Sunday, November 05, 2006

USC Post-Game: New (Cautious) Optimism

So, a nice 42-0 blowout and a move up the rankings, and we all feel better, right?

Our defense is back to its dominating self (supposedly), after posting its first shutout in two years. Our offense was clicking (apparently), as we scored more than 40 points for the first time since the opener versus Arkansas. And, we didn’t put the ball on the ground (thankfully).

A dominating performance at an opponent's new stadium, and we’re back, right?

The people who are supposed to know these things seem to think so. We are back on Lee Corso’s list of top-five one-loss teams. Sure, you can take that for what it’s worth, but Kirk Herbstreit has USC on his top-five one-loss list, too. SI’s Stewart Mandel also thinks we’re back. In fact, according to him, USC is so back that we now have a shot at beating Cal in two weeks.

It’s amazing what happens after a 42-0 win, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, there’s a fly in this ointment. That dying buzz you hear stuck in the petroleum jelly is the Stanford Jr. “football” team, which isn’t just winless like beginning-of-the-season winless, the way Cal was 0-1 after losing to Tennessee. No, the Color Red is 0-9, three-quarters-of-the-way-through-the-season winless.

Adding insult to this humiliating season, Stanford Jr. has scored more than 10 points in only one of those nine loses, while giving up at least 30 points in eight contests. Even their new stadium is no help – Pete Carroll said playing there was like a home game for the Trojans.

In other words, Stanford Jr. “football” is really, really bad … which means that perhaps USC Football isn’t really, really that good.

Make no mistake. I am a believer. A “W” is a W. And it’s particularly comforting to know that our man Carroll is on the case. But I’ll feel much better when we dominate a team that can actually play Division I football.

Fight On! Beat the Ducks!


SoCal Oski said...

Your guarded optimism regarding the 42 - 0 result is definitely appropriate. Especially considering how the baby bruins, with their horrible offense and totally overrated defense, also managed to hang a 31 - 0 whipping on them.

Thats not to say I don't think the Trojans aren't still the class of the Pac (regardless of the loss at OSU) until someone takes away the crown. My feeling is Cal has a very good chance to win on the 18th (at least as good a chance as they had in 04), but until that happens SC are the champs.

However, all the talk of everything being back to Leinart - Bush - White days is a bit premature.

I'm looking forward to the match for the Rose Bowl (at least) in two weeks.

Go Bears, and you guys be sure to smack around the baby bruins.

JOHN said...

I cautiously compare the OSU game to that Cal game... fairly young quaterback on the road, lots of turnovers, botched special teams... close game that went down to the end.

It turned out to be a wake-up call for Leinart & Co.

So here's to a new streak.

Displaced Trojan said...

socal oski,

Thanks for the comment, particularly your king-until-dethroned reverence.

But, first things first. You guys take care of Zona. We'll focus on the Ducks, for now.

Displaced Trojan said...


I know our man Pete Carroll likes to compare this team to 2003, and I hope we can get rolling in similar fashion now. But, as you say, caution should be the word for a few more weeks, before we start to raise expectations too high.

Fight On!