The UCLA Bruins are absolutely in need of a big year from their football program. That’s a true statement for any year but especially true during the year 2020. A year that has seen the shutdown of every spring sport and the majority of winter sports’ postseason tournaments.
The football program brings in tons of money for every school in the country but even more money when your team is winning games. UCLA has won all of seven games over the past two seasons combined, and well, frankly, that’s not good enough.
Chip Kelly is absolutely on the hot seat whether you want to believe it or not, it just so happens to be that crosstown rival Clay Helton’s hot seat has been louder than Kelly’s.
Still, if UCLA goes on to win just four games, or maybe even five, you can bet those already restless will continue to be irked and those who are not yet restless will at least grow wary.
All of this being said, today we look at ESPN’s recent ranking of the Pac-12 schools on their Football Power Index.
The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily. FPI data from seasons prior to 2019 may not be complete.
Okay, that’s how they get the numbers, so what are they? Here’s how the Pac-12 stacked up.
The ESPN FPI gives UCLA a 69.5% chance to win at least six games this year but just a 4.0% chance to win the Pac-12 South, let along just a 0.5% chance to win the Pac-12. That’s fair, sure, as they see the following for UCLA:
This seems to be on par with the rest of the country’s predictions, maybe even a bit higher with a near-70% chance to increase Kelly’s total wins by nearly 100%.
So with all of this in mind, and this being nice and all, I have but one question.
Who a 6-6 season, hell even a 7-5 season make you less wary of Kelly as the coach here in Westwood?
I know I can’t say that a blanket, 7-win season would do it for me. With the talent he’s been able to recruit and the success he had prior (the whole reason he was hired), this is a coach that should be winning more games than seven, and it shouldn’t have taken three years to do so. Does seven wins make me want to see one more year? Sure. But that’d be it.
So, what about you?