Weekly Musings – UCLA Edition

If I wrote everything I wanted to write in this week’s musings I would go on for hours. So I will “muse away” about this last weekend’s action, the Pac-12 champion Trojans, the debacle that has become of UCLA, the 50-0 game, some action around the country, and the hideous joke that did not give the conference Coach of the Year to LFK. But I will likely do another “musings” next week to sum up what has been one of my favorite seasons of USC football, ever.

– The 50-0 game could have been a 78-0 whooping, no question. It was only the class and restraint of Lane Kiffin that kept it from being so. Some may look at the game and ask how I could say such a thing, but here’s the argument that ends the debate: He could have thrown a 35+ yard pass to Marqise Lee EVERY SINGLE PLAY. We could have scored ANY TIME WE WANTED throwing deep. So there.

– The 2 point conversion was a thing of beauty. A few Bruins I read said the same thing. The message in the successful conversion was purely psychological. It said, “you will not stop us today.” The game was over after that.

– Really, the game was over after we stopped them on 4th down, but when it went 22-0, UCLA knew it was over. Prior to that, only everyone else knew it.

– The most stunning stat I can even possibly utter regarding the Neuheisel reign at UCLA: They are 3-25 against teams that finished with a winning record.  I can not even believe it is necessary to discuss this further.

– It is no surprise given the emasculation of men in our society over the last generation that there is now such an obsession with fashion in the world of college football.  If I didn’t know better, I would think the Oregon team was put together at a filming of Project Runway.  And both Notre Dame and Colorado tried to gain an advantage over USC with new cute helmets.  The final straw in this unthinkable feminizing of the sport of football was UCLA breaking out brand new all white uniforms for Saturday.  My advice to the new school of football coaches and players out there: Put your make-up on after the game girl scouts; during the game, just try hitting somebody.

– One of the things mere mortal teams don’t have to do deal with is beating TWO rival teams in one year.  In 75 years, we have done it just 19 times (beating UCLA and Notre Dame in the same year).  Pete Carroll did it SEVEN times, which is simply remarkable.  However, we basically went the entire 1980’s and 1990’s without doing it.  The latest coach to do it?  Coach Lane Kiffin. LFK.

– I was surprised to see us accept the ball to start the first half when we won the coin toss; we really just do not do that.  By the time I could type this in my musings notes we had scored.

– Neuheisel’s decision to go for it on 4th down early in the game was idiotic.  It was not a “gutsy” call; it was stupid.  It said to his players, “We can not play with them”.  I loved it.

– I may hate the Bruins and wish them no good, but I felt bad for this Kevin Princess kid.  He had no business being out there.

– I think that the Lee and Woods combo is the most lethal offensive situation I have seen, EVER, in college football.  Now, Lendale and #5 were sick, but they were not sick at the same time.  The match-up issues presented by Woods and Lee, combined with a good offensive line and a couple good running backs, is crazy potent.  Add to the mix the best play-caller in the game, and this offense is off the hook.

– CLK is just a bull-moose mad man.  An absolute stud.  I have never seen a group of whiney little girls get more humbled in my entire life (and right now I am not referring to the Bruins; I am referring to the CLK haters all over the country, including those in Troy who never gave him a chance).

– The front row of the student section said it best: “One more year”. If Matt comes back, he will have a chance to do something that is just awesome to think about. And if he leaves, I will root for him every single week. He is one of the greatest Trojans in the history of the university. He is an absolute fantastic kid. I wish him all the blessings life has to offer. And I wish him that in abundance in one more Heisman-winning year at USC.

– As good as Woods and Lee are, that UCLA secondary was AWFUL.  Like, Division 2 school bad.

– This is a 12-0 football team.  I am sure of it.  We didn’t look like it in early wins, and the ASU loss was a turnover-created tragedy, but we are of a 12-0 caliber, and everyone in the entire country knows it.

– All those idiots who talked all that trash on Matt Barkley two years ago look either like spoiled children (“how dare our true freshman QB not be as good as Matt Leinart already”), or they look like utter ignoramuses when it comes to football (“I know quarterbacking and that guy can’t play”). He is a better QB than Booty and Sanchez, and in the same league as Leinart and Carson. And hopefully in September of 2013 he will really be in the same league as Carson and Leinart.

– Virginia Tech. Alabama. Stanford.  Oklahoma State.  Four teams LSU would rather play right now than USC.  Rack it.

– 35-for-42 for Matt Barkley.  Insane.  It will be good to see him top that next year.  -)

– Florida AND Florida State unranked.  Miami about to get the death penalty.  My, how the mighty have fallen!

– A flea flicker from Alabama for their first strike against Auburn?  I wonder which coach told Saban what a trick play is …

– I suppose a Alabama-LSU rematch is now inevitable (you are welcome, Tide fans, as USC did it for you!).  I am not going to get into it as far as whether or not they are the two best teams in the country; I frankly imagine they are.  When Bama fans make their case that they are the second best team in the country, and then Ok State, or Boise State, or Virginia Tech, or Stanford, or whomever – they miss the point, and they miss it badly.  You think one thing; I think another.  We all have opinions, and we all have random facts and scenarios to defend our opinions.  But that is not what sports are about.  It is not the job of a computer or a bureaucracy to match the two best teams; it is the job of those engaged in the games.  You win games in the real sports world and bracket your way into a final game.  I happen to think that Texas was better than St. Louis this year in baseball.  And as a matter of fact, I happen to think Philadelphia was better than both of them.  Do you care what I think?  You shouldn’t. Philadelphia lost.  We err when we argue that the sin of the BCS is that it matches up the wrong teams (“Alabama WOULD beat Stanford”; “Oklahoma State WOULD beat Alabama” – whatever).  We err when we condemn the BCS for not matching up OUR team the way we want.  The only valid criticism of this deeply immoral system is that there shouldn’t be any attempt to do this matching up at all !!!!  Play out your seasons; end up with a bowl game round of playoff games; bracket your way into a champion.  It works for, um, EVERYTHING ELSE.

– I really feel bad for Ohio State.  Okay, not really, but they had plenty of chances to beat Michigan, and that quarterback of theirs just can not make a throw.  It was ugly to watch.  Michigan’s defense looked utterly destroyable for most of the day.  A two-loss Michigan team is a good thing for college football, and I enjoy watching that Denard Robinson play.  It will be interesting to see who ends up in the Rose Bowl out of the Big-10 …

– I also don’t buy that Urban Meyer is an instant Messiah for the Buckeye program. Recruiting will not come as easy for him now that parents will so easily be able to question his integrity.

– I was flipping back and forth between Auburn/Alabama and Oregon/Oregon State and I happened to see Oregon go for it on 4th down like three times, and NOT get it.  And yet they were up by two or three touchdowns.  That is hard to explain mathematically.

– Auburn is seriously an atrocious football team.

– Brady Hoke is the coach of the year outside of Southern California.

– If CLK is not the coach of the year in the Pac-12 then every single person who voted should be condemned to a life of listening to Nickelback.  Never has there been a more obvious selection for anything (until November 2012, that is). NOTE: It is now official that CLK was NOT selected Coach of the Year. I assume the people that voted against Nolan Ryan getting in the Hall of Fame were in charge of this award’s selection. I would like to sit here and make jokes, but it is offensive and unconscionable that he was skipped over for this award that he PAINFULLY deserved. It is what we have to be permanently used to as Trojans. It makes it all the sweeter when we do what we do as Trojans. They can not sanction our spirit.

– Alabama’s defense reminds me of USC’s front seven in 2003 and 2004; the front seven is so good, that the secondary literally can stay on their coverage assignments no matter what.  Like we had with Cody, Patterson, Lofa, Kenechi, etc., it  seems to be the case that Alabama’s front-seven is so reliable at run stoppage that it makes play-action worthless.

– I do not believe for a second that Chris Petersen is coming to UCLA. If he does, it will be a tragedy for Boise and a bigger tragedy for Westwood. The past success stories out of Boise are proof of what happens when a formula that works so well for X is applied to Y. A CP move to UCLA would be the very worst thing, though, for CP himself. He could be the head coach at Stanford if he wanted. UCLA is not the place for a winning coach to go.

– Our offensive line gave up just 8 sacks ALL YEAR. This is in an all-time record at USC, and it is perhaps the story of our 10-2 conference championship season.

– The referees who stole the Stanford game from us should be ashamed of themselves.

– I just heard someone on ESPN mention the rematch of LSU-Alabama and I yawned instinctively.

I am going to close out my musings for the year with some concluding comments next weekend. It has been a special season, and I want to pay my tribute to the Trojans with due space and clarity. For now, I will just say that I have never been more proud to be a Trojan than I am now, and I can not wait for my next trip to the Coliseum. Fight on!