Is UCLA Football A Top 10 Team?


Last week the Amway Coaches Poll was released and ranked UCLA Football 14th. With all the talent returning, the Bruins should be one of the Top 10 teams in the nation.

UCLA Football will be very good this year. It is possible they will be better than last year. Some college football analysts (including many of us here at Go Joe Bruin) believe that this is the best team head coach Jim Mora has had. If that is the case, then why is UCLA getting less attention than last year?

RELATED: UCLA Football Ranked 14th In The Preseason Coaches Poll

The answer is simple… they have no starting quarterback and a new defensive coordinator.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

Last season, the Coaches Poll ranked UCLA 7th in their preseason poll. Expectations were very high last year as the Bruins were coming off of their first 10-win season since 1998 and had then-junior QB and potential Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley leading the charge. It was an honor for UCLA to get that much attention, but some suspected it was too high.

The Bruins were victorious in their first two games, but struggled mightily. Because of that, UCLA Football drop in the polls as it seemed the voters corrected their perception of the Bruins. Yet after another 10-win season and an Alamo Bowl victory, the Bruins finished 10th in the final Coaches Poll.

Now consider this: what if Hundley returned? With UCLA returning 17 starters this year, if Hundley came back, there is no doubt the Bruins would be a Top 10 team. I would even go so far to predict that they would be a Top 5 team.

But as it is, Hundley is now a professional football player with the Green Bay Packers and the Bruins have yet to name a starting QB.

Sep 26, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; St. John Bosco Braves quarterback Josh Rosen (3) makes a pass while being pressured by Bishop Gorman Gaels defensive end Haskell Garrett (16) during a game at Fertitta Field.Bishop Gorman won the game 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Right now it is a 2-player QB battle between Jerry Neuheisel and Josh Rosen and unless you have been living under a rock since Spring Practice, it seems inevitable that the freshman Rosen will be the starter. Why? Well he has talent, smarts and great overall mechanics. As Go Joe Bruin writer Michael Hanna stated, Rosen is the quarterback UCLA Football has been waiting for. Hanna also once called Rosen the “future galactic emperor”.

Another tidbit about Rosen is that many think he looks better than Hundley did in his freshman year, the year Hundley took UCLA to a 9-win season.

As for the defense, though the Bruins are going through changes here, I recently wrote that new defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will have the deep and talented D-men on a path to elite status.

So with UCLA bringing back more than half of their experienced offense and defense, it can be argued that the Bruins are a Top 10 team and should be ranked as such. Though taking into consideration how they started last season, right now a #14 rank should suit them well. Either way, if UCLA Football wants to have success at the end of the season, they have to win, so where they rank at the beginning of the season really means nothing. It is how they do on the way to the post season that matters.

Next: UCLA Football Linebacker Roster and Projected Depth Chart

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