2009 USC Trojans: The Year To Beat Them...or Not
What part of seven consecutive years of PAC-10 Titles, BCS Bowl appearances, 11 win seasons, and AP Top Four finishes don't you understand?
The above will be asked by many. The PAC-10 media voters thought so. They almost unanimously voted USC to win the PAC-10 again.
That's only part of the story.
For the rest of the story there is also seven consecutive years of battling to win the PAC-10 Title. There were many games that USC considered a victory, whatever the score, was good enough.
Do you want to hear more?
Even the best of Pete Carroll's teams had trouble with certain PAC-10 teams. Oregon State is not spoken of in Pete Carroll's home.
Oregon State has given USC their greatest trouble under Carroll. He knows it and it bothers him. Carroll believes that most every loss can be attributed to coaching.
Pete Carroll is a coach who awakes, lives, breathes, works and even sleeps while competing. Carroll brings that fringe insanity to the football field everyday. He wants to make his players greater than what anyone else considers best to be.
His approach to coaching is no different.
Mike Riley had been an assistant coach at USC, prior to the arrival of Pete Carroll. Riley is now the head coach of Oregon State.
In fact, Riley was offered the vacant head coaching position before Pete Carroll. Riley didn't want to be the head coach at USC.
When their teams play against each other there might be some animosity, maybe some envy present. I've heard both, but don't really believe it.
Mike Riley is a gentleman and student of the game of college football. I've heard his name mentioned as one of the best coaches in the nation.
The bottom line here is that both Carroll and Riley are part of the "Trojan family" and that's not going to change.
Every announcer I've ever heard has commented on the fact that the CAL Bears give USC their toughest games. The record sure doesn't show that, but maybe so.
Coach Jeff Tedford has been mentioned as one of the finest quarterback mentoring coaches in the nation. The NFL has had plenty of his quarterbacks get drafted, but only a few made it.
People all have an opinion about why great college players don't make good NFL players. Their opinions are like noses, everyone has one. I say, give it a name.
There are enough serious reasons to choke an elephant. How many great players refuse to sign contracts because of their agent ? Some don't like the team they're going to and just stop playing or thinking.
My favorite is that their newly formed posse, requires more money to be able to function to what is expected in the NFL. So I let Tedford off the hook on that one.
Tedford's Bears have beat Carroll's Trojans once. CAL won that game in triple overtime. I can think of only one other CAL game that even gave USC a problem.
Mike Bellotti had been the head coach of the Oregon Ducks. I could do a book on Coach Carroll and Mike Bellotti, but it's time to forgive and forget..., maybe.
The new coach of the Oregon Ducks is Chip Kelly. I don't know too much about what trouble he might cause the Trojans, but USC's 44-10 pounding of the Ducks last year should be a greater cause of concern to USC.
Oregon was said to have at least as good of a defensive backfield as USC. USC sliced and diced that group beyond recognition.
The Duck's running game was stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. USC's final touchdown pass, by their third team quarterback, was thought to be unnecessary by Mike Bellotti.
Maybe it was Pete Carroll's way of saying good-bye and good luck to Coach Bellotti, but he didn't seem to take it that way.
Will this be a revenge game this year?
Rick Neuheisel is the head coach of UCLA. He's the person in the magazines and newspapers around Los Angels pointing. I've seen photos of him pointing in the air, to the ground, to his left and to his right. He just loves to point.
Coach Neuheisel, ET AL, have yet to make a point with anyone they play.
UCLA is still picking up pieces of Bruin uniforms that were shredded in last year's 59-0 defeat at BYU.
Maybe Rick Neuheisel is pointing out pieces of uniforms to pick up.
Mike Stoops is the head coach of the University of Arizona. He has returned respect to a team in a short amount of time. Coach Stoops recruits well and has built his team around defense. His teams should never be overlooked.
Jim Harbaugh is the head coach of Stanford. His one point victory over the Trojans guaranteed losses to USC until Carroll's cold, dead fingers are pried from the football program.
The aforementioned teams represent the hiccups that many have projected for the 2009 season.
The 2009 USC Trojans Schedule
- San Jose State: This is what it is. Nothing more to say. USC WINS!
- @ Ohio State: Pete Carroll's Trojans have never lost to a BIG-10 team. Why would it be now? USC WINS!
- @ Washington: This will be an interesting game, of sorts. Former USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is the new head coach at Washington. USC WINS!
- Washington State: The head coach is Paul Wuiff. USC WINS!
- @ CAL Berkley: Just in the last few years, Tedford has had his famed running backs stuffed and his greatest of all time wide receiver's head almost ripped off. Only ESPN believes CAL will win. That's not enough for me. USC WINS!
- @ Notre Dame: See "real men of genius - Notre Dame fan." The end. USC Wins!
- @ Oregon: USC lost some players and Oregon lost some players. USC is much deeper in talent than Oregon. Playing at Oregon is tougher than player at Auburn? I don't think so. Besides, one of my sons just moved to Portland, Oregon and he'll be at the game intimidating the Duck fans. USC WINS!
- @ Arizona State: Did I hear something? USC WINS!
- Stanford: Someone is about to be taken to the woodshed to appease a crowd of 93,000 plus. Nothing but a total beat down will do. The Cardinal fans cheered once at the Coliseum and that was their last. USC WINS!
- UCLA: The Bruins don't even rate the distinction as USC's final regular season game. Rival, you talk'n rival? As a seasoned, no, middle-aged citizen, I can honestly say that UCLA is no longer a team that competes to win the PAC-10. It's become a team of players who didn't want to compete for a position at USC. USC WINS!
- Arizona: This will be USC's final season home game and the last to complete a perfect regular season. USC WINS!
All of what I've written is true. All of the aforementioned should happen. There is nothing to prevent it from happening.
Have you ever heard of Murphy's Law? How about hiccup, snake bit or beat themselves?
Whatever you wish to call it, the Trojans have had it the last few years. So much so, that their fans are about to turn into one of those health care town meeting mobs you've heard so much about.
I would like to turn on the news this year and not see USC students throwing their sandals at the statue of Tommy Trojan.
It may happen if the Trojans blow one of their games.
I know Pete Carroll's teams don't lose by over seven points and only a total of fifteen at that. I know Pete Carroll has the best staff and has recruited the best players in the nation.
That's the point! Am I missing something here?
I guess I don't want to be a part of the angry mob screaming, "What have you done for me lately," but I might. I'm too old for these unexplained blips to happen.
I don't know if they have a wide screen where I'm going.
I might have to wait until another Trojan fan joins me there and he'll tell me what happened. Is that anyway to spend eternity?
I might have my plate full where I'm going and I won't have any leisure time. If that's the case, they probably won't have any podcasts either.
In any event, that's my unbiased look at the 2009 USC season..., seriously,
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