Touché. If there was any question about UCLA trying to horn in on USC's football dominance with the hire of ex-Washington coach Rick...

Touché.

If there was any question about UCLA trying to horn in on USC’s football dominance with the hire of ex-Washington coach Rick Neuheisel, it evaporated with a large advertisement that ran early this week in the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Daily News.

In bold headline, with a photograph of Neuheisel pointing sternly in practice, it says, “The Football Monopoly in Los Angeles is Officially Over.” The ad is part of a UCLA marketing campaign for tickets.

“I saw it for the first time this morning,” Neuheisel said on Tuesday’s regular Pac-10 coaches conference call. “My wife said it was a nice picture.”

As for concerns that tweaking the powerful USC program across town might backfire, Neuheisel said, “In that game, everybody’s going to bring their A-game anyway. I don’t imagine we can get their guys to play any harder than they already would have.”

Pete Carroll, the USC coach, responded dryly when asked about the ad, saying, “Uh, which one is that? Naw, I don’t know much about that.”