College Football Top 25, Week 11: Bruins Climb Just One Spot to 16/18

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins picked up a win and moved up a spot in the polls to #16 in the AP poll and #18 in the USA Today/Coaches' poll, but the win over Colorado raised questions about how prepared the Bruins are when they first take the field, as the Bruins sleep-walked through the opening quarter against the bottom-of-the-division Colorado Buffaloes.

Well, it was a victory.  But if you bet on the once-high-powered UCLA offense to blast through a weak Colorado defense and easily cover the 28 point spread, you left pretty disappointed (and with your wallet a bit lighter).  UCLA came out completely asleep in the first quarter, allowing Colorado to dominate on both sides of the ball: fortunately for Jim Mora, Colorado is just not a very good team and weren't able to take advantage of the Bruins' lethargic opening.  The up-tempo RichRod-led Arizona offense won't be as forgiving to UCLA.

The game opened with all the makings of being #Mazzoned for the third straight week, with UCLA unable to do anything but go three-and-out on offense, but the Bruins finally got in gear and someone finally got our under-fire offensive coordinator  to let Brett Hundley throw the damn ball down the field (perhaps the chorus of boos had something to do with that), and to no one's surprise, it led to UCLA scoring points thanks to the dynamic WR duo of Shaq Evans and Devin Fuller.

So, with an in-conference win, the Bruins are still in control of their own destiny: they'll need to win the rest of the slate from here to grab control of the Pac-12 South and return to either Eugene or Palo Alto for their third straight Pac-12 title game appearance.  Coming up short will be unacceptable, especially given how beatable and mediocre the rest of the division has looked at times - make no mistake, except for Stanford and Oregon, no other Pac-12 team has as much talent as UCLA.  Youth is an excuse being trotted out by Dorrellian losers content with another 7 win season and a trip to the Nobody F**king Cares Bowl.

But it was a win, and the Bruins gained a spot in the polls.  Beginning with the USA Today/Coaches' Poll, courtesy of the mothership at SB Nation:

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS FIRST PLACE VOTES PREVIOUS RANK CHANGE HI/LOW
1 Alabama
Crimson Tide
8-0 1540 54 1 1/1
2 Oregon
Ducks
8-0 1475 5 2 2/3
3 Florida State
Seminoles
8-0 1436 3 3 3/12
4 Ohio State
Buckeyes
9-0 1369 0 4 2/4
5 Baylor
Bears
7-0 1299 0 5 5/NR
6 Stanford
Cardinal
7-1 1222 0 7 1 4/13
7 Clemson
Tigers
8-1 1121 0 8 1 4/10
8 Oklahoma
Sooners
7-1 971 0 9 1 8/18
9 Missouri
Tigers
8-1 961 0 10 1 7/NR
10 Auburn
Tigers
8-1 959 0 11 1 10/NR
11 Oklahoma State
Cowboys
7-1 864 0 12 1 11/20
12 LSU
Tigers
7-2 835 0 13 1 6/13
13 Texas A&M
Aggies
7-2 800 0 14 1 6/15
14 Miami
Hurricanes
7-1 747 0 6 8 6/NR
15 South Carolina
Gamecocks
7-2 722 0 16 1 6/20
16 Louisville
Cardinals
7-1 569 0 17 1 6/17
17 Fresno State
Bulldogs
8-0 567 0 18 1 17/NR
18 UCLA
Bruins
6-2 494 0 19 1 10/21
19 Michigan State
Spartans
8-1 446 0 24 5 19/NR
20 Northern Illinois
Huskies
9-0 409 0 20 20/NR
21 Central Florida
Knights
6-1 340 0 22 1 21/NR
22 Wisconsin
Badgers
6-2 333 0 23 1 18/NR
23 Texas Tech
Red Raiders
7-2 217 0 15 8 9/NR
24 Arizona State
Sun Devils
6-2 130 0 NR 23/NR
25 Notre Dame
Fighting Irish
7-2 108 0 25 11/NR

And, here's the AP Top 25 Poll (which doesn't impact the BCS standings, which will be released later today), which has us also moving up one spot:

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Alabama (52) 8-0 1,491 1
2 Oregon (2) 8-0 1,418 2
3 Florida State (6) 8-0 1,409 3
4 Ohio State 9-0 1,315 4
5 Baylor 7-0 1,234 5
6 Stanford 7-1 1,214 6
7 Auburn 8-1 1,082 8
8 Clemson 8-1 1,059 9
9 Missouri 8-1 956 10
10 LSU 7-2 863 11
11 Texas A&M 7-2 861 12
12 Oklahoma 7-1 816 13
13 South Carolina 7-2 769 14
14 Miami (FL) 7-1 737 7
15 Oklahoma State 7-1 662 18
16 UCLA 6-2 515 17
17 Fresno State 8-0 493 16
18 Michigan State 8-1 478 24
19 UCF 6-1 472 19
20 Louisville 7-1 385 20
21 Wisconsin 6-2 342 22
22 Northern Illinois 9-0 322 21
23 Arizona State 6-2 197 25
24 Notre Dame 7-2 164 NR
25 Texas Tech 7-2 102 15
Others Receiving Votes: Texas 34, Georgia 32, Brigham Young 28, Mississippi 17, Houston 9, Minnesota 7, Michigan 6, Washington 6, Ball State 4, Duke 1

Well, we've learned that Jim Mora and his staff can bounce back after a pair of losses to a tough top-ten conference opponent (the last time that happened, Baylor bent our Bruins over in San Diego), but UCLA has a lot of work to do to get back to their third straight conference title game, but it's a path that the Bruins should be expected to travel - except for Arizona State, who we get to play at the Rose Bowl, there is no other real challenge to the division title, especially not with the talent we have on the roster.

Let's see how the Bruins gear up for this next big game, a chance for UCLA to erase the nasty taste of the Bruins' last trip to Tucson.

GO BRUINS

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