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.