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UCLA REPORT

Bowl Bid Decided Today

December 02, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna

The Silicon Valley Classic board of directors will meet today to determine whether UCLA's football season -- or Washington's -- will be extended for one more game, against either Fresno State or Tulsa of the Western Athletic Conference in San Jose on Dec. 30.

With Washington State committing to the Holiday Bowl, Oregon to the Sun Bowl, California to the Insight.com Bowl and Oregon State to the Las Vegas Bowl on Monday, the Pacific 10's final bowl slot has come down to the Bruins and Huskies, who finished with 6-6 records, 4-4 in conference.

UCLA beat Washington, 46-16, on Oct. 4, but closed the season with four consecutive losses, the last three by lopsided margins.

Washington lost to last-place Arizona on Nov. 8, then was pasted by Cal, 54-7, but closed with an upset of Washington State.

"We'll present four different scenarios, and we want to be fair," said Jay Key, executive director of the game. "Both athletic directors are lobbying hard, and I've gotten tons of e-mails from fans of both teams. All this talk about too many bowls? Look at how hard these two teams are trying to get into this bowl. I know 125 kids are going to be disappointed."

The Silicon Valley Classic is a far cry from the Rose Bowl, but it would give the Bruins a chance to erase the bitter taste of a four-game losing streak and provide three more weeks of practice for an erratic and inconsistent offense that could use it.

It also could provide something of a recruiting boost, because UCLA would be able to invite local players to attend practices in preparation for a bowl game.

-- Mike DiGiovanna

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