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UCLA’s bitter failure magnifies USC’s immediate success

All of our USC-UCLA coverage on Sunday focused on the Trojans, so it’s clear we’re not primarily focused on UCLA’s failure. Celebrating USC’s success is and should be the focus here, and moreover, it has been. That is unmistakable.

However: We can’t completely allow this moment to pass by and not reflect at least once — in one piece — about UCLA’s failure. There are lessons to be found here. There is a worthwhile perspective to be shared. So, let’s share it.

The fundamental thesis to advance on this Monday morning, as we wrap up UCLA and make the transition to Notre Dame week and other subjects, is that UCLA’s failure and USC’s success magnify each other. We’ll explain below:


UCLA’s 2022 schedule was set up for success: only four road games out of 12. Three of those road games were at Cal (this next weekend), Arizona State, and Colorado. None of those teams will make bowl games. While theoretically possible to have an easier schedule, it’s not realistic to imagine a better schedule. This was as good as it gets in terms of setting up a team to do well.

UCLA had one tough road game: Oregon. That’s it. The Bruins had their other tough games — Utah, Washington, USC — at home.

They still couldn’t make the Pac-12 Championship Game or win 10 games.


Dorian Thompson-Robinson used the extra year of pandemic eligibility to return for a fifth season at UCLA. This was his big chance, getting the soft schedule noted above on a roster with graduate transfers which gave the Bruins a lot of experience. We saw a much better version of DTR through nine games. He entered the middle of November with a chance to play for a Pac-12 title, a New Year’s Six bowl, even a playoff berth, though the chances of that were always slim.

The consecutive losses to Arizona (only 28 points…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/ucla-bitter-failure-magnifies-usc-151500909.html?src=rss

Author : Trojans Wire

Publish date : 2022-11-21 15:15:00

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