UCLA Bruins not happy about preseason poll
Some feelings were hurt when UCLA was picked to finish seventh in a preseason poll about the Pacific 10 Conference football race. Well, in a word, that’s progress. The Bruins finished eighth last season, Rick Neuheisel’s first as head coach. Here’s some more UCLA football news, a little more than a week before the Bruins are scheduled to open camp:
Rolling the dice
Newspaper advertisements about the college football monopoly in Los Angeles being over are unlikely, but UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel indicated his program has passed “Go,” when it comes to USC.
Said Neuheisel: “I know this; we’ve proven we can recruit with them. I believe we will continue to recruit with them. I believe, based on the resume of my coaching staff and what I know about them, we can coach with them.
“Now the question is developing our game to the point where we’re as developed as they are. We’re not there yet. You can’t run on to the field with those guys and say you’re there yet.”
Bruin sees red (not cardinal)
After he was told the Bruins were picked to finish seventh in Pacific 10 Conference play, senior linebacker Reggie Carter seethed just a tad.
“That [stinks],” Carter said. “Six teams better than us? I’m not even going to get into that.”
Then he did.
“They talked bad about Jesus too,” Carter said. “They can’t talk good about everybody. Somebody has to take it. I’ll take it right now. Hopefully, after the season, things will be changed.”
Still, Carter will not hold a grudge
“They don’t have to talk about us,” Carter said. “We’ll just show them. All bandwagon jumpers are welcome, once we start dominating. It’s OK. I’ll save you a seat, come on by.”
Neuheisel’s vision of the 2009 season has his team in a bowl game.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t make the postseason,” Neuheisel said.
So at least six victories?
“I would hope,” he said.
Sept. 5 vs. San Diego State
Sept. 12 at Tennessee
Sept. 19 vs. Kansas State
Oct. 3 at *Stanford
Oct. 10 vs. *Oregon
Oct. 17 vs. *California
Oct. 24 at *Arizona
Oct. 31 at *Oregon State
Nov. 7 vs. *Washington
Nov. 14 at *Washington State
Nov. 21 vs. *Arizona State
Nov. 28 at *USC
*Pac-10 game. Home games, Rose Bowl
...and turning points
* at Tennessee: Sandwiched between two very winnable games is this trip south. The Union army’s occupation during the Civil War may be the only thing hated in Knoxville more than the Bruins’ upset of the Volunteers last season.
* vs. Oregon: The Ducks are considered Pac-10 championship contenders. The Bruins are not. A UCLA victory would be huge and would give them plenty of momentum to carry into the next game . . .
* vs. California: If the Bruins lose to Oregon, they must win this one or be in a fix. Four of their last six games are on the road, including garden spots Tucson; Corvallis, Ore.; and Pullman, Wash.
-- Chris Foster