2006 ASU Edition – 10/15/06

Another week, another rock-solid set of proof that college football is the most exciting, enjoyable, meaningful sport in the world!
– I have so much to say about my beloved Trojans that I could literally spend the whole post doing so.  Instead, I will get my non-USC thoughts and comments taken care of off the top!
– Congratulations to the Miami Hurricanes for doing such a lovely job of disproving the stereotype we all have about Miami players …  I think a brawl against the powerhouse of Florida International University, multiple suspensions, possible criminal arrests, etc. will go a long way towards changing the thinking of those closed-minded people who think that Miami is a symbol of all wrong with college athletics.  Idiots.
– Would the brawl be more of a story, or less of a story, if this dysfunctional program actually was winning games this year??
– The Gators have completed the hat trick in terms of major Florida football teams with a loss.  The difference is that the Gators are really good, and lost to a good Auburn team. The Canes and Noles have a bunch of losses, and are not that good.  Period.
– Speaking of “not that good”, I wanted to congratulate the Iowa Hawkeyes and all their fans who treated me, my wife, and my friends so kindly in 2002 at the Orange Bowl for their loss to the greatest program in college football history, the Indiana Hoosiers.  Um, what????  Nice pre-game prep, Coach!  Indiana and Stanford were supposed to set records this year for the worst teams in the history of major conference football.  Now, Indiana is leaving that award for Stanford all by themselves (which, the Cardinal seems plenty prepared to accept).
– Cal is the best one-loss team in the country, if Florida isn’t ….  Yes, that includes the factoring in of the also-one-loss Tennessee Vols, who blew Cal off the planet in Knoxville the first week of the season.  I do not know what happened that weekend, but it is appearing to be a devastating blow to Cal and their post-season possibilities.
– I truly believe Adrian Petersen is one of the better college tailbacks I have ever seen (starting with his true freshman year performance), and the breaking of his collarbone yesterday was tragic.  It is a huge argument for players who could be highly drafted to exit early, unfortunately.  I wish him all the best.  His injury is very sad for him and his family, and also sad for people who think the idea of a Brady Quinn Heisman trophy is comical at best …  (the stage may be getting set for us to laugh).
– Okay – that is too much typing without talking about the undefeated Trojans.  If Cal is the best one-loss team in the country, USC may be playing the worst of the zero-loss teams in the country.  With that said, undefeated at the halfway mark with a bye week in front of you and non-conference wins over Arkansas and Nebraska is an enviable place to be for anyone!
– I literally am dumbfounded at some of my Trojan brethren fans ….  They cheered loudly last night when it was announced that Auburn had beaten Florida.  Presumably, the thinking was that it matters to USC that another good undefeated team (Florida) went down with a loss (as Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas have all done this season).  At the time, USC had given up 21 unanswered points to a terrible Arizona State team, and were struggling to stay alive in the 4th quarter.  With the schedule we have in the last four games of the year (Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame, and UCLA), the LAST thing we ought to be doing is giving a hot damn what Florida or anyone else is doing.  Coach Carroll couldn’t care less, and either should we.
– There is something to be said for our performance in building up a 21-point lead.  Booty was precise early on, and the play-calling was intelligent.  The wheel route to Allen Bradford was a gem.  The running and passing looked pretty good, and when USC is up 21-0 in the Coliseum with barely less than 3 quarters to play, you really ought to be correct in assuming you can leave at halftime if so desired …
– But this team is having a very hard time putting teams away, and the very straight reason is that we are not forcing turnovers, and we actually are committing some – an unheard of characteristic for Carroll-coached teams at USC.  The 3rd quarter of last night’s game was the worst quarter I have seen of USC football since you know who was there.
– But, unlike the days of Buddy Hackett, this Trojan team put on a dominant 4th quarter performance.  The drive in which Chauncey Washington put the team and the game on his shoulders was a thing of beauty, and the defense was intense after that.  A win is a win, and the team is fortunate to be where they are.
– There is no doubt that (a) An undefeated USC team should be ranked ahead of Cal and Florida, and (b) Both Cal and Florida are playing much better football than USC right now.  These are not contradictory facts – it is just the way it all works.  Everything else is ESPN banter, and a waste of time.  As a Trojan, I truly hope USC will be the better team they generally are in the second half of the season.  I also objectively know that we have an uphill battle against really good times.  Furthermore, the discussion of rankings right now is a flat-out waste of time.  USC could seriously be a 12-0 team at the end of the regular season, and I also believe they could be 8-4.  An intelligent handicapper would call it 10-2 or 11-1.  A faithful Trojan just needs to fight on, not throw in the towel, and ignore the drivel they hear online and/or from the ucLA Times …
– The offense needs to build their identity around the stud of a tailback named Chauncey Washington.  He is the man who should be running the football – period.  The pass/run ratio has been wrong, and I fully believe the coaching staff will be all over correcting this.  Booty will be fine, and Jarrett/Smith will be healthy when we play in two weeks.  JD Booty is going to be okay, despite a simply awful outing last night.  The alleged Trojan fans who were screaming for Sanchez last night are (a) Not fooling me about their football intelligence, and (b) Spent too much money to jump on this bandwagon …  It is too stupid to warrant a further comment.  I will say that Sarkiffian will help John David a lot by letting the run position us for the pass.  We need healthy receivers, and we certainly have talented receivers.  This is a game that starts with the ability to run the football – period.  We can and will do that.
– I just hope we can do it better than everyone else …
Your optimistically grateful Trojan lover of all things college football,