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ESPN/Blue Ribbon: Bullish on UCLA

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Thanks to blogger 'Blitz who posted excerpts of an online chat on ESPN's site, featuring Blue Ribbon's college football expert Chris Dortch.  Chris and his colleagues at BR are high on UCLA.  They are expecting big things from Dorrell, as any sophisticated college football fan with reasonable expectations would from a football coach, who is going into third year of his reign.

The experts at BlueRibbon expecting a second place finish in the PAC, which perfectly fits with our expectation from KD to win 9 total games including beating the Sooners at the Rose Bowl on September 17.  Here is the excerpt from Dortch's discussion on UCLA:

Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch will stop by to preview the college football season.

Rick (Vegas):What's up with UCLA No. 2 in the Pac-10? Are they that good? Who's playing quarterback?

Chris Dortch: We liked the Bruins' schedule. They play just five road games, and host Cal and Arizona State, which finished second and third in the league last year. Drew Olson didn't participate in spring practice while rehabbing his knee, but I think the coaches are banking on his return. A couple of red-shirt freshmen, Patrick Cowan and Ben Olson, might have to be called upon if Drew Olson can't go. And then there's David Koral, a senior who did a decent job subbing for Olson in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Ryan (Tampa, FL): Who wins on Sept 17th. Oklahoma or UCLA? I figure with UCLA fielding a tough team, and the game being in LA, OU could suffer a letdown.

Chris Dortch: Ryan. We think that way, too. We've got high regard for UCLA, particularly if Drew Olson can come back strong after knee surgery.

Mike (Reno, NV): Sorry to criticize but there is no way that your Pac-10 predictions weren't done while you were drinking. UCLA is pathetic on offense. Oregon and Arizona State are notch below USC but a notch above everybody else. Cal, OSU, UCLA and WSU all have way to many question marks

Chris Dortch: Mike, I promise nary a drop of strong drink was consumed while making that pick. I can tell you that at Blue Ribbon, we do our best, with our hoops book as well as our football book, to kind of project a bit and find a team that might exceed expectations. For reasons too numerous to mention here, we think UCLA will surprise. The Bruins have a great springboard game against Oklahoma to either quickly prove or disprove our preseason confidence in them!

Vito (PA): Chris I agree with you big time on UCLA, I looked at their schedule yesterday and it looks that they should win at least eight games. All the talk has been on the quarterback position but I feel the two most underated players on that team are Maruice Drew and Marcedes Lewis. What are you thoughts on these two?

Chris Dortch: Vito, those two guys are big reasons we're bullish on the Bruins. We picked Lewis our first-team Pac-10 TE, and don't forget this is a league loaded with quality TEs. Drew is a big-time yardage muncher who ran for 322 yards and five TDs against Washington last year.
So, there you go.  We have an easy schedule.  KD is in his third year.  We will have a fourth year QB with skill ballers in the backfield and receiver slots, and we have all of our key starters returning on D.  NO EXCUSE FOR NOT WINNING 9 GAMES.  KD must produce or hit the road.