Pac-12: UCLA Bruins
“No chance that Chip Kelly has two bad years in a row.”
That’s how we opened last year’s entry into who the Pac-12 Sleeper of 2019 was going to be.
UCLA was sort of in the same boat as Nebraska when Scott Frost took over. Things weren’t totally miserable going into the 2018 season, but for there to be any chance of going from okay to amazing, it was going to take a massive overhaul. Frost has been trying to implement his systems and hoping the young players can mature in a hurry.
Kelly took a blowtorch to UCLA as he looked to mold the program in to what he wants and needs.
There have been just enough fantastic moments to give everyone glimpses of what could be coming, but 7-17 in two years isn’t what Bruin fans had signed up for.
UCLA is still very, very young, with 11 underclassmen among the 22 regular starters over the late part of last year, and now they should be ready to start doing more.
The NFL guys gone aren’t total killers – especially if Duke transfer Brittain Brown can help create a good running back rotation to make up for the loss of Joshua Kelley – with the talent expected to be there on both sides of the ball to go along with the experience.
The schedule? New Mexico, at Hawaii, at San Diego State to start. UCLA can’t take anything for granted, but that’s not awful.
Three of the first four Pac-12 games are against teams that didn’t go bowling last season, and best of all, there’s no Oregon or Washington from the North to face.
No chance Chip Kelly has three bad years in a row.