So Much For The Nine Dwarfs
Tonight’s massive upset of U$C by the Beavers was huge not because it was shocking, but rather because it was so predictable. How predictable? So predictable that, if not for the demands of my day job, I would have written this post before today’s game even started. How predictable? So predictable that my U$C buddy sent me this email last night:
I’m a big believer in patterns in sports. During this current era of great teams, here is how USC [sic] has fared in Pac-10 road openers.
2002: Lost to Washington State in overtime.
2003: Lost to Cal in overtime.
2004: Trailed a terrible Stanford [sic] team by 11 at the half, did not take the lead until six minutes remained and held on for a three point victory.
2005: Fell behind 13-0, and still trailed at the half (before pulling ahead for what was eventually a comfortable win over Oregon).
2006: Needed to bat down a pass at the goal line in the final minute to hang on for a six point win over a terrible Washington State team.
2007: Played a game so turnover-filled, penalty-filled, and mistake-riddled against a terrible Washington team that we fell from # 1 to # 2 in the rankings, even with a (three point) victory.
So, I’m already getting angry thinking about the mistake-filled and subpar effort against crappy Oregon State tomorrow night. Give USC [sic] a highly-ranked out of conference foe and we’re golden. A terrible Pac-10 team on the road? That spells trouble.
Aside from the obvious effects it has on the Pac-10 race, tonight’s upset was especially welcome for the damage it does to the mythology of U$C and the Nine Dwarfs. It is true that U$C has won or shared six straight conference championships. But I think any fan who follows the Pac-10 closely realizes that the story is more complicated than that. Indeed, U$C only really “dominated” the conference in 2004 and 2005 — when U$C arguably dominated all of college football.
In 2002, U$C failed to make the Rose Bowl after losing to WSU and needing a massive comeback to beat Cal at home. In 2003, U$C won a share of the national championship, but fell to Cal in a game that was not as close as the score (or overtime result) would indicate. In 2006, U$C lost to both OSU and UCLA, shared the conference title with Cal, and would have missed the Rose Bowl had Cal not choked against Arizona. In 2007, U$C lost at home to a bad Stanfurd team, lost on the road to Oregon, and again split the Pac-10 title and only made the Rose Bowl due to the late-season collapses of the other contenders.
U$C is still probably the cream of the conference. But the program has been in decline since losing to Texas in the 2005 championship game and now tends to drop a couple in conference play each season. That may be a mixed bag as far as national perception of our conference goes, but I’d rather see some parity in our league — both in terms of performance and perception.
In the meantime, this gives the dwarfs an opening. Let’s hope it’s the Bears that step into it.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?