Will Bruins run wild in bowl or on Strip?

Dec 24, 2002 7:29 AM

Anger is making a bet that has no shot at winning. When that happens twice, we’re ready to attack.

Cincinnati and Louisville were invited to bowl games, but nobody told them. Added thanks to Michigan State for the nice sabotage job at halftime just to insure defeat. Maybe the Spartans should have directed the call to the Marshall side of the field.

Obviously, there was no incentive with Cincy or U of L other than catching the first flight back home. Now UCLA, with a one-game coach and a bunch of undergrads ready to party on the Strip, play in the Las Vegas Bowl on Christmas Day. Do you really believe these lads have New Mexico on their minds?

The Las Vegas Bowl is a wonderful opportunity for the Lobos, making just their second bowl trip in 41 years. You think this means just a little bit to the alums?

The Lobos are a 10½-point underdog on the latest line and light years away from the Bruins in gridiron laurels. However, UCLA is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games, including consecutive blowout setbacks to USC and Washington State. That was enough to give Bob Toledo his walking papers.

New Mexico is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games and 4-0 lifetime at Sam Boyd Stadium. Granted, Los Lobos do not nearly play the quality of opponents UCLA faces, but motivation is all on the side of the Mountain West Conference reps.

And, by the way, the MWC has won the last two Vegas Bowls. Last year, Utah defeated USC 10-6 in a game that saw a reversal of fortunes for two prime characters in 365 days. Utah coach Ron McBride was carried off the field after his greatest triumph at the school, only to be fired a few weeks ago.

On the other side, Carson Palmer could not find the end zone and drew the wrath of SC backers wondering why, after several tumultuous years, he was still calling signals. Now Palmer is a Heisman Trophy winner.

Normally, we do quite a bit of research on these games. Not so here. Why bother, if UCLA has no reason whatsoever to compete. The Bruins were the better team when the season began, but New Mexico has the hunger.

That’s finally good enough for us.