From the Sporting News, Matt Hayes pick UCLA as his darkhorse BCS title candidate: UCLA??? I think UCLA has a solid team, but this is just a stupid pick. Here are Hayes reasons (summarized) and my reasons why not.
Hayes: Defense wins championships. UCLA's defense is terrific.
RBBID: I agree with the first part, not so much with the second. It is like UCLA's defense played only one game last year, USC. No one saw them get blown away by Cal and FSU. Anyone see that great defense choke it away against Notre Dame?
Hayes: They return 20 starters.
RBBID: They return 20 starters from a .500 team. Great... Stanford returns 19 starters, should we pencil them in for the Rose Bowl?
Hayes: The Florida St. loss was an aberration.
RBBID: The USC win was an aberration.
Hayes: "If you can rush the passer and cover in the secondary, you're going to win a lot of games in the Pac-10. And there are two teams in the country who do that as well as anyone: USC and UCLA."
RBBID: Are you serious? Did the USC's D-line and LSU's DB's transfer to UCLA in the offseason? These are the same guys that gave up 29 points to Washington, 30 to Oregon, 37 to Washington St, 38 to Cal, and 44 to FSU.
Hayes: "The x-faxtor: quarterback Ben Olson has to play to his potential. We've heard of his ability for years, but saw only flashes last season..."
RBBID: Replace Ben Olson's name with Joe Ayoob and reread the sentence. Moving on...
Hayes: The Bruins have a strong running game with Chris Markey, a powerful plugger who can move the pile and a guy with deceptive speed. They're deep on both interior lines and they're hungry.
RBBID: No argument here. Hayes is actually correct. I just have one final reason why UCLA will not compete for the BCS title nor the Pac 10 title: Karl Dorrell!
Finally, please stop using the fact that the home team has won the Cal-UCLA game each year as a reason for penciling in a win against Cal this year. Do you really think that is the overriding factor in determining the outcome of THIS year's game?