Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the UCLA Bruins season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: UCLA Bruins
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– UCLA Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
No matter what, UCLA got the guy.
Texas A&M landing Jimbo Fisher was impressive, and Florida and Dan Mullen finally had their inevitable moment when those two kids finally got together.
Scott Frost and Nebraska should’ve happened two years ago.
But Chip Kelly was the one. He was the big get. He was the college coaching legend whose meteoric rise turned Oregon into a powerhouse, and led to a strange – but very, very profitable – stint in the NFL.
The pro world doesn’t matter in this – he went 46-7 in four years in Eugene, played for a national title, went to two Rose Bowls and a Fiesta.
This was the guy everyone really wanted to run their program. And this is the exact right job for him.
UCLA has everything to make this all work. It has the media market, it has the upside to be amazing, it has the foil in USC to battle against, and it’s the Pac-12. All Kelly did was go 33-3 in his four years in the conference.
Why take the Texas A&M job and deal with that Alabama thing every year?
Why go to Tennessee and have to stare down Georgia and Florida, not to mention the annual game with the Crimson Tide?
And really, you’d rather live and work in Lincoln, Nebraska in November than Westwood?
Best of all, there’s no bigger sleeping giant in college football. All of the positives are there, all the recruiting advantages are in place, and Kelly will get to take over and build this how he needs to without the pressure to win a national title RIGHT NOW.
Of course he has to win and win big at UCLA, but everyone with a brain knows that it might take a wee bit for the payoff to come. And if and when it does … kaboom.
And if it doesn’t work out, there’s no faulting UCLA. What was it supposed to do, not hire Chip freaking Kelly? Again, in the coaching carousel, this was the guy.
Now the guy has to figure out how to fit a whole lot of square pegs into round holes.
Don’t expect the high-flying warp speed fun show quite yet – especially if Michigan transfer Wilton Speight is running the offense.
There are receivers and a whole lot of great quarterback options, but Kelly inherits a team that couldn’t run the ball a lick, has a few offensive line issues, and has to go on without Josh Rosen winging it all around the yard.
The defense will be far more aggressive and a whole lot tougher, but it’s asking a lot to immediately turn around the nation’s worst run defense.
The star power isn’t there quite yet, and the overall plan wasn’t implemented in spring ball, making UCLA one of the most interesting teams to watch out for in fall camp, and throughout the year.
If UCLA was ever going to turn the corner and become amazing on a regular basis – as in College Football Playoff amazing – here he is.
Get ready to have some fun.