Commentary

Five bounce-back teams for 2011

They had losing records last season, but these five teams could go bowling

Updated: June 14, 2011, 3:16 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Jones, Nutt & NeuheiselUS PresswireThese three coaches should have more to smile about this season.

Although most offseason chatter understandably revolves around teams that are strong contenders for national, conference or division titles, other teams could show significant improvement during the 2011 season.

The teams that follow here fit perfectly into this category. All five finished with losing records in 2010 -- and all five have a very good chance to go bowling this season. We evaluated their bounce-back potential by looking at five critical categories: (1) a high percentage of returning starters; (2) a favorable schedule (at least four games in which the team is even or favored); (3) an underrated strength; (4) an overrated weakness; and (5) an X factor.

UCLA Bruins

4-8 overall record in 2010, 2-7 in Pac-10

Returning starters: offense 7, defense 8

Favorable matchups: at Houston (5-7 in 2010), vs. San Jose State (1-12), at Oregon State (5-7), vs. Washington State (2-10), vs. California (5-7), vs. Colorado (5-7)


To read more about why UCLA should make a bowl game in 2011, and also read about four other losing teams poised for turnaround seasons, become an ESPN Insider today.