UCLA wasn't quite on the top tier of the Pac-12 a year ago, though a 9-5 season that included a win over USC and a division title was a solid start for head coach Jim Mora Jr. Another appearance in the conference title game is at least feasible for the Bruins in 2013, but they are up against a particularly challenging road slate in conference play that includes games at Stanford and Oregon.
2013 UCLA schedule
Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.
UCLA will play three of its first four Pac-12 games on the road, including the aforementioned contests against the league's elite. The Bruins have the unfortunate challenge of playing the Cardinal and Ducks in back-to-back weeks, and their opener at Utah on a Thursday night will be no vacation, either.
The majority of UCLA's most difficult conference games are going to be road trips, so if the Bruins do manage another South Division title, they certainly will have earned it. Following a home game against Colorado to begin November, the Bruins head to Tucson to face Arizona, and they cap the regular season at USC.
On the non-conference schedule, the headliner is without doubt Nebraska, which is -- you guessed it -- a road game. The Bruins can pick up a little early-season attention with a good showing in Lincoln, and that will help prepare them for the difficult environments still ahead of them.