The Las Vegas Bowl is a shining example of why we must keep the bowl system as it is, in lieu of a playoff. If not for the current setup, we wouldn't be treated to the bloodfeud rematch between UCLA and BYU. Very small sections of Southern California and remote regions of Utah are dying for this! The early season tilt between these two programs taught us 2 things: 1) Early season success couldn't stand in the way of Karl Dorrell's fierce dedication to mediocrity, and 2) September 8th was a long time ago.
Now, to the preview of the Battle for Las Vegas!
Angry student section demands answers from Coach Dorrell.
The September 8th win by the Bruins over the Cougars was the beginning of the end for Karl Dorrell in LA. UCLA was flying high and ranked 11th in the country after clipping the Cougs 27-17. They responded to this early success by coming out the next week and getting hammered by Utah, 44-6. The writing was on the wall at that point* for head coach Karl "Marx" Dorrell. In spectacularly uninteresting fashion, the Bruins finished .500, losing 5 of their last 7. The axe fell swiftly on KD, and they'll be led into battle tonight by interim coach (and Dorrell protege) DeWayne Walker. Should be interesting to see what Bruins Nation is going to bitch about now. They spent their days and nights crying about KD, and with him gone, they'll have to stop blaming Dorrell for everything and be forced to look at their program for what it is - a shiny pile of poo. Bruins Nation should be prepared for a harsh dose of reality as they watch a BYU team, who's more talented on both sides of the ball, roll past them in dominating fashion tonight. Diminished expectations will serve them well in the future.
Max and Harry work up winning formula in BYU lab.
BYU, on the other hand, got better as the season played out, winning their last 9 and running the table in the Mountain West. They're led by superfrosh running back Harvey Unga and sophomore quarterback Max Hall. The tween twosome (to be fair, an underclassman at BYU could easily be in his 30's) form the deadliest QB-RB combo in NCAA history named Max and Harvey. While their offense is 15th ranked nationally, their defense is 10th and this is where UCLA is going to have their hands full. The femiliciously named Jan Jorgensen finished 8th in the country with 11.5 sacks for BYU, half of which came in November. UCLA's pass protection was not their strong suit, as evidenced by their quarterbacks taking more shots to the face than Jerry Jones. Ben Olson will get the start for the Bruins (he actually started his "career" at BYU) but he won't finish the game, at least, not on the field. Expect him to be KTFO'd by halftime. Oh yes, there will be blood.
Why should you watch? Because it's football, it's on, and you'll get to hear ESPN pimp Rick Neuheisel for 4 hours.
The Las Vegas Bowl - it's better than nothing!
* The writing said "Coach, we suck and you make us worse."