Reg. Season Records: 9-3, 9-3, 9-3, 6-6
SRS Rankings: 14, 8, 30, 71
Talking Point: Is this the year UCLA gets over the hump? Does Jim Mora jump back to the NFL after the season. Interesting topics, to be sure. Though, it’s hard to get past P Diddy attacking a strength coach with a kettlebell, and having that strength coach be infamous Jets tripper Sal Aliosi.
Why To Like Them: UCLA returns all five offensive line starters, Paul Perkins (who ran for 1,575 yards at 6-plus per carry last year) and every wide receiver. Eight starters come back on defense, notably TBL Top 50 linebacker Myles Jack.
Why Not To Like Them: There’s uncertainty at QB, though choosing between an experienced senior and the nation’s top QB recruit is not a bad place to be. LB Eric Kendricks and DL Owamagbe Odighizuwa were early round draft picks. They also lost an experienced DB Anthony Jefferson.
Schedule: Not that great. The travel schedule is less demanding than 2014, with Virginia and BYU coming to the Rose Bowl. But, UCLA has five Pac 12 away games. Two of the home games are Colorado and Washington State. There’s a weird Thursday/Thursday stretch in October. They also have a cold weather away trip to Utah the week before USC.
Throwing Darts: UCLA may be the favorite in the Pac 12 South. But it’s hard projecting more than 9 to 10 wins with QB in the balance and a rough schedule. That could win them the division. We’ll set the over/under at 1.5 cheesy gimmicks, a la last year’s face paint.
Random Alum: Lo Bosworth
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