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When the only direction you can go is up...'s easy to make a splash.

There is an interesting article in today's L.A. Times about the "resurgence" of ucla on the recruiting trail.

There's an intriguing new dynamic surfacing in the USC-UCLA football recruiting rivalry.

It's called competition.

For much of this decade, USC Coach Pete Carroll has called the shots, picking and choosing and not having to worry about whether UCLA was interested in a high school prospect he wanted. Inevitably, the player usually ended up at USC.

That's changing. UCLA is putting up a fight again, challenging the Trojans and even starting to win a few battles.

Right...We know a little about competition. Heck, after the Dorrell experiment my 2-year old could have put up better competition on the recruiting trail.

The fact is sooner of later ucla was bound to get some top talent because USC can't get them all. No program is on top forever and no program will dominate either on the field or the recruiting trail. It's a natural cycle.

With Walker gone it will be interesting to see just successful they are at recruiting the inner city. It's not like Slick Rick has the track record or reputation that Walker has. I think is exactly with Pete Carroll needs to keep him on his toes. When its easy you don't try as hard. When you are under the gun it makes you a little more hungry to succeed.

There is no recent winning tradition or recent exposure in a major bowl game. Slick Rick only has immediate playing time to offer so it shouldn't surprise anyone that He was able to get Presley to de-commit from SC and switch to ucla.

Here is another gem from the article...

In another sign of UCLA's renewed vigor, the Bruins this weekend are bringing in on recruiting visits two players who long ago committed to USC, receiver De'Von Flournoy of Lake Balboa Birmingham and receiver Randall Carroll of Los Angeles Cathedral.

It's not only Neuheisel's aggressiveness that is driving the competition. USC has stockpiled so much talent that some players are less willing to accept Carroll's recruiting pitch promoting competition as the way to bring out the best in a prospect.

Here's a newsflash!

This really isn't shocking but, players who commit early often take visits to other schools even if its a rival program. There is nothing wrong with them checking out in fact I have heard in the past that Pete Carroll often encourages his commits (especially the silent ones) to take official visits just to make sure they are happy with their choice and that brings me to the second part of the above.

If players are not interested in competing for a starting job or playing time then they shouldn't even think about coming to USC. This is a difficult program and some guys who have a ton of talent might not be able to cut it. That's fine, if Morrell pressley is moreinterested in getting on the field with much of a fight then he made the right decision. USC is going to put anywhere between 10 and 13 players into the NFL draft this April and a lot of those guys have fought for playing time not had it handed to them. If they aren't willing to fight for their spot then I don't want thm at SC where they could become a cancer and hurt the chemistry of the team. That's why I didn't get upset when Moody left or when Hazelton left...if they can't hack it then its time to move on.

ucla is so starved for attention that any good press will make them pump their chests out but in the end they still have to perform on the field. Sure, Slick Rick will get his fair share of top recruits but at somepoint they need to perform. I didn't expect much out them this year but really nobody did. I'm sure the expectations will be set just perfectly to make things to seem better than they really are.

In the end I really couldn't care less, I just think it's funny as this article is in the same vein of the "monopoly" being over.

We'll see where the talley is on signing day...