College football analyst Phil Steele has ranked the UCLA Football team 15th in his preseason Top 40.
The UCLA Football team is in a bit of a transition period. The Bruins only return 4 starters on the offensive side as they lose key components RB Paul Perkins, C Jake Brendel, TE/Y Thomas Duarte and WR Jordan Payton, just to name a few.
Although one returning player in particular, sophomore QB Josh Rosen, is such a talent that college football analyst Phil Steele believes he will help the Bruins improve in 2016. In his preseason Top 40 rankings, Steele has the Bruins as the 15th best team in the nation.
That is a lot of confidence in the Bruins considering they lose an offensive coordinator and are transitioning to a system that will incorporate more power elements (including tight ends and fullbacks).
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Though there are questions with the offense, it is not just Rosen and his side of the ball that impresses Steele as the Bruin’s defense only lose two players from last season.
Though the two irreplaceable defenders are Kenny Clark and Myles Jack, UCLA has a lot of talent in all three units. From the return of Eddie Vanderdoes on the line to Isaako Savaiinaea and Jayon Brown with the linebackers to a secondary that returns four starters, the defense should be vastly improved from 2015.
Overall, UCLA is a good team, they are just not great (at the very least we do not know if they are great), which is why this is an acceptable ranking. Jim Mora has aways fielded good football teams, but they will always be seen as “just good” until they win something substantial.
Along with the Bruins, Steele has five other Pac-12 teams in his Top 40: #8 Washington, #10 Stanford, #25 USC, #26 Oregon #40 Utah.