Why The USC Trojans Are Not a College Football Dynasty

Joe MorganSenior Analyst ISeptember 26, 2008

Oregon State freshman Jacquizz Rodgers ran all over what was considered by some to be the nation’s best defense in No. 1 USC.

Rodgers’ career-high 186 rushing yards led Oregon State to one of the biggest upsets of the 2008 season to date.

Not only has this loss shocked the nation, but it has also knocked Southern Cal out of the BCS championship game picture for the time being.

The final score: Oregon State 27, USC 21.

Wait a minute, doesn’t this sound awfully familiar?

Middle-of-the-road, unranked Pac-10 team takes down college football’s current “dynasty,” the USC Trojans.

Is it just me or have Pete Carroll and USC developed a habit of losing to supposedly inferior Pac-10 competition?

Rather, a habit for blowing opportunities that might lead to additional national championships.

Let’s take a look, if you’ll indulge me.

The Beavers; upset victory marked the third time that the Trojans have lost to Oregon State in their last four trips to Corvallis.

Not a good stat for Southern Cal football.

However, USC’s woes against the unranked teams of the Pac-10 are not limited to academic institutions in the “Beaver State.”

Perhaps one of the most colossal upsets in Carroll’s tenure at USC, maybe even more surprising than Thursday’s debacle, was to—you guessed it—Stanford.

The Cardinal marched into the Coliseum as a 41-point underdog and pulled out a shocking upset over the heavily favored Trojans 24-23, shocking the college football world.

Has USC's inability to make it through the Pac-10 schedule undefeated caused the Trojans to lose the opportunity for more national titles?

Despite their botched chances at other championships, USC is having a heckuva run under Carroll that will not be slowing down anytime soon.

I will give credit to USC where it is due.

For the record, there is absolutely no questioning of Carroll and his coaching success at USC.

Carroll has led a resurgence of Trojan football and has had Southern Cal in the thick of annual national championship discussions since late 2002, his second season as USC’s head coach.

However, despite the success that USC has enjoyed under Carroll and the innumerable first-day NFL draft picks that have played for him, the Trojans are not a dynasty in college football.

Losses to unranked schools such as Oregon State and Stanford, as well as blown opportunities at national championships, prove otherwise.

Sure, USC has enjoyed recent success against Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Auburn, but consistency, in all aspects of the game, is the key to success.

Granted, USC has won countless Pac-10 titles and two national titles in Carroll's tenure, but only one of the national championships has been an outright BCS championship.


I agree that USC was unfairly left out of the 2003 BCS title game, but they also had chances to clinch a spot in the BCS’s premier game both during the 2003 season and late in the 2006 season.

In addition, another BCS championship was at stake against the Texas Longhorns in 2005, but USC missed that chance as well.

However, Southern Cal has a difficult time seizing the opportunity at hand.

It is their glaring weakness and that is why the Trojans have not won more national championships with Carroll patrolling the sidelines.

USC simply cannot be the best team in the Pac-10 on a weekly basis.

Reaching the Rose Bowl almost annually would be great for just about any other school in the country, but not for USC.

Southern Cal expects a football national championship from the Trojans every season, a team that consistently ranks among the nation’s top five schools.

So, shouldn’t we expect more from a school that has so much greatness and opportunity thrust upon it before we talk of a dynasty?

The expectations are high, but then again, their success has brought that burden upon themselves.

Southern Cal has to win at least one more national title and to prove that they can approach every Oregon State and Stanford like Ohio State and Notre Dame to begin reasonable discussions of a college football dynasty in Los Angeles.

If USC can accomplish the aforementioned tasks, then Carroll's Trojans will have a lot more credibility when the legacy of their team is decided.

The loss to Oregon State was not a good start.