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The UCLA Bruins flat out blew it last Friday when they were trounced by Stanford 31-10 and now must watch the Pac-12 Championship Game in the comforts of Westwood.

UCLA, then winners of five-straight, clawed back into the top-10 and was primed for a spot in the big game.

And then, the proverbial wheels fell off their Rose Bowl float.


The Bruins last Friday started with a quick score, but from there appeared undisciplined and overwhelmed by the big game implications, getting stomped by an underachieving Stanford club that was nowhere near the dominant force they’ve been the last four years. UCLA-USC-I.jpg

With championship weekend approaching, all the Bruins can do is wait to see what bowl games they’ll get invited to.

Oh, and the biggest decision in the life of Brett Hundley (right) will take place as well.

UCLA appears to be pegged for bids from either the Alamo or Holiday Bowl. Other bowls have found their names tossed about, but for UCLA’s sake, they’d better be hoping for one of the two aforementioned locales.

The Alamo Bowl has produced eight of the top-20 most watched bowl games in ESPN history and would certainly help UCLA in recruiting with the huge national exposure. The Alamo has been pitting the Pac-12 against the Big-12 since 2010 in San Antonio, Texas and has first rights on the No. 3 ranked schools in both conferences.

The Holiday Bowl is in San Diego and would pit the No. 3 Pac-12 team against the No. 4 Big-10 team, though that’s not contractually obligatory.

The Holiday Bowl has a rich history of incredible games and had previously featured Pac-12 and Big-12 schools since 1997. This year begins the new conference match-up.

Where UCLA ends up will be murky until the Pac-12 champion is crowned. If Arizona beats Oregon, then two Pac-12 teams finish eligible for a big-six bowl game, but neither would make the inaugural playoff.

If Oregon wins, Arizona will likely go to the Fiesta Bowl while Oregon enters the playoff as the No. 2 seed, unless Alabama is shocked by SEC East winner Missouri.

Arizona State (9-3,) UCLA (9-3,) and USC (8-4) are the next three teams eligible for bids. The Alamo gets to bid before the Holiday and would be wise to pick UCLA vs. Oklahoma. These two schools each have a rich history, yet have never met in a bowl game.

UCLA-vs-USC.jpgMuch less certain is whether Hundley declares for the NFL draft. Anyone who has watched all the Bruins games and read about his pros and cons should agree in unison…

Hundley would be wise to stay at UCLA.

He has a great completion percentage, but holds onto the ball too long while cycling through his progressions. Part of the reason UCLA ranked at the bottom of the Pac-12 in sacks allowed was because Hundley’s field awareness was sub-par, thus he couldn’t recognize the open receiver until the pressure was collapsing around him.

Hundley is likely a first round pick because of athletics gifts, strong arm and size barring an abysmal combine.

Either way, the allure of the NFL probably pulls him away from UCLA and he declares after the bowl game, win or lose.

There will be a month of practices awaiting the Bruins once they decide on a bowl and that should allow Hundley plenty of time to think about his decision.

He should stay, take UCLA to the playoff next year and leave warranting a statue along with an even higher draft ceiling.

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