UCLA Bruins – 2012
Just like Texas A&M, the Bruins have wasted away elite level talent for a long time. This team from 2009-2011 was one of just 16 above the blue BCS title berth line. For you Bruin fans, keep in mind that 21 of 22 teams to play in the NCG since 2001 have been above that College Football Matrix line. UCLA recruits itself. It’s a wonderful campus full of national champions, tradition and just a short drive to the beach at Santa Monica. What’s not to love? My theory on teams with a record and talent like UCLA is an issue that goes beyond the head coaches. I don’t know what it is but some intangible is holding back this sleeping giant. Is it a fan base that doesn’t care, a culture issue and/or a booster base ego problem. Whatever the invisible problem is, it must be purged before this team gets where it should be, playing USC every year for the PAC12 South title.
I already miss CRN and his lock down -4 games coach effect every season. He was solid at Colorado, then Washington and I really thought his homecoming as a Bruin alum was going to produce a winner. A big time winner.
But Karl before him and Big Bob both struggled to put it together too. So is it the coach or the culture? In my view of reading the numbers and trends in the Matrix I will stick with the idea it is systemic and not coaching. This is hire #4 with solid talent at his disposal. If this doesn’t go well the hot seat needs to start in the athletic department.
We know that returning starters means very little unless it involved a high number on Defense, Offense or both kickers. UCLA is borderline for both O and D. I don’t see that having a big impact as the kids learn a new system, style and culture. A new head coach taking over a 6-6 team, on average, does little to change the record in the first year but it does lean toward 7-5.
2012 Bruins Schedule Breakdown
Although 7 games doesn’t make a season, it can certainly lose it. We all know that UCLA has the talent to win right now. The first 7 games, in my opinion are make or break games for 2012. Keep in mind that the majority of bowl teams since 2004 have zero or + coaching effect numbers for the season.
The Bruins do not have to play Oregon this year and get to host Stanford and USC. That is a very likely 0-2 end to the season. But right before those 2 is a 3 game winning streak. Period. Win.Win.Win. If that is not a 3-0 stretch there is already trouble in Westwood. To get to 8-4 from 3-2 the Bruins need to go 5-2 in the first 7 games.
Wins that should be locks are with Rice and Houston. 4-2. 5-2. The tilt with Nebraska is a big game for both teams. But Pelini has a predictable track record on the road against teams that out recruit them. If Mora is truly turning the corner at UCLA, it just might be in this game. A 3-0 record against the OoC then a 2-2 split in the next 4 conference games and bam! 8-4 for 2012 and a tie for #2 in the South with Utah. The potential is there for the staff now and in the future. The question is do they have the ability or is the deck already stacked against them.
- Dave Bartoo, The CFBMatrix & your Anti-Homer Follow @cfbmatrix
|SOS Rank||SPG Rank||SOS #||SPG #|
SOS = Strength of Schedule = Ave field adjusted recruiting rank (#FARR) of all teams played. The smaller the SOS #, the tougher the schedule.
SPG = Schedule Power Gap is SOS minus the FARR ranking of the team. The smaller the SPG # the more likely the team is to win more games with average coaching versus teams with larger SPGs.
March 2012 CFBMatrix Predictions