In terms of our expectations for UCLA it's important to keep something in mind, and that is the current strength of the Pac 10 Conference. Other than Washington St. there are no weak teams, and I don't think that any other conference in the country can say that 90% of its teams are at least reasonably strong.
There is a big improvement in the conference from last year where there were two very weak teams in Washington and Washington St. This year Washington has already beaten USC and is capable of giving anyone a tough game. Stanford is much improved, we're definitely improved, and both Arizona schools are probably stronger than last year. The only team in the conference that is probably not as good as last year is USC, but they are still a top ten team. This is particularly important to keep in mind when we look at our prospective won-loss record.
If this were last year's conference we'd likely have two easy wins, but this year we probably have only one at best in Washington St. This year's team would probably win a minimum of 3 or 4 games in last year's conference. But it's significantly tougher this year, and outside of Washington St. (who is also improved this year) every conference game won by anyone can be seen as an achievement.
So although our team is improving, most of the teams we are playing have also raised their level of play. It's a mistake to assume that the conference is a static constant that we can measure ourselves against, because I think it is significantly stronger now.
Going into the season most people thought that the Tennessee game would be tough and one we would likely lose, and we'd have a better chance of winning our conference games. The Tennessee game was tough, and beating them was a real achievement. However I'd say that most of our conference games are going to be just as tough as the Tennessee game, because most of the teams in our conference are comparable to or better than Tennessee.
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.