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UCLA football: Bruins picked 8th; yes, Neuheisel optimistic

July 29, 2010 | 11:01 am

A year ago, UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said a successful season would end with a bowl game. Mission accomplished ... barely.

UCLA-logo The Bruins went 0-5 in October, then managed to carve out a 6-6 season and earned a spot in the EagleBank Bowl ... after Army lost to Navy.

This season, Neuheisel has left himself some wiggle room.

Success in 2010 will be “us being better than we were last year. I’d say I want the momentum to keep going," he said. "We were 4-8 in Year 1, and that was certainly not what I expected. Last year, we had a miserable October. We were in all the games but couldn’t get it done. We found a way to right it and go to a bowl game.”

UCLA was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 by conference coaches.

Getting the necessary six victories to be bowl-eligible will be a challenge for the Bruins. UCLA plays at Kansas State and at Texas, as well as having a home game against Houston.

But, Neuheisel said, “we made strides the last couple years, and that gives us the right to talk about being a good football team.”

--Chris Foster