The most important game of the season is the next one.
So while the old adage makes the Bruins opener against the Virginia Cavaliers the biggest game of the year, there is still a lot of macro talk, and rightly so, about the Bruins' schedule as a whole. It's another sign that people are looking at the Bruins as potential national title contenders and are projecting what the season might bring for U.C.L.A.
And the consensus remains that the Bruins have a bumpy road to college football's first ever Final Four.
SportingNews.com published two articles today that focused on U.C.L.A., one that looks at the Bruins and the Pac-12's competitive schedule for 2014 and a second that looks at that big week 3 matchup
at the University of Texas in the neutral game in Dallas against the University of Texas that Patroclus already hit on in today's Bruin Bites.
SN calls U.C.L.A.'s nonconference schedule the toughest in the Pac-12.
Not only is the Pac-12 conference schedule brutal - UCLA gets three North Division heavyweights (Oregon, Stanford, Washington) in addition to the South schedule - the Bruins must play at Texas and Virginia in non-conference games.
If UCLA makes it out of September unbeaten - at Virginia, Memphis, at Texas, at Arizona State - we can start looking at a potential CFP run.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? That seems to be the national view of the Texas matchup, as well, which is shaping up as one of the premiere events in the early part of the college football season. P already captured the key quote from FOX Analyst Charles Davis and the importance of U.C.L.A. getting over the hump from being a good team to a great team. There are a variety of other subplots, too.
It's a chance for Brett Hundley to become the early frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, and a chance for first-year Texas coach Charlie Strong to make his first emphatic national statement.
The game is scheduled for prime time and will start at 5pm Pacific. Given the preseason hype and the eyes that will be on this game, a strong Bruin performance will play a big role in how the nation, and the selection committee, look at U.C.L.A. at the end of the season.
We have documented our thoughts on our genius AD taking this so called neutral site game that is 3 hours from the opposing team's practice field and located in one of, if not the, largest alumni bases of said team. Well, at least he negotiated a big payday and also ensured our band makes an appearance at this high profile nationally televised game. Oh, wait...
Well, at least there is this:
Play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson likely will be on the call for Fox.
Yeah, it's gonna be big.
Anyway, Week 3 and Texas can wait for now. The biggest game of the year is just 58 days away.
But the nation is already looking at U.C.L.A.'s road ahead.