ESPN is ranking the D-1 programs for the past decade, and puts us at no. 27:27 UCLA 74-47 .612 2 conf. 3-4
The Bruins came within one victory of playing for the national championship in 1998 -- UCLA lost to Miami 49-45 in the regular-season finale and then lost to Wisconsin 38-31 in the Rose Bowl. UCLA has struggled to find that level of excellence ever since, with only one 10-win campaign in the ensuing eight seasons. The Bruins' biggest obstacle has been crosstown rival USC, which has a 7-1 record against UCLA since 1999.It's a pretty good ranking considering how mediocre we have been since '98, and not far from where UCLA has been historically ranked IIRC. ESPN deems these programs as unable to consistently win 9 games or more for a variety of reasons. In our case, they attribute it to being overshadowed by a higher-profile rival. I think this is short-sighted, since UCLA was clearly overshadowing USC in the first half of the decade they are using as their time frame. It wasnt until Carroll's second year when USC went to the Orange Bowl that USC began rolling and overshadowing us.