Nothing really earth shattering from the USC perspective at Thursday's Pac-10 Media day.
Make sure you check out the video over at the OCR that gives a nice overview!
Once again USC was picked to win the Pac-10. I don't know how accurate the polling is but I think SC gets the benefit of the doubt until someone knocks them off. Here is the Pac-10 per-season poll.
First-place votes are in parentheses.
- USC (28)... 316
- California (3)... 277
- Oregon (1)... 250
- Oregon State... 216
- Arizona State... 155
- Stanford... 150
- UCLA... 145
- Arizona... 142
- Washington... 74
- Washington State... 35
USC was tapped No. 1 for the seventh consecutive year. The Trojans are trying to win an eighth consecutive conference title.
The media poll has correctly predicted the eventual champion in 26 of 48 previous polls, including nine years in a row (we are SO smart!).
I can see why it is kind of hard to pick against SC...no one has has been as dominant as they have been. Every time time USC loses a bunch of players to the NFL they simply reload and plug another unit in. The results are usually pretty positive.Yes, they have still have still had some bonehead losses that have kept them out of the MNC but a lot of that also has to do with the system currently in place.
We can report this conference arms and legs race is narrowing. Last year, USC fell a vote short of being a unanimous selection (one wag sided with California); while USC this year received "only" 28 first-place votes, with Cal collecting three and one person pinning a tail on Oregon.
Enough of this nonsense -- USC's dominance has to end some year. Not even the Huns could ransack and pillage forever.
If you're a Pac-10 team looking for that rare window of opportunity, this year could be it.
Yeah, well...lets see it happen. Some just vote differently to be contrarian regardless of how of sincere they are.
The one constant is Pete Carroll. He continually finds a way to get the team to answer the bell, even players on other teams recognize what Pete Carroll and USC has achieved...
It's tough for college teams to sustain this kind of success over a long period of time, but Carroll is doing it. Even though UCLA is winning some recruiting battles, USC still is winning over the best recruits.
The common denominator in USC's success is Carroll. Despite yearly overtures from the NFL, he has stayed.
"It has a lot to do with coaching," said Jahvid Best, Cal's Heisman hopeful running back. "There's a lot of talk that it's talent, but every team in the Pac-10 has talent so that's not the best argument.
"They execute. They rarely make mistakes. That's Pete Carroll."
And if Carroll can execute on his latest prediction, USC's monopoly is far from over.
"Nothing has really changed," he said. "We've been able to continue to see the approach and philosophy works. We've been able to continue to get the response from recruits like we have in the past.
"We've been able to maintain the level of coaches to stay at the level we're at. That's very important. I don't see why it should change."
Well, nothing lasts forever but the rest of the Pac-10 does have some catching up to do. This year is as good a year as any I guess. As for the rest of the conference...here is how they stack up.
Pete Carroll made the point that the Pac-10 is one of the toughest conferences out there...most of us know that. There is no ducking or dodging an opponent. Some want to see the round-robin format change, that's fine but that is no guarantee that the rest of the conference would step it with an easier slate of games.
SC's "problems" this season are easy to see...a new QB (regardless of who starts), a lot of new starters on defense (especially a depleted linebacker corps) and a tough road schedule. I think an 11-1 record would great but with the way things are lining up 2-3 losses is not inconceivable. I have faith in Pete Carroll's system but he will be a little more challenged the we are used to seeing. The Telfort medical retirement and the Brown potential academic ineligibility issues will place a lot pressure on the secondary to do mop up duty. I have faith in the D-line.
All in all from what I saw of the last hour of things online it seemed pretty routine. Training camp opens next week...the season is almost here!