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It's how you finish ...

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Bruins have checked into the number 12 spot in both AP and USAToday/Coaches'polls. We are perfectly situated now to make that run. But we have to be guarded and can't get carried away right now. We are all euphoric today after our biggest win - IMHO since the USC game of 1998. However, as big and as sweet as last night's win was, we still have a long way to go. We still have to do something about our defensive line, which is looking like Maginot line, and our running game, that has been sputtering for last three games now. This can all end with one bad loss next weekend, and all the excitement will be for much ado about nothing, again. As Brad Edwards of ESPN points out, it's not how you start that matters (emphasis mine):

Who would have thought UCLA would be 5-0 right now?

Maybe more people than you would think. The better question might be how many people believe UCLA will be 6-0 ... or even 10-0? You see, fast starts have been common for the Bruins in the 21st century. Handling prosperity has been the problem.

Since 2000, UCLA is 26-6 from the start of the season through Oct. 13 but has been just 12-22 after that date. These collapses caused former coach Bob Toledo to lose his job in 2002, and they have continued so far under Karl Dorrell.

But now is his chance to put the Bruins back on the college football map. UCLA has grabbed national attention in the first half of the season, but just like Notre Dame, Penn State and Alabama, the team will be remembered for how it finishes the year, not for its great start.


Beginning this Saturday at Washington State, we'll see what the Bruins do with their opportunity.
Of course it is how you finish that counts at the end of the season.

I think at this point it is indisputable how much talent we have on our offense. We have enough talent on our offense and in our defense for making a run like we did in 1998, when we were outgunning everyone on our way towards our dreams, until all crashed and burned on December 5, 1998. Well it looks we are getting another shot, as we now have a genuine chance of going 10-0, right into December 3rd, playing teams, we will be favored against (@Wazzu,Oregon State,@Stanford,@Arizona, and ASU). If Dorrell truely wants to establish himself as the fireproof head coach of the Bruins Nation, he needs to reverse the miserable recent trend of end of the season Bruin implosion after great starts year after year.

And, yes I realize majority of the voters are saying that KD will be pull off a successful season even without a win over SC.  However, I disagree.  I am a purist when it comes to what entails a successful season for UCLA football - it must include a win in the last game of the season. 10-1 seasons are nice.  John Cooper had a lot of them in Ohio State.  Too bad no one cares about his gaudy regular season numbers, because he hardly delivered to the Buckeye faithful the game that actually matters.  Same standards apply here.  A 9/10 win season is a must  in terms of KD having to show discernable improvement from last season, but 1 of those wins has to include a win over USC. More later.

GO BRUINS.