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Emerging Consensus (?): UCLA Projected to Third Straight Pac-12 Championship Game in 2013

Consensus appears to be emerging among respected college football observers that UCLA should be able successfully defend its hold on Pac-12’s Southern division in 2013.

2013: the year Bruins should run away with another Pac-12 South championship
2013: the year Bruins should run away with another Pac-12 South championship
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

The big expectations around UCLAffor the upcoming football season continue to crystalize within the world of national and regional college football observers. Jon Wilner from College Football Hotline is projecting UCLA as the winner of the Pac-12 South:

UCLA (1): The Bruins have holes to fill (tailback being one of them). But they also have the most complete roster - the best combination of talent, experience, depth and QB play - in the South. The October back-to-back at Stanford and Oregon is daunting, to say the least, but the Bruins leave town just once in the last five weeks and get ASU at home in the game that could decide the division.

Bruce Feldman from CBS, who previously affirmed one of our main points that heading into next season "UCLA should be better in 2013" despite a more difficult schedule, concurs with Wilner:

The North looks to be the stronger division in the Pac-12. But heading into 2013, I like the Bruins' chances to get back to the conference title game. I'd make UCLA a slight favorite over USC and ASU in the South despite how shaky the Bruins looked late in the season.

Brett Hundley is much bigger and stronger, and more experienced. He's going to be a lot of fun to watch in 2013. I feel like it's probably a year too early for Hundley as a serious Heisman contender.

He will miss Johnathan Franklin, but his old high school buddy, speedy Paul Perkins, has folks inside the program excited. The young O-line won't be sooooo young anymore although they might have to rely on a handful of true freshmen for depth.

The D will be led by some stars at LB, especially big-play terror Anthony Barr. I do wonder if they can be good enough up front to be a top-10 team. Potentially, those guys look like they could be, but we'll see.

For all of the Bruins' firepower, they're still probably a notch below Stanford and Oregon.

Can't disagree with much what Feldman wrote above. But it's worth nothing that Bruins shouldn't be all that far behind Stanford. If not for coaching mistakes, Bruins would have had the opportunity to avenge two losses against the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. Hopefully, Mora will take full advantage of the opportunity to get back where we belong (Rose Bowl champions) next season.