Okay – Now that I’ve had the weekend to digest that game, I’m ready to write down my reactions. My key points:
- USC is back!
- We dominated Oregon on both sides of the ball.
- The Pac12 refs are God-AWFUL! Really – it’s not even funny anymore.
- Lane Kiffin will bring us back to glory!
Pre-game; we saw the pictures of LeBron James and his teammates hanging out on the Oregon sidelines. I guess LeBron and the Oregon football staff shared tales about what it feels like to win a championship; right? As a Trojan fan; I’m really satisfied that Oregon invited all those guys to the game – only to see us embarrass them. Did you see those “special stands that Phil Knight built just for today’s game?” (You can see a bit of them in the top left of the photo above.) Obviously, building codes in Eugene aren’t up to the first-world standards we enjoy throughout the rest of the country. You couldn’t pay me enough to sit in those things. Know what? I just figured it out! Of course LeBron & Co. didn’t sit in those rickety looking bleachers. Who wants to hang around on a cold night in Oregon, anyways? My money says that those guys appeared for the “pre-game red carpet pictures” (I’m playing off the Duck’s big fashion show theme, here), and were on their jets off to somewhere civilized by half way through the 1st quarter. Like Los Angeles.
On Friday; it would be hard to believe that we would turn over the ball 3 times and still come away with the “W.” We did – because we dominated Oregon on both offense and defense. I’ve heard many times that USC and Monte Kiffin can’t defend against a spread offense. (Despite the fact that we vehemently shut down anything resembling a spread this year.) Our defense shut any threat of that down very effectively against the Ducks. I even forgot that they had a running quarterback.
Most telling was the final drive of the game. When Oregon got the ball back 3 down with 2:XX to go in the game; I thought they would try to run the field and put up 7 for the win. Our defense had them so scared; their only goal was “Let’s try to put up 3 to force overtime.” Their GOAL wasn’t even the end zone! Trojan D is back!
I don’t even need to mention the offense. Matt Barkley has leapt into the Heisman discussion after that win. Marquise Lee is only a freshman! We’ve got him for at least 2 more years! Even an injured Robert Woods phoned it in with 2 touchdowns. At the end of the game, Curtis McNeal was good for 5 yards up the middle every time. Marc Tyler was looking great too until he fumbled the damn ball as we had a chance to bury those Ducks! I guess my daughter had to learn to swear sometime, right? Thank God for Trojan D!
On to the refs… Intentional grounding? Seriously? And why did the flag come at least 10 seconds after the play ended? I’d never heard an announcer laugh at a terrible call before. I heard that the Pac 12 actually said that call was bogus; a fact that I haven’t verified since I refuse to listen to anything those idiots say. That 2 point conversion where the “incomplete” ruling was reversed – despite the replay showing his foot clearly on the white line? The “no holding” call for Matt’s interception? (That even the Sportscenter guys commented on.) I’m sure these refs blew some calls that went our way, too – but this is just getting out of hand. And supposedly the Pac 12 fired all the shitty refs last year. This is an improvement?
All this bias shouldn’t even faze us Trojans, though. When you’re the best; you’ll always have haters to contend with. It’s kind of like seeing the animals at the zoo – they’ll snarl and sometimes throw shit at people because they’re jealous. You’re on the “Good” side of the fence; and they want in. Our own world-famous football stadium, the blond cheerleaders in sweaters, that HUGE jumbo screen over the western end zone, a white-horse mascot ridden by a guy wearing armor and carrying a sword? Who doesn’t want that? I’ve been to dozens of other colleges in my day, and have never seen one with all we’ve got. Haters will hate; the best revenge is living well and winning tons of football games.
After our glorious victory, I caught the ending of a couple other games. Baylor’s win over Oklahoma ended when Baylor scored and kicked off – and the Oklahoma players were too dumb to pick up the ball! Baylor recovers and wins! Seriously – you guys really thought that you were worthy of playing for the championship?
Some more evidence for the “they are jealous of us” file was found watching the Cal vs. Stanford game. The former (and very soon to be again in the future) “Bowl to determine last place in the Pac 10,” was a lot closer than expected. The game was also boring enough that the announcers had time to teach me a new tradition: “The Stare.” I’d never heard of this before; mostly because I prefer to do fun stuff like watching the game on game day. For those of you who are unfamiliar; a group of Cal students will stand and stare at a group of Stanford students. For, apparently, the whole game. Each time the cameras showed this oddity; I was struck by how profoundly ugly ALL the participants were. (Both female and male – everyone loses there.) I couldn’t find a picture of it on the web – consider yourselves lucky! Which is worse; having to stare at those ugly students all night or being an ugly student staring at those uglies all night? At least there weren’t any Oregon fans involved. It boggles the mind what students at lesser schools have to deal with.
Fortunately; we don’t have those problems. We’ve got Traveller, The Row, Chanos and Traditions. Do they still let you buy pitchers at Traddys with discretionary? Do they still have discretionary? I’m not sure about The Row anymore; either. After we whipped Washington, I drove down 28th Street and it was dead. Saturday night? After a big game? Really?
I digress, though. Back on topic – Lane Kiffin is destined to be the greatest coach in college football history. Better than Woody Hayes without the crazy. More beloved than Joe Paterno – and without the senility and child molesting. I’ve noticed that a lot more people are jumping on the “Lane Kiffin is the greatest coach ever!” bandwagon. A year ago, it was only me and the Lost Angeles (link) guy saying that. It’s good to see we’re making believers of all you. It’s okay – you’re not really jumping on the bandwagon – you are buying in to the dream.
On to Saturday. Real Trojans know that our season is only half complete. A complete season is one in which we embarrass BOTH Notre Dame AND ucla! We took care of the domers in grand fashion; now we need to finish it. Better yet – the bruins think that they actually have a chance this year. Their whipping of that awful Colorado team has the bruins thinking that their spread offence and Kevin Prince are a “potent force to be reckoned with.” Correct me if I’m wrong; but hasn’t Kevin Prince been the bruins quarterback for 4 years now? Hasn’t he pretty much sucked the whole time? Those delusional bruins are forgetting all about that and focusing on “truths” like “SC can’t defend against the spread.” (Oh – like ucla is faster and stronger than Oregon?) This all plays right into our hands, though. Just as Notre Dame, Washington or Oregon can tell you this year: nothing stings more than walking into the USC game with your victory party already planned – and getting embarrassed. That’s why nothing is sweeter to Trojan fans than those games. We’ve got another opportunity on Saturday; let’s grab it!