With the college football season now in full swing, it’s a little easier to gauge the quality of opponents that UCLA football will have to compete against.
And boy, have things changed through just two weeks of college football. All of a sudden, UCLA is a top-25 team — we didn’t expect that to happen this early, and we wouldn’t have been miffed if UCLA didn’t get that distinction until late in the season — while five Pac-12 teams in total are now ranked.
Teams have performed beyond our expectations so far — UCLA included — and others have disappointed us beyond belief (we’re looking at you, Utah).
So with that, let’s do a quick preview of the rest of UCLA’s ten games for 2012.
Week 3: vs. Houston
This should be a win for UCLA, and that hasn’t changed since the start of the season. They’ve lost their first two games, and though they have an explosive offense, they aren’t doing themselves much favors defensively. Plus, no Kevin Sumlin and no Case Keenum.
UCLA trounces Cougars, 45-17
Week 4. vs. Oregon State
Oregon State has a lot to prove, but they looked decent in their win over #13 Wisconsin, their only game of the year so far since their dance with Nicholls State was cancelled. They look to be a threatening team, but we know OSU can beat anyone at Reeser Stadium. Was their win vs. the Badgers a fluke?
UCLA beats the Beavers, 35-22
Week 5 @ Colorado
GOOD LORD, the Buffs look awful. They lost to Colorado State and Sacramento State in consecutive weeks? Are they really a Pac-12 team?
Uhhh … UCLA wins 55-10
Week 6 @ California
Bezerkely is reelin’, for damn sure, after losing to Nevada in week one and winning unconvincingly against Southern Utah at home. Jeff Tedford is on a hell of a hot seat, and Cal fans are infinitely worried. This is going to be a defining moment for Jim Mora, since UCLA never seems to muster up the swagger to beat Cal in Berkeley.
UCLA does it, 31-17
Week 7 vs. Utah
Utah was considered an automatic loss by almost everyone covering UCLA football. Of course, that’s changed: Utah looks entirely vulnerable after a pathetic 27-20 loss to Utah State, while UCLA looks like the second-beat team in the Pac-12 South.
UCLA pulls off the not-so-much-of-an-upset, 33-24
Week 8: BYE
Week 9 @ ASU
This is where things get tough. ASU has a little less to prove so far than OSU does, but new head coach (and well renowned douchebag) Todd Graham seems to have ASU in the right direction. Through their first two weeks, ASU has put up a ridiculous 108 points, and though they were against Illinois and Northern Arizona, that’s still very impressive. If this trend continues, ASU could be a majorly tough out especially at home.
UCLA falls in a shoot-out in the desert, 45-40
Week 10 vs. #24 Arizona
Forgive me for not taking Arizona as seriously as most will. They easily had the most impressive win of week two, beating #18 Oklahoma State in a bit of a shoot-out, scoring 22 4th-quarter points to put away the Cowboys. But narrowly beating a Toledo team just doesn’t seem right for a top-25 team. That said, Arizona could be a scary squad in 2012 if it keeps progressing under new head coach Rich Rodriguez.
UCLA wins at home, though, 35-29
Week 11 vs. Wazzu
The Washington State Cougars had the sexiest hire of anyone in the Pac-12 this past offseason, but ironically, it’s the hire that’s made the least splash so far. Mike Leach hasn’t lived up to expectations so far, narrowly beating an Eastern Washington team and only hanging six points on BYU in a loss to the other Cougars. They’ve looked rather uninspiring, and something tells me this is going to be a long season for Wazzu.
UCLA commits murder, 41-10
Week 12 vs. South Cal
Well, fUSC looks as good as advertised so far, and the Trogans do have a lot of weapons on offense. I figured from the outset that UCLA could be competitive with U$C, and that rings true even more now. UCLA will be at home, but as is always the case, the crowd will be 50/50 on that Saturday night. It’ll truly be the fans’ – but not necessarily Jim Mora’s — defining moment in 2012.
UCLA needs one. More. Year. Bruins lose, 48-43
Week 13 vs. #21 Stanford
In my opinion, Stanford is one of the most overrated teams in the nation. Beating Duke was cool and all, but Duke would be everyone’s first choice to be relegated to a joke conference like the WAC or, hell, an FCS conference. Furd struggled against San Jose State, and that’s not the mots impressive thing ever. Still a lot to prove, Tree.
UCLA wins at home, 31-21
Overall, UCLA would get a record of 10-2, an entirely respectable season considering most fans were thinking seven or eight wins.