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Northwestern - a chance to change (somewhat) the defeatist culture of Bruin football

Interesting article in the Pasadena Star News. The article correctly points out IMO this season will not be a successful one if UCLA ends up losing to Northwestern:

UCLA has had the kind of season most college football teams would dream about, especially those coming off back-to-back six-win seasons.

But the hard work the Bruins put in this year - a 9-2 record with a series of gutsy comebacks - could be for naught if UCLA fails to defeat Northwestern in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30.

It defies logic, but it is the truth.

Since 2000, UCLA has developed a reputation for starting strong and finishing weak. And though the difference between a Sun Bowl victory and a Sun Bowl loss might only be 10-2 vs. 9-3 in the Bruins' season record, it is the difference between finishing the season 2-2 vs. 1-3 that might indicate how much this team has grown.
Agree with that. There will be a big difference between a 10-2 and 9-3 record at this point because a 9-3 record means Bruins ended the season losing 3 out its last 4 games. That's not the mark of a good team ending the season on a positive note.

Also another important note in this article. It points out how despite all the talk of change of attitude in the media,really nothing has changed under Dorrell during last three years concernig the defeatist culuture of UCLA football:
Dorrell's biggest challenge when he took over the program was not simply improving the level of play - Toledo had only two losing seasons in seven years as coach and finished over .500 each of his final two seasons - but changing a culture that appeared to turn defeatist during the final stretch each year.

Toledo's teams not only faded down the stretch, they collapsed.

Toledo's 2002 squad lost its final two regular-season games by a combined 100-48. His 2001 squad was the first UCLA team to be shut out by its cross-town rival since the 1940s.

The Bruins are 0-2 in bowl games under Dorrell, even though they were favored to win both the 2003 Silicon Valley Bowl and last season's Las Vegas Bowl.

If Dorrell can reverse that trend, he can not only claim his first bowl victory. He can truly claim that the Bruins have turned the corner. If he can't, a 9-3 season will have the empty feeling of seasons past.
Sounds about right. If UCLA beats Northwestern (and it should) it will give the UCLA coaches some credibile data in the recruiting trail to support their contention that they are building something positive at UCLA. It will not point towards a total turning the corner or whatever nonsense Dorrell minions will be spouting in their knee jerk reaction to pimp their boy wonder, but at least for once it would end the season on a favorable note, which will be something. It will not the reduce the pressure/expectations on Dorrell to win 9 games next season (including a win over USC). However, if Bruins lose that game ... this season will be remembered for nothing except for yet another typical season ending collapse typfying the mediocre reigns of Toledo (20-15 in his last 3 years) and now Dorrell (21-15 to date). It will be the same old shit.