Things are looking up in Westwood, but how long will it last with Rick Neuheisel at the helm?
UCLA’s season has been a roller coaster at best. The Bruins are 5-4 overall and 4-2 in Pac-12 play but have strung together consecutive wins only recently. For all we know, this team could be beaten by two touchdowns in Salt Lake City next week.
In fact, the bookmakers already have them as seven-point underdogs.
In the best-case scenario, UCLA wins out, putting them at 8-4 with a trip to the Pac-12 title game, where Stanford likely waits. If the Bruins somehow win that game, they’ll go to the Rose Bowl. Since we're dreaming, let's say they win that too.
A 9-4 record, conference title and Rose Bowl win looks fantastic in my imagination, but does anyone realistically think that will happen? Sure, UCLA could beat Utah and Colorado to get to 7-4, but is an upset over USC reasonable with the Trojans playing so well?
The fact that we’re talking about a Rose Bowl win like it’s some impossible dream out of Man of La Mancha is indicative of the lowered expectations Bruin fans are forced to have with Neuheisel calling the shots. UCLA fans should expect conference titles and invitations to big bowls.
I honestly hope Neuheisel succeeds this year. I want UCLA to do well, especially against SC. But maybe, after four years of half-imagined promises and shattered dreams, it’s time to move in another direction.