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The Polls and Expectations and how they are affecting USC

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Lets just say that USC dropping in the polls yesterday after a hard fought win on Saturday is an adjustment to the lack of movement that some thought should have happened after the ASU game. Clearly this is an imperfect system and it would appear that we are seeing a backlash against USC but not for the reasons that might first come to mind.

More puzzling is that a team like LSU drops only 4 spots after they lose AT HOME, after getting absolutely hammered for the 2nd time in 3 weeks yet SC goes on the road and wins, albeit less in less than impressive fashion, and in turn is punished with a drop in the AP and USAToday polls. Two wrongs don't make a right but it is clear to me that there is some is payback here after ASU.

I realize that is not a popular position but will you prefer the reason I will lay out shortly?

The hypocrisy of Texas Tech jumping over USC as they ran up the score only exposes the hypocrisy of the process even more...Hello! Tim Brando are you there?

Yes, TT is undefeated but lets not get carried away they have played a weak schedule. They have only beat ONE ranked team and played 4 no-names out of the Big 12. Conference wins matter so I have no beef with their wins in the conference. But as has been discussed many times in the past the Pac-10 continues plays a round robin so that everyone plays each other. The Big 12 and SEC don't have to play one another but have a conference championship...this is a pure money grab simple as that and in return the conference continues to schedule patsies.

anh_sc79 looked at it first and Ted Miller had his own take but that fact is the Pac-10 with all its pride in regards to being the conference of champions is living in the dark ages on this one. As is always the case the Pac-10 doesn't have a lot of progressive thinkers. They don't get the proper exposure of their product and they hang onto old philosphies that are seriously outdated.

I found this over on WeAreSC...

The SEC has a PhD in poll manipulation:

1. Have the entire conference play 3-4 OOC games against pansies. Win 99% of them. Have the conference....

2. Get an unjustifiable high preseason ranking in the polls.

3. When the teams wins a game 3-2; it is because of the tough defenses.

4. When an SEC team beats up SW Florida Tech by 60, it's because of their dominating offense.

5. Split the conference so you limit the number of 'TRUE' tough games.

6. If the teams all win their OOC games, they will have at least 6-8 ranked teams when it's time for conference play.

7. Play 8 home games as a conference, whenever possible. Significantly increasing the chances of a victory.

8. On the 3-4 conference games that are against the good 3-4 teams; try and win them all. If you lose, no big deal as the loss was to a tough ranked team. (sell the myth)

9. Teams only need to win 2 of the 8 conference games (if they win their pansies OOC games) to ensure they get a bowl game.

10. Brag about how no conference played more bowl teams (thus perpetuating the myth)

11. Ignore the bowl records and work the media about next years returning teams; thus ensuring high preseason rankings.

12. Maintain the higher percentage of Eastern Sportswriters and coaches on the polls.

13. Repeat

Not really new here but it is concise.

But to me the real reason for the "backlash" is simple, controversial and it's all on SC....

The writers and the coaches after buying into "The Hype" the past few years are simply tired of hearing about how good SC is only to be burned when SC loses in-conference match-ups against supposedly "inferior" teams. Anybody think that Oregon State is an inferior team now? The loss to ucla in 2006 was the combination of looking past the bruins and a traditonal rivalry match-up. Stanford to me is all about the former and I still can't digest that loss.

How many times have we heard about how great THIS USC team or THAT USC team really is. The talent is certainly there but the production is spotty. We once again heard at the end of last season that SC was probably the best team in the country when it was all said and done and yet because of the Stanford loss SC was once again not in the tilte game. It is clearly what have you done for me lately. Saturday's win may be a big deal to some but with all that talent on offense this team couldn't score at least 21 more points against ASU and they could only muster 17 points against Arizona. You can try to sell the whole conference play is tough line all you want but at the end of the day the voters want to see teams win and win in a dominant fashion. We discussed it here... it was true then and its true now.

I am not sure if the plays are too complicated or what but with all the inconsistency we have seen but i am sure we can all agree that the execution of said plays is seriously lacking form week to week. There too many dropped balls, too many poor decisions made on offense, Special Teams play is suspect because there is a lack of attention to detail and there is a lot of undisciplined play that end in penalties. All these things hurt the teams performance in that they kill drives and kill momentum.

Right or wrong, good or bad, but like it or not, those who are in control of the polls are simply bored of SC getting all the attention and then not living up to the hype. They're human and as much as we want to see some due diligence and impartiality when they perform these duties but they are not immune to having hidden biases. If you don't believe that go take a look at this weeks poll and scroll down to who is voting in the poll, lots of coaches who may have an axe to grind against SC. SC can change that if they win the games they should win and dominate those teams that people expect us to dominate.

I am not sure when that will happen.

As long as we see the lack of discipline that we are seeing, having players that do not develop as they should and having the coaches inexplicably call plays that go against all conventional thought, SC will continue to just fall short. Yes, finishing the season 12-1 or 11-2 is respectable and there are a ton of programs that would love to have that year in and year out.

This is a great program that is rich with history. But in today's enviromment with all the talent we have amassed it is simply not acceptable to underachieve when so much is expected. This is the system we have and there is no change on the horizon so we need to work it to our advantage and that starts with winning the games we're supposed to win.