This is the flip side of all the hype that we see or hear about out there. I think some of it is spot on, when I read or see this type of talk I often wonder if some of the punditry/analyst's out there build us up with all this hype simply to tear us down in order to make "logical" arguments. I think that Holtz and Corso make some valid points in the video below, but again there aren't too many people out there who haven't said the same thing or who could have figured it out on their own. The running game needs to get explosive and it needs to happen right out of the gate in order to open the field up. The comments that I have I numerous places talk about USC having a running back by committee approach last season, fine but that was because there was no one running back that separated themselves from the pack. Yes, we have 2 "new" receivers in starting roles but it's not like one of them has never played or seen the playbook before. The Offensive line does need to settle in but I think they are more far along than we realize.
I really can find no other team that is going to "run the table" on the way to the BCS Title game. I have said that I think SC will lose a game but not 2 or 3. Again, logic dictates that until the running game performs better than it did last year, with most of our tough games on the road, there could be a loss facing us. That is possible for all teams in the hunt for the title. SC has its detractors in regards to the being put at the top spot and I am fine with those whose opinions differ from mine. But I would simply ask based on what? I'm not a fan of ranking by resume as Mike has discussed in the past. We all digest and decipher the information we obtain differently and that makes look at or rankings differently. I am certainly not a fan of rubber stamping a ballot, as I think we have a bigger responsibility to get it right, so we are left to dissect the individual teams using a variety of methods. The methods don't bother me as long as the result is thoughtful and not just throwing darts at a board. In answering Brian's questions in the most recent Blogpoll Roundtable I based my answers on how I interpreted the information that I had at my disposal. Kyle disagreed on both of my choices and he made his case as to why he thinks I'm wrong. That's fine, I disagree with his disagreement and stand by my original statements as to why I feel that way. Only time will tell as to who is right or who is wrong. That is why this exercise so enjoyable, the ability to state an opinion and have it challenged rightly or wrongly without feeling like an idiot for choosing the way one does.
SC has an outstanding team this season though injuries make it challenging to keep up with all of the hype. We have our detractors of course, mostly from those fan bases who feel that they have been left out of the conversation or who are insecure with their current existence. Whatever, that's not my problem. When I was getting settled into CC last summer I commented that there were a number of questions about the new season with all of the hardware and talent that walked out the door, as anxious as I was last season I will admit that I was pleased in general with how the team performed. It wasn't always pretty and it could be very nerve wracking but most of the time they always found a way to win or at least make it close. I was pretty disappointed at our two losses but I would have taken our season over the defending BCS Champs or that 2nd rate football program from across town, that is simply my opinion but to me the proof is in the numbers and how the fans feel about their current situation.
As you will probably get from this post I am ready for the season to start. I have read just about every article published on USC and I am tired of all the talk about best team ever, about Pete Carroll being the next Knute Rockne, that we have a glut of tailbacks and how the Pac 10 isn't a real conference....blah, blah, blah. I have a lot of respect for a number of different programs out there and there is no question that the SEC and the Pac 10 continue to be at war as to who is the best, more passionate tougher etc. etc. I look forward to reading what others have to say not just USC but about the season in general. There are some new faces out there that are looking at some of the old tired arguments in a different light. I think its great for the cause in order for all of us to be informed.
That being said, I'm just ready to have the teams play.