Lowest Lane — Just like the 405 North near UCLA, when Lane Kiffin is coaching in a big game, you can assume that a Lane will be shut down, and that’s what happened in the Sugar Bowl, as Kiffin’s confused Offense chokes in the end, allowing Ohio State to upset Alabama and advance to the Championship game against Oregon
It’s the eve of UCLA’s appearance in the Alamo Bowl against Kansas State, but there was a couple of developments on New Year’s Day that might give Bruin fans a reason to smile. Not only did a Pac-12 team end Florida State’s 29-game winning streak, knocking the Seminoles and their QB of dubious character Jameis Winston out of the Playoffs, but then the not-so-vaunted-anymore SEC got eliminated from the first-ever Playoff Title Game, when the Buckeyes stunned the Crimson Tide, whose Offensive Coordinator is the slimy former trojan coach Lane Kiffin.
Many Bruin fans hate Oregon, due to the Ducks’ cocky fans, and embarrassment of riches brought on by Nike owner Phil Knight, but most of those same UCLA supporters are happy that UCLA’s Conference will be represented in the big game next week, and that the ESPN darling SEC will not. And I’m pretty sure that all UCLA fans — and most u$c fans — are taking pleasure in the failure of Lane Kiffin in the Sugar Bowl.
Kiffin, who got fired ignominiously on the tarmac at LAX by Pat Haden after a humiliating loss to Arizona State, was being lauded this year as one of the best Assistants in the Country, as the Tide was rolling to a #1 ranking. Alabama has the Nation’s best Wide Receiver, and Kiffin rode him all season long, against a watered-down SEC and some OOC cupcakes. But when the chips were down, Kiffin folded like someone facing Jennifer Tilly in a low-cut dress at the World Series of Poker.
The Tide capitalized on OSU turnovers and led 21-6. But Kiffin’s Offense could not keep it going. The Tide committed 3 Turnovers on the night, but that didn’t do them in. The key statistic was 3rd Down Conversions, where the O.C.’s strategy is crucial. In these clutch situations, Kiffin’s Kids went a pathetic 2-13, despite having a roster chock full of 5-star phenoms. Alabama still had a shot to tie in the final minutes, but their Offensive unit was confused, chaotic, and undisciplined, and their horrendous time management forced them to try a Hail Mary as time expired. The desperation heave was intercepted, finishing ‘Bama’s season in the Sugar Bowl, on a very sour note.
Bruin fans shouldn’t get too gleeful over Kiffin’s demise, as UCLA faces a tough match-up on Friday, and could be choking on that glee. So let’s just casually enjoy the fact that sleazy Kiffin got knocked off his high horse, the Pac-12 is alive in the run for the Crown, and Jim Mora hasn’t as of yet entertained any overtures from the NFL teams with Coaching vacancies, as his #14 team gets ready to face off with a very respectable #11 Kansas State in San Antonio. And if the Bruins are lucky enough to come away with a W, then we can release the glee. That is, as long as we don’t have to think about Basketball season for a few days. 🙂
Meanwhile, here are 49 more photos that will surely bring nothing but glee: a collection of shots from 2014 of the UCLA Spirit Squad.