ESPN's "Blue Ribbon" Prediction: UCLA 6-7 Wins

Bumped from the diaries. Its important to keep in mind that the Blue Ribbon analysis was done by writers who are not the same guys who clown around on ESPN's Gameday show. If you scroll through BN's archives of two years, you will find prior references to Blue Ribbon Yearbook. These guys have been fairly on the money wrt to UCLA football and hoops. While we maintain that its reasonable to expect a Pac-10 championship in Dorrell's 5th season, its once again telling how outside observers have zero confidence despite all the hot air coming out of Dorrell and his supporters' mouths about restoring UCLA tradition blah blah. The good news even under Rutgers grad Brian Dohn's standards (which means he has no standard) a 6-7 win season will lead to Dorrell's firing at UCLA. GO BRUINS. -N

cross-posted from

ESPN is running a series with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook where they break down every college football team's prospects for 2007. An ESPN Insider membership is required to read the full report on UCLA, and we don't have that membership, but we picked up the full article on another site (read the full article it's eye-opening). ESPN says that UCLA football under Karl Dorrell is inconsistent, not close to winning conference championships, and lacks any clear direction. Their prediction for the season:

It's going to be a frustrating season from a fan's point of view, because while UCLA is going to win some games this season, the wins might be of the ugly, 16-13, 13-6, variety. Sure, they'll be games where Olson, if he remains healthy, hits a few long passes and the Bruins will put 25-30 points on the scoreboard, but those Saturdays will be few ... The Bruins look a lot like a six- or seven-win team that finishes anywhere from fourth to sixth in the conference.

Sad.  Dorrell has talked about winning the conference since his first day on the job.  As ESPN points out, Dorrell said before last season that the goal for the 2006 season was to win the Pac-10 title (remember, Dorrell even had the team wear those ridiculous blue bracelets that said "Pac-10 Champions" on them).

"We've set the bar where this program needs to be, that was our goal last season and this year, the goal is winning the Pac-10 title," Dorrell said. The Bruins fell short of that goal, landing in outright fourth place at 5-4. Overall, UCLA was perhaps the most-inconsistent team in the nation and finished 7-6.

We obviously agree with Dorrell, and Guerrero, that the program needs to be competing for conference championships. We don't need to point out that we were out of the title race last year as early as October and got lucky with a 4th place finish. Dorrell does a lot of talking as we all know but now it finally appears news outlets like ESPN aren't buying the spin. ESPN has this to say about Dorrell's empty talk:

Of the 10 Pac-10 programs, UCLA is arguably the toughest to gauge heading into the upcoming season. And not just in terms of wins and losses in the immediate, either, but in terms of direction.

That is a sad indictment of our football program under Dorrell. Not only is ESPN no longer buying the stupidity of Dorrell's proclamations of championships ... even as goal-setting ... but they can't even tell where the program is headed. After now 5 years shouldn't there be a direction to the program??!! According to the reports filed, ESPN has SuC winning the conference this year with Cal coming in a close 2nd, and UCLA anywhere from 4th to 6th. Horrendous to be even talked about this way!

If Dorrell can't get it done this year with all the advantages he has how can anyone make the case that he will ever be able to?! Next year he loses 20 seniors, 17 of which are starters, and he will have a much tougher schedule. How will he do better in 2008 than 2007?? That would mean we would expect to finish worse than 4th .. and possibly with another .500 season, basically his 4th or 5th in 6 years. No direction indeed.

In the end, what do we always get from Dorrell?? More of the same boilerplate cliches:

"As a program, we are ready to move forward. I feel we are at the point where we have the talent and the depth in the program to do something special."

The ESPN Blue Ribbon grades for UCLA (Training Jay not getting a lot of love):

Offense C+
Special teams B+
Defense A-
Intangibles B

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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