Before the season, UCLA was said to have the better team, better quarterback, better coach, better schedule and better chance to win the Pac-12, but after their latest epic fail, in the form of a thorough beat-down administered by the far superior and more talented Trojans, it's clear the Bruins better get used to this.
The Nation of Bruins is bitterly divided. Half want Jim Mora fired immediately and half don't want him fired ... until after the Cal game.
UCLA has not won a Rose Bowl in its own stadium in 31 years — soon to be 32 years. But while their 2016 team could only gain eight yards running the ball in the final three quarters against USC, the Westwood fans set a record for rushing for the exits early in the fourth quarter. After the worst loss of their season, would "Woes Bowl" make a more fitting name for the Bruins' most recent Fall of Futility?
Feat of Clay?
Whether the 2016 version of USC resembles 2002 or 2011 remains to be seen. 2002 was the beginning of a great run under Pete Carroll. In 2011, we won a huge game on the road in Eugene and lit up UCLA 50-0, only to relapse the following season. Darnold, Adoree' and JuJu were recruited by the previous staff. Can Clay Helton recruit and get players like Carroll? Until that question is answered, we won't know if this year was a fluke or the start of something great.
Not bowled over
It is amazing how diluted the college football bowl season has become. You actually ran a story about the possibility that UCLA could get invited with a 5-7 record?
I'm only 59, but growing up I remember that to get to a bowl game, you had to have a really good team.
What's next---participation trophies for all the players who showed up to practice every day? The only thing that can stop this nonsense is if the fans stop watching on TV, and stop going to all the meaningless games.
Six wins to be bowl-qualified? Six wins makes sense if a team plays only nine or 10 games — not 11 and up to 13. The motivation is obvious: a lot more bowl games and a lot more TV money. What's next? Five wins only? And the Campbell's Soup Mmmm-Good Bowl?
Jared Goff did a decent job in his first start, but with this team, it doesn't matter how good he is. Tom Brady couldn't win with this Rams team and coach.
The way the Rams played the final five minutes against the Dolphins, it would not surprise anybody in the slightest if we found out Bill Plaschke got a message to the coaches: Start playing for a high draft pick. We need an offensive line!
Week in and week out, Jeff Fisher explains another loss because of other people's shortcomings.
Meanwhile, he's lost 162 games, his teams consistently rank among the most-penalized, and he loosely commands a lackluster program of underachievers.
Jeff Fisher is, at best, a mediocre coach. He is uninspiring, his in-game decisions are misguided, his offensive game plans are vanilla, and he apparently lacks the leadership skills to motivate a fairly gifted team.
Bring in a no-nonsense coach like Nick Saban or Urban Meyer and, without changing any of the players, it is likely we will see a team that makes the playoffs year in and year out.
Cut Fisher loose. The fish always rots at the head.
As a longtime season-ticket holder (both here and Anaheim) that was the worst display of coaching I've seen in years. How could Jeff Fisher allow his team to lose with a 10-point lead, while driving with less than five minutes to play? First, the ridiculous field goal attempt. Really, with fourth and one (and momentum) you don't have enough confidence in your team to go for it? What good would three points do anyway? Then you allow the Dolphins to go down the field (totally unobstructed) with multiple penalties that not only gained valuable yardage but also stopped the clock, twice!
All the while, the players seen behind Fisher were standing around laughing and joking it up. With the amount of money they make, who really cares who wins? Only us fans.
You know it's bad when the referees are having to ice their shoulders after working Rams games.
Given all the hoopla surrounding the new starting quarterback of the Rams, including one local news broadcast leading with and dedicating the first five minutes to his emerging presence, one would think his initials are JC instead of JG.
Howard P. Cohen
Hooray, hooray! Finally, the Lakers are competitive and we can stop obsessing over losses, lotteries and draft picks.
Now along come the Rams.
Advice for Dodgers
The Dodgers are built to be better than average over the long haul — just as investment bankers, Dodgers management, are trained to do. One extraordinary starting and relief pitcher cannot do the job alone. Sign Turner and Jansen. Fill the holes at second base, left field and right field (Puig really?). Kazmir, McCarthy, Hill and Wood are not going to cut it and Maeda is a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Dodger Stadium is still my favorite place in Los Angeles. It's just those guys in the front office are holding us back.
America may never become a soccer nation, but we just lost an opportunity with the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann. Being a big dog in CONCACAF is like being a star in MLS. It's second-division mentality. Just like a baseball player has to come to MLB to be taken seriously, a soccer player has to go to Europe.
Klinsmann's attempt to get this country to realize that was sabotaged at every level. It started with Landon Donovan's refusal to play in Europe and preferring be a big fish in the MLS pond. This sent a message undermining Klinsmann all the way down to the recreation level.
I have been watching the UCLA basketball games very closely, and I've come to a conclusion. There are seven players who are rotated in and out of the lineup. Four of the players are playing beautiful team basketball, and three of the players are primarily playing for the their own stats and recognition. I'll let you connect the dots, but I predict that this team will be hamstrung in the league and the postseason because of this dynamic.
As a lifelong Yankees fan I can only hope that the title of your article comparing Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle ["Trout and Mantle in the Same Ballpark," Nov. 19] is a prescient one.
There is no comparison between Trout and Mantle. Mickey was a switch-hitter who invented the term "tape-measure home run." He brought electricity to the crowd just stepping into the batter's box. He had four rings in his first six years. Trout has zero playoff wins.
Mickey and his boys partied in New York with celebrities. Trout watches the Weather Channel.
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