By now, we're all aware that TJ Simers is one of those columnists that has an idea for a story surrounding a game before the game is even played. With regards to Saturday's UCLA-Stanford game before this weekend's rematch in the Pac-12 Championship Game, Simers' story was that Mora pulled back the reigns after the first quarter and essentially played to lose the game.
This logic from Simers is absolutely absurd, but you knew that by now. Simers essentially compared the final regular season game of the season for UCLA to an NFL preseason game. You know, because NFL preseason games go towards determining bowl slotting and standings in the polls. This is a clear case of a sportswriter trying to make himself the story, which Simers is an expert at doing. Here's video of Simers' postgame encounter with UCLA head coach Jim Mora.
This is trolling at its finest form by someone who seems confused as to how things work in college football. If UCLA won this past weekend against Stanford, they'd have a 10-2 record going into Palo Alto, and would be much more attractive for a better bowl berth in a loaded Pac-12 conference this year. Instead with the loss, the Bruins are 9-3 with Oregon State likely matching that record after their game with Nicholls State this weekend. While UCLA will likely get picked for the Alamo Bowl over Oregon State, it's not set in stone. With a 10-3 record and a top ten scalp in Stanford, the decision would be a lot easier.
A better bowl berth means more money and more exposure (not that a school like UCLA needs either), and Simers' allegation that UCLA was packing it in early just because "you couldn't beat them in the first quarter" is ridiculous on so many levels. TJ Simers makes Jim Mora out to be the more likeable individual, which tells you all you need to know about his reputation.
The L A Times sports page used to be worth reading. My favorite section was page two of the sports page. That was until T J Slimer took it over. I read it twice and that was twice to much. He's nothing but a self promoting, antagonizing, yellow journalistic hack who hasn't been picked up by Fox or ESPN and won't be. His best years, which weren't so great to begin with, are behind him. He couldn't even make it on local radio. At least his unqualified daughter, who was an accountant before, picked up a years worth of paychecks. God bless nepotism! The one good thing about him is that he's easy to forget. He pops up, periodically, flaps his gums and becomes a spectacle of contempt for a blurb before crawling back into his hole. He'll be gone in a couple of days. Sort of like a pimple!
"This is trolling at its finest form by someone who seems confused as to how things work in college football. If UCLA won this past weekend against Stanford, they'd have a 10-2 record going into Palo Alto, and would be much more attractive for a better bowl berth in a loaded Pac-12 conference this year."
Maybe I'm missing some sarcasm from Mr. Lucia, but if they'd "won this past weekend" they wouldn't be "going into Palo Alto" at all. Rather, they would have knocked Stanford down to two losses and out of the Pac12 North title, and they'd instead be going to face one-loss Oregon for the Pac12 Championship Game. Furthermore, "bowl slotting" is irrelevant to a team in the Pac12 Championship Game, since the winner gets an automatic bid to the Rose Bowl - the absolute best bowl a west coast team could appear in, other than the National Championship game. So, while Simers is certainly a troll, and Mora seems credible in his denial, Simers' premise is nonetheless valid in that losing to Stanford (and thus getting to play them again instead of Oregon in the Championship Game) put UCLA in a better position to win the conference and make it to the best possible bowl.