Monthly Archives: October 2012

Going to the 2013 Rose Bowl?

Did your team make it to the 2013 Rose Bowl?

Here is a list of touristy things to do in Los Angeles and I threw in some local suggestions on good places to eat. Given that you will be coming to LA during the holidays, check the schedules because a lot of places are closed on Christmas and New Years. Most museums are closed on Mondays.

We have grouped things to do by location since LA is very spread out, its best to do one location/area at a time. We have also provided you with info for the Amusement Parks in LA and a few museums.

If you are a sports lover you can also see we stock all Clippers, Lakers and Kings Games.
Clippers Vs Utah Jazz Dec 30th
Lakers Vs Portland Trail Blazers Dec 28th

Beach Day: Santa Monica/Venice
Santa Monica Pier

http://www.downtownsm.com/

- 3rd Street in Santa Monica is a great outdoor walking street with stores/restaurants
- Santa Monica Place is a newly opened mall in Santa Monica that has some nice restaurants on the rooftop
o La Sandia (Mexican Food) is great http://www.richardsandoval.com/lasandiasm/index.php
o Sonoma Wine Garden

http://www.sonomawinegardensantamonica.com/

- Great place to walk around

Venice Beach
- Great tourist location. Lots of street performers, venders to buy souveniers from LA
- Sidewalk Café is a great place have lunch and people watch

http://thesidewalkcafe.com/

Venice Canals – something to see and walk

Venice Shopping (Abbot Kinney)
- shopping, art galleries, good restaurants – good to just walk around

Hollywood

- Starline Tours

http://www.starlinetours.com/los-angeles-tours.asp

o Tour through LA and shows you celebrity homes
o In the courtyard of the Chinese Theatre is the office of STARLINE TOURS, Hollywood’s oldest coach tour company with tours to many areas of the city including tours of the stars homes.
o Tours range from approximately 2 hours to a full day
o Most tours depart at 9:00 am

- Hollywood & Highland center for shopping (can sometimes be overcrowded)

- Hollywood Walk of Fame
o Starts at Hollywood & Highland (reaching as far east as Vine Street behind you) – this is where you can see stars names in the sidewalk
- Graumann’s Chinese Theater (handprints in cement)

http://www.chinesetheatres.com/

- Hollywood sign hike (I know you said no to hiking but for a first time visitor to LA – this is an awesome way to see LA and see the Hollywood Sign)

http://www.modernhiker.com/2010/05/18/hiking-mount-lee-to-the-hollywood-sign/

- Griffith Park Observatory
o FREE ADMISSION
o Place to star gaze; beautiful views of Los Angeles & Hollywood sign
o Observatory offers a planetarium, exhibits, public telescopes, cafe, bookstore, and the best views of the Los Angeles basin.
o Closed December 25; Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
o If its raining; another good option is to see a show at the Observatory – show tickets cost $7.00
” http://www.griffithobservatory.org/psoplanet.html

Farmers Market/Beverly Hills/West Hollywood
- Original Farmers Market/The Grove

http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

o Farmers market is an LA landmark and a great place to shop and eat
o Outdoor dining
o Check out the outdoor fountain that ‘performs’ periodically to the sounds of specially orchestrated music. Walk through the gift shops and food stalls of the Farmer’s market, next door

- Drive/walk down Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood (aka “The Strip”)
o The Strip is one of LA’s nightlife areas with restaurants, clubs, bars, traffic and lots of people-watching. Stop here for lunch at one of the many eateries or continue past Doheny Drive into Beverly Hills

- Walk around Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills
o Great place to have lunch is Il Tramezzino in Beverly Hills (order the chicken special) http://www.iltram.net/
o Check out Sprinkles Cupcakes – there is usually a wait and they just opened Sprinkles Ice Cream

http://www.sprinkles.com/cupcake-bakery-locations/beverly-hills/bakery/

Amusement Parks

Disneyland/Disney’s California Adventure
- http://disneyland.disney.go.com/
- Disneyland is more of a theme park – with fun rides – but can be enjoyed my any age. You may want to do a park hopper as California Adventure has some more thrilling rides as well
- Great for kids
- If you choose to go to Disneyland or California Adventure, check out adjacent “Downtown Disney” for restaurants, bars and shopping

Universal Studios
- http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/
- Universal is more of a studio tour with shows and only a couple rides (Universal Orlando has a lot of rides)
- If you choose to go to Universal Studios, definitely go to Universal City Walk in the evening for dinner
*I would suggest Universal Studios over the other amusement parks because it has a combination of rides & behind the scenes Hollywood fun. Most unique to LA (and florida)

Knotts Berry Farm

http://www.knotts.com/tickets/

- Knotts Berry Farm is an older Western Theme Park with some thrill rides, western decorations and activities
- Least expensive of all the amusement parks but also much smaller

Six Flags Magic Mountain

http://www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/index.aspx

- Roller coaster theme park, thrill rides
- If you are coming with children, make sure they are tall enough to ride.

Museums-
LACMA – modern art museum (open Jan 1)

http://www.lacma.org/

o Biggest (and best) Art museum in LA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
o located near Original Farmers Market area close to Wilshire & Fairfax

- Getty Center – beautiful gardens and art (closed on Jan 1)

http://www.getty.edu/visit/

o Beautiful architecture & outside gardens
o Art collection is mediocre but some interesting pieces. Check calendar for special exhibits

- Huntington Library – If you are staying in Pasadena, this is a must see place since it is close by.
o Entry tickets on weekends are $20 which is a bit pricey for a museum
o The grounds though are amazing

Dont forget there is always the Rose Parade.

The Ten Worst NCAA College Football Teams in the Nation

With the upcoming release of the season’s first BCS standings, there will be talk of Alabama and what other SEC teams will be in the top ten. There will be talk of the improvement of the Pac-12 and the woes of the Big Ten. But what about the bottom feeders? What about the teams at the other end of the spectrum? Here’s a look at the ten worst college football teams in the country.

10. Colorado State (1-5)
After a season-opening win over in-state rival Colorado, the Colorado State Rams have dropped five straight, including a 22-7 loss to last year’s FCS champ, North Dakota State. CSU is horrible on defense giving up 30 points per game and maybe even worse on offense where they rank 117th in scoring, just 16 points per game. The running game is one of the three worst in the nation (96 yards a game) and the team’s leading rusher, Chris Nwoke, has just 162 yards.

9. Colorado (1-5)
Football in the state of Colorado is simply not good. Head coach Jon Embree is on his last legs for sure. After the aforementioned loss to rival Colorado State to start the year, the Colorado Buffaloes proceeded to lose to FCS Sacramento State, 30-28. A second-half rally provided the team’s only victory, a dramatic 35-34 win over Washington State, but this team is on the brink of disaster. Teams that give up 41 points a game rarely win and Colorado still must play the USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks, and Stanford Cardinals, all ranked teams.

8. Kansas (1-4)
If Dorothy clicked her heels, she would awake to find the latest in futility from the Kansas football program. New head coach Charlie Weis was supposed to at least revive a sluggish offense. The Kansas Jayhawks are 111th in scoring offense putting up just 20 points a game. KU’s only win came at the hands of FCS South Dakota State in the season opener. Granted the Jayhawks have lost to two ranked teams, TCU and Kansas State, but the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia remain.

7. Akron (1-5)
Welcome back to college football, Terry Bowden. Surely, he never thought it would be this bad. The lone win was a 66-6 pounding of FCS Morgan State. The Akron Zips are already 0-2 in the MAC and the league schedule doesn’t get much easier. Akron faces Ohio and Northern Illinois, who appeared in last year’s league championship game, and then must take on a newly rejuvenated Kent State and Toledo, both of whom are currently unbeaten in league play. Akron is eighth in the nation in passing offense, but average just 123 yards a game on the ground.

6. Florida International (1-5)
A year ago, the Panthers played in their second consecutive bowl game. Head coach Mario Cristobal had this program headed in the right direction. But FIU has had serious trouble stopping anyone, giving up 38 points a game, and it’s hard to win games when you give up 38. The Panthers’ lone victory was a 41-38 overtime win over Akron. The fewest points allowed by FIU…28 in a 28-21 loss to a ranked Louisville squad.

5. Auburn (1-4)
What a difference a stud QB and a couple years make. The 2010 national champions are now one of the worst football teams in America. No more Gus Malzahn and high-octane offense. The Auburn Tigers are now an anemic, pro-style offense that puts up a whopping 15 points a game. They rank near the bottom in every major offensive statistical category. And, they play in the SEC. There are some bright spots, though. The Tigers still have New Mexico State (stay tuned) and Alabama A&M remaining on the schedule.

4. New Mexico State (1-5)
Hard to believe that an early November date with Auburn might be a battle between the Aggies and the Tigers. New Mexico State, a program with a history of losing records, has lost five straight since an opening-weekend win over Sacramento State. The Aggies can’t run the ball (86 yards a game) and can’t stop anybody (33 points a game), a bad combination when trying to win football games.

3. Eastern Michigan (0-5)
A year ago Ron English’s Eagles were looking to get into a bowl game with six wins. This year, the wins are hard to find and EMU will be lucky if it gets any. The Eagles can’t run (103rd in rush offense), can’t throw (118th in pass offense), can’t score (119th in scoring offense), and find it difficult to stop anyone from scoring (110th in scoring defense, 37 points per game). It’s a recipe for disaster as the Eagles still have to play three of the MAC’s best—Toledo, Ohio, and Northern Illinois.

2. Southern Mississippi (0-5)
After coach Larry Fedora’s exit last year after a 12-win, Conference USA championship season, Southern Miss was thought to be in good hands with Ellis Johnson. Five games into the 2012 season and the Eagles have yet to get a win. They have played some good football teams—Nebraska, Louisville, Boise State—but gone is the high-powered offense of a year ago. Southern Miss averages just 16 points a game and the passing game, a strength last year, is one of the worst in the nation averaging just 135 yards a game.

1. Tulane (0-5) & UMass (0-6)
It’s dual futility at the top. In its first year as an FBS program, Charley Molnar’s UMass team just doesn’t have it figured out yet. The Minutemen have had a hard time putting the ball into the end zone. UMass is 121st in the nation in scoring offense averaging just 13.8 points per game. The only thing worse than the UMass offense? Tulane’s. The Green Wave are dead last, 124th out of 124 FBS programs, in scoring. Tulane has only been shut out once, but has averaged just nine points per game. And defensively, both teams yield over 40 points per game. Tulane now has 15 straight losses. UMass is headed in that direction.

USC Trojans, Still A National Contender?

USC Trojans

USC Trojans

To remain in the national title hunt, the University of Southern California football squad cannot afford another slip up.

Yet to exhibit the greatness predicted by college football experts before the season, inconsistency plagued the Trojans through the first five games. USC rolled over Hawaii and California, struggled mightily at various points against Syracuse and Utah, and lost to Stanford. The Orange, Utes, and Cardinal all lack the raw talent of USC, but they managed to keep each contest unexpectedly close.

Possibly the only unit outperforming expectations, USC’s defensive line exhibited dominance over the first several games. Junior defensive end Morgan Breslin ranks among the top players nationally in sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (10.5) on a defense that yields fewer than three yards per carry. As the Trojans trudge through the high-scoring PAC 12 Conference, its opposition will likely try to beat them by way of air.
Cornerback has been a major point of concern for coach Lane Kiffin. The starters struggled so much the first few weeks, speculation surfaced that Kiffin might consider shifting wide receiver Marqise Lee to the position. Though he recently denied the possibility of moving Lee over to defense, safety Josh Shaw practiced at corner this week, confirming the staff’s lack of confidence in the secondary.

But it does appear the Trojans are trending upward in recent weeks.

In a 27-9 victory over in-state foe Cal on Sep. 22, USC was able to sack Bears’ quarterback Zach Maynard seven times. And for the first time since 2008, two running backs surpassed the 100-yard mark for the Trojans—Silas Redd racked up 158, while Curtis McNeal totaled 115.

Against Utah last week, USC dug itself out of an early hole to earn a valuable conference road win. QB Matt Barkley posted perhaps his best game of the season, completing 23 of 30 passes and three touchdowns. Equally impressive, the receiving corps displayed deep threat potential all game long as the Trojans prevailed, 38-28.

As USC plows deeper into the season, the schedule doesn’t get any easier.

With a trip to Seattle to play Washington on the horizon, as well as #2 Oregon Ducks and #7 Notre Dame coming to town in November, the Trojans have plenty of boulders in their path. Also laying in the weeds is crosstown rival UCLA, a squad foaming at the mouth to avenge last year’s 50-0 embarrassment. With one loss, a national title game appearance doesn’t appear as likely as it did prior to the season, but if the Trojans do find themselves in Miami they will most certainly have earned it.

Muse coming back to Los Angeles

Muse returning to the Staples Center

Muse returning to the Staples Center

U.K. rock trio Muse has further filled out their North American journey behind the impending release “The 2nd Law.”

Muse unleashed “The 2nd Law,” the alt-rock outfit’s sixth studio set, in late September throughout Europe and Oct. 2 stateside. The album follows the band’s 2009 release, “The Resistance,” which debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and topped charts in the U.K. and in other parts of Europe.

As of now Muse will be playing the Los Angeles Staples Center on Jan 23rd 2012 and will most likley add a second date at Staples Center. Band of Skulls will be the opening act for the Los Angeles Show or Shows.

Here are the Muse Tour dates for North America and the World.

November 2012
1 – Manchester, United Kingdom – Manchester Arena
3 – Dublin, Ireland – The O2
12 – Munich, Germany – Olympiahalle
14 – Basel, Switzerland – St. Jakobshalle
16 – Bologna, Italy – Unipol Arena
17 – Pesaro, Italy – Adriatic Arena
19 – Vienna, Austria – Stadthalle
20 – Budapest, Hungary – Budapest Arena
22 – Prague, Czech Republic – O2 Arena
23 – Lodz, Poland – Atlas Arena

December 2012
5 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum Arena
6 – Stockholm, Sweden – Ericsson Globe
7 – Malmo, Sweden – Malmo Arena
10 – Helsinki, Finland – Hartwall Arena
11 – Tallinn, Estonia – Saku Arena
13 – Riga, Latvia – Arena Riga
15 – Hamburg, Germany – O2 World
17 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Zippo Dome
18 – Antwerp, Belgium – Sportpaleis
19 – Strasbourg, France – Zenith

January 2013
12, 13 – Saitama, Japan – Saitama Super Arena
21 – San Diego, CA – Valley View Casino Center
23 – Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center
28 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena

February 2013
3 – Edmonton, Alberta – Rexall
4 – Calgary, Alberta – Scotiabank Saddledome
6 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Rogers Arena
22 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – BankAtlantic Center
23 – Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Times Forum
25 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center
28 – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena

March 2013
2 – Detroit, MI – Joe Louis Arena
4 – Chicago, IL – United Center
7 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
8 – St. Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena
10 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center

April 2013
9 – Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Center
12 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
15 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
19 – East Rutherford, NJ – IZOD Center
23 – Montreal, Quebec – Bell Centre
26 – Quebec City, Quebec – Colisee Pepsi

You can order Muse Tickets for all Los Angeles shows now.

Biggest Surprises In College Football This Year

Matt Barkley & USC
Wasn’t the triumphant return of the stud QB, those receivers, and tons of starters supposed to have USC Trojans challenge the SEC’s dominance of the BCS national championship trophy? Five weeks into the season, the Trojans aren’t even in the Top Ten anymore and have been written off as a true contender in the BCS picture. Barkley has been less than impressive and has fallen off the Heisman radar as a result.

Arkansas
Bobby Petrino’s little escapade on his motorcycle over the summer sparked a disaster in Hog Country. After Petrino’s firing and the hiring of John L. Smith, it appeared that Arkansas, with QB Tyler Smith and a host of returning players, wouldn’t miss a beat. They missed terribly. After a season-opening win over FCS Jacksonville State, the Hogs have lost four straight and sit at 1-4.

Louisiana-Monroe
And speaking of ULM, is this a program on the rise? An upset of Arkansas, they took Auburn to overtime before falling, and were right in it with Baylor. The WarHawks average 42 points per game and have a highly underrated QB in Kolton Browning. ULM begins play in the Sun Belt this weekend. Look for them to be in the hunt for a conference title.

MAC vs. Big Ten
The Big Ten used to schedule MAC teams as warm ups for the coming league schedule or even homecoming games. No more. Miami (OH) beats Penn State. Northern Illinois over Kansas. Central Michigan shocks Iowa. Ball State wins at Indiana. The MAC is no longer the “little brother” to the Big Ten and the Big Ten, well, is just not as strong as it used to be.

Oregon State
After a dismal 3-9 campaign last year, Mike Riley has his troops ranked in the Top 20 with three wins over ranked teams already (Wisconsin, Arizona, UCLA). The Beavers QB Sean Mannion has matured and delivered for the Beavers who still have a long road ahead with the Pac-12 schedule and the year-ending Civil War with #2 Oregon. Doubtful anyone thought OSU would be unbeaten and ranked heading into October.

Notre Dame
A 4-0 start, a top ten ranking…Irish fans have dreamed for years and now head coach Brian Kelly has made it come true. The Notre Dame defense is something special and is the big reason the Irish are unbeaten. If QB Everett Golson can get it figured out on offense, Notre Dame can be a true BCS contender. A strong running game and powerful defense are part of the necessary ingredients in championship football teams. Golson, or even former starter Tommy Rees, needs to add the QB to the mix.

Texas Tech Defense
Who leads the nation in total defense? Alabama? LSU? No…it’s the Red Raiders of pass-happy Texas Tech. There hasn’t been defense like this in Lubbock since the days of Spike Dykes. Tommy Tuberville’s unit gives up just 167.5 yards per game (just 85.5 on the ground!) Hey, some of it is the schedule they have played but they are better than year’s past. And they will need to be. Beginning Saturday, the Red Raiders face five nationally ranked opponents in a row.

Week 5 for the San Diego Chargers

Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers head in to week 5 sitting atop the AFC West with a three and one record. The Chargers head to New Orleans to take on the Saints in a game that has a lot more on the line for the Saints then the Chargers. So the Chargers will need to play a balanced game while looking for a big game out of Philip Rivers.

The Chargers have gotten off to a great start with two of the three wins coming against division rivals the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. In order for a team to win the division they have to take care of the teams in that division. That is exactly what the Chargers has done this season. In week 1 Philip Rivers threw for 231and 1 touchdown while Nate Kaeding added 5 field goals to beat the Raiders 22-14. After taking care of the Tennessee Titans in week 2 38-10 the Chargers would find themselves in a tough match-up against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons would be to much and the Chargers would fall 27-3. The team would rebound in week 4 defeating the Chiefs as Rivers threw for 209 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception while the running game added 104 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers would benefit from 3 interceptions from Matt Cassel and 3 loss fumbles in the running game. The Chargers beat the Chiefs 37-20 to move to 3-1 on the season.

Now next up is the Saints where Drew Brees has a chance to pass Johnny Unitas in the all-time consecutive games throwing a touchdown record and they also look for the first win of the season. This match-up will be difficult as the NFL has allowed suspended head coach Sean Payton the chance to attend the game due to the record. This will give the Saints some inspiration and will come out ready to play.

In week 6 Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will come to town in a divisional match-up. This game will be an intense game as both teams have goals on winning the division. This is only the first of two between the two teams as they also square off in week 11 as well. The Chargers will need to find a running game down the stretch if they want to win the division while the Broncos look for Peyton to lead them to the post-season.

After week 6 the Chargers get a bye before getting three games against teams they should beat the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These three games will be key as the next four games comes against the Broncos, Ravens, Bengals and Steelers. All four should be tough down to the wire games with the Chargers needing at least 2 wins in those 4. The match-ups against all four of the AFC North teams will be defensive battles with the team winning making the fewer mistakes. The Chargers finish up taking on the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and the Raiders. This gives them a chance to win the last three games and lock up the division.

The Chargers will need to continue to stop the run and play good defense while Rivers needs to throw touchdowns and not turn the ball over. This is a big season for the Chargers and Turner with high expectations on the line.

Live Theaters in Los Angeles

Theater in Los Angeles

Looking for something a bit different to do in? Take a second look at “The Theater”

Although not as many theaters as Broadway has, Los Angeles has its share of Theaters which put on great shows all year round.

Geffen Playhouse – A very intimate setting and big on developing new plays.
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles 90024

Zephyr Theatre – Very small in the Melrose District
7456 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood 90046

Pantages Theater – Likely the crown jewel of LA. This historic Theatre has seen the likes of some of LA’s greatest pieces.
6233 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood 90028

Ahmanson Theatre – Downtown Theatre row, a bevy of plays hit this spot.
135 Norh Grand Ave, Los Angeles 90012

Pico Playhouse – Professional theatre which is open to experimental to established plays.
10508 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90064

Mark Taper Forum – Also owned by the Center Theatre Group in Downtown, this round theatre has hosted the likes of Martin Sheen and other great actors.
135 North Grand Ave. Los Angeles 90012

Valley Performing Arts Center – A brand new facility at Cal State Northridge, large venue with big and small productions in their vast complex.
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge 91330

Theatre Asylum – Great location in Theatre Row in Hollywood, formerly the Elephant.
6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood 90038

Pasadena Playhouse – Large theatrical shows, great location for new plays needing a name for themselves.
39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena 91101

Santa Monica Playhouse – Small, but two stages have been around since the 60s, nice productions.
1211 4th Street, Santa Monica, 90401

Skylight Theatre – 99-seats, has its own theatre company and active works through October
1816 1/2 N. Vermont, Los Angeles 90027

The Second City Hollywood- Improv shows, either from current classes of their conservatory group or repeat players, shows weekly.
6560 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028

Kirk Douglas Theatre – Beautiful location, wonderfully done, great productions.
9820 Washington Blvd, Culver City 90232

Kodak Theatre – (Now known at the Dolby) From the Academy Awards or whatever else it wants to host, this ultra modern facility can handle whatever wants to be here.
6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles 90028

Crown City Theatre Company – Resident director and actor, hosting Shakespeare in the Park near Pasadena.
11031 Camarillo Street, North Hollywood 91602

The MET Theatre – From experimental to raw works, has a pretty good celebrity draw.
1089 N. Oxford Avenue, Los Angeles 90029

USC UCLA A Rivalry Unlike Any Other

Two schools located in the same city, Los Angeles, separated by just twelve miles makes
for one interesting rivalry. The likelihood that alumni and students from the schools
will interact with each other on a daily basis is very high. Ohio State-Michigan and
Army-Navy are two other huge college football rivalries that come to mind, but neither
features the kind of proximity that is seen by the Trojans and the Bruins.

The schools have competed against one another in a variety of sports since the early
1900s. USC, long recognized as a “football school” and UCLA, the “basketball school,”
both have storied traditions in other non-revenue sports as well, such as track & field,
volleyball, and water polo. UCLA actually holds the NCAA record for most team national
championships with 107 and most overall national titles with 128, more than any other
school in the nation. But, it’s on the football field where the real rivalry begins.

Since the formation of the old Pacific Coast Conference, which is now the Pac-12, USC
and UCLA have shared or won 54 conference football championships. The rivalry
game, normally played the last week of the regular season, has had conference title
implications as well as, on some occasions, national title implications, and has served to
determine the conference’s Rose Bowl berth on several occasions.

One of the most memorable was the “Game of the Century” played in 1967 pitting #1
UCLA led by QB Gary Beban against the second-ranked Trojans and a phenomenal
young running back named O.J. Simpson. USC won 21-20, beat Indiana in the Rose
Bowl, and claimed the national championship. Beban did win the Heisman Trophy that
year. Simpson won it the next.

Recently, though, the game has lost some of its luster. While USC has flourished,
winning national championships in 2003 and 2004 and losing in the title game in 2005,
UCLA has struggled. The hiring of “golden boy” former QB Rick Neuheisel in 2008
was to signal the return to prominence. It was not to be as the former Rose Bowl MVP
produced only one winning season and a 21-30 overall record.

USC has dominated the rivalry of late. The Bruins’ last victory in the series was in 2006.
With another BCS title game berth on the line, UCLA pulled one of the great upsets in
college football with a 13-9 victory denying the Trojans the chance to play for another
national championship. USC still won the Pac-10 and went on to the Rose Bowl that
year.

Since the ‘06 win, the Bruins have not fared well in the “Victory Bell” match-up, losing
miserably last year, 50-0. USC has won 12 of the last 13, holds a 46-28-7 advantage in
the series, and in the last five meetings has outscored UCLA, 158-35. USC has owned the

Victory Bell for the better part of the past two decades. The bell, originally from an old
Southern Pacific railroad locomotive, has traditionally been awarded to the winner of
the USC-UCLA game every year since 1942.

If there is a year to mark a turning point in the rivalry, it may very well be 2012. With
new coach Jim Mora, Jr., the Bruins are off to one of their best starts in recent history.
UCLA is 4-1 with a big win over then 16th-ranked Nebraska. Their only loss was a 27-20
setback to 18th-ranked Oregon State.

The Bruin offense has become more consistent and it starts with the play of freshman
QB Brett Hundley. Hundley is completing 66 percent of his passes (121-for-183),
has 1,480 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and has a passer rating of 150.6. And, led
by Jonathan Franklin, UCLA has one of the top 15 rushing offenses in the country.
Franklin, a 5-11, 195-pound senior, has 693 yards rushing including two 200-yard
games already this season.

If the Bruins continue to improve and stay healthy, it’s possible that this year’s Nov.
17th match-up with the USC Trojans could be for the Pac-12 South Division championship.
USC, however, has it a little tougher meeting two ranked opponents, Washington and #2
Oregon Ducks, prior to the cross-town rivalry.

The Trojans are led by senior QB Matt Barkley, who stunned the football world last year
declaring he would return for his senior year at USC. With Barkley, the country’s best
receiving tandem in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, and the addition of Penn State
transfer Silas Redd, the Trojan offense is its strength. The vulnerability lies within the
Trojan defense as Stanford proved as they handed USC its only loss of the season, 21-14.

While it may not be a “game of the century” this year, the Victory Bell tilt will be one to
watch as the regular season winds down. The UCLA Bruins will be looking for a signature win
as they enter the Mora era and will desperately want to end the Trojans’ dominance in
the rivalry. USC, on the other hand, may need the victory as it fights for to keep a BCS
bowl bid alive. The 2012 edition should be a good one, a return to the gridiron battles of
the 1960s and ‘70s.

You can purchase USC Vs Ucla tickets now