UCLA Football soars back into the AP Top 25
Bruins fans have waited since 2017 to see a number next to their name. The four-year, excruciating wait is finally over. This perfect start to the season has to have been worth the wait. I mean obviously, any fan would have wanted a more successful team that past few years but for the feeling and excitement around this team now it seems like a good trade-off.
This truly feels like it isn’t a case of popping in and saying “hello” to the rest of the top 25. It feels different. It feels real. This feels like a “move over, or get run over” UCLA team. The poll voters clearly got that message after the 38-27 beatdown the Bruins put on LSU on Saturday night.
UCLA climbed out of the depths of the unranked and is now sitting pretty as the third highest-ranked Pac-12 team at 16. For reference’s sake, USC checks in two spots ahead at 14 while Oregon dropped a spot from last week and is now ranked at 12. Utah and Arizona State are also ranked, checking in at 21 and 23, respectively. So while the Pac-12’s northern division did not fair so well, the south is sitting pretty – for now.
This feels like the perfect spot for UCLA. I was curious to see where UCLA was going to land in the poll. The voters rewarded them well-deserved ascension into the mid-teens without aren’t overdoing it. I saw a few predictions putting them into the top 10, but it just didn’t seem right… yet.
I would argue that they have certainly been the best team in the PAC-12 and have played some great football to this point of the season, but it’s still so early. Most teams have only played one game. A jump from outside the rankings into the top 10 would have been an unprecedented leap in the rankings, and frankly would have put a lot of pressure on Chip Kelly’s squad.
All the signs were there for this sort of start to the season. No one should really be surprised but there’s no point in overcompensating for the lack of due that was given just two weeks ago. Let the boys play and I promise you they’ll get what they deserve.
Oregon and USC can have the rankings, for now. Chip Kelly doesn’t care what number is next to their name. The players don’t either. In college football, we tend to put too much weight on numbers and rankings – particularly the ones that happen before the season even starts.
At the end of the day, they have nothing to do with what’s actually done on the field. LSU had the ranking and a larger number of five-star athletes but it didn’t matter. The better and more physical team won the game, and now has a ton of positive momentum towards the future.
Right now people are talking about what the Bruins have done on the field, and that’s the way it should be. Because at the end of the day the season is progressive. The votes will come, as long as the Bruins continue to take care of business.
Up next for UCLA: a home matchup vs Fresno State on September 18th.