Monday, December 03, 2007

Some good news for a change

Coming off a weekend where UCLA lost to $UC in football, Texas in football, and in which the Kings blew a two goal lead, and the Lakers and Broncos played like crap, today brought some good news finally.

Building on the momentum of the Illinois to the Rose Bowl announcement, fortune delivered the end of the Karl Dorrell era. I tried to stay on Dorrell's side as long as possible, and going into this season, I had high hopes that he'd be able to stem the tide of negativity and put up a great season, inlcuding a BCS bowl and victory over $UC. And while injuries certainly were a factor, particularly in the Notre Dame game, they certainly weren't against Utah, and that was the game that forever changed my opinion. They came out listless and never seemed liked they cared, and they got hammered by one of college football's bottom feeders. Against Notre Dame, they still could have won the game had they had a halfway competent third string quarterback (oh wait, they did, but they had converted him to receiver, even though he never played at receiver). And despite the struggles of McLeod Bethel-Thompson, that game could have been won if the coaching staff hadn't consistently set him up for failure.

Make no mistake, the problems that beset this year's Bruin football team were almost completely due to poor coaching. I think Karl Dorrell is probably a hell of a guy, but he's not a very good head football coach. At least not yet.

And the good news keeps coming. The Super Furry Animals just announced a North American Tour which will be hitting Chicago in February. This will mark the fifth or sixth time I've seen SFA, one of the best live acts still in business.

Oh, and I got promoted.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

UCLA chokes against Texas

Maybe if they showed up to play the first half, they would have won. Horrible defense, even worse shooting, and they still should have won if they'd had a clue what to do in the last minute. Absolutely pathetic performance against a very overrated Texas team, which does nothing but fling the ball at the basket half the time, and tonight they were lucky that a lot of them went in.

Still, this was a #1 ranked team that played like they didn't deserve to be in the top 25, and if they don't come prepared, this is going to happen a lot. Fortunately, I'm confident that Ben Howland will keep them ready. But the fact is, the Pac 10 has already lost the luster that it had pre-season. UCLA and that other team both lose to Big 12 opponents on their home floor. That's pathetic.

Illinois Is Going to the Rose Bowl!!

Well, it's taken a while, but the Illini are headed to Pasadena for a bowl game, and hopefully the game will be more exciting than the last trip the Illini took to Pasadena. I'm talking about the regular season matchup in 2003 that finished with UCLA winning 6-3. Don't let the score fool you, the game was even more boring than it sounds.

I will, naturally, be in town for the game, as I'm usually home at that time anyway. I was planning on heading back to Chicago for New Years this year, but the Illini have thrown a monkey wrench into those plans.

Early pick: I think the Illini will get killed, but that's what I thought about the Ohio State game, too. And U$C has had problems with scrambling quarterbacks. Of course, most of that struggling came against Dennis Dixon, who is a lot better than Juice. But still, it's a reason for some sliver of optimism.

Party at my parents' house!