If you’ve forgotten, UCLA football has achieved regional hegemony. The football monopoly in Los Angeles is officially over, or at least that’s what this thing says:
Of course, besides beating the hated University of Southern Cal, UCLA football has also gone back to having successful seasons, something that’s largely been absent from Westwood since 1998. The 2011 UCLA season likely signified rock bottom for these Bruins — a season damned by a blowout loss to Arizona and a 50-0 trashing from Southern Cal — and 2012 has appeared to be the beginning of a special era in UCLA football.
Beyond sentiments, though, beyond the emotional highs being consistent, UCLA has also differed drastically in nearly every statistical category imaginable. And because your humble narrator loves him some numbers, he’s compiled a few.
From offense to defense to special teams, the numbers back up the notion that UCLA has seriously elevated itself to another level. Here are those numbers. (In parantheses, the year and the ranking among all FBS schools is shown.)35.1 PPG (2012; #25) vs. 23.1 PPG (2011; #85)
There’s really no explanation needed for this stat. UCLA has made the biggest jump among all Pac-12 teams in points per game between 2011 and 2012. Reasons for this are explained in the following stat comparisons.4.9 Redzone Scoring Attempts Per Game (2012; #16) vs. 3.8 (2011; #46)
UCLA was not the worst team in the country last season in redzone scoring attempts per game, but they’ve improved in this category drastically, too. Getting more shots at scoring inside the 20 obviously leads to better opportunities to score, and UCLA was in the redzone almost five times per game, good for 16th in the country and fourth among Pac-12 schools. It’s important to note, though, that more than half of the top-16 teams in this category are teams that run variations of the spread; this is mentioned not as a caveat, but as a general notation that this is the direction that college football has headed towards for years and will continue to head towards as talent is more dispersed among teams.