Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Message from Alaska: Breathe

Leave it to a guy from our 49th state to give us an insightful take on the melodrama following USC’s two close wins in a row. (Picked up his post by way of TrojanWire.) With a few numbers and some wisecracking, he reminds us about key points in the Trojans’ last two seasons, then he goes after “The Swamp” crowd … all the way from Alaska no less. Just like a few others out in the blogosphere, I like this guy.
Five Deep Breaths, courtesy 2004
3: Winning margin, USC-Stanford, last weekend in September.
6: Winning margin, USC-Cal, very next game.
8: Winning margin, USC-Oregon State, first weekend in November.
5: Winning margin, USC-UCLA, last game of season.
36: Winning margin, USC-No. 1 Oklahoma Orange Bowl, for the national title.

Five More Deep Breaths, courtesy 2005
4: Arizona State lead with 3:44 left in game, USC-ASU, first weekend in October.
7: USC lead early in the 4th quarter, USC-Arizona, very next game.
3: Winning margin, Northern Indiana Affair, very next game.
6:22: Time remaing in game when USC took lead, USC-Fresno State.
47: Winning margin, USC-No. 11 UCLA, very next game.

And now: Inhale... Hold... Exhale... 2006!
6: Winning margin, USC-Washington State, last weekend in September.
5: Yardline on which USC intercepts WSU Hail Mary on final snap.
6: Winning margin, USC-Washington, first weekend in October.
15: Yardline on which UW's final drive stalls, despite copious time-management assistance from refs.
He goes on to call out paid journalists at espn.com and AP, before ripping off a few one-liners on the Gators. But, my favorite part is the perspective he lays out for the Trojans with short memories:
Just what do we have here:

1. Two up-market football teams blow a season's worth of want-to and luck in their once-a-year shot at the shiniest program in the country (consider: UW scored a TD on a fake kick(!) but SC was the team playing with house money? Really?)
2. With SC breaking in a new QB.
3. In the last weekend of September and first of October.
4. And, just like at least 10 times in the past two years, it almost worked.
5. And, just like at least 10 times in the past two years, SC came through.
Exactly. There may not be any college football in our 49th state, but this guy knows his numbers. Again, it’s not how we win, it’s that we win. Until that reality changes, we can breathe easy.
east coast bias

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