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No longer the Premier Program of the Pac-10?

Edited below the fold...P

Here are some interesting observations from today's OCR... (I broke these down into paragraphs)

USC is no longer the premier program in the Pac-10.

USC is no longer the hip, cool program on the West Coast. You can’t stay hip and cool when you get rolled over for 613 yards total offense and completely embarrassed on national television no matter how many times Pete Carroll goes to the Michael Jackson film. This Is It?

This is the new reality in the Pac-10: Oregon had better talent and was better coached. The Trojans will rebound, the remaining schedule all but guarantees it, although a December 5 game at Arizona could be problematic, especially if the Trojans don’t solve their numerous problems on defense.

But USC program will have a harder time recovering from Saturday night’s debacle. The program where image is everything all of sudden has a major image problem and the whole country knows it. The Ducks shattered USC’s aura of invincibility with opposing teams and just as importantly with recruits.

Sure Matt Barkley is only a fresham. But so is Oregon tailback LaMichael James. The Ducks also get quarterback Jeremiah Masoli back next year. Oregon has two tailbacks better than anyone at Tailback U. even without LeGarrette Blount, although Joe McKnight could probably start for UCLA. And Oregon isn’t the only Pac-10 school that has closed the talent gap.

Jacquizz Rodgers and Mike Riley will both be back at Oregon State next year. Arizona and Stanford both have talented young quarterbacks. Washington is on the rise with Steve Sarkisian. The Trojans will contend for the Pac-10 title in 2010 but USC’s complete dominance of the league, a dominance unmatched in conference history, is over.


I guess I can see where they are going with this but I think they are a little too premature in this.

There is no question that the rest of the Pac-10 has gotten better. It is clear that that Oregon has gained the most and if you want to equate last nights win over USC as dethroning USC then I can see where they are trying to go.


A win does not a dynasty make.

I don't think anyone is ready to crown the Ducks as the new kings of the Pac-10 just because they beat USC. They haven't won anything yet.

Do I like their chances?

Yes, I do. But lets see them seal the deal first. I have seen this movie before. It wasn't too long ago that they had the BCS Title game in their sights and it blew up on them.

Because USC has been so dominant and because they have been so successful a loss like last nights sends a resounding thud throughout the college football world. Oregon may win the Pac-10 this year but USC is set up pretty good in 2010 with all those tough games at home. If Oregon wins this year and USC wins next year then what? I realize that is long way out but you can tell by the tone of many stories I have read that the punditry is tired of USC and they are happy to dance on our graves.

That would be a mistake...

Harbaugh was the toast of the town after beating USC and he hasn't done much since.

Sarkisian is getting a lot of love but they still have a long way to go. We know Sarkisian and Holt first hand and while beating USC was a nice win for them Sarkisian and Holt showed some bad habits against ND and ASU respectively..they haven't shown us anything yet...the only way they could go is up.

Cal is still Cal. As much I respect their fanbase Tedford still hasn't got it done...and that window is closing on him.

Mike Stoops looks to be having a nice run this season but he has folded in the past so I will wait and see...

ASU? Erickson has seen his better days in the rear view mirror. Though, he did get a nice LB in Burfict.

WSU and ucla? Right...

I do like what Oregon has done. Nice facilities, plenty of money, a solid fan base and a coach that looks like he will finally seal the deal for the Ducks, but if Oregon is going to be the next "premier" program in the Pac-10 they are going to have show all of us that they can sustain it. SC has done that and then some. You can pump all the Nike money you want into a program but you still have to win titles. One Pac-10 title and trip to a BCS bowl is not going to be enough...even savvy Duck fans will tell you that. ucla loves to point to 13-9 but they still have NOTHING to show for it. Oregon will not be happy with one Pac-10 title...

The rumors of USC's demise is greatly exaggerated.

People need to understand that...

One loss does not spell the demise of a program.

EDIT: Here is Doc Saturday's take...

These are the Ducks that were steaming toward the Pac-10 championship and a likely national title shot after beating the Trojans in 2007 before an ACL injury to prolific quarterback Dennis Dixon submarined the season and left the crown for USC to assume again. Three years in a row now, we've seen Chip Kelly's spread option offense at its nightmarish pinnacle for short stretches, and it firmly established itself as the dominant entity the conference Saturday night.

Like I said We have seen this movie before so I will wait before jumping on the Ducks bandwagon.

I do agree with this though...(emphasis mine)

But clearly these are not the same Trojans, and it seems impossible to imagine going on pretending that they are. USC has enough talent to rebound and finish this season in dominating reminiscent of its recent, dominating past, and to come back strong enough to reassume its West Coast crown again next year. But the assumption is gone, the aura totally obliterated by a stumpy JUCO transfer with a somewhat suspect arm. If USC is going to be considered the unquestioned Pac-10 overlord again, its going to have to earn it back by consistently performing like the old USC again, and that standard is no longer within reach in 2009.


SC no longer has the luxury of just getting it done on its good name alone. Pete Carroll is at a crossroads...he can suck it up and make some big changes in the coaching staff and defensive scheme (and the offensive scheme too) or he can hang on to the past and hope for the best. The latter he does at his peril. The former will give him a lot of good will and patience from the fan base. He doesn't have to do much...just plug up the middle on defense and mix it up with some of the new offensive twists out there.