With UCLA football releasing their 2019 schedule, Go Joe Bruin predicts the range of games the Bruins can win in Year 2 of the Chip Kelly era.
Last week, Go Joe Bruin put out a projection for the UCLA football’s record in 2019. It came to 6.5 wins and 5.5 loses, but that was before the schedule was actually set.
The Bruins are expected to have another tough schedule, but the timing of certain games would definitely assuage the difficulty. Take their game against Washington State for example. After 2018, it has become clear that Mike Leach has made the Cougars a force in the Pac-12 and taking them on in Pullman will be a tough task for UCLA. But it can be argued that playing them earlier in the schedule would be a lot more beneficial than playing them later.
Would you rather have the Bruins play in a potentially warm late September matchup in Pullman or would you prefer they play in a potentially snowy/freezing environment in November? Me too.
Knowing what we know about the Bruins’ progress in 2018, let us see what the Bruins can do in 2019. To simplify things, we have broken them down into three-game segments.
- August 31 at Cincinnati
- September 7 vs SDSU
- September 14 vs Oklahoma
Pessimistically, the Bruins could go 0-3, though I think they have the definitive edge over San Diego State, so I will say, at worst, UCLA starts the season 1-2. At best, 2-1. No, they cannot beat Oklahoma, a College Football Playoff contender for two consecutive seasons. Yet.
- September 21 at Washington State
- September 28 at Arizona
- Oct 5 vs Oregon State
The Bruins certainly have a better chance to beat Wazzu earlier in the year. If they played in the Palouse in November, this would be an automatic loss. But since it is not, the chance for a “W” is there for the taking. Arizona is another toss-up. Historically, the Bruins don’t play well in Tucson and Arizona has shown progress under Kevin Sumlin. The OSU game will be a win. At best, 3-0. At worst, 1-2.
- October 17 (Thursday) at Stanford
- October 26 vs Arizona State
- November 2 vs Colorado
Stanford… loss. Nothing can change my mind here. Especially with a ludicrous Thursday night game. ASU will be a win in Pasadena and playing in the Rose Bowl for two consecutive weeks will be a boost for UCLA against Colorado. Guaranteed, 2-1 during this stretch.
- November 16 at Utah
- November 23 at USC
- November 30 vs Cal
This will be an extremely difficult way to end the season. At Utah will be hard, but it is winnable. Playing at USC will be hard, but that should be a win. Cal is on the up and up, so that game will be close, though Cal does not do well at the Rose Bowl. The last time they got a victory in Pasadena was in 2009. At best, UCLA goes 3-0 during this stretch, at worst, 2-1.
Putting all of these together, UCLA football could potentially go 10-2 and at worst, 6-6. The median here would be 8 wins. Right now, that seems a bit high, but look at what the Bruins are doing and the direction of the rest of the conference, we will take it.