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Putting the cart before the Horse...

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So yeah... we play ucla next Saturday...

Anyone motivated?

I am!

I am not really interested in talking about the Rose Bowl yet. I could care less about possibly playing another Big 10 team. If it happens that is weeks away.

I only care about one thing...beating ucla!

I remember 2006 very well and I don't want to feel that way ever again. That was ucla's bowl game, I know they wet the bed three weeks later against FSU but to them the USC game was the only game that mattered. I refuse to accept that it is a foregone conclusion that USC is going to the RB. This is a rivalry game and anything can happen. SC has looked past supposed weaker opponents before and they have paid a heavy price.

Placshke is already crying the blues...

Playing for the last time this season on a Coliseum field that has become their fortress, the Trojans scored a 38-3 victory over a Notre Dame team that appeared to have neither coach nor clue.

But on another field up north, USC's chances of a truly big finish were going south.

With Oregon State's championship-costing loss to Oregon, the Trojans are but a slam-dunk victory over UCLA next week from returning to the Rose Bowl for the fourth consecutive season, a development that can elicit only one bit of intelligent analysis.

Whoop-de-darn-do.

As written here before, Pasadena is a nice place to visit, but the Trojans don't want to live there.

They don't need it for reputation. They don't need it for recruiting.

They needed a Fiesta against a high-scoring Big 12 team, some Sugar against a traditional SEC power, anything that could enhance their national presence and propel them into next season's polls.

They don't need another Rose bouquet against another Big Ten vase.

Easy there Bill there is still some work to be done and I don't plan to worry what could happen until the season is officially over. (for the record Adam Rose is looking ahead a little bit too). Even the PSU blogs are starting some trash talk. Again, it's premature. PSU doesn't matter..we'll worry about them when its time to woryy about them.

Fans need to temper their emotions over beating a hapless Notre Dame team on Saturday because the season is not over yet. Yes, it is very possible that SC could absolutely smoke ucla but the players need to make sure that they keep focused. There was an MNC berth on line on 2006 and SC did not respond, that is not the case this year, its the Rose Bowl or the Holiday Bowl.

SImple as that...

This is a bad offensive ucla team but they have a pretty good defense and DeWayne Walker knows how to play SC. These guys will play for nothing more than pride so the offense needs make sure that they protect Sanchez and Sarkisian needs call a good game. I don't see this as a cake walk...period.

Anyone here think that Chow will pass along to Walker a little bit of how Sark might call it?

I do!

Walker didn't have that insight last season. The teacher may have taught the pupil everything the pupil knows but the teacher did not teach the pupil everything the teacher knows so Sark better have his A game ready and focus on the basics. No need for cute plays...SC just needs to play a your typical NFL style smash mouth football. That is exactly the type game that Pete Carroll plays.

I simply refuse to accept this game against ucla as a gimme.

Now, that doesn't mean that SC isn't going to be motivated. All the talk of football monopolies being over in LA, all the "motivational" talks during half time at Pauley Pavillion, all the talk of a supposed dream team of coaches hasen't done much to help the bruins this year but how could it? the roster was bare and it won't much better for them for a while. ucla has had this game circled on the calendar for a while so they are going to play their hearts out.

The Pete Carroll vs. Norm Chow angles have already been drawn so there is that extra twist to Saturday's game.

When USC faces UCLA on Saturday, Pete Carroll will match wits with former assistant Norm Chow for the first time. Carroll said he it would be a "great challenge" to battle "one of the great coaches of all time in college football."

"I like stuff like this," Carroll said. "I always look forward to it. I love competing against people I've been friends with."

Carroll and Chow reportedly did not have the most amicable breakup when Chow left his post as offensive coordinator in 2005 to take the same position with the Tennessee Titans. Asked about their relationship Sunday, Carroll said: "We're fellow coaches. We worked together. We had a great time when we did stuff together. He moved on."

Chow, in his first season as UCLA's offensive coordinator, has presided over an injury-plagued and inexperienced group that ranks 110th out of 119 FBS teams in total offense. USC ranks first in total defense and scoring defense.

If PC stays true to form it really shouldn't matter who is coaching or playing for the other team.

How USC responds on Saturday will determine the outcome of this game, come out motivated and focused and we should be fine. Come out too hot and uneven in our play and it could be a close game. There is no need to give ucla the chance to hang around and give them hope. Go for the throat early on and don't let up until the game is over! I think SC will win but I DO NOT think that it will be as easy as it was against ND. To me ucla isn't the problem it's making sure SC is ready for everything that could be thrown at them. I have no doubt that Pete Carroll will have them pumped and ready to play but the team needs to execute like they have done in big games in the past.

this week is going to be interesting...