We're being called out by Utah? Utah??? Argh.
Okay, I'll admit that I can't think of the great state of Utah without thinking of either this:
So, I may be the wrong guy to be commenting on this. Something about glass houses, or rocks, I'm told.
But, you may have noticed a newcomer to the SB Nation over at Block U, who I am pleased to welcome to the blogosphere. And while some Utah fans may be conceding a loss to UCLA, others are more optimistic.
According to JazzyUte's game preview, UCLA isn't all that impressive.
If there's a forgettable team in the nation, it's UCLA. Forgettable because they often go unnoticed as one of the most storied programs in college football history. Forgettable because for the past few years they've been good, but never good enough to dominate their way outside of USC's shadow.
Last season UCLA sweated its way to an 8-0 start. And when I say sweated, I truly mean it because that's exactly what they did. The Bruins won 5 conference games by 10 points or less, squeaking out wins against the likes of Washington and Washington State (a combined record of 6-16) and got blindsided by an Arizona team that finished with only 3 wins last year.
To say UCLA's 10 win season was fairly hollowed is probably an understatement. The season wrapped up with an embarrassing loss to rival USC and a tough fought win against a mediocre Northwestern team in the Sun Bowl. This season the Bruins will look to capitalize on their 10 win season, but it won't be easy, as the Bruins lose a lot of key players from last year.
And he's not impressed by our coach either, and seems to think that Utah will take us to the woodshed this year:
... With all that UCLA loses and the fact that their defense could still struggle, there is no reason the Utes can't beat the Bruins to start the season.
Unfortunately, Jazzy's comments about UCLA's season last year aren't that far off base. UCLA has been dominated by USC recently, did sweat through too many games last year, and the Bruin's 10 wins in 2005 were less impressive than the number makes them sound. It's also, sadly, true that Dorrell hasn't yet proven himself capable coach that has the ability to sustain success.
So, I guess I can't shoot the messenger. But it troubles me to no end that fans of a school like Utah, I mean, come on, Utah, can somewhat accurately say this kind of stuff about UCLA. And even though I've been pretty impressed by the job Kyle Whittingham has been doing over there since taking the reigns last year, it doesn't make it much better. But, it doesn't stop there. Apparently, Block U has bigger issues with the Pac-10 generally.
I like the Pacific Ten but can't deny that a part of me has a growing hatred toward their elitism and greediness.... The problem with the Pacific Ten is that their ego holds the better good of the conference hostage. The fact is, outside of the western United States, it's believed the Pacific Ten is a lower-tiered BCS conference with one really good team (USC). Not that it's true, but perception often dictates prestige, just ask Oregon and Cal, both of whom were left out in the cold by the BCS system in favor of other elite teams.
Again, I hate to listen to someone from a school like Utah crowing about a victory against USC more recent than one of our own, but I guess that's what happens when your team hasn't gotten it done against it's biggest rival for seven years running. That said, I think the Utes have some bigger fish to fry. I won't say inferiority complex. But, dang, there I went again.
Anyway, I'll leave the full UCLA/Utah game preview for another day. Suffice it to say, I think UCLA has more than enough tools to take care of a dangerous Utah'ar, uhm, Utah team. Game on.