The first ever Pac-12 Championship Game takes place on Friday night at Autzen Stadium, where the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins will battle it out for a spot in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
To say that the Bruins have absolutely zero confidence going into this game is a bit of an understatement. They are quite fortunate to be representing the Pac-12 South, and the only reason that they are here is because the USC Trojans aren’t eligible to do so. Last week, UCLA was smashed 50-0 in a game that truthfully was never even that close at the LA Coliseum, and the end result saw the team finish up the regular season at 6-6. The truth of the matter is that the Bruins would probably rather not be in this because, because a loss, a very likely scenario, would leave them at 6-7 and technically ineligible for a bowl game (unless the NCAA grants them a bid regardless of their sub-.500 record due to the fact that they are the Pac-12 South representatives in the league’s title game). That being said, it was very predictable that Head Coach Rick Neuheisel was going to get fired, as he really hasn’t fulfilled any of his promises since he has been hired as the coach of the team. Neuheisel stays on for this one, but regardless of whether the Bruins pull off the epic upset or not, it will be his last game on the sidelines in blue and gold.
Oregon’s BCS National Championship dreams went up in flames right on this very field when the Trojans beat it by a field goal two weeks ago. The truth of the matter is that the game probably didn’t ultimately mean all that much to the Ducks, as they are still playing for the right to go to the Rose Bowl one way or the other, and they probably would not have ultimately challenged for the national title anyway. They flew up and down the field against the Oregon State Beavers last week in a romp in the Civil War, and there aren’t many out there that think they have any shot of losing this game. This very well could be the final home game for RB LaMichael James, who could be heading to the NFL after this season is over with. James has rushed for 1,427 yards and leads the team with 15 touchdowns in spite of the fact that he missed two games injured. With a great game against the Bruins, he might have made one final case to be the winner of the Heisman Trophy this year.
UCLA Bruins @ Oregon Ducks Trends: The Bruins only won one game on the road all season long, and that came in Corvallis against the aforementioned Beavers. They haven’t won a game in this series since 2007, and last year in this stadium, they were plastered 60-13. Oregon is 6-2-2 ATS in its last 10 conference games, and it is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 against the Bruins.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.