Every so often, I make an insane amount of predictions regarding UCLA football that are largely reactionary but can also be very well-thought out and calculated. Many seem crazy, and the average fan calls me out. And then when I’m right, I get to shove it in your face. This is me, shoving it in your face. This feature, “Call Me Crazy” does this.
It’s hard to take an unheralded running back from UCLA seriously in the context of Heisman Trophy contention. It’s even harder when you’re Johnathan Franklin, who spent much of his UCLA career splitting carries with another back, never really being the star he could be.
Until now, that is. And, in case you’re wondering, he’s UCLA’s biggest, most brightest star.
After UCLA’s incredible 36-30 win against Nebraska, Franklin has proven himself to be a darkhorse candidate for the most prestigious award in college football.
And while the assertion was considered outlandish after I put it out there shortly following the win against Rice, I don’t seem so crazy these days, with Franklin running for his second-straight 200-yard game, which saw him shimmy, dance, shake, swerve and spin his way for extra yardage, making something out of absolutely nothing.
Take a look at this kid, Heisman Award people, pretty please?
After Utah lost to Utah State on Friday, and after watching Stanford struggle against San Jose State the week before, it came to me that, if UCLA beat Nebraska, the Bruins could go undefeated until they play South Cal. We predicted an 8-4 season originally, with the four losses coming against Utah, Stanford, Nebraska and South Cal.
Of course, one of those supposed surefire losses have been converted into wins and Utah doesn’t belong in the Pac-12. Stanford did a hell of a job against, yikes, Duke, but they haven’t looked unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination; Stanford looks more vulnerable than Nebraska does.
So the 11-1 UCLA season looks alive and well, and though it’s early, things could change.
I predicted UCLA would run nearly 100 plays against Nebraska, and that the Bruins would also gain at least 500 yards of total offense.
Well, UCLA gained 650 yards of total offense and ran 94 plays.
A good friend of mine, Michael Castillo at Reign of Troy, told me that nearly 100 plays is crazy talk for an offense in college football. Meanwhile, Nebraska fans told me that UCLA would not gain close to 500 yards of total offense, and that their defense should stop UCLA from being that prolific.
It happened. Chalk another one up for me, yeah?