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The Fall of USC: Why the Trojans' Dominance in the Pac-10 Is Over

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03: (FILE PHOTO) Reggie Bush #5 of the USC Trojans rushes the ball against the UCLA Bruins December 3, 2005 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Bush was picked second overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 2066 NFL Draft on April 29, 2006.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Parker ForteContributor IJanuary 18, 2010

USC has been the "Big Dog" of the Pac-10 for the last decade.

But finally in the '09-10 season—the first time a true freshman quarterback has started at USC—the Trojans took a tumble and lost four conference games.

Washington, Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona defeated the Trojans this last season, and the Trojans were finally not in the Rose Bowl—they were in the Emerald Bowl. Yes, USC in the Emerald Bowl.

In my opinion, it was about time.

The Trojans have produced their share of NFL players. Just last season USC lost quarterback Mark Sanchez to the NFL, which coach Pete Carroll announced to the media was a mistake on Mark's part not to play his senior year.

But was it a mistake? I mean, Sanchez is starting for the New York Jets and is set to play the Colts in the AFC Championship Game next weekend. He obviously is not doing too badly.

USC has also recently produced Heisman running back Reggie Bush, who now is showing his importance to the Saints. Bush is set to play for the NFC Championship next weekend against the Vikings.

That's two former USC players from the last decade, one playing for the AFC Championship and the other playing for the NFC Championship.

There are many more USC former players in the NFL today.

Back to topic, the Trojans just lost their head coach, Carroll, to the Seattle Seahawks and signed dirty Lane Kiffin as their new head coach. Leaving after one season at Tennessee and causing a big ruckus for Volunteer fans, Kiffin returns to try to pull USC out of a hole they are falling into.

Since the announcement of Carroll leaving for the NFL, USC recruits have opted to look elsewhere. Dillon Baxter, all-purpose back and five-star recruit, has decided to look at other options. He recently visited Oregon and is looking into Florida as well. Baxter has been committed to USC since the eighth grade, but now all hell is breaking loose on the USC program, and recruits are looking into other options.

Unfortunately for USC fans always used to winning, they will no longer be seduced by great seasons year after year. The Pac-10 throne will be passed on. To whom?

Who knows—Oregon is obviously the front-runner. But you can't throw out Oregon State, Stanford, or Cal. Also there is talk of UCLA having a good season next year.

Although Washington and Washington State are out of the picture now, in about four years Washington could be in the race for the Roses. They just need time.

2010, a new year and the start of a new decade is the fall of USC dominance. The throne will be passed on. Oregon is the likely candidate to rule the Pac-10.

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