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Bruins-Buffs is a bad, interesting matchup

Colorado's visit to UCLA is one of the more interesting games you'll see between teams that are 2-9 and 5-5, respectively.

First off, Buffaloes coach Jon Embree is UCLA receiver Taylor Embree's father. As the elder Embree told the L.A. Times, "This will be bragging rights for eternity."

Then there's this: Embree and UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel have known each other for a long time. "I stayed with the Embrees when I first moved to Colorado," Neuheisel said of his time as a Buffaloes assistant coach in 1994.

Colorado is riding a 22-game road losing skid, but Embree and his quarterback, Tyler Hansen, came very close to guaranteeing victory after the Buffs picked up their first Pac-12 win last weekend against Arizona.

If they are right, that won't be good for Neuheisel. It could get him fired. As you might have heard, he's on a very hot seat.

Ah, but even if the Bruins lose and fall to 5-6, they won't be eliminated from the Pac-12 South Division race. Heck, if UCLA, Arizona State and Utah all lose their final two games, the Bruins would go to the Pac-12 championship game at 5-7 but not be eligible for a bowl game. Even if they won the conference championship with a monumental upset, they'd need a special waiver from the NCAA to represent the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl, which would be horrifying in the conference offices.

Adam Maya of the Orange County Register even noted that going to the Pac-12 championship game might not be a good thing for the Bruins and Neuheisel. How through the looking glass is this logic:

Since UCLA is most likely to go 1-1 during the next two weeks (at home against Colorado, at USC) and finish 6-6, its best-case scenario would be for ASU or Utah to go 2-0 and win the division. That would keep the Bruins out of the Pac-12 title game and protect their bowl eligibility.

Funny thing is, the logic is sound. At 6-7 and losers of the Pac-12 championship game, the Bruins still would require a waiver from the NCAA to play in a bowl game, one that the NCAA likely wouldn't grant if there were winning teams not getting bowl invitations.

So there's a lot going on in and around this poor-to-middling matchup that likely will be watched by a half-full Rose Bowl.