We are taking a look at FBS programs located in major cities alongside NFL franchises. And we're including L.A. just because.
Location: Los Angeles
Bowl appearances: 30
NFL first-round picks: 21
Losing seasons: 21
10-win seasons: 7
Source: ESPN Stats & Info (Note: College numbers date back to 1936, the first year of the AP poll. NFL numbers date back to 1970.)
The good: UCLA is one of the best schools in FBS football and its location, Westwood, is pretty righteous.
Folks forget that the Bruins took over big-time football in L.A. before USC did, particularly in the 1990s when the NFL abandoned town. The Bruins won eight in a row in the rivalry with USC, and in 1998, with swashbuckling quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Cade McNown running the show, the Bruins averaged a school-record 73,709 in attendance while the Trojans drew 60,903 per game at the Coliseum.
UCLA has one national title -- 1954 -- and 18 conference championships. It also boasts a Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Gary Beban (1967).
The Bruins' home stadium is perhaps the most storied venue in college football: The Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And when the Bruins win, fans show up.
The bad: UCLA has been successful in football, but most folks consider it a basketball school with fair-weather football fans.
UCLA is a basketball school, in large part because of the extraordinary success of legendary former coach John Wooden, one of the great sportsmen of all time, across any sport. Nothing to be ashamed of about that. But UCLA football fans are notoriously fickle.
In 1998, the Bruins were on the cusp of playing for a national title before an injury-ravaged team lost at Miami in the season finale -- a make-up game due to a hurricane, no less. After then losing the Rose Bowl to Wisconsin, the Bruins began the 1999 season with three losses in their first five games. Just a year removed from winning a school-record 20 consecutive games, attendance imploded, as the LA Times pointed out: "[UCLA's] attendance average at the Rose Bowl dropped nearly 24,000, to an average of 49,825, the third-lowest since UCLA moved to Pasadena from the Coliseum in 1982."
A year after averaging 73,709, UCLA averaged 49,825.
The rise of the Pete Carroll dynasty at USC didn't help. In 2005, USC averaged 90,812 fans. UCLA 64,218.
UCLA averaged 60,376 fans in 2010, which ranked third in the Pac-12. But it ranked 10th in percentage of capacity (66.25).
There's a lot to do in L.A., and UCLA football doesn't top the list unless the Bruins are winning.