UCLA Football

UCLA Football: Bruins Wrong to Declare Themselves Linebacker U

Dec 27, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) against the Baylor Bears in the 2012 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Baylor defeated UCLA 49-26. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Randy ChambersAnalyst IJune 18, 2013

UCLA is getting a little too far of itself after winning nine games last season and making its presence felt under head coach Jim L. Mora. The excitement and hype is real. It's cool to see. But it's another thing to go overboard and jump the gun.

That is exactly what UCLA did on Twitter (h/t The Big Lead).

This is a perfectly good time for Penn State fans to begin protesting outside the Rose Bowl with blow horns.

Too late. Penn State has responded with a tweet of its own (h/t CBS Sports):

UCLA claiming the title "Linebacker U" is as comical as when LeBron James promised to bring seven titles to South Beach. It's like Vanilla Ice coming out from hiding and crowning himself as the best rapper ever. Remember when the Carolina Panthers center guaranteed a Super Bowl victory? It's as funny as that.

Stop it.

The Bruins have linebacker Anthony Barr who is a monster and should be selected high in next year's NFL draft. But one linebacker doesn't give a school the right to claim that title. Just because your parents like your drawings doesn't make you the next Picasso.

As the Big Lead pointed out, UCLA has produced two first-round linebackers since 1980. That's the same as Penn State, which is the school that usually is considered "Linebacker U" thanks to a ton of success in the 60s and 70s.

Miami has seen four linebackers selected in the first-round in the last 15 years. Guys such as Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams and Jon Beason should ring a bell. Ohio State has matched that total with players such as A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Vernon Gholston.

UCLA can't even claim this title within its own state. USC has had three solid linebackers selected in the first-round since 2009, including Clay Matthews, Brian Cushing and Nick Perry.

Linebacker what?

It's understandable that excitement is floating through the air and big things are expected. But throwing out titles without much to back it up isn't a way to gain respect.

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