Wolf: Pac-12 schools quick to abandon tradition


The Pac-12 does have some traditions besides late-night games no one watches and putrid football in the state of Arizona.

But where is the respect for the program when UCLA showed up at the Rose Bowl in all-white uniforms Saturday night?

Does tradition count for anything anymore? Not when you have a new apparel deal with Under Armour. Go wear those in Memphis or Tucson where nobody cares. But don’t subject your loyal season-ticket holders to gimmicky uniforms.

Instead of wearing a throwback from 1967 to honor the 50th anniversary of Gary Beban’s Heisman Trophy, the Bruins unveiled yet another all-white uniform. It’s supposed to generate buzz and appeal to recruits. If you want to get a recruit’s attention, winning is always the best method.

USC fans can snicker but Steve Sarkisian was planning an all-white Trojans uniform before he self-destructed. Clay Helton might not know how to get his team to improve each week but he knows how to leave a uniform alone.

UCLA and USC do have one untouchable tradition: They are two of only three schools left in the nation that never have played an FCS (Division I-AA) opponent. The other school is Notre Dame.

Fire the USC or UCLA athletic director who ever decides to schedule Montana or North Dakota State. The low point for Cal’s football program was in 2011 when the Bears played the Presbyterian Blue Hose.

OREGON IN THE BALANCE

USC’s injuries seem insignificant compared to Oregon’s. Quarterback Justin Herbert broke his collarbone; the backup (Taylor Alie) was already hurt; star tailback Royce Freeman hurt his shoulder Saturday and top receiver Charles Nelson did not even suit up last week.

But there is hope for the Ducks: True freshman Braxton Burmeister is the quarterback of the future. And Oregon plays host to Washington State, which has not played a road game yet and is coming off its emotional victory over USC. The oddsmakers agree because Oregon opened as a 1-point favorite.

HEISMAN HOPEFULS

USC quarterback Sam Darnold and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen were the Pac-12’s preseason favorites to contend for the Heisman Trophy. But five weeks into the season, Stanford running back Bryce Love and Washington State quarterback Luke Falk are the top contenders. Love gained 301 yards against Arizona State and his 1,088 yards through five games is believed to be the fourth-highest total in history for this point in the season.

Of course, no matter what the L.A. quarterbacks do or don’t do, they can always…



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