UCLA’s Eric Kendricks wins the Dick Butkus Award as the NATION’S Best Linebacker, despite Pac-12 Head Coaches failing to name him to the All-Conference 1st Team

Sometimes, you have to leave home to get a little respect.  Last week, the Pac-12 announced their All-Conference 1st and 2nd Teams, and Honorable Mentions.  This list is voted on by the 12 Pac-12 Head Coaches, and apparently, some of these Coaches are either not paying attention, or are holding grudges, or are simply clueless.  The first tip-off to this sad state of affairs was when the League’s LEADING RUSHER, Bruin Paul Perkins, was left off the 1st and 2nd Teams, notching only an Honorable Mention.  Believe it or not, no less than FOUR Running Backs with less yards gained than Perkins were voted in above him.  The second tip-off was Eric Kendricks being relegated to the 2nd Team, with THREE other Linebackers being selected ahead of him.

Could it be that there is a little conspiracy by the 11 Coaches not named Mora, to try to keep surging UCLA out of the limelight?  UCLA has risen up the charts over the last three years more than any other school, as Jim Mora has steadily been placing the Bruins on the map, and positioning them for a run at Elite status.  It therefore makes sense that all the other Coaches would be in FEAR, and that they would do whatever they can to keep UCLA from getting more accolades, and more Press, as this increased exposure would only fuel Mora’s stellar recruiting freight train.

Some evidence for this theory can be found in the Polling results.  Washington Coach Chris Peterson, who insulted UCLA when they tried to offer him a job, saying he had no interest in “that place,” voted UCLA #21 in the last poll, which is SIX spots below their actual ranking.  The All-Conference voting individual ballots weren’t released, but I bet Peterson left Kendricks and Perkins completely off of his.

But now it’s Kendricks who gets the last laugh, when yesterday he was announced as the first-ever Bruin recipient of the prestigious Dick Butkus Award, which is given annually to the Country’s Best Linebacker.  The players who were named ahead of him for All-Conference honors were not even second or third in the National balloting.  The voters for this award include Coaches, as well as Recruiters, Scouts, and Journalists — experts who study all the games, not just their own, and are apparently able to be unbiased.

No trojans were even finalists for the award, possibly because the traits considered for inclusion are not just toughness, leadership, competitiveness, and skill, but also CHARACTER.

Speaking of skill, here are 50 more photos of the UCLA Spirit Squad, from the day when the Bruins schooled the trojans 38-20.





  1. Rob Avatar

    T.H. great shots as always. What’s that cheerleader’s name, 15th pic from the bottom? It’s not Juliet, is she?

    [T-H’s Note: 15th from last is Jane, with the guy with his tongue partially out. That’s the one below Kiana with the little girls, and above three shots of Juliet.]