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Survival of the Fittest

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As fans we scrutinize every play, every route run and every possible missed chance that our team goes through on the football field. Because we have been spoiled by greatness for the last 3 years it is hard not to be disappointed when SC does not perform at the level that we are accustomed to.

I am as guilty as the next in my criticism of the team when I think they are not playing up to their potential. While I have been critical maybe that criticism is misplaced. The fact is SC is 5-0 and is ranked #2 or #3 in the country depending on the poll you read. Have they been pretty wins? Not the last 2 or 3 games but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. Youth and injuries have played a major role in the team not "performing" at the level that we have come to expect. But the team continues to be resilient, they make the plays when they need to and when things get tough sometimes a little luck helps bail us out.

When it comes to how this season is shaping up it is clear that SC, as Mike Lupica said yesterday, is the mystery guest at this party. It is hard to tell how SC will end up at the end of the season. Douche bag pundits like Kirk Herbstreit and Arnie Spanier continue to take shots at SC saying we should apologize or be ashamed at how SC has performed this season. Both are picking SC to lose anywhere from 1 -3 games. It's easy to say that so if or when SC does lose they can claim their superior intellect and say I told you so. What a load of crap.

Spanier, the Sporting News Radio Talkie, has picked SC to lose most if not all of SC's games so far this season. I understand that it's for the sake of ratings and attention but after awhile its just monotonous. There is no responsibility in this type of reporting. I couldn't care less that Herbie offered his own mea culpa for his way out in left field pick of Miami in the MNC game. He is supposed to be the expert and he couldn't see how flawed that team is.

Winning is the only thing that matters. Would I prefer a greater margin of victory or a more dominating performance? Yes, of course I would. But as one poster on CC said recently these types of wins build character. More important these wins are coming with a lot of freshman and sophomores starting or getting significant playing time. Pete Carroll has amassed a tremendous amount of talent and with all the hardware that went to the NFL this year he has taken that young talent and put them in positions to produce and to help the team win.

As Wolf writes in the Daily News today:

The Bowl Championship Series computer rankings do not care how close USC came to losing against Washington State or Washington. And as much as fans might complain, some controversial play calling doesn't matter either.

As long as the No. 3-ranked Trojans keep winning, it doesn't matter what the margin is, because the BCS computers do not consider margin of victory, which explains how USC was first in at least two computer rankings Sunday. And the unimpressive nature of the victories is doing nothing to dispel voters in the human polls.

In short, as long as the Trojans (5-0 overall, 3-0 Pac-10) keep winning, they should finish in the top two in the BCS rankings.

That's right it doesn't matter. When I look around at some of the other teams with pretty good records the first thing I want to know is how tough is their schedule and how many under classmen do they have playing in prominent positions. SC is winning because Pete Carroll continues to find ways to get these kids to perform. There have been some questions about all the injuries that we have had but I think it goes to the spirit of competition that Pete Carroll instills in this program. These kids want to play and they know they have to go at full steam in both practice and the game.

It hasn't always been pretty and everyone's blood pressure has been elevated over the past few weeks but there has been talk that we are beatable. Here's a news flash everyone is beatable. We're talking about 18-22 year old kids and they make mistakes. Sometimes they are thrown into the deep end of the pool and they step up and perform and sometimes they fold up like a cheap suit. Regardless, I will take what we have over what is going on with our rivals from across town. I have faith in our coach, I have faith in our players and I would stack that record and commitment to a positive attitude that has been the staple of our success any day of the week.

That we have the talent in our stable to continue to win is far more important than how we win. Our critics can say what they want about SC but in the end, from a football standpoint, there is not one program in the country who wouldn't kill or trade for what we have in a New York minute. They would take the coach, they would take the talent and they would take the tradition that is USC football.

We may not get to the promised land this year but with all this talent getting quality playing time this year it will only help us as time goes on. What's the old saying? "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger".

Yeah, I think that defines the survival of the fittest.