I can hardly believe I am actually impatient for the first UCLA football game tomorrow at 5 PDT. Good sense suggests lowered expectations: the two quarterbacks who started games last year are out with injuries and the starter is a JC transfer who wasn't with the team last year. Of five Register sportswriters, two picked UCLA to finish 6th, two 7th and one 8th. UCLA is in a rebuilding year and has the toughest overall schedule in the Pac 10 -- 6 of 10 games against top-25 teams. Only two of the offensive line starters played so much as a down last year.
And yet . . . the defense appears to be solid. Norm Chow is an excellent offensive coordinator (and would probably like to show up USC where he had success before but seems to have been dissed) and Rick Neuheisel has been successful as head coach wherever he has gone. Besides quarterback the "skill" players (though don't ever tell me offensive linemen don't need skill, especially when they're undersized runts as I was) seem to be pretty solid.
Anyway, chips, beer and guacamole are stocked up, so I'm ready.