Evening News and Notes

Matt Barkley shows some grit...

"I hate losing," Barkley said Tuesday, two days after USC's 47-20 defeat at Oregon.

"It's really terrible to see a team go down like that. It kills me inside. You try your best not to show it."

Barkley hadn't been on the losing end of a game he started since his final appearance at Mater Dei. That was almost a year ago, but Barkley remembered how to handle it. Like the rest of his teammates, he has moved on to Arizona State.

"It (stinks) to see people say you don't care about it if you're not struggling over it, but we know there's nothing we can do about it," Barkley said. "I was mad on Saturday, mad on Sunday, but just realized come Monday that we've got a whole new ballgame to play."

This kid continues to amaze me. He still has a long way to go, but it is hard not be impressed with his savvy attitude. He has really won this team over.

I am still shaking my head that for all the crap we heard about how the noise of Autzen Stadium would affect him he was cool as a cucumber. It wasn't his best performance but there was a lot of blame to go around on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Barkley responds on Saturday, he will have to be mindful of former USC recruit Vontaze Burfict.

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The OCR's Scott Reid wonders if the USC Dynasty is dead...

USC's almost unprecedented 27-point loss at Oregon last week serves as the ultimate college football conversation starter. The topic:

Is this modern-day version of a dynasty Carroll has nurtured on its deathbed? Did Saturday night's debacle signal the end of an era, as some pundits have phrased it?

Obviously, it's impossible to definitively answer those questions today. But to get closer to the truth, we have put together five talking points – reasons to believe the dynasty isn't done, arguments against them and a verdict on each.

1. USC could – and should – win the rest of its games.

Pro: The schedule, so cruel to date, is about to hit the friendly stage. The Trojans have just one road game left – at middle-of-the-pack Arizona State on Saturday – and finish with three in a row at the Coliseum. They have lost one game there since 2001 and haven't lost any games anywhere in November under Carroll. They are also 6-2 in bowl games on his watch.

Con: Two of USC's remaining opponents – Stanford and Arizona – are rising programs featuring offensive attributes (the Cardinal's power running, the Wildcats' spread offense) that have given the Trojans fits of late. With as many injuries as they have – a list far too long to detail here – the Trojans will be fortunate to get past Arizona State, never mind the others.

Pro or con? Pro. USC will win out.

Well, at this point no game is a given so I am not ready to pencil in four wins to close out the season.

This team is banged up and thin at a number of positions. SC has to focus on playing smart football. They have to stay at home and not overrun plays. The one thing that I am concerned about is this team over compensating...trying to do too much. This team wants to send a message that what we saw on Saturday is not a fluke so they have to keep their composure.

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Here is little more on Tim Floyd breaking up that cat fight...

Floyd, reached by phone in El Paso where he was stopping on his drive from Los Angeles to New Orleans, told ESPN.com Wednesday night that he was meeting a friend at the Morango Casino outside of Palm Desert, Calif., on his drive out of Los Angeles.

"I was leaving and then this thing happened in the food court," Floyd said of the fight. "It looks like a bar but it's a food court. All I can say is that it was more physical than anything I'd seen in the Pac-10 and decided somebody needed to break it up."

Floyd said he had no idea that a woman was behind him ready to clobber him with a chair.

"I didn't see behind me," Floyd said. "It was one of those deals where people were circling, chanting and cheering. It went on for 20-30 seconds before I walked up there. I was thinking someone would break it up but nobody would."

That chick with the chair was winding up to clock him that's for sure...

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UPDATE: Brandon Spikes asks for and receives an increased suspension...

Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes made a 19-second statement to reporters in Gainesville on Wednesday night, announcing he will effectively suspend himself for the entire Vanderbilt game for his attempted eye gouge of a Georgia player.

"I really don't want to be a distraction to the team," Spikes said. "I want the guys to prepare without any negative things going on. I feel like if I would play, it would be a big thing. I'm just trying to stay out of the way and just motivate the guys. I'm pretty sure Stamper's my back and my teammates really support me on this decision."

Heh...

As crappy as Spikes was for the original sin what does it say when the player has to suspend himself more than the coach that should have done it in the first place???

Just sayin'...

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