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UCLA Football Enters Polls at #16
Chip Kelly gets his first ranking at the school.
Coming off the heels of a momentous victory over the LSU Tigers on Saturday, many expected the UCLA Bruins to finally return to the national rankings this week, and the latest release of the AP and Coaches polls fulfilled that wish.
The Bruins have made their debut in the 2021 AP and Coaches polls with a ranking of 16th. The last time the Bruins were ranked was in September of 2017, when a victory over Hawai’i took them to 2-0 on the season and a subsequent #25 ranking. The Bruins proceeded to lose to Memphis the following week and would tumble out of the rankings for the rest of the year. This is also UCLA’s highest ranking since 2016, when the Bruins started the season ranked #16 before their season-opening loss to Texas A&M dropped them from the rankings.
The last time the Bruins won a game while ranked was back in 2015. UCLA started that season ranked #13, and were able to climb up to #7 while starting the season 4-0. Two bad losses, to an unranked Arizona State and a ranked Stanford, dropped the Bruins from the rankings. They would climb back into them later in the season and even win one last game while ranked against Oregon State, but a bad loss to Washington State at home would remove them from the polls for good. The Bruins will look to reverse this bad luck in two weeks.
Needless to say, this is the first time Chip Kelly has led UCLA to a spot in either poll. It’s a solid achievement, if not a reminder of how bleak the past few years have been for the program. Hopefully, this is the start of collecting back pay for that suffering.