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Stanford Wants 4.0 BCS GPA: Part II

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Johnathan Franklin rushed for 194 yards against Stanford last season. He's graduated to the NFL. Will Brett Hundley and the Bruins test the Stanford defense? Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 194 yards against Stanford last season. He's graduated to the NFL. Will Brett Hundley and the Bruins test the Stanford defense? Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

Chance Of A Loss: 35 percent

Why UCLA Will Win: Brett Hundley. He’s the reason. Hundley has the great luxury of playing on a UCLA team with fewer expectations than Stanford. He is the second-best quarterback in the Pac-12 but doesn't quite get the recognition while playing on the sixth- or seventh-best team in the conference. He’s got all the makings of a pro quarterback and could be a Top 10 pick some day. If he manages to knock off a powerhouse like USC, Oregon or Stanford, it likely will be considered a successful season. So while Hogan has to worry about a perfect season, Hundley has a less stressful, underdog role. Hundley has the talent to upset Stanford, too, so if the rest of the team, particularly linebacker Anthony Barr, plays well (and Stanford plays down to their level), I could see the Jim Mora-led Bruins upsetting the Cardinal right before their treacherous second-half schedule.

Why Stanford Will Win: The Cardinal beat the Bruins twice last year and are returning 15 starters. The second game (27-24) was much closer than the first (35-17), which showed that the UCLA team is developing quickly and learning Stanford’s tendencies. However, teams rarely face each other twice in one season, and perhaps Stanford played cocky the second time around. UCLA running back Jonathan Franklin also ran for 194 yards on 19 carries in the second game, and I’m willing to bet the Stanford linebackers won’t let that happen now that Franklin is gone. If safety Ed Reynolds and his defensive backs can confuse Hundley and the Stanford offense keeps Barr out of sight, Stanford will roll UCLA at The Farm.