It seems like forever since I got to do one of these posts. The bowl process is pretty ridiculous when you give it serious thought. Almost 30 days in between games, and supposedly the bowl game is the most important of them all (definitely for BCS games, depends on the situation for others)? There is no other competitive sport that does such a drastic change of schedule, strictly for financial gains by the bowls and NCAA.
The Sun Bowl was well worth the wait though, with UCLA beat an 8-4 (now 8-5) Virginia Tech team soundly by a score of 42-12 to get UCLA's first 10 win season since 2005 (and, to be honest, the first legit 10 win season since the 90's).
Getting to listen to Verne Lundquist was an awesome change of pace, and I wish that UCLA had the SEC advantages that come with the CBS and ESPN hookups. Plus the vastly superior bowl tie-ins. Seriously, why is the Pac-12 not lined up against the SEC in any bowls? Ridiculous. The two best conferences should match up regularly.
Aside from that, it was a good day to be a fan of UCLA football. I hope the Eye Test is as good of a time, so let's get to the grades.
1.) Is our defense prepared for each and every team we play?
2.) Do we call offensive plays to catch our opponents off guard?
Energy was here in this game. Could not have been a more stark contrast than the Holiday Bowl last season. The defense had to be charged up with Zumwalt flying around lighting Hokies up. The offense had problems at times, but the energy wasn't the problem. Can't go anywhere but an A (4.0) here.
5.) Do our players execute?
6.) Do we have leaders on the field?
Final Grade Card for the Virginia Tech Hokies
1.) Is our defense prepared for each and every team we play? A (4.0)
2.) Do we call offensive plays to catch our opponents off guard? B- (2.7)
3.) Do our players look like they know what they should be doing at all times? B+ (3.3)
4.) Do our players play for 60 G-D minutes every game? A (4.0)
5.) Do our players execute? B+ (3.3)
6.) Do we have leaders on the field? A (4.0)
Virginia Tech GPA: A- (3.6)
For reference, the win in the final regular season game over Southern Cal came out to a 3.9 GPA and the victories over Nebraska, Nevada, Arizona, Washington New Mexico State, UC Berkeley, Utah and Colorado and losses to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State were a 3.7, a 3.6, a 3.1, a 3.1, a 2.8, another 2.8, 2.9, 2.5, 2.0, 2.0 and 1.9 respectively.
That grade feels right. Technically, that's a B+ in GPA terms; but I am giving UCLA a bump to an A- for the significance of getting to 10 wins. It's a big deal. I feel weird writing the last Eye Test for 9 months, From rewind through these games looking for missed blocking assignments and trying to figure out what safeties are doing off screen, all the way to just opening up 6 tabs worth of information and copy/pasting the questions and final grading sheet from the previous week's Eye Test. I'll especially miss all of your feedback. I started writing these at a tough time, I had just figured out I'd never play another snap of college football in my life. Huge void in my life and Nestor randomly asked in a comment thread if I wanted to write up the Eye Test for the Colorado game in 2011, then the terrible 0-50 game happened and I did that one. Then it became a regular thing in the 2012 season and went from there. Without your positive feedback (along with the grammar corrections and disagreements), I don't have any idea what I'd be doing with my spare time. I'm thankful you all gave me a positive outlet.
Anyway, the Eye Test is over until next season. Look forward to writing up after a decisive beatdown of Virginia, either after an impressive debut by Asiantii Woulard or a step towards the Heisman for Brett Hundley. Should be a fun, but long, offseason.