It seemed like it was just yesterday since the USC Trojans had that upset loss against unranked Stanford. That got me thinking.
Ever since the Trojans won that national championship in 2004, there always seems to be some kind of obstacle each year from allowing them to win a second one. Let’s go back from the beginning.
With a high powered Trojans offense and an uptight defense in 2004, the USC cruised its way through 2004 onto the national stage. The Trojans started off the season No. 1 and never looked back. With its closest victory coming against an unranked Stanford team 31-28…hmm maybe that should’ve taught them something.
Anyway, the Trojans man-handled an undefeated Oklahoma team 55-19 on the biggest national stage of college football. Even though Auburn had gone undefeated that year in the SEC, the Trojans were still matched against Oklahoma. I guess the Trojans caught a lucky break there.
Ever since then, there seemed to be a spirit haunting the Trojans, keeping them away from that national championship. It all started with Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns in the year 2005.
In the year 2005, the Trojans again went through the season undefeated going 12-0 overall and 8-0 in the PAC 10. Thing is, they had a much tougher opponent this time against Texas. No doubt that they were gonna blow them out like they did to Oklahoma in 2004.
Being the most talked about game across the national, Texas came into the game with a chip on their shoulder while USC had two Heisman loaded players: Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.
Vince Young proved to the nation that he should have won the Heisman by taking it in for a TD with less than three minutes left to play in the 4th quarter and then by converting the two point conversion afterwards to make it a 3 point game. There was just not enough time for the Trojans to score and fell that year by 3 in the national championship game.
In the 2006 season, the Trojans lost at Oregon St 33-31. Maybe that should have taught them something… Ranked No. 2 before the loss, the chances of even showing up at the national championship seemed slim. But in the end the Trojans would get another chance.
After the loss against Oregon St.the Trojans fell to No. 9…yet, with an upset filled season the Trojans jumped up to No. 2 with one game to left to play in the season against their archrival UCLA Bruins.
Again the evil spirit kept the Trojans from reaching the national championship game that year as the Trojans fell surprisingly to the Bruins 13-9 in a wild finish. The Trojans went to the Rose Bowl that year and beat 3rd ranked Michigan 32-18.
In the year 2007, the Trojans started off the season ranked No. 1 in the nation. After a close victory against the Stanford Cardinals in 2004, you’d think the Trojans would take them more seriously. Guess again. Coming into the Los Angeles Coliseum, the 41 point underdogs dealt a heavy blow to the Trojans winning 24-23 at LA.
During that loss against the Cardinals, the Trojans’ starting quarterback John David Booty suffered a broken picky yet still played throughout the game. You’d think Pete Carroll was smart enough of a coach to take out the QB when he has a broken finger. That’s one the reasons the Trojans lost. Another one was that they just weren’t on their A-game.
The Trojans later capped off the 2007 season with a 49-17 win over Illinois again at the Rose Bowl.
This year, the 2008 season, the Trojans ranked No. 3 in the preseason polls jumped up to No. 1 with its first win. Again that “spirit” kept the Trojans out of the national title when the Trojans lost on Thursday night at Oregon St. 21-27. You’d think the Trojans would start paying more attention after that upset loss against Stanford and that loss in 2006 when the Beavers shattered their #1 ranking.
Ever since blowing out Oklahoma in the national championship game in 2004, the Trojans have gotten so close yet so far each year from reaching the national championship game.
It’s funny how the Trojans dominate over every ranked team they play. It’s always these unranked teams with a chip on their shoulder that catches USC off guard…
So as you can see, even though the Trojans are considered by some to be the best team in the nation, they always slip on a banana peel each year. I don’t know if it’s a spirit or just bad luck.