STARTING POINTS: L.A. stories — Have Clippers/UCLA overtaken Lakers/USC?

If the political talk at your office is getting a little heavy, perhaps shift the conversation to sports. Try some of these:


Please sports gods. I don’t ask you for much, please deliver to me a BCS National Championshpip Game between Oregon and Alabama. No offense to Kansas State or Notre Dame, but this is the game I, and I think most people, want to see. The offensive display Oregon put on against USC was so effortless, it was almost disturbing. Maybe the Oregon defense wouldn’t be able to stop Alabama. Maybe Alabama is fast enough to stop the Ducks’ offense. I’m not sure, but I’m sure I want to see it. I need to see it. C’mon BCS gods, stick it to the haters and finish your tenure with a couple of epic championship games that only you could have provided. Starting this year with the Ducks and Crimson Tide.

POINT TWO: Changing supremacy in Los Angeles?

If you watched the Clippers victory over the Lakers on Friday, you probably thought the same thing I did: Wow, Shad Powers predicted in his Friday morning blog that the Clippers would win 104-95 and they won 105-95. OK, so maybe just I was thinking that, but it’s a time-honored sports writer tradition to never mention the thousands of predictions you get wrong, and never let people forget the rare time when you get something right. My real takeaway was not so much that the Lakers are struggling as it was how impressive the Clippers looked. Their starting group is just above average, but their new-and-improved bench is one of the best in the league. Usually, you’re just hoping your reserves, can give you some good minutes while the starters rest, but the Clippers have several confident scorers coming off the bench — Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom. I believe both L.A. teams are destined for deep postseason trips. It will be fun to compare them throughout the season.

POINT THREE: Changing supremacy in Los Angeles (the college edition)?

While most eyes were on the top of the latest BCS standings, it may have gone overlooked that UCLA was ranked 18th and USC was 19th. This was unfathomable before the season started, but it makes sense now, especially considering how thoroughly the Bruins trounced Arizona a week after Arizona beat the Trojans. The Rose Bowl will be rocking on Nov. 17 when the Trojans visit the Bruins in a game that likely will decide the Pac-12 South champion. Winner gets a fun trip to Oregon to face the Ducks, a team the Bruins don’t actually play in the regular season. The Bruins’ offense has been explosive with the balanced attack of the running of Johnathan Franklin and the versatile game of emerging quarterback Brett Hundley.

POINT FOUR: Prep posturing

As the high school football regular season came to an end Friday, a DVL champion was declared and a different team declared itself the DVL champion. Weird stuff. Palm Springs is the actual DVL champion, finishing off a 5-0 league record, and adding to its streak of league titles. One of those wins was an overtime victory over La Quinta. La Quinta finished second at 4-1, but loudly and proudly proclaimed themselves the “real” DVL champions because the Blackhawks believe an incorrect call by an official caused them to lose to Palm Springs. What’s weird is that not only are the La Quinta players saying they are the champs “and Palm Springs knows it,” but coach Dan Armstrong is saying it, too. My quick take is that it’s OK to think that, but to say it in such a public way is a bit unseemly. I’ll make you wait for a more in-depth opinion on the subject in my Wednesday column.

POINT FIVE: Headline check

Each Friday, I try to predict what the Monday morning headlines are going to be. Let’s see how I did. I sort of gave myself a freebie, saying that the Lakers would get their first win of the season by beating the Pistons. As a Pistons fan I had some inside knowledge which I will share with you now: The Pistons aren’t very good. It’s that kind of insight that makes blogs like these valuable. I whiffed, though, on my second headline predicting as I surmised that the Raiders would win and jump right into the playoff race. Instead, they left their run defense on the team bus and got shredded by Tampa Bay rookie running back Doug Martin. So I got that one wrong, but remember how I almost nailed the final score of the Clippers-Lakers game?

Anyway, don’t forget the point of this daily blog is to stir some conversation and interaction. Is Oregon-Alabama the title game you want to see? Have the Clippers supplanted the Lakers as best team in L.A.? What about UCLA vs. USC? Please comment on this post or hit me up on twitter at @TDSshadpowers.