UCLA Bruins College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
UCLA has suffered through five straight losing seasons, making this the worst era of Bruin football by a mile.
The only run reasonably close was a three year stretch from 1962 to 1964 without a winning campaign, and then the 1965 team won the Rose Bowl.
And there’s no excuse for this.
It’s a gorgeous school with a gorgeous campus that plays in gorgeous weather and populated by gorgeous people. USC has been relatively down – at least by its own standards – and the Pac-12 South hasn’t been the SEC West or Big Ten East.
This should’ve been the UCLA football grew into a massive national thing, and instead it’s been a big pile of disappointment.
There’s been NFL talent, there have been solid coaches, and the schedules have been reasonable enough over the last five seasons to be a whole lot better than 20-36.
This is the season the slide stops.
Set The UCLA Bruins Regular Season Win Total At … 6.5
Chip Kelly needed a while to build this thing up to get his guys in place, and now he’s got a ton of them with – potentially – every starter from last season back other than DT Osa Odighizuwa.
He’s got a quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson who has worked for this moment over the last few seasons. Kelly’s got the skill guys around DTR, he’s got the kicking game, and best of all – and this took the most work – he’s got the linemen to start making it all go. However …
The schedule is going to be interesting.
LSU, Arizona State and Oregon are all better than UCLA, but all three have to come to Pasadena.
USC doesn’t really count as a road trip, but going to Washington, Stanford and Utah sure as shoot do. And then there’s the biggest problem of all – the Bruins don’t get the more reasonable Pac-12 games against Oregon State and Washington State.
Whatever – come up with a winning season already.
Hawaii, Fresno State, at Arizona, Colorado, Cal. Those are all games a good team should take down, but UCLA will blow at least one of them. It’ll be offset by at least one good upset, and the overall experience will be enough to pull off a close win that last year’s team couldn’t seem to get – and there’s the hidden upside.
Yeah, UCLA was 3-4, but all four losses were by six points or fewer. Being competitive actually matters here, considering that wasn’t necessarily the case at times before 2020. Now more of those close losses will flip the other way.
The Bruins will have a winning season, they’ll go bowling, and they’ll look like they’re on the verge of being something big under Kelly.