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MORNING BRIEFING

Joe Bruin looks to bear down for this one

September 03, 2008|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

It's probably a coincidence, but the same day UCLA upset Tennessee in its football season opener in the Rose Bowl, Joe Bruin was in the news as one of the 12 college mascots that will take part in the coveted national mascot of the year competition.

Yes, it's certainly clear that the field is loaded with talent, it's going to be a defining moment in these young mascots' lives and anything can happen once you slip on that tiger head or step into those cougar pants.

The contestants in the competition, sponsored by Capital One, are the Bird (Air Force), Aubie (Auburn), Buster Bronco (Boise State), Cosmo Cougar (Brigham Young), Cy (Iowa State), Mike the Tiger (Louisiana State), Testudo (Maryland), Mr. Wuf (North Carolina State), Thundar(North Dakota State), Cocky (South Carolina), Smokey (Tennessee) and Joe Bruin.

Programming note: Joe Bruin and Cosmo Cougar are going to be on the same field Sept. 13 in Provo, Utah, when UCLA plays Brigham Young. Be ready.

Trivia time

When had been the last time UCLA played a Southeastern Conference team in the regular season?

A hair don't

Don't they know it's supposed to be Gatorade? Did you see the UCLA players celebrate after Monday'sgame by dumping Coca-Cola on Coach Rick Neuheisel? He liked the sentiment, not the content.

Said Neuheisel: "Coca-Cola baths are not good for my hair."

Irish win

According to an ESPN Sports Poll of college football fans, the most popular team in the country is Notre Dame, followed by Florida State, Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State.

The big 0-3

Three reasons why University of Washington Coach Tyrone Willingham should be worried right now, if he's not already:

1. The Huskies got blown out at Oregon, 44-10; 2. With Brigham Young and Oklahoma next, 0-3 is possible; 3. University President and Washington alumnus Mark Emmert describes his relationship with the sports program as "very hands on."

Trivia answer

In 2001, UCLA beat Alabama, 20-17, in the season opener under Bob Toledo.

And finally

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster had this to say to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a potential buyer of the Cubs: "I loved him before I met him."

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thomas.bonk@latimes.com

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