Good read, hoopsguy. Keep it up.
Being a UCLA fan myself, I of course have been running a game with them (although I took them from the start). It wasn't easy--I had some good defensive talent that helped me to an 8-5 finish the first year, but then many of those guys left and I fell to 7-6 the next year. And, mind you, this is scheduling absolute cupcakes. I was giving myself four easy wins in non-conference out of depseration.
Offense started picking up in and got to 8-5. Then brought in the 6th best recuiting class and really started doing better. I started off 8-0 in 2008, before falling apart some in the end. I finished 10-3 with a good offsense (still emdiocre defense) and my best bowl yet, the Sun (I got blown out by an underrated Purdue team).
I wasn't prepared for what this was leading me to, although I knew I had young talent developing. I went 12-0 in the regular season, and finally beat USC (crushed them actually). I finished the season with my first conference title and consensus #1. I still had doubts, though (neither offense nor defense were ranked in the top 20). I actually did very well in the playoffs, largely dominating my games before the championship game with Texas. Well, the Horns eeked out a 30-29 win with a FG to win it with seven seconds left, and they had been undefeated, too. So, wow, how about that for a season? Finished 15-1 (and still looking really good for this year, which I will probably run tomorrow).
So it takes work, but it can happen.