“USC Ya Later”: What’s Next for College Football?

Kevin PaulSenior Analyst ISeptember 25, 2008

Two weeks ago, the world was convinced the USC Trojans were by far the best team in college football.

Two days ago, the talk was how tough the road would be for the stronger SEC and Big 12 teams to get to the title game to face USC.

A few hours ago, everything changed.

Something happened to USC in Corvallis—again.  The Trojans left Oregon State’s campus with a quizzical look on each of their faces, brought on by 5'6" Jacquizz Rodgers, who ran big, totaling 186 yards on the ground against a USC defense that many felt was the most dominant in the country.

The result: a shocking Oregon State victory, 27-21 over the top-ranked Trojans.

Let it be a lesson learned to all college football fans out there: This game is like David Blaine—unpredictable.  There are no sure things—certainly not in September.  Not ever.

USC looked dominant against Virginia. 

USC looked dominant against Ohio State.

USC looked overmatched by an Oregon State team that was completely manhandled by Penn State just a few short weeks ago.

And now the door is open.  Sooners: Here’s your chance to walk through.  Knock knock—who’s there? It’s the ‘Dawgs.  Ding-dong—who’s that? It’s the Gators.

Meanwhile, the door is closing on the Trojans.  After all, the rest of the way, USC has no ranked teams left on their schedule.  Sure, that could change as the season progresses, but for now, to get back in it, the Trojans are going to have to blow teams off the field.

For those who think it’s a given for the SEC and Big 12 to send a team to the national title a few months down the road—not so fast.  While there may be four teams from each conference in the top 10, many of these teams are going to beat each other down as the season moves along.

There’s certainly a shot for one from each conference to come out unscathed, but the chances of that are likely slim—as in “Lindsay Lohan passing a driver’s test” slim.  Then again, as we have already learned, this game is unpredictable, and only time will tell. 

That leaves the other power conference teams that critics are rarely talking about. Take the Badgers and Nittany Lions, for example: Either team could easily run the table and slide into USC’s old slot.

There’s a team like Ohio State, who could certainly make a run and get back in the hunt, as they seem to be on the right track with Terrelle Pryor running the offense. 

Now every college football fan sits silent with that same quizzical look that USC had earlier tonight—collectively wondering what exactly will happen next.

As last year showed us, college football has hit a new level of unpredictability, excitement, jubilation, and heartbreak—all mixed together into one happy blitz package.

Fasten your seatbelts, this season’s just getting started—and something tells me we’re about to get blitzed again.

The doorway is open—who do you see walking through it?  The door is closing—who’s next to have their hopes slammed shut?  Sound off!