Fifty years have passed since UCLA last won a national championship in football. Hoping to turn that negative into some sort of positive, the Bruins spent part of last Saturday’s home game honoring the 1954 title-winning team.
Smart move. Drafting off the ’54 mojo, and not wanting to embarrass themselves with so much history staring them in the face, the 2004 Bruins beat Stanford, 21-0, recording their first shutout over a Pac-10 opponent in 17 years.
Seven days have passed since that glorious victory over Stanford, and again the Bruins step onto the Rose Bowl turf in the shadow of 1954.
Just as it was 50 years ago, today’s UCLA game will not be televised live locally.
Even though the Bruins are 5-3, even though they are favored by 14 points over Washington State in today’s 12:30 p.m. game, here is today’s Pac-10-on-TV schedule:
* USC at Oregon State: Bidding for their 18th consecutive victory, the top-ranked Trojans will play Oregon State at 7 p.m. To be televised live by FSNW.
* Oregon at California: The Ducks and the No. 4-ranked Golden Bears kick off at 12:30 p.m. To be televised live on ABC.
* Stanford at Arizona State: Coming off a 21-point loss to UCLA, Stanford will have its 3:30 p.m. game against No. 23-ranked Arizona State, coming off a 27-point loss to Cal, televised live by FSNW.
* Washington State at UCLA: Tape-delayed until Sunday at noon on FSNW2. On the bright side, there’s always radio.
Coach Karl Dorrell and UCLA could clinch a winning regular season today -- major news any way you want to look at it. But, with its defensive coaches and players off the hook for one week, UCLA this time was done in by rules and regulations -- specifically, the one preventing local FSN from televising a Pac-10 game at the same time another Pac-10 game (Oregon-Cal) is being aired on national television.
UCLA asked for a waiver, but was denied.
Local FSN asked UCLA to switch its kickoff to 7 p.m., but was denied. On account of weather. Really. UCLA officials didn’t want Bruin football fans having to brave 55-degree temperatures after sunset. (In Southern California broadcast terms, these climate conditions are officially classified as “too cool to air.”)
So they kept the kickoff time at 12:30 p.m.
FSNW2 will air the following schedule instead:
* Today at 12:30 p.m.: “Runnin’ With The PAC.”
* 1 p.m.: USC-Cal women’s volleyball. Tape-delayed from Thursday.
* 3 p.m.: “Trackside Live!” from Hollywood Park.
* 5 p.m.: Finally, some UCLA football. Yes, that’s right, the Bruin soccer team plays Washington. Tape-delayed, of course, from Friday.
Available for viewing this weekend:
* PGA Tour Championship
(Channel 7, 9 a.m.)
To replace Curtis Strange as its lead golf analyst, ABC hired a pair of current players, Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger, who both admitted during a conference call this week that they wouldn’t have taken the gig if they were playing better.
“I was frustrated with my golf the last couple of years,” Faldo said. “I got mentally tired. And so I thought if I’m mentally screwed up, maybe I’ll make a great announcer, or a great analyst anyway.”
* Clippers at Golden State Warriors
(Channel 5, 7:30 p.m.)
Local basketball fans can tune in to get a better read on the Clippers, remarkable 114-84 opening-night winners over Seattle. How good are the Clippers? How bad are the SuperSonics? OK, on the last one, I think we already have our answer.
* Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (Channel 11, 10 a.m.)
The game all NFL fans want to see will actually be seen by NFL fans living in Los Angeles. So the Raiders must have a bye then? No, they’re playing at the same time, against Carolina, another interconference game, only that one is being carried by CBS.
So, local fans have a choice. They can watch Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, being billed as a “Super Bowl preview” by breathless, what-have-you-done-lately types who forget New England remains in the league. Or they can watch Oaklanders-Carolina, which could be billed as “Look At What Happened To The Last Two Teams That Lost The Super Bowl.”
* New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams
(Channel 2, 1:15 p.m.)
After losing the 2002 Super Bowl to the Patriots, the Rams have recovered to the point where they are 4-3 and tied for first place in the NFC West heading into the rematch. The Patriots, their 21-game winning streak ended last Sunday, will try to break another streak: the Rams’ 12-0 run against visiting teams from the AFC.
* Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
(ESPN, 5:30 p.m.)
Joe Theismann will drive only an hour from his home to call this one.
“I finally get to do a home game,” he said this week. “We don’t get that very often in our business. I love going over to Baltimore, seeing the ships, hitting the harbor. It’s full of life and it’s the place to be.”
Terrell Owens was saying the same thing just the other day.
* Atlanta Hawks at Lakers
(FSNW, 6:30 p.m.)
“Celebrating 20 Years of Lakers Basketball” is FSNW’s pitch line this season. The network aired its first Laker regular-season game on Nov. 5, 1985, when the station was known as Prime Ticket. That first game featured the following:
Laker starting lineup: Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kurt Rambis, James Worthy.
Laker opposition: The Cleveland Cavaliers, then led by World B. Free, then coached by George Karl.
Laker announcing team: Chick Hearn, Keith Erickson.
Laker pregame ceremony: Championship banner raised, championship rings distributed.
Other changes of note: Cleveland won that game, 129-111. The halftime score was 75-57 -- your typical NBA Eastern Conference full-time score in 2004.