My stream-of-consciousness analysis of the overall state of the UCLA program
You'll hear people say that UCLA's resurgence is still many years off, and while in a sense this may be true - I don't see us contending legitimately for NCs for another 3 years, the resurgence is already well underway. Next year we're going to have a young and exciting team being led by an exceptional coaching staff. I like what I'm hearing about the weight room - but these kids need to be coached and drilled on the fundamentals of football and I think the mentality will just be different in this regime - it's nice.
The enthusiasm of our coaching staff gets me fired up because they're excited to get the absolute maximum return for the players we have now. I think they're going to be willing to roll the dice and make Bruin games exciting again. I'm confident that with the three men leading our program we are going to diligently prepare each week not only for who we're going to play and how we can exploit our relative strengths v. their relative weaknesses - but taking the extra step to look at our own team and think about what our opponent is going to try and exploit. See ... this does seem like common sense 101, but under Dorrell does anyone actually believe our teams were meticulously prepared?
Ben Howland is the Bill Bellichick (cheating allegations excluded) of basketball when comes to meticulous preparation for your team and your opponent and having a tailored gameplan. This is something I know CRN will take very seriously whereas it may not have been taken very seriously before.
I think this next year we are going to be a super exciting team. I think Olson can thrive under Chow and we'll finally have an offense where we play to our strengths and to what works ... not unwavering adherence to a "philosophy" (WCO) that in its Dorrellian anemia just doesn't work. I think some of our freshmen could come in right away and compete - especially Moore in the secondary. I also think Dean or Knox could come up huge and be immediate playmakers for our offence. As disgusting as it was to watch, the USC offences under norm chow were like conducting surgery through the defense as every playmaker found a way to get the ball. I look forward to that. I think for this next season 8-4 would be an outstanding season --- particularly if we play hard, get better as the season goes on (something that hasn't happened since pre-Toledo days - this also brought Toledo down). Steal a couple games on the road we shouldn't --- so 7 8 wins and a sun bowl would be a solid year next year.
With more players coming in year after year now that they see UCLA's for real about our commitment to football. I guess I just felt compelled to talk about how I'm excited about Bruin football --- like really really really excited --- for the first time in a while. Sometimes when times are good it should be acknowledged. Can't wait for that spring game!