UCLA beat USC, won the Pac-12 South and now put together a more highly-rated class than the Trojans. Are the Bruins officially the top program in LA for the time being?
NorcalNick, California Golden Blogs: Yes. If USC weren't under sanctions I doubt that the power would have shifted, either on the field or on the recruiting trail. But the Trojans finally started to show the strains of scholarship reductions in both areas, and UCLA was lucky enough to finally find the right coach in time to capitalize. I have no idea if this is the status quo, and if so for how long, but UCLA can lay claim to the best team in L.A., and potentially much more.
Josh Schlichter, Fish Duck: Yes, for the time being. UCLA's offense seems to be in good hands with Brett Hundley at quarterback, and the massive recruiting class targeted at UCLA's biggest weakness in the defensive secondary. UCLA has always been a sleeping giant in the recruiting world, and all it took to stir it was a coaching staff to make the program respectable again. UCLA's commitment to a lasting elite program is still in question as problems with attendance, and facilities have gone largely unchecked by the athletic department, but for as long as Jim Mora is coaching opposite Lane Kiffin (which might be the biggest factor in the Bruins' outperformance of USC), I think UCLA will have the upper hand in Los Angeles.
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: They do, but I would say it is very slim and won't take much to swing it back the other way. All it will take is one season of the Trojans winning more games than the Bruins or an exciting new coach and the Trojans will be back on top.
Andy Wooldridge, Building The Dam: UCLA is back on top for now, and may stay there for a while, because Jim Mora is making mostly the right decisions, and Lane Kiffin is making too many wrong decisions, and even some that might be right aren't coming across well. With the recruiting limitations, it might take a while for the Trojans to regain the top spot too, as there is bound to be a year with a rash of injuries or other issues that their relative lack of depth can't handle. It's tenuous, and a couple of big wins by the Trojans coupled with a couple of bad days by the Bruins could swing it back, but for now, the Bruins have to feel pretty good about things.
, PacHoops: No. Not sure they can ever be as it's still Los Angeles and USC will forever be the scene. The Rose Bowl is romanticized for one game a year and UCLA generally doesn't play in that game. As such, it's inaccessible and difficult to fill.
Shotgun Spratling, Conquest Chronicles: Did UCLA have a better year? Undoubtedly. And are they poised to take over the rivalry with Brett Hundley leading the way? Definitely. But one game doesn't completely turn the tide. If Ohio State or Michigan were to win the national championship this year, no one would say that the B1G had suddenly overtaken the SEC as the dominant conference.
Jon Woods, Ralphie Report: UCLA hasn't been completely without success during USC's run but I will agree that this year definitely felt different. This season was just a complete mess for the Trojans and I think it will he good to get some turnover on the roster and let some new leaders step-up. If the Bruins can dominate on and off the field for a second year in a row, then I'll start to buy that the LA dominance has shifted.