Less than ONE MONTH AGO, I posted up my latest, longest list as to all the reasons why UCLA SHOULD have been expected to contend for the Pac-10 Championship this year. I did not anticipate revisiting this list so soon into the season, nor did I want to. And somehow, I knew it was possible.
Yes, it is still mathematically possible for UCLA to win the Pac-10 outright. I understand this. Yes, I love my team, and I love my school.
And yet my list of "WHY NOT US? WHY NOT NOW?" can very easily be turned on its head.
- Why does a team with "10 returning starters on offense" commit multiple penalties on 3rd down???
- Why does a team with "10 returning starters on defense" give up five touchdowns to a team missing its No. 1 QB, RB, and WR to injuries?
- Why does a team with "17 seniors on the depth chart" come out flat against an 0-2 team with multiple injuries?
- Why does a team with "25 seniors on the roster" have multiple players telling the media that the team performed poorly in PRACTICE?
- Why does a team with "only 3 (out of 6) road games against opponents with over-.500 records in 2006" start a season 1-1 on the road?
- Why does a team with its "first 6 games against opponents with first-year starting QBs" give up 333.67 yards passing per game by opponents?!?
- Why does a team with its "first 5 road games against opponents with average Sagarin rating of 50 in 2006" lose by 38 points to an unranked team?!?
- Why does a team with its "returning leading rusher (Markey) averaging 4.9 yards per carry in 2006" rank SIXTH in the conference in rushing offense?
- Why does a team with "returning Pac-10 sack leader (Davis) with 12.5 sacks in 2006" rank last in the Pac-10 in total passing defense?
- Why does a team with "all [of its] games against pre-season AP Top 25 opponents (U$C, Cal, and our own internal scrimmages) in Los Angeles" record the second worst-loss by a ranked UCLA team to an unranked team in school history?!?!?
- Why does the "No. 1 QB recruit (Olson) in 2001" continually look at only one side of the field before passing the football, and complete only 50.5% of his passes on the year (49 for 97)?
- Why does "a head coach (Dorrell) in his 5th year in the conference" allow three of his starters (Davis, Tevaga, and Everett) to be hurt in the closing five minutes of game when the team is already behind by over 30 points?!?!?
- Why does a team with "a rushing defense that was tied for 1st in the Pac-10 and 9th in Division I at 91.1 yards per game in 2006" allow 26.0 points per game?
- Why does a team with a "total defense that was 2nd in the Pac-10 and 35th in Division I at 314.5 yards per game in 2005." give up 406.3 yards of offense per game?
I THINK WE KNOW WHY.