At least not yet in terms of competing for a Pac-10 championship. However, we are moving in the right direction. A fairly pin point assessment in the OC Register today:
Are the Bruins ready to compete for a Pac-10 Championship?
Probably not. But they do seem to be moving in the right direction. One big step in that progression would be to end their upcoming season in a bowl game.
Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel was recently asked what it would take for UCLA to break through that wall of top-echelon teams, specifically USC.
"Every program is having the same conversation," he said. "Oregon State (the only team to beat USC last season) probably has that conversation emphatically, having had success. But the point of it is that everybody has to take care of their own ship."
The Bruins’ ship to success started on the ground floor. Neuheisel and his coaching staff had to get the right players into the program. Now is the development stage.
"I know we’ve proven we can recruit with them, and I believe we will continue to recruit with them," Neuheisel said of the Trojans. "I believe, based on the resumes of my coaching staff and what I know about them, having spent a year with them that we can coach with them.
"Now the question is just developing our team to where we are as developed as they are. We’re not there yet. We can’t run on the field with those guys and say you’re there yet. Ultimately, that’s where we need to still catch up. How quickly that happens, I hope it doesn’t take very long."
Hope it doesn't take that long either. However, it is still going to take a lot of patience on our part this season. I am going to bet we are going to have some heartbreaks and tough moments this year but the key will be to keep moving forward and most importantly keep improving through the season.
If we can make into the bowl game we will take another step towards where we really want to be: watching our team play on or after January 1st.