Why UCLA May Not Be An Underdog This Season Against USC

Danny Devine@Devine4809Correspondent IAugust 26, 2008

Everyone remembers the amazing game last season between USC and Stanford. Stanford was a 40-point underdog and somehow ended up winning the game. What many people should recall though is how Stanford’s coach Jim Harbaugh talked USC up before the season.

Harbaugh said before the season some very respectful things about USC. He called them the best team of all time, and said they were lucky to be on the same field as them.

The thing is, when saying those things about USC, he was really motivating his team. He was downplaying the game and hyping up how great the Trojans are.

I don’t know if you all have ever been on team where the head coach has done what Harbaugh did, but it is a huge motivation tool for your team. It just makes you think day and night about that team, about that game, and about how bad you want to beat them with all your heart.

Whether or not you think that the win over USC was a fluke or luck, the big thing was that his team circled that game and played their best football of the season that night. Stanford was not a great team by any stretch last season, but holding USC and all 900 of their five-star, blue chip running backs to fewer than 100 yards rushing is something special.



If you don’t think it's something, let's take a look at their other opponents and the rushing yards they gained on Stanford:

—Arizona State: 41 Att, 174 yds, 4.2 Avg

—Washington: 63 Att, 388 yds, 6.2 Avg  (WOW!)

—UCLA: 50 Att, 338 yds, 6.8 Avg

—Oregon: 46 Att, 222 yds, 4.8 Avg

As you can see, there was something great about that night.

What am I getting at? UCLA Bruins new coach Rick Neuheisel also had some words to say about the power house that is USC.

Neuheisel said, “There’s no hiding from it, we are going after them.” USC has been a powerhouse in college football for as long as John Dailey has been drinking diet coke.

Neuheisel saying all this about the Trojans makes me think. It makes me think of what Jim Harbaugh said this past season. I am wondering if this may become a trend if UCLA can also pull a big time upset of the mighty USC Trojans.

If this becomes a trend I would love to see Urban Meyer and Bobby Bowden smack talking. Or Jim Tressel and Bob Stoops get into it about Tressel's faded red sweater vest he never seems to take off.

This will be fun to see how this pans out. I guess we will have to see what happens on December 6th at 4:00 on ABC. When the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins square off, I'll have my popcorn ready.