UCLA Football: AP Poll released, should the Bruins have been ranked?

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Theo Howard
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Theo Howard /
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The AP Poll is out for the preseason and UCLA football team is nowhere to be found. Should the Bruins have been ranked on potential or should we wait and see?

The UCLA football team is clearly in a better place than they were at the end of last season. If Jim Mora was still around, it seems likely that the Bruins would not even sniff the AP Top 25 at any point this season.

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But he is gone and UCLA now has Chip Kelly, a coach that has proven that he can change a program. So should that have warranted a ranking (or at least a few votes) in the preseason AP Poll?

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The Associated Press released their initial 2018 rankings this morning and the Bruins did not even get a single vote.

The preseason poll, for all intents and purposes, is decided upon by where the voters think teams are at this moment, not necessarily at the end of the season. Though UCLA could crack the Top 25 by season’s end, right now, they have to prove themselves.

UCLA will definitely have improvements with their offense. The Bruins could not run the ball to save their lives last year but had a great passing game. The problem with that is QB Josh Rosen is gone. So with Kelly needing to pick a starter at quarterback (out of five candidates), having to improve the run and trying to figure out what offensive line he is going to use, we definitely have to wait and see what the offense can do, especially since we can’t see it in practice.

But if voters were to give UCLA the benefit of the doubt, they should at least keep in mind that the defense should be a lot better and more aggressive under DC Jerry Azzinaro. It can be assumed that voters are looking at UCLA’s 2017 defense and not the improvements over the offseason in making their predictions.

That is fine because UCLA should surprise a lot of people. They are not going to win the National Championship, but their improvements will be evident. In this writers opinion, they should be a Top 25 by seaosn’s end.

2018 AP Poll Top 5

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Ohio State

Pac-12 in the AP Poll

Despite UCLA missing out on the AP Poll, several other Pac-12 teams made an appearance: 6. Washington, 13. Stanford, 15. USC and 24. Oregon.

In addition, two other teams received votes, but sit outside the Top 25: Utah and Arizona.

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Finally, Fresno State, UCLA’s Week 3 opponent, received one vote in the preseason poll. That is now seven teams UCLA will face this season that has received votes in the preseason AP Poll.