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Jon Joseph

Chip Kelly: What do You See as UCLA's High/Low Water Mark in 2022?

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Chip went 8-4 in 2021. A big improvement over his prior seasons as UCLA 's HC. UCLA COVID-missed a very good and ranked NC State team in its scheduled bowl game. Hard for me to believe but in its 8 wins in 2021, the Bruins never defeated a team that finished with a winning record. Chip's performance in 2021 was enough to convince the UCLA AD to extend Chip's contract for 3 and likely, with the terms of the 4th 'option' year, Chip, on paper, will be the Bruins HC through 2025. 2025 is coincidently the current Playoff agreement includes. (2024 is the year the new Pac-12 media deals come on line.)

 

It should be noted that the UCLA Athletic Department, that receives no general funds from the university (CAL football receives $20M a year in general funding) and has to pay rent to play basketball at its home stadium, is $60M+ in the red. Chip's buy out went to zero $ in January of 2022. But UCLA still would have had to pay big money if it wanted to hire a successful replacement head football coach who had a big buyout. And today, one wonders how much of a boost UCLA football is receiving from the program's boosters?

 

In 2022, Chip has the luxury of his QB, DTR, returning for his 4th starting season. It is also good for Chip that Charbonnet returns at RB after transferring in from Michigan and having a very good 2021 season. Nevertheless, UCLA lost a lot of its production on both sides of the ball as a result of the end of eligibility for a number of talented players and many the Bruin player with remaining eligibility entering the transfer portal. And Chip, once again, does not have a great group of recruits coming to Westwood in 2022.

 

In addition to DTR and Charbonnet returning in 2022,  the Bruins  in 2022, have one of if not the easiest of schedules in P5 football. UCLA opens against Bowling Green, Alabama State and South Alabama, with all 3 out-of-conference games (OCC) being played in the Rose Bowl. (This lightweight OCC schedule is in part, the result of Michigan canceling a home and home series when the B1G went from 8 to 9 conference games.) If UCLA is not 3-0 entering conference play, Chip should be sent to his room, without dinner. In total, 9 of the teams UCLA plays in 2022 were not bowl eligible in 2021. 

 

However, USC under Lincoln Riley, should be far better than the SC team the Bruins trucked in 2021. UCLA does get defending champ Utah at home in 2022, but in turn, has to play the Ducks in Eugene.

 

I see a best case finish of 9-3. Worst case, 6-6. But I expect to see a repeat of 2021's 8-4 or, more likely, 7-5. With Chip at the wheel it is difficult foe me to see UCLA ever being a real contender for the conference championship

 

What do you, my Ducks friends think about the prospects for UCLA's football fortunes in 2022? Am I being too harsh; or, am I right in the wheel house?

 

PS - AS other posters have noted, it would benefit UCLA to switch from the run down Rose Bowl to the new SoFi stadium that is closer to Westwood. The on-campus real estate is too valuable for UCLA to build an on campus stadium and where would the money come from if UCLA desired to do so?

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I honestly don't follow UCLA closely enough to have much of an opinion about the roster so I rely on your analysis for that, but I think Chip is obviously the type of coach who will usually get the most out of what he's got. With a very easy OOC schedule, all they have to do is get one game over .500 in conference to match last-year's record, so that seems like it would be a good bet to me.

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On 2/26/2022 at 10:31 AM, Jon Joseph said:

 

In total, 9 of the teams UCLA plays in 2022 were not bowl eligible in 2021.

 

Didn't realize that, thanks.

 

Much is made of the fact CK's buyout went to zero this year but what would have been the financial consequences if they let him leave?  Often assistants contracts are tied to the HC and they receive a buyout with changes at the top.  Oregon reportedly paid nearly $15 million to the assistant coaches when Helfrich was fired, wonder what the total would have been for the Bruins?

 

The schedule mentioned above should result in more wins than I originally thought but I think all three coordinator positions will be new hires, I know Don Pellum retired and I believe other assistants have left as well.  Chip doesn't attract A-list candidates although he did Ken Norton back to coach LBs.  With a weak staff I think your 7-5 season is fair prediction.

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Guest willville

Low….6-6

High…9-3 slight chance at 10-2

 

schedule….non-conference

Bowling Green, South Alabama, Alabama State all at home. Michigan dropped a home 

and home. 
 

Conference:  At Oregon, Utah, USC….SC is beatable because their OL and DL need work. Road games:  at Cal, at ASU,

at Colorado rest of the home games: UW, Stanford, Arizona, easy schedule. Like all teams injuries will matter. They are not deep. DTR and Zack Charbonnet are their best players. 

 

The Ducks and Utah will boat race them and SC probably beats them this year. Chip won’t be there much longer. Recruiting is awful although Ken Norton will give them a lift.  
 

It would be great to land Mitchel Agude, my guess is Miami. He is a nice player.  


“WTD”

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Right now, I call it 9-3 for UCLA, after Week 5, the Bruins will be 5-0 and in the top 20, with wins over Bowling Green, Alabama State, South Alabama, at Colorado and at Washington. The first L will come at home against Utah, followed by another L at Oregon. A W at home against Stanford, and two more, at home against ASU and on the road against Arizona, before losing at home to USC. 

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On 2/26/2022 at 11:20 AM, McDuck said:

With a weak staff I think your 7-5 season is fair prediction.

I'm with McDuck on this one, and I completely agree with his reasons.  BTW...nice topic Jon!

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Mr. FishDuck

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If UCLA does shift games to SOFI, and honestly why wouldn't they other than tradition, and the NLI, Portal, CFP era continues to undermine the bowl games, the Rose Bowl stadium maybe left behind.  The stadium itself is decrepit (though I love it on Jan 1) so how do you justify the investment to update it?

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On 2/26/2022 at 3:42 PM, idontrollonshobbas said:

If UCLA does shift games to SOFI, and honestly why wouldn't they other than tradition, and the NLI, Portal, CFP era continues to undermine the bowl games, the Rose Bowl stadium maybe left behind.  The stadium itself is decrepit (though I love it on Jan 1) so how do you justify the investment to update it?

Great point. Even with UCLA as tenant I do not see the City of Pasadena coming with the money to update the stadium. The Rose is going to sell out no matter what so why bother. And the Rams/Chargers are both wedded to SoFi for a long time. 

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On 2/26/2022 at 3:26 PM, Charles Fischer said:

I'm with McDuck on this one, and I completely agree with his reasons.  BTW...nice topic Jon!

Thank you Charles.

 

Through thick and thin, mostly it's all been thin, I think those of us who followed the Ducks when Chip was the OC/HC will have an interest, be it macabre for some, in how Chip is doing or not doing. 

 

Chip at UCLA at the same time as Helton was at SC, failed to Win the Day in LA. He just does not 'get' or simply does not care about, recruiting. His new assistant coaching hires are OK, but other than for Norton, as so noted above by willville, are not great recruiters. 

 

Then again, how many 'leaders' at UCLA and how many alum truly give a whip about UCLA football?

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Good post. I really don't know how they will do but with DTR a 5th year QB and mostly every one else starting transfers I'll give them benift of the doubt. It used to be there was always a surprise team that had a senior QB in the PAC. The Bruins were top 3 in offense in the PAC last year which in my mind should be expected due to CK.

 

Their defense just couldn't stop anyone. Will new DC and Norton make a difference. They could!

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I think that Chip and UCLA will have a hard time besting the 8-4 record next year.  It was a bit of a gift in a down year in the PAC-12. Easy non-conf gives them a good start, but agree that they pick up losses to Oregon, Utah and USC as well as dropping at least one other conference game that they would be favored in (just like every other team often does).  I am going to make the call that AZ is the team that beats them - great recruiting class and the game is later in the season when they will be getting better.  8-4 is the top end and likely they will be 7-5. 

 

The record has improved, but some of the key players and positions have not.  DTR looks good against average defenses, but line isn’t good enough to help him be good against better teams.  New DC should help, but I don’t think they have the talent on defense to take a big step in 22.  

 

Sad that UCLA had the chance to stomp on USC while they were down and didn’t do it.  I agree that there just isn’t the commitment from the school or community to make this program great.  

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sUCLA will go 7-5 probably, or worse

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