Weekly Musings – Arizona State Edition

And then there were three … The BcS picture changed this week (or did it? – see below). USC took care of business to begin their three game season 1-0. Alabama was exposed, and unlike the LSU game, the outcome actually matched the game itself. And a whole lot of other stuff happened. This week I go back and forth between the rest of the football nation and my beloved Trojans. Off we go …

– I just don’t think I can put into words how sickening the BcS system is, and even worse, the absolute douchebags who defend it. This morning on ESPN’s Sports Reporters two ESPNers said that Alabama’s loss was “proof of how badly we need a playoff”. Everyone got that? Nebraska getting in over Oregon in 2001? No problem. The USC-LSU-Oklahoma mess of 2003 – no worries. Texas-USC-Auburn in 2004, all good. Two-loss LSU in 2007 – makes sense. Florida going over USC in 2008? Sure. Alabama getting in over Oklahoma State in 2011? Whatever. BUT, THIS YEAR, an under-achieving Alabama team, who had no business beating LSU, and lost to Texas A&M at home after being down 20-0, well if they are out of it, then we just need a gosh darn playoff. These SEC suck-ups at ESPN are contemptible. We need a playoff because that is how civilized societies pick a champion; we don’t need one because your precious little SEC conference lacks a team in this year’s contest!!! You people make me sick.

– And by the way, don’t think for a second that they won’t find a way to put a SEC team in the championship!! All three of the undefeated teams have games they can lose, and I think at least Notre Dame will lose one!! I doubt all three will lose one, but if two of the three do, I promise you these douchebags will be drooling over themselves to put the SEC champ in the natty – even if they have TWO losses (right, LSU?).

– Before I comment on whether or not USC can beat Notre Dame, and then potentially Oregon the week after, we first need to deal with UCLA this weekend. And no, that is not a game I am arrogantly declaring victory in. I wouldn’t bet on UCLA either, but the Trojans need better quarterback play from Matt Barkley, another strong day from the running back(s), and a defense that looks like they did the last 38 minutes on Saturday.

– The reality is that five turnovers against Arizona cost us the game in a three-point loss in Tucson. Five turnovers against Arizona State and we still won by 21. I think if we have 0 or 1 turnovers against UCLA we win comfortably; but if our ball control is not better, I would not be optimistic.

– Marqise Lee’s play on the reverse gone wrong was perhaps the most exciting play in the Coliseum since #5 was there.

– I am not sure what to say about Matt’s performance. The over-throw to Lee in the end-zone and the over-lead to Woods in the middle were just bad passes. The lock-ins on one option that led to a couple of the picks were bad bad bad. My hope is that his challenges are out of the system so that coming into UCLA and Notre Dame he can have performances to remember!

– Lane called a much better second half than he did first half. I will continue to say: The offense needs to take what the defense is giving them, which is far different than forcing a run game or forcing a pass game. But does my run-biased self believe that we open up the most optimal of options when we establish a running threat? Yes, I do.

– As far as this idiotic deflated ball nonsense: Of course its a non-story, but that doesn’t necessarily matter. If one of Lane Kiffin’s kids turned his homework in late in 1st grade it would be a front page story in the LA Times. The issue, to me, is how Lane deals with the bullseye on his back. So far, he has dealt with it atrociously. The bullseye is not his fault, but his response to it is just silly. Avoid jersey issues and reporter issues and ball issues and presser issues and whatever other stupid little stories come up like the plague. The ucLA Times is not going to do CLK any favors. He is on a thin thread now, and I don’t know if he understands the magnitude of how hard some people are trying to create his demise. He may be able to stop it, but it will not only take the wins that are expected of all coaches; for CLK, it will take getting that bullseye off his back. That may take more moves than Marqise Lee showed on that reverse run yesterday.

– Texas A&M’s quarterback was phenomenal to watch in the highlights. Unorthodox. Bizarre. But phenomenal.

– I expect the Heisman to go to Collin Klein of Kansas State hands down, barring some collapse in the final games of the year. But if Marqise Lee is not at least invited, it will be a travesty of justice.

– I wish someone could explain to me the inability of Robert Woods to get involved in the offense. Could his breakout game be coming against the Bruins?

– Someone may want to let Tedford at Cal know that his back-up QB is about 5x better than Maynard. It is stunning to me when I see a coach prove to be such a bad judge of talent.

– The Trojans really scored 45 points, and ASU really scored 10. The 14-point turnaround that was the offensive PI call in the end zone on Robert Woods’ touchdown was a huge, huge deal. Lane Kiffin called a terrible play, and Matt threw a terrible pass, but we had already scored a touchdown, and the more I have watched the replay of that call, the more perplexed I am.

– I would like to congratulate the mighty Gators of Florida for blocking a punt with two seconds to go to beat Louisiana-Lafayette. Seeing them celebrate after beating Louisiana Lafayette is a perfect metaphor for what has happened to the SEC this season.

– So Texas A&M can’t hang in the SEC, huh? Don’t mess with Texas.

– If there was one thing that has driven me more crazy this year than anything else as a Trojan it is the long third down conversions we have given up when on defense. It just can not happen. When the other team faces 3rd and 15 or 3rd and 20, that needs to be as good as a three and OUT. I can not stand seeing 25 and 30 yard (or 60 yard) plays pulled off against us in those situations.

– Tuerk and Martinez and Holmes were utterly dominant on Saturday. USC’s offensive line needs to have the game of their lives for the next two weeks. I believe.

– Love the toss sweeps to the outside with Tuerk lead blocking out of the left tackle position. When we stay on assignment and stick our blocks, both Redd and McNeal can be utterly dangerous there!

– I sure wish we could get a rematch against Stanford in the Pac-12 championship but I am just highly dubious that Stanford can beat Oregon. You never know. I’d love to see it. Either way, we are not in that game without a win over UCLA, and that has to be the obsession of the week. The key to the game will be our pass rush on that Quarterback, and our ability to run the ball on offense. If we break out Redd or McNeal a bit, I think Woods and Lee will pulverize the UCLA secondary. UCLA will come to play. This unprecedented domination of the Bruins by the Mighty Men of Troy must continue.

That’s all she wrote this week. I am loving this change of weather, and I am always and forever, loving the greatest sport of all time …