Irish. The Rose Bowl may well end up with a very crappy matchup to follow the biggest one in its history. Michigan vs Rutgers? Although, the entire state of New Jersey might show up in Pasadena if given the opportunity.



    Preview Summary (Score: 1)
    by BB on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 @ 07:59:19 UTC
    (User Info ) http://www.group29.com
    From the PAC-10.org web site:

    USC (10-1) at UCLA (6-5) - 1:30 PT - ABC national telecast - The Series: USC and UCLA have met 76 times and at least once a year every year since 1936. The teams play for the Victory Bell and the Trojans lead the series 41-27-7. USC has won the last seven meetings, which snapped an eight-game UCLA winning streak from 1991-98. That eight-game winning streak is the longest by either team in the series, so the Trojans will be shooting to equal it. All of the games used to be played in the L.A. Coliseum until UCLA moved its home games to the Rose Bowl in 1982. In 12 games played at Pasadena since then, UCLA leads 7-5, although SC has won the last three. USC has entered the game ranked either first or second in the country the last three years. . . . Last Year: Top-ranked USC (10-0) and No. 11 UCLA (9-1) closed the regular season in front of 92,000 fans at the Coliseum and the Trojans clinched a berth in the BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl with a 66-19 thumping of the Bruins. SC's 66 points were the second-most ever scored in the series. Trojan TB Reggie Bush put the final touches on a Heisman Trophy regular season by rushing for 260 yards and two TDs. Matt Leinart passed for three touchdowns and the Trojans scored on 10 of 15 possessions and never punted. In all, USC put up 679 yards total offense, including 448 yards rushing.



    Capsule looks from PAC-10 (Score: 1)
    by BB on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 @ 08:24:10 UTC
    (User Info ) http://www.group29.com
    UCLA: Bruin defense has not allowed a touchdown for six straight quarters and has given up only one TD in last two games (Oregon State and Arizona State). Bruins also have held each of last two opponents under 265 yards total offense. . . . DE Justin Hickman recorded a sack at Arizona State to raise his Pac-10-leading total to 12.5. It was one of five sacks for the Bruin defense. Hickman also leads the league in tackles for loss with 18.5. . . . His fellow DE Bruce Davis ranks second in the Pac-10 in both categories with 11.5 sacks and 16 TFLs. . . . As a team, UCLA has more than doubled up opponents in QB sacks. The Bruins have recorded 37 QB sacks in 11 games, while allowing only 17. USC: QB John David Booty (along with QB Nate Longshore of Cal) has been named one of 11 finalists for the Manning Award to be presented to the nation's best college quarterback. . . . USC's non-conference wins this season all came against teams currently in the top 20 in the BCS rankings--No. 9 Arkansas, No. 10 Notre Dame and No. 20 Nebraska. . . . All-America SE Dwayne Jarrett extended his Pac-10 record for career TD passes to 39 with three scoring grabs against Notre Dame (see chart below). With 201 career receptions, Jarrett needs just six catches to equal the Trojan career record of 207 by Keary Colbert. . . . USC is 19-0 in November under coach Pete Carroll. . . . USC broke its own Pac-10 record for both total and average home attendance this season. The Trojans played in front of 548,880 at the Coliseum, an average of 91,480 per game.



    The Reggie Bush effect (Score: 1)
    by BB on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 @ 09:58:20 UTC
    (User Info ) http://www.group29.com
    Yahoo Sports published an article in September alleging that Reggie Bush, the Heisman Trophy winning unstoppable running back for USC may have accepted money in advance of his potential NFL career. The payments may go back to October 2004. If these allegations were to stick, the PAC-10 and NCAA could force USC to forfeit games played from that point. This would give UCLA two more wins on its list and potentially set up the fact that the Bruins enter this game with a two forfeit win streak.

    The ultimate answer may be years away when a sterile unemotional decision is handed down. USC will still have won the games and celebrated.


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