The Final Four of the West’s Best Bets is here. While we may not be in Atlanta with a bunch of 6-foot plus giants, we have smoking hot cheerleaders and the best college bars on the West Coast.
We begin the third and final round where we began the first two rounds—Seattle, Washington. The University of Washington has won the northwest region by besting in-state rival Washington State handily and narrowly beating the University of Oregon.
The University of Washington or UDub, as it more commonly known is a Public Ivy institution and has been annually ranked in the Top 20 worldwide schools for the past decade. They currently rank at No. 16 by the American Ranking of World Universities and No. 42 by U.S. News and World Report.
Will these accolades be enough to knock out the UCLA Bruins or did the Dawgs bite off more than they can chew in the Bruins? Let’s revisit the rankings and see how they fared.
- Football – 4 National Championships, Bowl Record of 16-14-1 with seven Rose Bowl victories and 15 Conference Championships.
- Men’s Basketball – 16 tournament appearances, five Sweet Sixteens and one Final Four. 20 regular season championships and three Conference Tournament Championships.
- Softball – 3 Conference Championships, 19 Tournament appearances, 10 WCWS appearances and a National Championship in 2009.
- Baseball – 8 Tournament appearances
- 67 National Championships in other sports with Swimming & Diving, Rowing & Track & Field all in double digits.
The sheer number of titles and championships date back to the 1920’s and as recent as this year in Rowing is outstanding and a true testament to their Championship mentality. I award the University of Washington 25 out of a possible 30 points.
With the exception of US Women’s soccer gold medal winning goalie, Hope Solo and actress Anna Faris; the women at the University of Washington didn’t really stand out too much. They seemed a little too wrapped up in their galoshes and umbrellas but there was an underlying hotness that if they were on a beach, all that would change. – 19 out of 25 possible points.
Local Bars & Pubs
Since the University of Washington is in the heart of downtown Seattle and the city basically grew around the University, there are plenty of bars nearby, but they are not all necessarily college bars. In the downtown area alone, your typical college student looking to watch the game or just throw back a beer has numerous options. There are also several breweries in the city including the world famous Pyramid Breweries – 18 out of 20 possible points.
Everybody knows about the constant rain in Seattle, but when it is not raining, it is absolutely beautiful. Located in between Portage and Union Bays, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much, with highs in the 80’s during the summer and rarely dropping below freezing in the winter – 10 out of 15 possible points.
The University currently has 136 Fulbright Scholars and 35 Rhodes Scholars and awarded over 14,000 degrees last year including 723 Doctoral and 528 Professional degrees – 8 out of 10 possible points.
FINAL GRADE 80%
Leaving the Emerald City behind, we make our way to the city of angels—Los Angeles, California. The University of Cailfornia at Los Angeles to be more precise.
Located in Westwood, bordering the extremely affluent towns of Brentwood, Bel-Air, Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills is a sprawling campus that was originally called the UC “southern branch.” The name University of California at Los Angeles became the official name in 1927. The campus is absolutely gorgeous and is a short six-mile trip to Santa Monica and the iconic pier and beach park. It is no wonder that UCLA is the most applied-to university as well as being the most selective public university in the nation. Over 72,000 freshman applications were received for the fall of 2012 with only 17.8% were accepted.
Time for the rankings:
- Football – Bowl Record of 15-16-1 with a Rose Bowl record of 5-7, one National Championship (shared) and 17 Conference Championships.
- Men’s Basketball – 44 tournament appearances, 18 Final Fours with 13 National Title Game appearances and 11 National Championships including a streak of seven straight. They also have 40 regular season Championships and three Tournament Championships.
- Baseball – 18 Tournament appearances and four College World Series appearances. They have won eight regular season Conference Championships including the past two.
- Softball – 11 National Championships and seven time runners-up.
- 108 Total National Championships
- Other men’s teams National Championships (60) – Volleyball (19), Tennis (16), Track & Field (8) Water Polo (8), Soccer (4), Gymnastics (2), Golf (2), Swimming & Diving (1).
- Other women’s teams National Championships (26) – Water Polo (7), Gymnastics (6), Track & Field (5), Volleyball (4), Golf (3), Tennis (1).
The University of California, Los Angeles has a tradition of winning. The basketball streak of seven straight National Championships is a record that will never be broken, not to mention the litany of other records including an 88-game regular season winning streak, a 38 game NCAA Tournament winning streak and four perfect, undefeated seasons. Add to that their football team notched eight consecutive Bowl game victories; including three Rose Bowls and the sheer dominance of their Men’s Volleyball and Softball teams, I award UCLA 28 out of a possible 30 points.
With such close proximity to the beach, Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, it’s no surprise that the women at UCLA are hot. I was thoroughly impressed with the current student body as well as three of my childhood crushes in Winnie Cooper, Jessie Spano, Princess Vespa from Spaceballs and Blossom, well, maybe not Blossom. I spend most every day with a UCLA alum – the Food Network’s Giada de Laurentiis. Another notable UCLA hottie is Bridget Marquardt from the Girls Next Door and you know what they say “If she’s good enough for Hef, that’s good enough for me.” – 22 out of 25 possible points.
Local Bars & Pubs
It seems like there is always a party going on with all levels of beautiful people and celebrities galore within a couple miles of campus. So, if you are looking to see and be seen, LA-LA Land is right up there with the best scenes in the country. However, if you are looking for your neighborhood sports bar or college bar head to nearby Barney’s Beanery or O’Hara’s (the old Maloney’s), you will not be disappointed – 17 out of 20 possible points.
Beautiful beach weather with a wide range of temperature changes are the norm in the city of Westwood and nearby Los Angeles. Sunny and warm weather keep the co-eds in shorts and sundresses for most of the year and the beach at night is a crisp and cool alternative – 13 out of 15 possible points.
As previously stated, UCLA is the most selective of all public universities in the nation and for good reason. Ranked as the #25 University in the country by U.S. News & World Report, #9 on the list of top research universities and #14 by the London Times for International Universities, UCLA is definitely a top tier school. Their roll call of alumni, students & faculty includes 12 Nobel Laureates, 12 Rhodes Scholars, 12 MacArthur Fellows and 3 Pulitzer Prize Winners – 8 out of 10 possible points.
FINAL GRADE 88%
There is no denying that the University of Washington is a great school. With its storied athletics, its gorgeous setting in the heart of a thriving city and top-notch academics, it scored high marks. Just not high enough to take out UCLA. UCLA has it all, a beautiful campus with legendary bars, close proximity to the beach and all that Hollywood has to offer. The women are beautiful and the academic standards are a lot higher than many private schools throughout the country. It even bested the “Ivy League of the West” in Stanford in the second round. The history of great athletic teams and the most National Championships by any school make UCLA the victor and once again, they have Giada.