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UCLA Football: College Football Expert Predicts Bruins in Conference Championship, Pacific Northwest Rival Awaits

This pundit thinks really highly of the Bruins in 2023
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In what appears to be the final year of the Pac-12 existence as we know it, it arguably might be as good as it's been in years. 

The conference is LOADED with elite quarterback play. From Caleb Williams and Bo Nix to Michael Penix and Cam Rising -- and even the likes of D.J. Uiagalelei, Jayden De Laura, and're looking at some legitimately talented teams. 

USC and Oregon garner virtually all of the press clippings. Washington, Oregon State, and Utah are solidly projected as Top-20 teams to begin the season. Somewhere -- lying in the weeds -- are the UCLA Bruins. 

One pundit not sleeping on the unranked Bruins is Josh Pate. When recording his prediction special on The Late Kick With Josh Pate, he was particularly bullish on Chip Kelly's squad:

"I think Oregon's the most underrated team in the Pac-12. I'm putting Oregon in the pac-12 championship game, and I'm putting the UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship game. I think Oregon and Dan Lanning will take it over Chip Kelly and the UCLA Bruins when the dust settles in Las Vegas."

- Josh Pate per The Late Kick With Josh Pate

UCLA's schedule is somewhat fortuitous, as it misses Oregon and Washington this year. While the Bruins have to go on the road to play both the Utes and the Trojans, the rest of the schedule is quite manageable (including a soft non-conference schedule)

Pate continued with his rationale for believing the Ducks and the Bruins will play one another in the Pac-12 Title Game. Staying consistent with his theme of making predictions, he also offers some insight into UCLA's quarterback competition:

"UCLA is going to raise some eyebrows here. They keep getting better, they have their quarterback situation worked out. They have all of the insurance they need with [Ethan] Garbers. Garbers...he'll probably start at the beginning of the year. If he goes wire-to-wire, that means he played well enough. If he doesn't, it means Dante Moore had what it took to overtake QB1 -- which is all the better for them. They have fortified their lines of scrimmage. They went and got really good, high-level help in the portal at the RB position. By the end of the year, you'll look at UCLA and say 'Hmmm, they're a lot better than I thought they'd be.'"

- Josh Pate per The Late Kick