UCLA Football Robbed In NCAA ’14 Ratings


Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Although UCLA football is coming off a surprisingly successful season in 2012, and despite the fact that the Bruins earned a consensus top-10 recruiting class, and despite the fact that the team has two bona fide Heisman trophy candidates in Anthony Barr and Brett Hundley, the Bruins were shafted in the recent NCAA Football 14 rankings.

That’s right, UCLA received an overall rating of 88 (out of 100), while its offense earned an 88 rating and its defense grabbed an 87 rating. While that seems really fair, when you compare them to significant teams, the rating makes no sense. Check it out:

  • USC earned a 91 overall, a 95 on offense, and a 90 on defense. Not only does USC lose talent comparable to UCLA (Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, and Curtis McNeal, primarily), but their recruiting class was rated lower than UCLA’s across the board. Let’s not forget that Kiffin is on the hot seat, while Jim Mora’s seat is pretty cool.
  • Mississippi State earned an 88, its offense earned a 90, and its defense earned an 85. Yes, this is the same MSU team that was 0-4 against teams ranked in the Top 25, while finishing 1-5 on the season (its losses were all by multiple touchdowns). UCLA, meanwhile, was a decent 3-2 against Top 25 competition, losing only to Pac-12 champs Stanford.
  • Iowa is an 88 overall, 88 on offense and a 90 on defense. They went 4-8. And still have the same coach. Also, they’re Iowa.
  • Missouri is rated as an 88 overall, 90 on offense, 87 on defense. I give up.

There are plenty of other inconsistencies in these ratings. The most glaring example is Arizona, which is an 86 on offense but earned an 88 … on defense. This, of course, was the same team that was bottom-five in points allowed per game, the same team that allowed UCLA to hang 66 in the Rose Bowl last fall.

Either way, it’s just a video game and not something for fans to get worked up about. There have been inconsistencies in the past with these things, and besides, with 124 Division-I college teams, can you expect to get them all right?

At the same time, these ratings are seen as somewhat indicative of how good one’s team is relatively, especially since the point of the game is to be as realistic as possible.

Or maybe they’re doing this on purpose, trying to be as inaccurate as possible so they can build their case in the O’Bannon trial. Who knows?