Pacific-10 Preview Extravaganza: UCLA Bruins


Buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen as we take you on a four-state tour from the rainy terrain of Pullman, Washington, to the arid desert of Tucson Arizona. Only two years remain for the Pac-10 as we know it. In the near future, Colorado and Utah will join the conference and change the landscape. With them, they will bring divisions, a revised schedule, and a conference championship game. For now, sit back and enjoy the extravagant ride as we take a look at each team in the conference.

8. UCLA Bruins


Coach: Rick Neuheisel (2 seasons: 11-14)

2009 Record: 7-6 (3-6)

Schedule: @Kansas State, v.Stanford, v.Houston, @Texas, v.Washington State, @California, @Oregon, v.Arizona, v.Oregon State, @Washington, @Arizona State, v.USC

Projected Starters: 

Offense:        QB Kevin Prince (SO)                          Defense:   DE Datone Jones (JR)

                         RB Johnathan Franklin (SO)                              DT David Carter (SR)

                         RB Derrick Coleman (JR)                                     DT Nate Chandler (JR)

                         WR Nelson Rosario (JR)                                      DE Damien Holmes (SO)

                         WR Taylor Embree (JR)                                        LB Akeem Ayers (JR)

                         TE Cory Harkey (JR)                                              LB Steve Sloan (JR)

                         LT Micah Kia (SR)                                                  LB Sean Westgate (JR)

                         LG Jeff Baca (JR)                                                    CB Aaron Hester (SO)

                         C Kai Maiava (JR)                                                   CB Sheldon Price (SO)

                         RG Eddie Williams (SR)                                        SS Tony Dye (JR)

                         RT Mike Harris (JR)                                              FS Rahim Moore (JR)

Last Bowl: 2009 EagleBank Bowl

Projected 2010 Record: 5-7

Outlook: 2009 brought a bowl victory against Temple for the Bruins. In 2010, they will have a difficult time getting back to a bowl given their brutal schedule. This team has the talent to win seven or eight games if the schedule was easier. However, they must go to Austin to play a top-5 team in Texas, and they play host to one of the most prolific offenses in the country when Houston comes to the Rose Bowl. Last season, the offense struggled mightily, putting up only 22 points per game. After a poor showing, offensive coordinator Norm Chow has put the pistol offense into place. Sophomore Kevin Prince should be much improved at quarterback and the new scheme will maximize the speed UCLA has. As a unit, the offense should be able to move the ball more effectively and score. While the defense was solid in 2009, it will likely be flimsy in 2010. Graduation and players leaving early means only five starters return to the unit. The secondary should be solid, but the middle will be soft as two linebackers, two defensive tackles, and a defensive end must be replaced. Teams will be able to run effectively, which will ultimately lead to a passing game. The bottom line: UCLA’s schedule is just too tough for this inexperienced team. The weight of the schedule will get to them and it will be yet another disappointing season. Neuheisel better start winning. His predecessor, who lasted five years, had a better record than Slick Rick is on pace to have. With his second consecutive top-15 recruiting class, Neuheisel needs to deliver wins or begin to answer questions about how he has squandered the talent he has brought in.

Rick Neuheisel looks to lead UCLA to another bowl.