The UCLA Bruins currently sit at number 19 in the AP poll after three weeks of play. A steady ascent up the rankings has occurred since the season kicked off. The Bruins began the season unranked and after knocking off current 25th ranked Nebraska and getting to 2-0, the Bruins cracked the top 25 for the first time in 5 years , coming in at 22. After a solid win against Houston, the climb continued and that’s where we are today. At 19, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
The teams ranked 1-9 this week have a clear strangle hold on a spot above the Bruins. Below that, UCLA could possibly jump anyone in the rankings. Let’s take a look.
10. Clemson- At 3-0 and looking very impressive, Clemson looks like a legitimate top 10 team at this point. The reason we believe UCLA could jump over them this week is that they play 4th ranked Florida State on the road. If FSU has a convincing win over the Tigers, they could fall into the high teens-low twenties.
11. Notre Dame- Notre Dame already has three very quality wins on their resume, but the gauntlet continues as they take on 18th ranked Michigan. If the Wolverines upset Notre Dame, they will fall in the rankings.
12. Texas- The Longhorns are favored over unranked Oklahoma State, but a road game to open conference play against a solid opponent is never easy.
13. USC- Coming off of the upset loss to Stanford, the game against Cal this week could be dangerous. The mindset of USC in this game will dictate the outcome. If they come out looking for revenge after losing last week, they blow Cal out. If they worry too much about the major impact last week had on national championship chances, Barkley’s Heisman chances, and national perception, Cal has a shot.
14. Florida- At home against Kentucky, the Gators will cruise to 4-0.
15. Kansas State- On the road against 6th ranked Oklahoma, Kansas State will be severely tested. If Colin Klein plays like superman, they have a chance. If not, they will fall.
16. Ohio State- Urban Meyer keeps it rolling against UAB and the Buckeyes get to 4-0.
17. TCU- The Horned Frogs play a solid Virginia team, who beat Penn State, but TCU is favored comfortably.
18. Michigan- As mentioned earlier, the Wolverines will head to South Bend to take on 11th ranked Notre Dame. The Irish will be favored, but this could be another classic.
- Clemson loses a close game to FSU, plays well enough to stay ahead of the Bruins, despite dropping a few spots.
- Texas falls on the road to Oklahoma State. Drops into the 20’s in next week’s poll.
- USC and TCU win close games.
- Florida and Ohio State win big.
- In another instant classic, Notre Dame beats Michigan. With a little role reversal from 2011, the Irish win late. Notre Dame jumps into the top 10. Michigan drops out of the top 25.
- UCLA beats Oregon State by 2 scores and climbs to number 17 in next week’s AP poll.