Petros' UCLA preview

We now find ourselves on the eve of possibly one of the most lopsided City championship games in the history of the rivalry. All the old, wrinkly, salty dog newspaper veterans that I know can't remember a spread of 22 points in this football game. I can't remember so many UCLA people coming up to me and saying "we don't have a chance", does this make you nervous? It doesn't make me nervous.

I'm sure all of you geniuses have figured out by now that I won't be writing about the Arizona game. Yes, I remember Desert Swarm and I know what they are now so it's too depressing to talk about. The Pac-10 is embarassing this year but it's OK, your Trojans see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We now find ourselves on the eve of possibly one of the most lopsided City championship games in the history of the rivalry. All the old, wrinkly, salty dog newspaper veterans that I know can't remember a spread of 22 points in this football game. I can't remember so many UCLA people coming up to me and saying "we don't have a chance", does this make you nervous? It doesn't make me nervous. Think about it, there haven't been too many upsets in this rivalry in recent years. Yeah, you could talk about 95 and 96 but Robinson had a block about the Bruins and that's just the way it was.

The Trojans will win this game just like they win all their other games. It's gonna be 45-14. In the last 18 games the Trojans are 17-1. Think about how many weekends you've sat back on your couch in Orange County or in the Valley with your three perfect children all wearing Mike Williams jersey and laughed at another USC victory. In the last 18 games UCLA is 10-8. They have won or lost those games by an average score of 22-20 favoring the opponent. Imagine all the UCLA fans sitting at home on a folding chair cursing at their wives and breaking bottles of white zinfandel against the wall after another tough loss. Some like to make the comparison that Pete Carroll, much like Karl Dorrell, ended up 6-6 in his first year coaching in Los Angeles. The answer to that question is yes but if you look deeper into it the Trojans finished 6-6 and were improving as the year went on. UCLA has crumbled every November since 1999.

One could believe, if one is obsessive-compulsive like myself or is superstitious at all like most Eastern Europeans, that Cade McNown's play at the end of the 1998 game where he faked taking a knee was really the downfall of the UCLA program as they knew it during the 20-game win streak (which many of them still talk about). He took it upon himself to try and score on the last play when the game was easily in hand. Now, some will say they are cursed, and I'm not one of those who will say this because I don't mess around with curses, but after that game they lost to Miami in a horrible game by the defense and then they went on to lose the Rose Bowl. Ever since that play UCLA has fallen like the Tower of Babble. I feel sorry for UCLA and I wish they were a better opponent for the Trojans this weekend. There are a lot of Bruin fans out there who are toeing the company line, as well as broadcasters, players and coaches. They say if UCLA can score five times on defense or special teams then the Bruins can stay in this game with the Trojans but the reality is that UCLA has a 50% chance to win on Saturday....the coin toss. After that, I think you know what's gonna go down. Let's enjoy the City Championship and handle it with class. We can all have a good time and, believe me, it's gonna be fun so stay safe and let's watch the Trojans dominate.

Fight On and God Bless. Petros.


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