All that glitters is blue and gold — The Bruins get a Whole Lotta Love from the College Football Playoff Committee, and Ramble On up to be Plant-ed at #11 in the Rankings, a 7-rung jump that is the biggest in the Nation. Dazed and Confused trojans remain missing from the whole Page
In a week where oft-maligned UCLA Placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn won the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week Award, despite not kicking a game-winning or 50+ yard Field Goal, and despite a Husky returning one of Fairbairn’s Kickoffs 100 yards for a Touchdown, you can expect the unexpected. And that unexpected expectation was delivered on Tuesday, when the College Football Playoff Committee declared UCLA the 11th best team in the Country, raising them 7 spots from #18 a week ago.
This rise is due to the strength of the Pac-12. UCLA has now won 4 games in a row in the Conference. They had another 4-game winning streak earlier in the year, and it included a blowout win over Arizona State. That win has become a signature win, since ASU has only lost that once, and just killed Notre Dame. ASU is #6 now, and Oregon, who delivered UCLA’s only loss that wasn’t up for grabs at the final gun, is now #2.
It is still a surprise that UCLA is #11, despite having 2 losses. Only 1 of these last 4 wins has been over a highly-ranked team, and 2 of them were nail-biters against unranked teams. But the last 2 were convincing wins over decent teams, so perhaps the committee thinks that UCLA is finally gelling, just at the right time, ranking them over 9 other 2-loss teams (including Michigan State, Notre Dame, Georgia, & Wisconsin) , 2 1-loss teams (Nebraska & Duke), not to mention, way over Marshall, who is undefeated, but still unranked.
The 11 spot means that UCLA still has a shot at the Playoffs. It would take a minor miracle, but if UCLA sweeps sc and Stanford, and ASU loses one game, UCLA could face a potential #1 Oregon in the Pac-12 Title Game, where a convincing win could push UCLA into the Top 4. I am NOT predicting that this will happen, but it’s awesome to even be able to contemplate the possibility, here in mid-November. It’s the first time in a couple of decades that the Bruins have been “alive” this late in the season.
Speaking of being alive, there is something that never dies, and that is my adoration, appreciation, enthusiasm, and love for the UCLA Spirit Squad, so here are 56 more brand new Bruin Cheerleader photos (all from the Arizona game this time). Click to zoom in. Enjoy.