Wednesday, September 06, 2006

USC: When No. 3 equals No. 2, not that it matters

Wow. That was fast. Win one game and suddenly “USC is back.”

The Trojans, with an untested QB replacing a Heisman Trophy winner and a bunch of true freshmen at running back, whip a “good” SEC team in the season opener at a hostile southern stadium. Just like 2003, as several writers and Pete Carroll have pointed out.

The next thing you know, USC is No. 3 in both polls. For those of you counting at home, that’s the same ranking we took into Berkeley three years ago. Only this time, we have no where to go but up.

USC almost certainly will move to No. 2 after this weekend, since current No. 2 Ohio State visits No. 1 Texas on Saturday. Even if it’s a close, well-played game, one of them has to lose and drop, leaving USC to move up without taking a snap. Not bad. We climb four spots in two weeks after one game. Granted that game was a 50-14 thrashing of a team from the SEC, which is, if you ask anyone with a twang, the best conference in the land, ya’ll!

Is this George and Weezy act evidence that USC is immune to the east coast bias? Maybe. But the point here is that rankings after week one really do not matter from the lofty perspective of a national powerhouse program like USC. If the Trojans win out, we go to the national championship game, regardless of where we start, or where we’re ranked after one game. It’s as simple as that.

So, who’s next? Nebraska. The crazy Cornhuskers of Christian and Crouch, and the imitation NFL reject turned college “genius” who recently taught the simple Ns how to throw a football. Supposedly, Nebraska fans will attempt to invade the Los Angeles Coliseum en masse, like they did when Pasadena turned red, and I mean almost completely red, for a game against ugla in 1993. I’ve been told the USC Ticket Office held off a surge of Husker ticket buyers to prevent that from happening, so perhaps we’ll end up with 90,000 Husker fans tailgating in the parking lot during the game, like Bevo at the Rose Bowl.

As for the Cornhusker football team, they’ve been pointing to this game for a while as something that could get the Husker program back among the elite, much like the domers last year. We’re already hearing stuff from Callahan believers, who think he’s got something for us. We’ll see …

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