Q: Two out of the three guys on ESPN College GameDay picked the Bruins to win the national title today. How realistic do you think this is? If we get past Oregon, would you agree to road to a NT becomes significantly more realistic?
A: Over the last three months or so, UCLA has gone from a consensus top-ten team to an increasingly popular pick for the College Football Playoff. And nothing about the Bruins have really changed in that span. You can argue either that opinions have either skewed too high on UCLA, or that they’ve merely corrected themselves to reflect the team’s true value.
Winning the Pac-12 is clearly a reasonable prediction, and doing so would likely result in a playoff berth. But jumping from there to taking home the whole damn trophy is a significant jump.
Q: If the Bruins somehow make it to the final four after just three years under Jim Mora (as some experts have predicted), wouldn’t you consider that one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history?
A: Auburn made the BCS Championship Game last season in its first season under Gus Malzahn, a year after it went 3-9 (0-8 SEC) under Gene Chizik. Bob Stoops took Oklahoma through a 13-0 title run in his second season, and that was after taking over a program that went 12-22 under his predecessor John Blake. Lou Holtz engineered quick turnarounds with both Notre Dame (5-6 to 12-0 over his first three seasons) and South Carolina (0-11 to 8-4 in his second).
Mora’s fast, but he’s a bit short of all-time fast.
Q: Will a two-loss Pac-12 champion be given a berth in the four-team playoff? Continue reading