The Sunday Musings Of an Idle USC Trojan Fan


So what does a college football fan do when his team is on a bye week?

Well, if they are anything like me, once they get those mundane necessities of life dealt with, they ease into their comfy chair, turn on the tube, and check out their favorite teams national competition.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see what most of the big boys ahead of my Trojans had to offer.

Especially intriguing was the Florida-LSU tilt with Tim Tebow coming back from his concussion two weeks ago.

In addition, my day of channel surfing included the Alabama-Ole Miss game, Texas-Colorado, Iowa-Michigan and Virginia Tech-Boston College.

The winners of the above referenced games all had an opportunity to impress this bored Trojan fan and with the exception of Viriginia Tech, all failed miserably.

Now, I know what you are thinking.

Just another elitist USC fan honking for his Trojans, blind to anything not painted cardinal and gold.

But you would be wrong.

Despite my unabashed allegiance to USC, I am not myopic when it comes to objectivity.

And although I did put USC number four in my rankings for the B/R college football poll, there was no chance of them cracking the top three no matter how much better I think the Trojans are than Alabama, Texas and to some extent, Florida.

Of course, the allergic reaction I have to being ridiculed also played into my self restraint but even if I enjoyed that kind of humiliation, I wouldn’t have voted the Trojans into the top three.

Even though I am fairly certain that USC would beat all of them.

That being said, I still came away with some distinct impressions and not all of them were denigrating to the aforementioned teams.

First, the good:

I liked what Virginia Tech brought to the table. In the first half, their defense absolutely dominated hapless (at least in this game) Boston College. Tyrod Taylor, Va Tech’s nimble quarterback, continued his impressive growth as a passer and the Hokie running attack provided balance to an overall impressive offense.

Virginia Tech either is very good or the ACC is pretty bad. Maybe a little of each.

Boston College came in as one of the better ACC teams and left wondering what Mack truck hit them.

With the exception of Miami, the ACC looks pretty ordinary so it is difficult to gauge how impressive the Hokies really are.

Is Virginia Tech a juggernaut or is BC that bad?

My suspicion is that it is a little of both.

Hats off to Florida and ailing quarterback Tim Tebow for going into Baton Rouge and exposing LSU for what they are.


Tebow, still recovering from his devastating hit two weeks ago, led an obviously cautious offense to victory by providing exactly one offensive touchdown, which came as a result of an obvious offensive holding penalty from the receiver who caught Tebow’s scoring pass.

Now to be sure, LSU has a nice defense.

And Urban Meyer, to be equally as sure, fielded an offense that was focused on protecting their recovering star quarterback.

Having said that, my dominant interest in watching this game was stifling yawns.

LSU, who had made a habit this year wriggling out of close calls, finally ran out of miracles and they now have been relegated to the crowded second tier of “nice” teams who aren’t anything particularly special.

What about Alabama? Surely the Crimson Tides domination of Ole Miss scored big ups with their 22-3 victory at Oxford, Mississippi.

Uh, no.

We already knew that the ‘Bama defense was good and they didn’t disappoint.

But how much of this fine defensive showing was because Ole Miss, especially their offense, is inept?

Of course, because I am abjectly fair, I will give Alabama’s defense credit for having something to do with Jevan Snead’s woeful game and his charitable offering of four interceptions.

The Crimson Tide defense is very, very good.

But as good as the defense is, Alabama’s offense is just as ordinary.

Sure, Mark Ingram ran wild on Ole Miss, but even with five turnovers, the offense could only manage to put up 22 points.

Six field goals and a rushing touchdown. That’s it.

Stuff of a champion? Hardly.

Meanwhile, Texas hosted a 1-3 Colorado team and for the opening half, was in a dogfight.

Texas entered the second half leading 14-10 before they finally found themselves (sort of) and won 38-14.

Colt McCoy had a nice game hitting 32 of 39 passes for 267 yards against a Colorado defense that has specialized this season in making ordinary offenses look exceptional.

That’s great, but look a little further.

The Longhorns managed a paltry 46 yards on the ground against that same Buff defense.

Hell, you can run quarterback sneaks all game long and gain more than 46 yards.

Again, stuff of a champion?

As Chad Ochocinco would say:

“Child, please.”

Finally, I checked out the Iowa-Michigan game to see what the buzz over these Hawkeyes was all about.

Iowa hosted the Wolverines who are at least a year away from returning to the spotlight and left with a 30-28 victory despite being a recipient of five Michigan turnovers.

It was an entertaining game to be sure but neither of these teams would throw a scare into anyone else in the top ten.

When my Saturday was all said and done, I felt the chills of a recurring nightmare entering my college football soul.

My USC Trojans, beginning to find themselves after their obligatory head scratching early season loss to a team that had no business beating them, will be traveling to South Bend to take on an Notre Dame Irish team that cracked my top 25 this week.

If the Trojans manage to depart with an impressive victory, which I think they will, the demons of “what if,” will start their, as of late, perennial haunt of Trojan fans who will face the very real possibility that once again the best team at the end of the year won’t be playing for the national championship.

In what has become a maddening annual rite of passage, USC may face the obstacle of hurdling the yearly BCS barrier.

In the end, the preseason picks of Florida and Texas may very well be featured in the national championship game.

But if the same Florida and Texas teams I saw yesterday participate in the title game with the same fragmented game I just witnessed and USC, with their true freshman quarterback growing with each passing week doesn’t, the cries of foul from the Trojan faithful will ring out once again.

And once again, the best team in country at the end of the year will be on the outside looking in.