There’s a post on a good Cal blog called “Tightwad Hill” that attempts to build some mojo for the Bears by making connections between this year’s Cal team and another from 1975. Here’s the list …
That’s a nice list if you like stretching stuff out of proportion a little. (Who’s Joe Roth?) But, I guess if you have no tradition, history or heritage of football success, you do what you gotta do to give yourself something … anything … to hold on to.
We could go on - Tom Newton is Byron Storer, Wesley Walker is DeSean, but you get the point. […] We'll be channeling 1975 this week and we encourage you to do the same.
- Cal was led by a highly-regarded QB in his first year as the starter (Joe Roth)
- Cal featured a dominant running back who received Heisman attention (Chuck Muncie)
- Cal was an offense-first, big-play team with a suspect defense
- The Bears were led by a young, innovative coach who had come to Berkeley from an assistant job with a conference rival (Mike White - Stanford)
- Cal was coming off a disappointing road loss in the prior game (UCLA)
- Cal had lost its season opener to a non-conference power (Colorado)
- USC was a three-time defending conference champion
- The Trojans were led by a head coach who had won multiple national championships, and was the subject of constant rumors that he was heading for the pros (John McKay) [above]
- USC was rated in the Top 5 (#4), but had been somewhat inconsistent in its play
- Despite that inconsistency, SC was coming off a big, reassuring victory (at Notre Dame)
- USC was the clear favorite in the game
- (just for fun) Ohio State was the consensus #1 team in the nation, and a Buckeye was the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy (Archie Griffin)
USC on the other hand, needn’t look so far back … or with as much obscurity. At the beginning of this season, many sports writers looking for an angle compared this year’s Trojans to 2003, when USC opened with a convincing win at an SEC school with a first-year starter at QB, who was replacing a Heisman Trophy winner, and a backfield full of freshmen ... etc.
After a few games the comparisons faded, but since the loss to Oregon State things have gotten a little funny … and by “funny” I mean spooky funny.
SI.com’s Arash Markazi looked into very interesting aspects about the comparison earlier this week, and the stuff he pointed out is uncanny. So much so that I’m starting to think our man Carroll does indeed know a lot more than even we ever thought he could.
USC's leap back up to the No. 3 spot in the BCS standings within 14 days shouldn't be shocking to those who have followed the Trojans in recent years. It's almost as if Carroll has voodoo dolls for each team sitting in front of him in the polls and after he suffers a loss, poking each one off week by week. […]Now that’s a comparison on which to build some serious mojo.
Consider this: When USC lost to unranked Cal on Sept. 27, 2003, the Trojans were ranked No. 3 in the polls and subsequently dropped to No. 10 behind seven undefeated teams. Within two weeks of the Trojans' loss to Cal, six teams above them lost, returning USC right back to where it was in the polls. During the course of the next nine weeks after the Trojans' loss, every team above them lost at least once, giving USC the No. 1 ranking by season's end.
Fast forward three years and Carroll is enjoying the same kind of luck. Within two weeks of USC's loss to Oregon State, six teams above the Trojans in the polls have lost, and one more will fall next week when Ohio State and Michigan face off. Combine that with Florida's unimpressively narrow win against South Carolina this past Saturday and the Trojans find themselves right back in the 3 spot in the BCS standings and in prime position to earn a trip to the BCS Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz. on Jan. 8 if they win out.
Certainly, none of this has anything at all to do with what happens this Saturday. It just helps our respective fan bases deal with the stress of anticipation and pre-game hype. Of course, if history and tradition could win ball games, very few football programs could beat USC. We’ll just have see what happens on Saturday.
Oh … that’s right. It’s Thursday. Well, while we’re at it, let’s compare 2003 with 2006. It's great to have tradition, right Beano?
east coast bias