I find it amusing that just six short years ago USC had the press carrying their water. They were falling all over themselves to a part of the hottest ticket in college football. We saw very few negative stories and far too many positive stories as the press got sucked in by all the hype.
It is see why, the USC teams of 2003, '04 and '05 were pretty dominating...maybe not Nebraska in 1995 but pretty impressive none the less.
But still the press lost a fair amount of objectivity.
Now that 'SC has been eviscerated by the NCAA public opinion has turned and now USC is considered a pariah. Nevermind that the media was complicit in USC's rise they now want their pound of flesh in tearing them down.
Here is an interesting take from the Detroit FreePress.
The penalties have pushed Kiffin harder to find an edge, perhaps explaining why the Trojans have attempted seven two-point conversions in their first three games.
While everyone else wonders why, Kiffin's response is why not?
He's a polarizing figure. Some contend that he's simply unlikable, but he accepts the role of lightning rod even if it has a detrimental effect on his team. The Trojans have won their first three games but have steadily fallen in the Associated Press national rankings.
So, because Kiffin is unlikeable USC should be punished in the polls?
I love this!
It further exposes the press as nonobjective and lacking perspective. When CBS gives a clown like Phil Fulmer the platform to make his statements regarding Kiffin should we really be surprised?
As mentioned in the Freep's piece, the LA Times made note of this as well...
Here are a couple observations from that piece...
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has ranked USC at No. 23, looking up at James Madison (18) and Air Force (16).
Wilner is a known USC hater but this is just dishonest. JMU is this years App. St. in terms David beating Goliath but they don't deserve to be anywhere near, let alone above USC.
Here is more from Wilner...
How, though, could Wilner have James Madison, a lower-tier program, ranked five spots ahead of USC?
"James Madison's win at VaTech is a better result than USC's three wins, combined," Wilner explained.
We saw this same rationale in 2008 when looking at USC and Florida. Both teams lost the same weekend, one at home (UF) and the other on the road ('SC) but because everyone was slurping up the warden in Gainesville and being mesmerized by the speech, so public opinion tilted UF's way.
Wilner seems to conveniently miss or forget that USC has a pretty inexperienced defensive secondary with a linebacker corps getting comfortable in new positions. He also forgets that USC's depth puts it in a delicate position using their players sparingly in both games and practices so it taken a little more time for them to come along.
Of course other teams have struggles with 'lesser opponents but have not been treated in the same manner as USC in the polls...
AP poll voters seem more forgiving of other schools that have struggled to 3-0 starts.
Florida remains No. 9 this week despite a horrible opening effort against Miami of Ohio and less than scintillating victories against South Florida and Tennessee.
Wisconsin struggled mightily at home the last two weeks, allowing San Jose State to stay in a game it should have never been in, and then nearly losing to Arizona State, picked to finish ninth this year in the Pac-10.
Yet, Wisconsin is holding steady at No. 11 in this week's AP.
I could go on...
This is why the polls are garbage until the forth or fifth week into the season. It also shows why very few writers have any credibility in their voting habits. Heck most of the east coast guys barely watch the west coast games so they rely on the AP write-up for their opinions on the teams they vote on.
I am not into conspiracy theories but it is clear that public opinion sways these guys much more than the actual play on the field.
'SC is going to be back at some point and I hope they give some in the press the big middle finger on their way back up!