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Preseason expectations low for UCLA football team

Three seasons into the Rick Neuheisel era, expectations for UCLA might be lower than ever this fall. …

A Sporting News ranking of all 120 major college teams slots the Bruins at No. 84, ahead of only woebegone Washington State among their Pacific 12 Conference brethren. …

Of course, as offensive lineman Mark Asper of fifth-ranked Oregon notes, “Preseason rankings are like dialogue on ‘Baywatch’ — you need them to keep the show going, but they don’t mean anything to anyone except nerds.” …

USC is ranked 25th. …

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LSU is No. 1. …

Wake us when the lockouts end. …

“California has given Boston Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Bill Sharman, Dennis Johnson, Paul Pierce, Fred Lynn, Nomar Garciaparra and Tom Brady,” veteran sportswriter Joe Jares notes. “And what has Boston sent to the Golden State? Frank McCourt and Whitey Bulger.” …

Howie Kendrick and the Angels might have a losing record at home and within their division, but they’re dominant in interleague play and nipping at the Texas Rangers’ heels. …

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Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt of the San Francisco Giants, via Twitter: “If Superman is so smart, why does he wear his underpants on top of his pants?” …

Ron Artest, in a radio interview, explained that he’s changing his name to Metta WorldPeace, not Metta World Peace. …

Thanks for clarifying. …

Ex-NBA guard World B. Free was born Lloyd Bernard Free. …

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New Lakers assistant John Kuester faced a Palace revolt as coach of the Detroit Pistons last season, Tracy McGrady and several teammates skipping a morning shoot-around in February as an organized protest of their coach. …

That night, when Kuester was ejected from a game at Philadelphia, McGrady was shown laughing on the bench. …

“When Oklahoma City drafted Reggie Jackson,” reader George Sands of Torrance wonders, “did it realize that with a lockout there probably won’t be any games played in October?” …

WBA champion David Haye might be cruisin’ for a brusin’ when he says of his heavyweight bout Saturday against IBF and WBO champ Wladimir Klitschko: “You are going to see the most brutal execution of a boxer. I will absolutely destroy him.” …

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Klitschko has knocked out a higher percentage of his opponents than any other heavyweight in boxing history. …

Reid Cherner of USA Today, on Tiger Woods’ scruffy new look: “Personally, we’d like to see him go full ZZ Top — long beards and all — but maybe that would affect the backswing.” …

With Venus Williams in her early 30s and Serena Williams getting there soon, a revitalized Maria Sharapova brings much-needed star power to women’s tennis. …

Regarding speculation that Matt Leinart might be headed to the Seattle Seahawks to reunite with Pete Carroll, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald writes, “That means the weather will be only the second-most depressing thing about Seattle.” …

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Carl Hubbell and Fernando Valenzuela may have struck out five consecutive batters in an All-Star game, reader Glenn M. Langdon of Garden Grove notes, but Hubbell’s victims were all future Hall of Famers: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin. …

Valenzuela’s were Don Mattingly, Cal Ripken Jr., Jesse Barfield, Lou Whitaker and a pitcher, Teddy Higuera. …

What’s more, Higuera’s at-bat against Valenzuela was the only plate appearance of his major league career. …

Of an Internet photo showing LeBron James backstage with Bono at a concert in Florida, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald writes, “Clearly the U2 song dedicated to LBJ should be, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.’ ” …

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Or, in deference to Dwyane Wade, “I Will Follow.” …

Chris Bosh’s four-day bachelor party, reportedly attended by none of his teammates, was nicknamed “The Hangover 3.” …

Prince William of Wales, with new bride Kate in tow to present a trophy to the winner, will play in a benefit polo match July 9 at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. …

Reserved seats: $4,000 apiece.

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jerome.crowe@latimes.com


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