Can Jim Mora Return UCLA To Championship Contender Status?

Let's face it UCLA fans, we as a football team have been absolutely horrible since Cade McNown left Westwood in 1998.  There have been 4 coaches since '98 and only 5 winning seasons in those 13 seasons.  Normally this wouldn't be an issue for an average football program, but UCLA keeps getting beat out on the immense talent that comes from southern California by their crosstown rival USC.

UCLA has an opportunity every year to make their team better and make them a legitimate contender.  The past few recruiting classes have not really been that bad, but they have failed to develop that talent into anything more than potentially good players.  So can the hiring of Jim Mora bring about something new in the UCLA program.  A championship?

Every one of UCLA's fans thought that Rick Neuheisel was the coach that would change the course of the football team.  He suffered through some horribly rough seasons and was during the 2011 season.  I don't know one person who expected to see Jim Mora on the sidelines for UCLA this upcoming year.  I know when I heard that he had been hired, I thought for a second that it was the old Indianapolis Colts coach who had that awesome sound bite about "playoffs" a few years back.

Jim Mora did not do all that well in his NFL coaching stint.  Only once did he coach a winning team for Seattle or Atlanta.  So why is everyone so excited to see him take over this program?  I really have no idea.  I think they would have been better off hiring a great college assistant than searching for an ex-NFL coach.  Obviously I hope I am absolutely wrong about this.

If UCLA can win 8 games next year.  I would deem that a huge success for Mora in his first year.  The Pac-12 is not a deep league, but they do have some tough teams at the top.  Luckily for UCLA they don't have to play Oregon and their three hardest games will be at home (Nebraska, USC, Stanford).  Don't be surprised to see Mora under scrutiny if he loses a few early too.  This may not be a football powerhouse, but it is still UCLA.

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