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No Room for Regression in 2006: 9 Wins & MUST BEAT SC

So we are heading into Dorrell's 4th season - a season some of his supporters are already trying to pre-spin as a "rebuilding" season. That is of course total non-sense considering this should be the year during which Dorrell's upperclassmen should be coming through.

Just recently I saw a laughable post in a paid site from a Dorrell supporter. Some poster named JuanfromBZ made these silly excuses if the team "significantly regress" next season:

I think that because of the schedule, the loss of our top seven or eight players, and the fact that so many of our close games fell our way last year, that we will significantly regress record-wise next year. Expecting that, I am not worried anymore about the direction of the football program.

And that was a "featured post" on Bruin Blitz. Uhm anyone who has been closely following this program knew that we would have to have to deal with the loss of our top seven or eight players. You didn't need to be a D-A head coach to see that coming. If Dorrell backers are going to use this as a pre-excuse for possible regression during next season, then the germane question is what the hell has Dorrell been doing last three seasons on the recruiting trail? How come he didn't recruit in a way to make sure that these gaps don't affect the team in his fourth season.

Moreover, the excuses of us not having enough talent next season just doesn't fly. We lost MJD. So what? I hear from Dorrell backers about how Markey and Bell should be able to fill in the gap at tailback. We lost DO to graduation. Well we have Ben Olson, who has been hyped as the probably the most naturally gifted QB to come into Westwood since Troy Aikman (more on BO later). We lost Marcedes to graduation, but WR/TE slots are stacked with Junior Taylor, Cowan, Brezell, Everett, Ketchum, Moya, Hair et al. Our OL should be in better shape than last season. And the defense quiet simply cannot be worse than what we saw on Saturdays last Fall and if it doesn't get better under this NFL mercenary DeWayne Walker, then KD will have no one else to blame next season (he has already fired two coordinators in Axeman and Kerr). So to make the excuse of losing top players for a bad record next season is just ridiculous.

Now let's take a look at the schedule for 2006. It's a schedule, which a UCLA caliber program should be able to battle through and win 9 games and beat a USC squad at the Rose Bowl that will be coming in without its veteran backfield. Here is the schedule for next season:

*09/02 Utah (w) - there is no excuse for not being able to get a win against some MWC team at the Rose Bowl. I will count this as a must win game for KD

*09/09 Rice (w) - if UCLA loses this game Dorrell should immediately be fired like Ron Zook was at Florida and be made an interim coach. In other words he should be "Zooked," if UCLA loses this game. Hell even Rice coming close in this game would be an embarrassment. This is the easiest win of the season.

*09/23 @Washington (w) - there was no excuse for the pathetic performance against Washington at home last season when we eeked out a win. UDub is going to be a little better this season as Stanback is going to have more experience under his belt. But their lines are still a joke. This is a game the Bruins should be able to win on the road against one of the lower tier teams in the Pac-10.

*09/30 Stanford (w) - Stanford at the Rose Bowl. This again should be a win for a UCLA football team playing at home. Stanford despite a senior Trent Edwards just do not have the same talent up and down its depth chart like UCLA. They have no business winning this game on our home turf.

*10/07 Arizona (w) - we need to get this win getting revenge for the embarrassment of last season. Not only was there no excuse for the embarrassment in Tucson last season, there simply was no excuse for losing to the Mildcats. Tuitiama is a good QB no doubt - but a well-coached Bruin D should be able to contain this kid at the Rose Bowl.

*10/14 @Oregon (l) - Bruins should be 5-0 heading into Oregon and characteristically they will choke and suffer its first loss on the road. Oregon's offense spearheaded by the combo of Dennis Dixon/Brady Leaf at QB will be too much of UCLA's defense even if it is much improved.
*10/21 @Notre Dame (l) - Dorrell is not beating Weiss in South Bend. We will have lots on this game later. However, right now it is unrealistic to expect Dorrell to pull off a win at South Bend. If Quinn had gone pro. may be we would have had a shot. But is not too reasonable to expect a UCLA team to beat Senior Quinn at ND this upcoming season. Bruins lose this one.

*10/28 Washington St (w) - Bruins will be coming home on a 2 game losing skid. A good team will be stop the streak at home. And this UCLA team should be able to do exactly so. If it is a well-coached unit, it will come back at home and put together a win. Sure the Cougs will have Alex Brink back at QB with Jason but they don't have much else going for them. Bruins go 6-2.

*11/04 @California (l) - Bruins will not have MJD to rescue Dorrell against Tedford up in Bezerkely. Cal will win this game handily I think. And this time they will probably not have Ayoub to screw things up for them. Bruins leave Bezerkley at 6-3

*11/11 Oregon St (w) - Bruins will come back to the Rose Bowl and will have to win this game against Moore and co. that was 5-6 last season with MM through 19 pics. To complicate matters more for the Beavers their 3 best players and leaders - Hass and all-PAC Ten linebackers Trent Bray and Keith Ellison have "graduated." Again ... a well-coached UCLA football team should never lose to Beavers at home. SMQ by the way already has a good preview up for the Beavers (it has already done a whole bunch of these absurdly premature early season previews). Our record at this point should be 7-3

*11/18 @Arizona St (w) - now this the wild card game. ASU has an awesome offense, which will be headed either by Keller or Carpenter. But you would think the reason why we brought in a so-called DC with NFL experience is to win this kind of Pac-10 battles on the road. Bruins have more than enough talent to win this game. They won last year handily with a shitty defense and they almost won it two years ago if not for DO's 4 picks and bend don?t break shitty play calling from Larry "You Are Killing Me" Kerr. We will know how far Dorrell's program has really come in 4 years in this game. This should be a win taking the Bruins record to 8-3.

*12/02 U$C (w) - No analysis necessary right now for this game. This is a game that should be played on RAW EMOTION and ENERGY at home. We have lost to these motherf'ers 7 years in a row. If the Bruin football players under Karl Dorrell have one shred of pride wearing blue and gold after getting its ass kicked by the insufferable thugs from cross-town, then they will end the skid on December 2nd. THIS IS A MUST WIN GAME FOR DORRELL'S PROGRAM.

And there you go - IMO it is more than reasonable to expect Dorrell to produce 9 wins next seasons and beat SC even taking into account 3 road losses. Of course we will probably taking exhaustive looks into each game week by week during next season. During the summer we are going to look into different parts of the football team to take a closer glance at the personnel in our depth chart. But the basic point remains that it is really pathetic to come up with any excuses for a downturn in our record next year.

Sure we are not expecting this team to win 10 games. But taking an early look expecting 9 wins from this team including a win over USC is not unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination. After three years time for excuses have run out. If Dorrell truly wants to show this program is on the right track under him - then in his fourth year with his upperclassmen recruits he should have a UCLA team finishing the season in style coming up with that W on December 2nd.

So there will be no excuses for a marked regression in our record during our regular season. Dorrell has to come up with 9 wins and MUST BEAT SC if he wants to make a legit case UCLA is headed in the right direction under him in Westwood.