UCLA football fans' thinking is too clouded by jealousy of USC's seven straight top-five finishes, but I have to break some bad news to them. Pete Carroll isn't "scared," "flustered," or "feeling the heat" from UCLA's new sheriff in town. Nobody's concerned about your squad and their four wins over teams with 12 victories among them. More specifically, Pete Carroll worries about Rick Neuheisel the same way a lion worries about a pork chop.
But your letters to The Times have confirmed for me one thing: UCLA fans want to talk about basketball during football season, talk about football during basketball season, and talk about admissions standards any time they lose to USC.
I'm not a USC fan any more than a UCLA fan, but I do appreciate excellence. Which is something the readers who wrote in last Saturday with an ax to grind regarding Pete Carroll don't recognize. Excellence from the top down is why the Lakers have championships and the Clippers have slogans.
There are certain facts of life that never change: The sun rises every morning, you must pay taxes and the USC crybabies come out every January claiming they have the best team in the country and belong in the BCS championship game.
Eight reasons why Mark Sanchez should finish his career at USC:
1. Heisman Trophy.
2. BCS Championship at the Rose Bowl with a possible Texas rematch.
3. Marquee matchup with Ohio State's QB, Terrelle Pryor.
4. Marquee matchup with Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen.
5. Marquee matchup with Steve Sarkisian's Washington Huskies.
6. One more year to grow and hone his skills.
7. One more year of love and glory at USC.
8. One more year to play for Pete Carroll.
Paul L. Hovsepian
So Steve Sarkisian lands his dream job as coach of the Washington Huskies, and the first thing he does to thank his old boss Pete Carroll is to institute a wholesale raid on Pete's staff.
If Sarkisian is so grateful to the USC program, just imagine what he would have done had he been disenchanted with it.
I want to thank Chris Dufresne for his excellent college bowl picks. Using them I finished 15th in a 15-person pool ending in last place behind two women (one who picked teams by her love of their nicknames) and a 12-year-old boy who admitted he never heard of half of the schools. Was Chris involved in the subprime mortgage business as well?