baseball, college football, L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Sparks, MLB, NFL, Pac-12 Conference, pro football, Southern California sports, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, WNBA, Women's Basketball
Candace Parker (#3) celebrating with Odyssey Sims and the rest of the Sparks after clinching their second straight WNBA Finals berth yesterday. Photo courtesy of womenshoopworld.com
Except for two teams – maybe three if you count the Dodgers taking two of three from the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capitol (though they lost on Sunday) – it wasn’t a good weekend for the sports entities that call the greater Los Angeles area home.
* MUCH kudos goes out to the basketball team that’s frankly the best that L.A. has to offer, the WNBA’s Sparks, not only for clinching a berth in their league’s Finals for the second consecutive year and earning the opportunity to defend the championship that they won in such spectacular fashion last year,
But also for being the only SoCal sports team that won on Sunday as every other team that was in action, the Rams, the Chargers (on a last second missed field goal for the second straight game), the Dodgers and the Angels…
Now for the obvious question…
Will the Sparks repeat as WNBA Champions?
My Answer: Though those Sparks certainly have a good shot at having a second consecutive parade in downtown L.A. as they are on a roll, having won ten straight,
The Sparks’ opponent in the Finals, the Minnesota Lynx, a team that lost to them in an epic Game Five last season, will be motivated on a pronounced level to avenge that extreme last second heartbreak.
Which is why I’m not seeing those Sparks repeating.
I hope I’m wrong.
* USC’s Trojans get a big well done from me for what at least in their mind was enacting revenge for that crushing loss to Vince Young and his Texas team in the BCS Championship in 2006 and beating the Longhorns in two overtimes on Saturday.
That game unfolded almost exactly as I said it would in the predictions article that I did on this site three weeks ago (here’s the link to prove it): http://www.socalsportsannals.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/usc-trojans-football-2017-game-predictions/, Texas giving ‘SC a real tough battle before the Trojans pulled it out in front of a very loud and dedicated Trojan Family at the Coliseum.
But as I said on this site’s Twitter page, while the Trojans should have no problem beating their next opponent, a California team that even though they’re playing better than I expected remains no match for Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones II and company,
It’s the opponent after Cal that they need to worry about, as they head for the Palouse to face a good (and ranked) Washington State team with an experienced senior quarterback,
On the road,
On a Friday night,
With several defensive players banged up as ‘SC has no bye weeks,
In what’s the perfect definition and illustration of these two words:
* As for my alma mater’s football team…
There’s a post on the website BruinsNation.com that was spot-on regarding not only UCLA’s 48-45 loss to Memphis on Saturday,
Which not only unfolded the way I had predicted, as a toss-up,
But also discussed the general direction that the Bruin program has been heading under coach Jim Mora for the past two years-plus, commenting on how UCLA missed their chance at taking over the L.A. sports scene in light of the USC sanctions, no pro football teams, and the mediocrity of the two baseball clubs.
And how while Mora is “…a great human being and a fantastic ambassador for UCLA,” he’s also “…probably reaching the end of the line.”
I, for one, don’t want to fire Mora in the middle of the season.
While their chances of beating their next opponents, a Stanford team with a dominant running game, are quite slim considering their deficiencies in stopping the run, I won’t know if Mora should be let go at the end of the year until around midnight on September 30th.
That’s when the Bruins home opener against Colorado will be over.
And with their record most likely being 2-2 going into that game, that match-up against the Buffaloes is the epitome of a crossroads game.
As far as I’m concerned, a win will mean that hope remains in Westwood for a good season.
And if UCLA loses,
I’ll consider the season over and will set my eyes on Bruin basketball and particularly gymnastics.
* Regarding our two NFL teams…
It was a bad day for both the Rams and the Chargers as they lost in the last minute; the last second in the Chargers’ case as Younghoe Koo missed a game winning field goal attempt for the second straight game.
All I have to say is that if the Rams and Chargers have their hearts set on their squads being of playoff caliber, they need to wake up now.
These are two mediocre pro teams that Los Angeles has, and while the Rams have a chance in a weak NFC West, I don’t see the Chargers finishing anywhere but last in a strong AFC West.
But that all remains to be seen.
That’s about it for my random ramblings regarding our teams;
As always, let’s see how things unfold…
Freshman walk-on kicker Chase McGrath (#40) holding up holder Wyatt Schmid (#46) after making the game winning field goal in USC’s 27-24 double overtime win over Texas on Saturday. Photo courtesy of newsday.com