Sunday, September 10, 2006

USC Post-Bye: Know thy enemy

It’s always a good thing to know thy enemy. It’s also a good thing to develop hatred for thy enemy. For USC Trojans, that means detesting ugla and loathing the domers … with class and all due respect, of course.

The problem is it can sometimes be tough to maintain a proper level of hate, let alone a healthy respect, for two programs that USC has beaten and downright embarrassed consistently during the Pete Carroll era.

This is why I like to spend empty bye weeks looking for affirmations for our loathing. As is typical of the different kind of dislike USC Trojans feel for our two primary football enemies, ugla this week did most of the work for us. “Southpaw Jesus” and Hugh Johnson were so messed up, ugla’s own were demanding retractions and explanations. In other words, ugla is a regional rival that is less sophisticated, less threatening, and less worthy of respect.

On the other hand, there’s Charlie Weis. You have to respect him, if for no other reason than he’s got the South Benders believing they are worthy of their entitled national status. After we humiliated Tyrone’s domers by 31 points three years straight, the Irish stumbled all over themselves to get Weis, and they made a good choice. The guy is an undeniably intelligent offensive coach, and he is dangerous. In other words, the threat to USC is more sophisticated and worthy of respect.

This is why things like “Southpaw Jesus” and Hugh Jackson don’t happen in South Bend. It’s all more insidious. A case in point is an accounting of Weis’s ever growing ego, which was documented in a piece I picked up from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Jensen, by way of The Wiz. Jensen writes that there are more than a few fellow college coaches who consider Weis a cocky SOB:
We're talking about guys who wouldn't mind at all if Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis gets knocked down a rung or two … even right out of the national-title race.

No Division I head coach is going to come out publicly and say so, but I talked to a couple of longtime football men who know plenty of coaches. They don't argue at all with that general assessment. …

And it's not like Weis has come into college football sounding humble. ...

Local writer Michael Bradley, always on the college football beat, added this tidbit in his CBS SportsLine column recently: "Reports from the off-season clinic circuit painted Weis as aloof and arrogant. And those were the nice descriptions. ...
You think Pete Carroll would like to knock Weis "down a rung or two”?

They are ND. We Are SC!

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