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Bruins never deliver on Rick Neuheisel's promises

Each year, it seems, the UCLA coach predicts his team will be a Pacific 10 contender, but his Bruins have yet to post even one signature Pac-10 victory. Wins against overrated Texas and Houston won't help them as they head into the meat of the conference schedule.

October 05, 2010|T.J. Simers

It's been a few days since college football Saturday.

I'm sure some people wonder why it's taken so long to address such a disappointing, embarrassing performance.

I didn't think anything needed to be written, taking for granted everyone already knows UCLA just isn't that good.

But then I forgot how clueless Bruins fans can be.

Yeah, I know they recorded their signature win against Texas. They did the same thing two years ago against Tennessee, and last year against Tennessee.

As the signature faded, so did the significance of those wins. We know now Tennessee wasn't much two years ago, or last year for that matter. And everyone beats Texas this year.

Yeah, I know UCLA has now won three straight games, as Bruins fans are quick to point out. They haven't had a whole lot to point out for some time now, so any chance they get to wave a finger in the face of critics is not going to be missed.

But if you watched the Bruins' wins over Houston and Texas, supposedly two top-20 teams, you now understand those who argue that ranking teams early in the season is foolish.

And if you opted to waste one day of your precious life on UCLA versus Washington State you probably have no life. Or, you are the kind of person who gets all jazzed about a Lakers-Timberwolves game in London.

Washington State should have been a bye for the Bruins if the Bruins were getting better. But of course they are not.

Every year we are told at the start by Coach Rick Neuheisel the Bruins are going to be good. So good, he has said, they will compete for the Pac-10 title.

This is why Neuheisel has failed miserably to date.

He has yet to deliver on those early season assurances. His team has not only failed to compete for a Pac-10 title, it has yet to record a single signature win over a Pac-10 opponent.

In 2008 the Bruins beat Washington, Washington State and Stanford — Stanford finishing the season 5-7.

In 2009 the Bruins beat Washington, Washington State and Arizona State — Arizona State finishing the season 4-8.

This season the Bruins have beaten Washington State, but have also been pulverized by Stanford. It's a Pac-10 pattern all too familiar.

Show me the improvement.

Saturday the Bruins get Cal. Cal is 2-2, with one of those wins against UC Davis. The Bears were picked to place seventh in the conference by the media.

If UCLA is any good and really making improvement, it scores an easy win Saturday — before taking on some of the really good teams in the Pac-10.

I'll be there in Berkeley, of course, because I have the most experience writing about UCLA losses.

BY THE way, I remain a big fan of UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince. I find it laughable that some fans were calling for Richard Brehaut on the "Bruins Walk" into the Rose Bowl before the Houston game.

But then I find myself laughing a lot at the way Bruins fans carry on. As the season goes on, though, I see less and less of them.

IT'S BEEN a couple of days and I haven't heard a word from the losers in San Diego.

Radio hosts Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith lost a wager because the Padres gagged. They are supposed to step aside and let Page 2 and Miss Radio Personality do their morning show on 1090. Who knows — Ryan Leaf might join them.

Miss Radio Personality has already been digging up fun San Diego-bashing facts for the show.

Did you know the heavy rock group Machine Head will never again play in San Diego? Machine Head "fired" the city, according to Miss Radio Personality's homework, because San Diego concert audiences are too boring.

We don't even know if Kaplan and Smith have an audience.

I HAVE two tickets — I paid for them both — for the Lakers' season opener Oct. 26 at Staples Center.

I mention this because the night will also include a ring ceremony — hint, hint — and I will be giving away one of those two tickets to the single guy willing to sit beside the daughter.

I'd prefer to make it a full-on date with limo, dinner, drinks later and maybe a real ring, but for some reason she's not a big fan of her father's ideas.

She doesn't care who sits next to her, but I would think a future son-in-law should range in age from 30 to 40, stand taller than David Eckstein, have no jail time on his resume and have the ability to carry on a conversation while being ridiculed at the same time. I'd say try living with her, but that's the point, isn't it?

Anyone interested in joining her for the ring ceremony should e-mail three topics you'd bring up during timeouts to avoid what otherwise would be awkward silence.

I would also urge anyone who wants to sit next to the daughter to e-mail a photo so I might have a better idea what the grandchildren might look like.

TODAY'S LAST word comes in an e-mail from Raul Gras:

"Three days, and no mention of USC's loss? Me thinks perhaps you are afraid of the ramifications dare you write anything comical about old SC."

You've got that right. Next thing you know everyone will always expect me to be comical.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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