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Arizona State vs. UCLA: Hard to Believe, but If Bruins Win Out, They Go to BCS

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 29:  Kevin Prince #4 of the UCLA Bruins fakes a handoff to Johnathan Franklin #23 against the California Golden Bears at Rose Bowl on October 29, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Colby LanhamCorrespondent INovember 5, 2011

Everyone knows that the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks are the pride and joy of the Pac 12 and some of the best teams in college football today.

But, what people have not seen are the quietly looming UCLA Bruins, who are actually in play for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Yes, the UCLA Bruins actually have a shot to get in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Bruins spent several years of mediocrity under the once-shining name of Rick Neuheisel, the former UCLA quarterback in shining armor who rose to prominence after leading the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory in 1984. Now, the former signal caller has the chance to take his alma mater back into the BCS.

UCLA has been steadily building with Neuheisel as the head coach, who is now in his fourth year as the head of the Bruins' program.

They have had their ups, along with plenty of downs, but Neuheisel's time to strike in the Pac 12 South Division has come. With USC still on probation and eliminated from any kind of postseason play, the Bruins are effectively in second place right behind the Arizona State Sun Devils, who they play today in a game that will, in all likelihood, determine the winner of the South Division.

A UCLA win would not only create a tie between the two in conference play, but would effectively put the Bruins in control of their own destiny.

The Bruins definitely have the talent to become surprise spoilers for all of the Pac-12, especially if their starting quarterback can manage to stay healthy, and manage to stick with a quarterback.

The Bruins have rotated through three quarterbacks this year. All three have had their moments, and while they initially stuck with Richard Brehaut, he suffered a leg injury and has missed the last two games. He looks likely to miss their big game against the Sun Devils.

The Pac-12 aren't necessarily known for their shutdown defenses, so the Bruins have the ability to win despite their offense injuries, and if they prove victorious against the Sun Devils, we could very well see the Bruins in a different light by season's end.

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