By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
UCLA traveled to Stanford this past Saturday, but they were not much of a story. Every highlight of the game featured a Stanford player looking like he was playing against a JV team.
With a 45-19 loss, there just was not much to talk about UCLA. No need to talk about how the offense or defense did. It really didn’t matter.
It seems like everybody is tired of talking about how Rick Neuheisel’s tenure as head coach has been a total failure, or how they cannot compete, or how their offense has been horrible over the past few years.
It is almost to the point that it has been accepted that UCLA is bad, and there is no point in continuing to complain about it. It is what it is, and ranting and raving about it makes it sound like a broken record.
UCLA has never been the national power that USC has been, or some of the other top programs in the nation, but until this decade they have always been relevant. They have always competed at a high level. They typically have been ranked, and sometimes flirted with the national championship.
UCLA used to be a team that went to a bowl game nearly every year, and the Rose Bowl was always in their sights.
But what they have been for the better part of this decade, especially over Neuheisel’s tenure, has just been embarrassing. They have never lost like this, and they have never failed to compete like this.
Stanford has never been a world-beater, but UCLA was just a footnote to them this past Saturday night. They were the other team, and that’s about it.
UCLA players said that they believed that they had as much talent as Stanford, but it was execution that was the difference. That’s pretty much a shot at the coaching staff for not preparing them.
Does UCLA have as much talent as Stanford? Well, outside of quarterback Andrew Luck, who is nearly a shoe in for the Heisman Trophy, for being the first pick in the NFL Draft, and who has been said to be the best college prospect since John Elway, yes, UCLA does have as much talent. A high school player can’t be a slouch and make it to UCLA. So it really does fall on the coaching.
This week UCLA travels to Washington St. Good luck trying to find that game on television, because there is not much interest in either of those programs.
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