Alright, I know it's been quite some time since I've graced the B/R community with my perspective on any USC topics, but here I am, fresh off a short hiatus with my better half and ready to buckle down and talk some Trojans football.
USC's November schedule; and how it will probably be a grueling one for the Men of Troy. I mean, let's face it, November is no cake walk:
1. Nov. 6: Arizona State
2. Nov. 13: @ Arizona
3. Nov. 20: @ Oregon State
4. Nov. 27: Notre Dame
November is not a month to be taken lightly. You lose in November, the odds of you hoisting that crystal football just got even worse.
If you're gonna lose, it's best to do it in the early months of the season.
In fact, since 2002, the Trojans' only November loss came last season with a 55-21 drudging at the hands of Stanford. Had USC won that game, they would have finished the regular season 10-3 and may have been invited to a better bowl game, perhaps a BCS game.
Instead, they finished the regular season 9-4 and played Boston College in the Emerald Bowl.
November is clearly not a month to be taken lightly.
So, which of these four November games will give USC the most trouble? Honestly, it's kind of hard to pick just one game.
Let's look back at 2009 and see how the Trojans fared against these four teams.
USC squeezed by the Beavers with a 42-36 win at the Coliseum. For the past couple of seasons, the Trojans have had lots of problems with the Beavers.
In 2008, Oregon State handed USC a 27-21 loss in Corvallis. In 2006, the Beavers topped the Trojans 33-31.
Apart from USC's 24-3 spanking of Oregon State in 2008, the Beavers have been fierce competition for the Trojans as of late.
Interestingly enough, the games USC lost were in Corvallis. Luckily, 2010's match up is in Los Angeles.
In 2009, Arizona beat USC 21-17. 2009's loss to the Wildcats was the first time the Trojans have lost to the Wildcats since Oct. 7, 2000 when Arizona walked all over USC 31-15.
The bad news for USC is that 2010's game is at Arizona. And since the Wildcats beat the Trojans at home last season, they could beat 'em again on their home turf.
Let's just hope the Arizona's first victory over USC in nine years doesn't become an ugly habit.
Five points was all that separated USC from an 8-5 record as they narrowly escaped from the Arizona State Sun Devils in 2009, 14-9.
2009 was the only time Arizona State showed any real chance of beating USC. Since 2002, the Trojans have beaten the Sun Devils by an average of 18 points and have scored 149 total points against them.
So, if recent history is any indication, then USC should torch the Sun Devils.
However, last year's shockingly low score and lack of ease in beating the Sun Devils should raise some concerns for Trojans fans.
Ah, yes. The Fighting Irish.
Possibly college football's greatest rivalry between college football's most storied programs.
Does it get any better than this?
Even though Notre Dame has been a disappointment to its fans lately, don't under-estimate their utter hatred of the Cardinal and Gold.
Notre Dame has been USC's punching bag for some time now, and don't look for that to change any time soon. In 2009, the 34-27 score on favor of USC might have looked as if the Irish just ran out of time, but it wasn't that close.
At the start of the fourth quarter, USC was leading Notre Dame 27-14. The Trojans shut out the Irish in the second quarter while managing to score six points themselves.
Had it not been for the 13-point Notre Dame explosion in the fourth quarter, the Irish would have once again been steam rolled.
As I stated earlier, it's pretty difficult to try to choose the one game that USC could stumble on come November.
For safety's sake, and I'll admit it's boring, I'm gonna say that all four of these teams have a legitimate shot at taking down USC in 2010.
I mean, with the exception of Arizona, the other teams were within inches of beating the Trojans and turning them into the laughing stock of the NCAA.
I believe 2010 will be no different, and we'll probably see some close losses.
November is the month when champions are decided. Let's just hope that USC rises to the occasion.