Currently USC is the sixth-ranked team in the AP Poll and the fourth-ranked team in the USA Today Coaches' Poll.
Fourth and sixth—that is impressive. For a team to be ranked that highly at this point in the season, they must be undefeated or have lost to another team in the top 10, right?
At the very least, after starting the season in the top 10 due to a great season last year, they could have lost to an unranked team and then defeated a top team to regain their spot.
USC is 4-1, and their one loss wasn't to any powerhouse or even to an above average team. USC lost to Oregon State, who has managed a 3-3 record.
The only reputable opponent USC has played was Ohio State, and they are untested.
In short, USC's only tough matchup was against another team who is overrated.
USC has also defeated Oregon, who was ranked to begin the season but quickly showed they couldn't live up to the expectations.
The Pac-10 is a conference comprised of overrated teams that are the "sweethearts" of West Coast sportswriters. No matter how weak the schedule, no matter how ugly the game, these teams will always get the benefit of the doubt.
Last year, USC began the season ranked number one. They were able to stay in the top spot for five weeks before losing to Stanford—STANFORD, a team that went 4-8 last year. Then the mighty Trojans lost another game to Oregon. The Trojans finished last season 11-2 with a Rose Bowl win.
USC is in the Pac-10, which means they play nine conference games—and we all know that besides USC and Cal there are no legitimate contenders.
Almost every season USC is "upset" by some lesser team. If these upsets occur every year, then maybe they are not upsets. When your schedule includes one or two out-of-conference games and only one of those teams is any good, that shows just how weak your schedule is.
USC's opponents currently have a combined record of 42-38. That is just four games above .500.
Consider the fact that Georgia also has just one loss but is ranked 11th. Their opponents' combined W-L record is 49-24. That is slightly higher than a .666 winning percentage. Georgia lost to a top 10 team and has fallen out of the top 10. USC lost to an unranked team and stayed in the top 10.
You can't say USC has a tougher schedule, and you can't say they lost to a tougher opponent, so what is a logical reason they are still rated so high? The media loves them, and no matter what happens, if USC still has a decent record, they will be ranked.
I am beginning to think that Southern Cal could go 0-12 and still be rated in the top 25.
Frankly, I am fed up with them being rated so highly when they play teams who aren't that good. The proof is there: Their schedule isn't as strong as a lot of other teams, and they lose to vastly inferior opponents according to the rankings.
I'm not a rocket scientist, but if you continue to lose to opponents that you are supposed to be better than, then maybe, just maybe, they are the better team.
But don't tell this to the media. I don't think they could handle it—they are clearly in denial.
Bottom line, I am sick and tired of hearing, "USC was upset by (insert high school name here) this weekend." From now on, until USC plays multiple real teams in one season, they will not get upset—they just lose like everyone else.