Well, to me this is simply a lot of whistling past the graveyard. For days leading up to the Ohio State game all we heard was that this team is different and that this might be Pete Carroll's best team ever etc. etc. If Pete Carroll's M.O. of treating every game like a championship game or not putting any one game more important than others then there really shouldn't be a problem.
Or is it?
Top-ranked USC does not have to study the Renaissance or even the days of the single-bar facemask for proof that danger lurks in the Pacific 10 Conference schedule.
Even in a year when most of the league is stuck in the Dark Ages.
As the Trojans face Oregon State tonight, the first step toward what would be an unprecedented seventh consecutive Pac-10 title, they know that traps await them in coming weeks. And it might not matter who they are playing.
Potential upsets "will be caused by the things that make games close and give you problems," Coach Pete Carroll said. "That's when you turn the ball over and you make big mistakes and give a team chances to get over on you."
Well so far SC has pretty much held onto the ball and controlled the tempo so should tonight be any different?
Does anyone really think that SC won't be motivated for another game on national TV?
"Pac-10 games have always been challenging and difficult," Carroll said. "It doesn't matter which week or who you are playing or where you're playing, they're just hard difficult challenges."
But not so difficult a challenge, that Carroll didn't agree to tweak the schedule so it could be nationally televised on ESPN. He did it after enjoying last year's Thanksgiving blowout of Arizona State, which gives him more time to prepare for Oregon on Oct. 4.
This game is totally in SC's element...the national stage!
USC went on the road to play Virginia in the first game of the season. As we all know UVA was a shadow of their former selves replacing their whole front seven on defense. SC did a great job in exploiting UVA on their way to a 52-7 romp. Most SC fans respected UVA but also knew that we were not going to be facing the 2007 version of the Cavaliers so the outcome was kind of expected.
SC plays an Oregon St. team that has also replaced their whole front seven yet the attitude with some is different because this is start of conference play and SC always seems to start off sluggish when conference play starts. Yes, SC always gets up for the big national game on the grand stage while at times playing flat in what should be some conference blow outs but if we are to believe all that we have heard about how great this team is THIS year then SC should pretty good in conference play.
Without trying to sound disrespectful towards the Beavers they have won one game aginst a totally different Hawaii team than the one from last year, been blown out by Penn St. and lost to Stanford. All this talk about familiarity within the Pac-10 and such to me is also more of the same whistling past the graveyard. Yes OSU will show a different look with their "fly sweep" and they will make some plays but SC has some talent too and that talent and depth that we have should be the difference in this game.
But as some say this is our opponents Super Bowl.
If nothing else, Pac-10 opponents might use tough times and lopsided betting spreads as motivation against the Trojans. Picture the howling crowd, awash in orange, expected to pack Reser Stadium tonight.
"Everybody's going to be pumped up," USC defensive end Kyle Moore said. "It's going to be their Super Bowl."
That's the challenge facing a No. 1 team in a conference on the skids. Each week, the other guys are looking to make history
Everyone wants to be the team that knocks off #1!
If SC wants to get to Miami then they need to change the preception and history that has plagued this team the past two years. They have to not worry about familiarity and just play the game that have played in their first two games this season. WIth the negative perception out there of the Pac-10 only a dominant win will keep our detractors at bay.
Of course, now there is a lot of talk about the weather and how it might rain. I'm sorry but does anyone remember the Cal game at Berkely last year? Now that was rain and SC did prety good there so I am not too worried about the weather.
This is the one draw back to having too much time between games...people tend to try to outhtink the room. The ghosts of 2006 have long since been dead and buried SC handled OSU last year at the Cloiseum with a much better defense and as we have seen in regards to what SC has done on the road in the past I see no reason why they can't do more of the same tonight.
If SC loses this game them they deserve any and all criticism that will be heeped upon them and I will be the first in line to eat my dish of crow. If SC loses this game then everything that everyone has been saying about the Pac-10 couldn't be more true. I know it sounds harsh but if you are going to accept the accolades of how great this team is and then not poduce then you get all the criticism you deserve.
Score early score, often and keep the pedal to the metal. Are there any other cliché’s you want me to use?