From the diaries. A must read post for everyone. It puts into context the tomfoolery of those fans who will be happy with 9 wins in a 13 game season during the 5th year of an underachieving headcoach. GO BRUINS. -N
One of the points that I have seen raised in discussion regarding UCLA Football, be it over Karl Dorrell and the 2005 season, or expectations for this season and the future is the seemingly magic figure of 10 wins. 7 times in the history of UCLA has the football team won 10 games in a season; the number holds a special meaning for many in regards to considering the level of success in a season.
However, the fact that UCLA football has achieved a limited number of 10-win seasons has to be considered with the knowledge that the length of the college football season has varied throughout the years (it ain't as short as it used to be). Under the current NCAA scheduling rules, we play 12 regular season games, plus a bowl (13 total). If you really want to compare the relative strength of a 10-win season now to prior seasons (As saying "this was only UCLA's Xth 10-win season", winning percentage seems to be the most accurate means). Looking back at the history of UCLA football, starting with the PCC affiliation in 1928, we have played anywhere between 8 and 13 games in a season.
A 10 win season, in the current 13-game schedule (including a bowl) = .769 win %
In a 9-game season, a 7-2 record is the closest fit, with a .778 win%
In a 10-game season, an 8-2 (.800%), or 7-2-1 (.750%) record is the best approximation of 10 wins today.
In an 11-game schedule, an 8-2-1 record (.773%) is the the most accurate point of reference to a modern 10-3 season.
A 12-game schedule is close enough to the 13-game schedule that a 10 win season is here the proper comparison.
While I am sure that we can all agree that a 10-win season is a fine accomplishment for Bruin football to achieve, those that cite the small number of such seasons in our program's history, together with having achieved one such season under the current regime as proof of the "rightness" of the program's direction must take into consideration the variance in the length of seasons in the past (ie, no matter how good a team is, it can't have a 10-win season while only playing 9 games).
Using my last post as a guide, here are the prior seasons of UCLA football that, by winning percentage, equal or better a contemporary 10-win season (.769%, assuming participation in a bowl game), with conference finish and top-10 end-of-season ranking noted. UCLA Football media guide
- 8-2-0 (.800%, PCC Co-champion)
- 6-0-4 (.800%, 2nd PCC, #7 AP)
- 10-1-0 (.909%, PCC Champion, #4 AP)
- 8-1-0 (.809%, 2nd PCC, #6 AP, UPI)
- 8-2-0 (.800%, PCC Champion, #4 UPI, #5 AP)
- 9-0-0 (1.000%, PCC Champion, UPI National Champion, #2 AP)
- 9-2-0 (.818%, PCC Champion, #4 AP, UPI)
- 8-2-0 (.800%, 3rd PCC)
- 8-2-1 (.773%, AAWU Champion, #4 AP, #5 UPI)
- 9-1-0 (.900%, 2nd AAWU, #5 AP, UPI)
- 8-1-1 (.850%, 2nd Pac-8, #10 UPI)
- 9-2-0 (.818%, 2nd Pac-8, #9 UPI)
- 9-2-1 (,792%, Pac-8 Champion, #5 AP, UPI)
- 9-2-1 (.792%, 2nd Pac-8)
- 9-2-0 (.818%, 2nd Pac-10)
- 10-1-1 (.875%, Pac-10 Champion, #5 AP, UPI)
- 9-2-1 (.792%, Pac-10 Champion, #6 UPI, #7 AP)
- 10-2-0 (.833%, Pac-10 Co-champion, #9 AP)
- 10-2-0 (.833%, 2nd Pac-10, #6 AP, UPI)
- 10-2-0 (.833%, Pac-10 Co-champion, #5 AP, USA Today)
- 10-2-0 (.833%, Pac-10 Champion, #8 AP, USA Today)
- 10-2-0 (.833%, 3rd Pac-10)
While a 10-win season has a good look to it (and would give Dorrell a couple years more job security, for those so interested), keep in mind that a 10-3 season would not crack the top 1/4 of UCLA's Football teams - good, but not outstanding from a historical perspective.