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How Do You Solve a Problem Like UCLA?

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The Rose Bowl about as filled as it got during UCLA's 49-20 loss to the Texas Longhorns. (LAist/Jimmy Bramlett)
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Texas Longhorns defeat UCLA Bruins 49-20. It really is a shame. The Rose Bowl is a gorgeous place to catch a football game. Set in amongst the hills in Pasadena, knowing the history of the stadium, it is breathtaking.

The Rose Bowl is currently undergoing a three-phase $152 million renovation over the next three years that is primarily funded through bonds issued by the City of Pasadena. While the most striking change will be the press box renovation which will add another floor to the structure to fit in more premium seating, among the changes is the widening of the tunnels, expanding the concourses and concessions, increasing the amount of restrooms, a new video board and a vintage-esque scoreboard and a field hedge to recall the “good ole days.”

“We know the upgrades will make for a more enjoyable experience for our students, alums and other UCLA fans,” UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero said in a press release.

Too bad the team that plays in the stadium can’t make things enjoyable. In 1998, the Bruins were on the doorstep of playing in the BCS Championship game, so what happened?

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In this fourth season of the Rick Neuheisel era, nothing seems to improve. For all we have heard about the recruiting classes UCLA had in 2008 and 2009, all they have to show of it this season is a very close win to San Jose State.

What 54,583 fans who bothered to show up for this game saw was an offense that looked unsure of itself. Starting quarterback Kevin Prince threw three interceptions in the first quarter that came back for three Longhorn touchdowns. Richard Brehaut came into the game after the last interception and at the very least made the offense look somewhat respectable throwing for 150 yards. But for some reason, Neuheisel was still hesitant to pull the plug on Prince after the game.

“In this offense, Kevin is a faster, more mobile runner,” Neuheisel said. “He gives us, in essence, another running back in the game.”

For the life of me I can’t believe Neuheisel forgot to coach. This is a guy who was at the helm of winning programs in Colorado and Washington. Okay, so his indiscretions had led the two programs to shells of what they once were. But for what we know of, Neuheisel’s been on his best behavior.

It is apparent that Neuheisel will not be the head coach in January unless there is a miracle that would even leave the baby Jesus slack-jawed in awe. But what then? Who can Guerrero get to coach this program that isn’t even a shell of what it used to be.

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There is something toxic going on in Westwood, something deeper than a mere cosmetic head coaching fix. I don’t know what it is. I can’t put my finger on it. But with a football program that can’t stop tripping over itself with Bob Toledo, Karl Dorrell and Neuheisel, there is one common thread: Dan Guerrero.

USC Trojans defeat Syracuse Orange 38-17. Matt Barkley becomes the latest Trojan quarterback to throw for five quarterbacks. Perhaps most special was the fact his five touchdown throws were for five different receivers.

Baltimore Orioles defeat LA Angels 6-2. Really now?

LA Dodgers defeat Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1. Before the game started the Dodgers were eliminated from the wild card race. Thanks for playing again.

LA Galaxy defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-0.

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Chicago Fire defeat Chivas USA 3-2.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Angels at Baltimore Orioles. 10:35 a.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Pittsburgh Pirates at LA Dodgers. 1:10 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

NFL Action

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10:00 a.m.
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints. Fox.
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills. CBS.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets. AM 710 KSPN.
Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Tigers. AM 570 KLAC.

1:00 p.m.
San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots. CBS, AM 570 KLAC.

5:00 p.m.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons. NBC, AM 570 KLAC.