The 2013 College Football season is over, the BCS is dead and the final AP poll is out! What a freaking great year to be a college football fan, but more importantly, a Bruin fan. The UCLA Bruin Football team finished the regular season ranked #16 in the AP poll (and #16 in the coaches, if anyone still cares about this poll). Congratulations, Bruins.
As for the Pac-12, here are the other teams to make the Final Top 25: Oregon (9), Stanford (11), USC (19), Arizona State (21) and Washington (25).
What a difference a year makes. In 2012, UCLA was an improved team with a notable win against USC, but unfortunately dropped their last three games. This year, the Bruins demolished USC on their home turf and followed that up with a shining Sun Bowl performance that saw UCLA blow out Virginia Tech by 30 points.
This was a tough year for the Bruins, schedule-wise, in the toughest conference in the nation. So for the Bruins to come away this season with only three losses against Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State, all ranked in the Final 2013 AP Poll, is a testament to the job head coach Jim Mora has done for this team and the direction he is taking them.
So what direction is that? Where is the #BruinRevolution taking us to next year? Why not take a look at a few “too soon” 2014 pre-season polls.
The Big Lead: #16 (They actually have USC ranked above UCLA, awkward)
Bleacher Report: #8
CBS Sports: #8
ESPN: #7 (SHOCKER ALERT!)
So these are rankings in their rawest form, the day after the end of the 2013 campaign. This is without the knowledge of signing day, without summer workout evaluations and without the progressions of Spring Ball. Not bad at all.
Still, a lot has to be evaluated before next season, but the fact that national sports outlets are picking the Bruins as high as #7 (by the way, good job ESPN, you get a gold star) is a sign that things are looking up in Westwood. If this does not indicate to you that the Bruins are for real, you might be a BCS apologist. Or a Trojan.