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Guerrero Expects Dorrell to Contend for Pac-10 Title (this year)

Some interesting comments from Dan Guerrero in this morning's LA Times. Dan Guerrero acknowledges the obvious - last year's 10-2 didn't mean all that much:

Fresh off a 10-victory season, the UCLA Bruins football program is still fighting an uphill battle on many fronts, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.

"The success that we had last year is not translating into maybe the kind of respect that you may want to see in a program," Guerrero said. "If you go across the country and you come off a 10-2 year, people are dancing in the streets and talking up the program quite a bit. In the Southern California community, specifically Los Angeles, there is still a wait-and-see with this program.
Hmm, I wonder why so many of us are in that wait-and-see mode to give KD's program any respect?:

Photo: Wally Skalij / LAT

DG then continues:
"We need to follow up a successful season with a great effort this year in order to earn the respect that we believe we should have."
And what does he mean by a great effort?
"Our goal is to win a conference championship," Guerrero said. "There's no one here thinking about a 6-6 season. What I'm looking for is to be in the mix late in the season and we're battling for something.

"We'll see how things unfold, because we're breaking in a new quarterback and we have so many other changes, we really don't know. But we're excited because there's a good foundation in place."
In other words DG expects UCLA to be in the hunt for a Pac-10 title or a high profile bowl game (which in Pac-10 case is the "Holiday Bowl") during the last 2-3 weeks of the season. I think you can infer from those comments that DG is looking lot more than just another trip to shitty bowl games in Vegas or in El Paso. He is clearly hinting that UCLA is expecting Dorrell to contend for the Pac-10 championship or something meaningful towards the end of the season. In other words finishing the season with 6-7 wins and another loss to USC is not going to cut it. This is encouraging and it sounds like Dorrell's expectations are pretty close to the one we have laid out this off-season. If Dorrell can win 9 games and beat SC, he will satisfy the expectations laid out by DG and the Bruins Nation.

In other news, as expected, Dorrell has officially suspended John Hale and Jess Ward for the opener. But given our depth at DL, I don't expect this to be too much of an issue in our first game against Utah.