The pattern is set. For years the only good team in the PAC 10 was USC. That fact had the Trojans dominating the conference.
In the years since the Trojans’ last national championship other PAC 10 teams have emerged albeit a season at a time. Every year there is one other strong team in the conference besides USC, just not the same one. This has been all it took to derail national championship dreams for the Trojans.
That fact proposes questions. What would happen if one of those teams could become a consistent power? What if two teams developed into legit conference contenders. Would the vaunted run of the Trojans come to an abrupt end? One would think so based on recent history. To be sure, it would add a lot more drama to PAC 10 games.
The PAC 10 has an advantage that is a disadvantage for football. There is a greater diversity of interest on the west coast. Out in Los Angeles football is just football. That is why the NFL has not been there in years. It’s just not that important.
It is different for small midwestern towns and southern towns. For some of these places the football season is the highlight of the year. The games for these towns generate a lot of income for the community.
But I digress. The absence of true competition has built up USC over the years. Conversely when true competition is introduced, the Trojans fall back to the pack. No pun intended.