Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Focus: UCLA Can Brag for Time Being

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Focus: UCLA Can Brag for Time Being

Article excerpt

UCLA's fairly easy win over Southern California on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl 38-20 and it wasn't really that close gave the Bruins bragging rights in Los Angeles.

And they've still got a chance for even more.

With the victory, the Bruins moved up to No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the coaches' poll. UCLA figures to move up at least one spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bruins were No. 9 last week and No. 8 Mississippi lost. If UCLA wins out, beating Stanford on Friday and then Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game in Santa Clara, Calif., it would be 11-2 and be an outside candidate for one of the four spots in the playoffs. As a two-loss team, however, it could run afoul of one-loss teams such as Baylor, Texas Christian and Ohio State. Still, a win over Oregon and a strong finish could help sway the committee. (Also, even one loss by Florida State could knock it out of the top four.)

"This sets us up to be chasing our dream," UCLA coach Jim Mora said after his team's game Saturday. "But you can't sit here and gloat."

Well, UCLA players can gloat a little when it comes to beating their archrival for the third straight season.

"I don't care what USC is going through," UCLA receiver Devin Lucien told the Los Angeles Times after the game. "I did my part to make them feel worse."

"UCLA runs LA," quarterback Brett Hundley said, "and if you guys didn't hear it last year, I think this year we sort of made the statement."

THE PLAYOFF BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS

There are four conference championship games that could play a big role in which teams get into the playoffs, and with one weekend to go in the season, they're taking shape:

Pac-12 * Oregon against either UCLA, Arizona or Arizona State. UCLA is in with a win over Stanford. If it loses, the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game goes.

ACC * Florida State vs. Georgia Tech. …

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