Monday, September 04, 2006

USC immune to East Coast Bias?

There is a case to be made that because USC is a de facto national football powerhouse the Trojans don’t suffer from the east coast bias. We’ll explore this notion in the coming weeks, but evidence supporting the argument showed up in the New York Times today in a piece about first impressions of this 2006 season. USC was listed first among five teams with a positive showing over the weekend:
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – A U.S.C. official joked last week that because the Trojans gave up a touchdown in the waning seconds of the national title game, the world had forgotten about them.

Welcome back, world. The Trojans’ 50-14 evisceration of Arkansas in Fayetteville on Saturday night included an offensive outburst that gave U.S.C. a point more than it averaged last season. In his first career start, John David Booty looked every bit the top quarterback recruit in the country he was billed as four years ago. ...

But the hallmark of this team may be its defense, as the Trojans showcased their speed in a new formation that used three defensive linemen and four linebackers. Carroll has called this perhaps the fastest team he has ever been around, and it showed, as U.S.C. stymied Arkansas and forced five turnovers.
Nice. ("Evisceration" is a word you won't see much in sports coverage outside the pomposity of the NY Times.) But then the article states other obvious impressions from Saturday, putting the Pac-10 on a list of teams/conferences “pelted with spitballs”:
PAC-10 - Sure, U.S.C. and Oregon rolled. But the middle tier of the conference (aside from U.C.L.A.) looked pitiful.

Cal had a chance to launch itself into the national-title picture and was instead hammered at Tennessee. Washington State was crushed, 40-14, at Auburn. Those blowouts will perpetuate the stereotype of the “soft” Pac-10. Arizona State also struggled mightily Thursday against Division I-AA Northern Arizona. The score was tied, 14-14, entering the fourth quarter, but Arizona State scored the final 21 points.
So, USC Football is grand on a national level, but our Pac-10 Conference sucks. It’s the same old story. Looking at the Pac-10 as a whole after one game, can we argue?

Way to go, Tedford.

1 comment:

Seth Weintraub said...

I agree. Its too bad USC's second team can't be counted for some of the Pac 10's power. I mean, besides Oregon, wich of the Pac 10 teams didn't look anemic last weekend. Come on guys, get your head out of you a$$!