UCLA needed one win to make the Pac-12 Championship game and have a chance at the inaugaral College Football playoffs, won by the Ohio State University. Just win against the Stanford Cardinal, at home nonetheless. That didn't happen, and UCLA had to settle for a 40-35 win against Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl. Exit Brett Hundley, enter Josh Rosen as the man under the gun, and return Paul Perkins for another go in 2015. Let's look at the schedule:
9/5/15: vs Virginia Cavaliers UCLA is coming off a 28-20 victory against the Cavaliers, and now, gets to host them in the return leg. The Cavaliers finished 5-7 during 2014, not good enough to qualify for a bowl game. A win for the Bruins should be expected here behind Perkins running game. Anything less than a 10 point victory would be disappointing for Jim Mora.
9/12/15: @ University of Nevada, Las Vegas Runnin' Rebels The lone cupcake non-conference game, against a UNLV side that went 2-11 last year, 1-7 in the Mountain West Conference should be a blowout, if UCLA has serious playoff aspirations. Anything less would make the committee weary about giving the Bruins one of the four slots, unless they run the table.
9/19/15: vs Brigham Young Cougars The independent Cougars finished 2014 with a double overtime loss against Memphis in the Miami Beach Bowl and a record of 8-5. Despite its conference less status, BYU is one of the preseason darkhorse contenders to make the playoffs, and they have a nice schedule to try to backup its hopes. The Bruins first test of the year will come at home, but I expect them to sneak out a one possession victory.
9/26/15: @ Arizona Wildcats Arizona beat rival, Arizona State, on the final Pac-12 matchday, as UCLA choked versus Stanford to clinch a ticket to the Pac-12 Championship game. Arizona was the loneside to beat Oregon during the regular season, on the road nonetheless, but lost in the Championship game before losing to the Boise State Broncos in the Fiesta Bowl. Bruins won 17-7 in the Rose Bowl, and a victory here will be key to get into the Conference Championship, en route to the College Playoffs.
10/3/15: vs Arizona State Sun Devils UCLA went into Tempe and demolished the Sun Devils, 62-27, handing them their first loss of the 2014 season. ASU bounced back and nearly made the Conference Championship, but a loss in Tucson ended their hopes. Sneaking out a 36-31 victory over Duke in the Sun Bowl ended the season on a solid note. Though, I can't see UCLA dropping a home date, despite the extra motivation ASU may be coming into the game with.
10/15/15: @ Stanford Cardinal Stanford ended UCLA's season before beating the Maryland Terrapins, 45-21 in the Foster Farms Bowl, to wrap up a disappointing 8-5 campaign. Expecting to compete with the Ducks for the Pac-12 North, Stanford looks for a bounce back season, and a trip to NoCal won't be easy for Mora's side. A loss here would be devastating to the Bruins. A victory would give a big boost, namely if they hold off the Arizona schools the prior two games.
10/22/15: vs California Golden Bears UCLA held off the upset minded Cal Bears, 37-35, in 2014 and will need to be on their toes as they have the opportunity to play in the comforts of the Rose Bowl. Though the Pac-12 has no such thing as a guaranteed win, this may be as close as the Bruins will get to it, and will need this game more than the up and coming side.
10/31/15: vs Colorado Buffaloes The Buffaloes are coming off a hideous 2-10 season, all the while being shut out in conference play, though, nearly upset the Bruins in a 40-37 home loss. This is the Bruins soft spot, in an otherwise, stacked schedule and another victory is a must for Mora's side here.
11/7/15: @ Oregon State Beavers Oregon State played tough, but finished 2014 with a 5-7 mark, and will definitely be looking to build onto it. UCLA, however, after two marshmallow victories, or at least should be victories, should be all ready to go and make the trip up the Pacific Coast and top off the Beavers.
11/14/15: vs Washington State Cougars UCLA didn't have the opportunity to play the Cougars during the 2014 season, who finished a mediocre 3-9 and 2-7 in Pac-12 play. Though, Wazzou lost four games by a touchdown or less, including against the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks. Final "soft" game of the campaign here, UCLA needs to demolish the Cougars to try to keep the momentum going into the final two.
11/21/15: @ Utah Utes The Utes came into the Rose Bowl and sacked Hundley ever snap it seemed. Utah will continue its hopes to get into another bowl game, having demolished the Colorado State Rams 45-10 in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Vengeance will be on the minds of the Bruins here, namely the offensive line who needs to step it up against the physical Utah side.
11/28/15: @ USC Trojans UCLA took the rivalry game, 38-20 during 2014, but 2015 won't be as easy, nor as lopsided. USC brought home one of the best recruiting classes, after the Reggie Bush sanctions have been lifted, just ahead of the Bruins very own class. USC followed the loss by blowing out Notre Dame, before taking a three point victory over Nebraska during the National University Holiday bowl. U-C-L-A will win the cross town rivalry, yet again.