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Arts and Entertainment

LAist-CS Final Regular Season Rankings: The Slap-and-Tickle Battle of L.A.

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I don’t know what’s more embarrassing: the stabbing in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl or the game itself.

Led by Allen Bradford’s 212 yards of rushing and a 47-yard touchdown catch, the Trojans won the Battle of L.A. 28-14. While that’s all fine and dandy, anyone that watched the third quarter would have wished they were at STAPLES Center watching the Kings beat the Red Wings.

Here’s what happened in the third quarter: UCLA Kickoff; USC punt; UCLA interception; USC interception; UCLA fumble; USC turnover on downs; UCLA punt; USC interception; UCLA punt; end of quarter. For the crimes committed against football, both teams should have been assessed losses and the Victory Bell should have been shipped to Division III Occidental Tigers.

The Trojans got on the board first in the first quarter when out of the wildcat formation tailback Dillon Baxter threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison. UCLA responded right away when Johnathan Franklin ran for 59 yards for the tying touchdown.

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But the killer happened late in the first half when Franklin fumbled the ball on USC’s 32-yard line by Chris Galippo which was recovered by Malcolm Smith who went 68 yards the other way for the touchdown and the 14-7 lead.

After that epically bad third quarter, the Trojans took a 28-14 lead thanks to Bradford’s touchdown catch from Matt Barkley and Bradford’s 73 yard touchdown run. UCLA tried to things more respectable when Richard Brehaut hit Joseph Fauria with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left in the game.

“A difficult, bitter loss for us,” UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said. “We certainly had our chances and plenty of opportunities.”

USC head coach Lane Kiffin in victory was a bit tempered. “First off I’m happy for our fans,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t play as well as we would have liked many times, but to finish off this way is obviously big for our fans and this city.” It’s still unsure whether he was talking about their play this season or their play in this game.

So that’s it. That’s your college football for the season in Los Angeles. It might look better next season. It might look even worse. But don’t get too down. At least there’s nothing worse than the Clippers, although even now they’re starting to play well.

Anyhow, here are the final regular season rankings:

1. TCU Horned Frogs
2. Oregon Ducks
3. Auburn Tigers
4. Stanford Cardinal
5. Wisconsin Badgers
6. Ohio State Buckeyes
7. Arkansas Razorbacks
8. Boise State Broncos
9. LSU Tigers
10. Michigan State Spartans
11. Nevada Wolfpack
12. Alabama Crimson Tide
13. Oklahoma Sooners
14. Missouri Tigers
15. Virginia Tech Hokies
16. Texas A&M Aggies

So a little change with my BCS bowl predictions. Up to this point I’ve been using my rankings as a basis for the bowls. But with the final BCS standings and bowls coming out later tonight, I’ll be a bit more realistic about it. So here’s what’s going to happen:

BCS Championship Game: Auburn Tigers vs. Oregon Ducks
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Connecticut Huskies
Sugar Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma Sooners vs. Ohio State Buckeyes