UCLA still needs their ticket stamped.

From hating Con-dumbs to loving Seamen:  Win over Army on Saturday by Navy seals Bruins’ Bowl berth

Temple, or The Temple of Doom?

It was announced yesterday that the UCLA Bruins were invited to the Eagle Bank Bowl in Washington D.C. to face the Temple Owls.  However, there is one catch:  If Army upsets Navy on Saturday, then Army gets to go to Washington, and the Bruins get to go nowhere.

What are the odds, you ask?  Well, at “Press Time,” was not showing a spread, but according to posts on the Bruin message boards,  Navy is favored by anywhere between 14 and 16 points, and has won the last 7 against their biggest Rival.  Of course, since it IS a Rivalry Game, anything can happen.  It is annually the best spectacle in College Sports, and it will be fun for Bruin fans without Veterans to actually have a rooting interest in it this year.

The Temple Owls are 9-3, and are coached by Al Golden, who has completely turned the Program around, and got the Owls into their first Bowl game in 30 years.  Bruin fans might have heard of Golden, because he was a candidate for the Bruin job before Rick Neuheisel got hired.  A win over Temple would sure be a nice way for Neuheisel to assure Bruin fans that Dan Guerrero made the right choice.

The Eagle Bank Bowl is on December 29th, at 1:30pm, televised by ESPN, and would be a great opportunity for UCLA to get some East Coast recruiting exposure, not to mention the extra three weeks of practice, which would do a World of good for what the Eagle Bank Bowl’s website calls “one of the youngest rosters in the Country.”

So now it’s time to “Support the Troops,” but just the Sailors, not the Soldiers.

And speaking of soldiers, the Bruin Basketball team put in a courageous effort against #1 Kansas on Sunday, hanging tough for most of the game before finally losing 73-61.  Most Bruin fans scoffed at the 14-point spread, thinking that if Portland can blow the Bruins out, what will the Jayhawks do?  But UCLA, playing without Drew Gordon, played up to their competition.

Reeves Nelson made people stop pining for Gordon to come back, with his stellar play underneath.  He was matched up against All-American Cole Aldrich, but Nelson held his own throughout.  Nelson was a force on the Offensive glass, and when he went out after receiving a severe black eye, Kansas suddenly went on a tear, powered by their sudden dominance on the glass.  The Bruins had come back from 13 down to make it a 7-point deficit at Halftime, and they actually whittled it to 4 in the Second Half.  But Kansas, behind one-and-done Xavier Henry’s shooting and All-American Sherron Collins’ driving, built the lead up to 17.  But it was still a three-possession game in the closing minutes, which is a lot better than most Bruin fans expected.

One of the bright spots was the return of Tyler Honeycutt.  While he was noticeably and understandably rusty, he was still able to show why he was the Bruins’ #1 recruit this year.  He seemed to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.  Conversely, Bobo Morgan got some playing time, but he did not make the most of it.  He had one nice basket, but he had trouble on both ends of the floor.  Jerime Anderson, who was pulled from the starting five, struggled off the bench.  He missed a couple of easy shots, and seemed slow to react to some loose balls that really could have changed the momentum of the game.   Nothing in that game will get Jerime back into the starting line-up.  And, nothing in that game will keep James Keefe in it.  Even though Brendan Lane barely played (due to the bulk of Kansas’ Center and Front Line), Keefe’s job is probably on the line, with Lane and Honeycutt the likely recipients of the extra minutes.

But just the fact that the Bruins were making a run at the Country’s #1 team, with the fans at Pauley on their feet, is a good sign.  Coach Ben Howland really could be the Coach of the Year if he can get this team to play this well or better — minus the Turnovers and missed Free Throws — for the rest of the year.

And speaking of Coach of the Year, Pete “The Mad Bomber” Carroll is very mad again.  This time he is furious with just-fired Notre Dame Head Charlie Weis.  Charlie, who has already apologized, was quoted as implying that Pete Carroll, who is married, was not living with his wife, but was living with some trojan grad student in Malibu.  Carroll denied the claim, which is based on a year-old Internet rumor.

C’mon — Knowing everything that you do about Carroll’s INTEGRITY, do you really think he would dishonor his Wife like this?

In Weis’ apology, he admitted that he didn’t KNOW about Carroll’s living arrangements, and that he was just talking off-the-cuff about Internet rumors, and how they can screw up a Coach’s life.  Any chance that this alleged grad-student will now come out, like Tiger Woods’ mistresses, and make life Hell for Pom Pom?  I wonder if Pom Pom’s Wife has a nine-iron?

And speaking of Pom Poms, make sure you go back and read all the comments that came in yesterday.  One of them uses the word “creepy” again, and screams out for some of you guys and girls to rebut.  In fact, I really wish someone ON the squad would break tradition, and write in just this once, to back me up.  Because, he wants me to STOP posting Cheer pics.  Luckily for you, I’m not giving up just yet.  Here are 9 more (blatantly un-creepy) photos from the ASU game.  Don’t forget:  You can click on these photos to enlarge them, and mouse over them for hidden captions to pop up.

Let’s see — A beach house in Malibu, an arrogant, over-rated, oversexed, cheater has-been… Call it “Two & A Half Egos.”

How cool would it be for the Players (and Cheerleaders?) to get to tour the White House, the Capitol, the Monuments, etc., on a Bowl trip to D.C.?

Only an Army Blockade is in between UCLA and the Golden Temple.

Only a sub-par performance by the Midshipmen could torpedo UCLA’s plans now.

Maybe Obama will attend the game, which is played at RFK Stadium.  I bet the Party Crashing Couple gets in!

Hopefully, there will be no Salvation for Army this week.

Really Bad Joke of the Day:  An Army win would cost the Bruins an arm-y and a leg-gy.

Never before has a military battle been so important!!

Last one for tonight.  Now let’s just hope the Cadets Space on Saturday, and forget to show up.