This edition, from Feb. 18, has been made available in archived form …

USC and UCLA: ‘Glory Daze’ read more

Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.

The traditional signing day Wednesday merely padded Oregon's already stellar recruiting class, the best in school history.,GETTING DEFENSIVE: Washington capped its recruiting class by landing two of the top defensive players on the West Coast.,Washington had seemed to be the favorite for Heimuli for most of the recruiting period, but his Menlo-Atherton team advancing to the state title game in California impacted his ability to make a decision in time for the December signing period.,The abrupt departure of new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury after 34 days shook up the Trojans' recruiting class and led to the departure of receiver commit Bru McCoy, who spurned USC for Texas.,The day had an international flavor with the Utes bringing in 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni, a native of London who played last year for Garden City Community College in Kansas, and fellow 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Luke Felix-Fualalo, a former rugby player in Australia who played last year for prep powerhouse Mater Dei in California.

R.C. Slocum spent nearly three decades coaching football at Texas AM, and if the rules changed, recruiting didn't.,But money, social media and the pursuit of national glory changed recruiting in the Lone Star State, at least at Texas and AM.,For the first time in 20 years, Texas, AM and Oklahoma will finish in the top five of the 247Sports' composite recruiting rankings.,Now that recruiting budgets at Texas and AM have climbed into seven figures, it's easier for coaches to go national as well as fly recruits in for visits.,Besides 10 Texas recruits this year, he signed players from Georgia, California, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Washington D.C.

Then we give up.Other Chargers storiesChargers Cover-Three defense looked more like Cover-NoneHelene Elliott columnizes off of the gameAntonio Gates wants to keep playingSaints winThe New Orleans Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia Eagles, 20-14, to advance to the NFC title game, where they will host the Rams next Sunday at noon on Fox.That means the conference championship will be a rematch of teams that met in Week 9, with the Saints beating the Rams, 45-35, also in New Orleans.I think that we match up really well, Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said of the Saints.,The last time we played them, it came down to a game of just running out of time.At the end of the day, I think well have a better plan against them the second go-round, and youve got to be excited to be able to go back there and get another chance at those guys again.You can take a first look at the Rams-Saints matchup by clicking here.So, it will be Rams-Saints for the NFC title and Patriots-Chiefs for the AFC title.,So did the Cleveland Cavaliers.Things arent quite that bad, but the Lakers are 3-7 since LeBron James was injured and are tied with Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.Fans took to social media after the game to criticize coach Luke Walton.,Turns out it wasnt gold in their stockings, it was a lump of coal painted gold.Also check out:Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram take on expanded roles with LakersHigh school basketballOne thing that often gets overlooked in the discussion of the impending strike by the LAUSD teachers strike set to begin today is how the strike will impact high school sports.High school sports reporter and columnist Eric Sondheimer takes a look at that by using the upcoming Fairfax-Westchester game as an example.The strike will halt the sports seasons for thousands of City Section athletes, boys and girls.,Bartow seemed pretty unhappy with the team in the second half, becoming very animated in timeout huddles more than once.Kris Wilkes had 21 points and Prince Ali had 13 points for the Bruins, who lost their first Pac-12 game and are now 3-1 under Bartow.USC basketball (Kevin Porter Jr. suspended indefinitely)What seemed so promising turned out to be a disastrous time in Oregon for the USC mens basketball team.

Lacking sufficient students willing and able to pay for costly basketball tickets to fill the new Pauley Pavilion, why should UCLA cough up millions any top-market basketball coach would feel himself to be worth?,How much did it cost UCLA to serve as an uncompensated NBA training camp?My vision of UCLA basketball is somewhat different from Plaschkes: Ticket prices reduced precisely because the coach is not being paid the stellar wage commensurate with a rock star status, and students cheering for actual student-athletes who might go into fields other than pro.,The simple fact is that UCLA does not have someone who knows what he is doing and therein lies UCLAs problem over the past 16 years of Dan Guerreros tenure.Success at the highest level in the two major sports, football and basketball, requires not onlya top-flight coach, but also a top-flight athletic director.,Trump U., for example.Michael JenningVan Nuys::Bill Plaschke, just what was the purpose of your hatchet job description of the UCLA basketball program in your column on New Years Day?,Of course, I was watching the Lady Bruins and their coach, Cori Close.Now that the mens program is looking for someone to take over for coach Alford, perhaps UCLA look no further than its own campus.Mike FeixChino HIlls::For front page news on New Years Day we are offered Bill Plaschkes lament on the failure of basketball at UCLA.

Does it matter to most residents of Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah and Colorado whether their states' major college football programs match those in Alabama or Ohio dollar for dollar and victory for victory?,OK, more links: The O’s James Crepea takes a deep dive into Oregon’s 7-6 victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl, the good, the bad, the encouraging and the discouraging.,Vince Grippi for the Spokesman-Review: Washington’s loss shows the Pac-12 just doesn’t measure up against college football’s elite level.,Joey Kaufman of the Los Angeles Daily News: Washington’s loss to Ohio State is one more Pac-12 disappointment.,Washington wilts in a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State, leaving the Huskies with bigger questions.

PASADENA, Calif. — Urban Meyer sees the Rose Bowl nestled in verdant Arroyo Seco on a sunny winter day and thinks back to the formative days of his coaching career.,The three-time national champion will lead Ohio State (12-1) into the Rose Bowl on today to face Washington (10-3), and then he will retire from coaching at just 54 years old.,“I dreamed a lot about Ohio State, the rivalry game, the Rose Bowl,” Meyer said.,Chris Petersen is just three months younger than Meyer, and he has built a powerhouse in his half-decade in Seattle, highlighted by a College Football Playoff semifinal two years ago and this trip to the Huskies’ first Rose Bowl in 18 years.,The Rose Bowl is the big finish to the remarkable four-year Washington careers of quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin.

PASADENA, Calif. — Urban Meyer sees the Rose Bowl nestled in verdant Arroyo Seco on a sunny winter day and thinks back to the formative days of his coaching career.,The three-time national champion will lead Ohio State (12-1) into the Rose Bowl today to face Washington (10-3), and then he will retire from coaching at just 54 years old.,“I dreamed a lot about Ohio State, the rivalry game, the Rose Bowl,” Meyer said.,Chris Petersen is just three months younger than Meyer, and he has built a powerhouse in his half-decade in Seattle, highlighted by a College Football Playoff semifinal two years ago and this trip to the Huskies’ first Rose Bowl in 18 years.,The Rose Bowl is the big finish to the remarkable four-year Washington careers of quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin.

Firing Steve Alford was the easy part.Finding a marquee replacement for a once-proud program that has become ignored and irrelevant is going to be the hard part.UCLA axed its embattled basketball coach in a rare midseason change Monday, two days after a 15-point loss to Liberty in front of fans who filled Pauley Pavilion with boos.,While the move mercifully ended Alfords five-plus year tenure, one marked by consistent underachievement despite three Sweet 16 appearances, the Bruins real challenge lies ahead.They have to convince a worthy candidate they can provide an environment that will empower him to restore glory to a championship culture that has clearly lost its way.I never thought I would write this, but the stark reality is that coaching the UCLA mens basketball team is not a great job.Your bosses seem to care more about football.,The schools support of the program has lagged such that when the Bruins traveled to Dayton, Ohio, for an NCAA Tournament play-in game last March, the pep band didnt even make the trip.In ways that stretch far beyond the current 23-year national championship drought the longest since before Wooden stepped on campus the reality is as chilling as the malaise that often runs through Pauley when the team occupies the floor.UCLA basketball is no longer UCLA basketball.The most important, yet trickiest, task of Dan Guerreros tenure as UCLA athletic director will be to find somebody with the coaching chops and public charisma to change all that.They need a John Calipari type, but they dont operate in John Caliparis neighborhood.,Then you need to pay Chip Kelly prices, offer Chip Kelly-style control, and install Chip Kelly-style bells and whistles.In hiring Kelly, Guerrero took the kind of big swing he had never taken before, broadening his vision with the nudging of booster Casey Wasserman and former Bruins quarterback Troy Aikman.In this new hire, which UCLA says will be conducted with the help of another former Bruin, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers, Guerrero needs to swing with the same launch angle.In other words, he cant hire a coach from New Mexico who, in 18 years of Division I coaching, had reached the Sweet 16 only once.That was Steve Alford, and, lets face it, his biggest problem was that he never should have been hired in the first place.From his messy opening news conference in 2013, during which he made comments about a rape charge against one of his former players at Iowa for which he later apologized, Alford never seemed comfortable here.It was like he took the job not because he wanted it, but because he felt he couldnt turn it down.,He never sold the program through either entertaining regular seasons or deep tournament runs.I supported him in this space because of his and his staffs great recruiting they had seven NBA first-round draft picks and because of those three Sweet 16 appearances in five years, an underrated and difficult task.But in each of those Sweet 16 games they were badly outclassed, losing by double digits.