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College Football Hist-O-Graph Project - #11: USC Trojans

Examining Colorado, Pac-12, and Big XII Football over the last 10 years using the Hist-O-Graph...and then saying stuff.

USC was (and is!) in the mainstream college football news for so long that few can claim ignorance of the team that was declared by ESPN to have 'won the decade.' (Can they even do that?)  Aside from that, we've actually already talked about this week's teams, albeit under a different lens.  So for the sake of the 7 people still reading, an outright copy-paste will be avoided.

But first, a correction:

The USC Hist-O-Graph: The King Dethroned De-Pantsed


In hindsight, de-throned was too strong a word. The NCAA didn't really de-throne USC, instead they just erased one of the crowns off their head and have imprisoned them in the Tuileries for the next two years.  It's not like they were banned from television (Oklahoma State) or exiled to Waco (Baylor, Napoleon). 

No, they get the dual power of the pity-party and a nothing-to-lose attitude. They literally have nothing left to lose. At that point, why not do your best to wreck everyone else's hopes and dreams?

We all know the underlying story of USC's last ten years; Pete Carroll comes in, works magic*, wins big, recruits well; rinse and repeat. Then at the end, just like any other coach possibly facing disciplinary action for massive NCAA violations; retreat to the Seattle Seahawks.


Through the years USC has been prone to dropping a game that they shouldn't have. Observe: 

'03: Lost at Cal (8-6) by 3 points. '06: Lost at UCLA (7-6) (the Rose Bowl is hardly a road game for USC, but whatever) team by 4 points.  '07: Lost at home to Stanford (4-8) by 1 point. '08: Lost at Oregon State (9-4) by 6 points. 

The moral of the story is that the Trojans aren't unbeatable.  I'm now convinced that half the magic* of Pete Carroll was getting his team to wake up for each and every game for that 34-game win streak over '03, '04, and '05.  But they don't have Carroll anymore.  Now they have the Kiffin clan and the Cover-2, and no signature wins.Or pants.

 In '00, we only lost by 3, which is the number of field goals we missed in that game. I know we're not the same team as eleven years ago, but I think this team could rise to get three wins. 

The Oklahoma Hist-O-Graph: Never Not GoodGram-ou_medium

Along those same lines; depending on who you ask, Oklahoma shouldn't be losing any of their games. But they do; and we managed to steal one from the Sooners just like we stole one from West Virginia.  As last weekend showed, a few other teams have, too.  Enhance:

'01: Lost to Oklahoma St. (4-7) by 3 points. (Perhaps the very reason we played, and beat, Texas in the Big-12 Championship that year).  '02: Lost to A&M (6-6) by 4 points, and Oke St (8-5) by 10. '06: Lost to Oregon (7-6) by 1 point. '07: Lost to Colorado (6-7) by 3. 

Giants? Yes. Unbeatable? No. If we play well in all three phases and strong in all four quarters, we might be able to beat the Trojans, who have no pants.

Go Buffs!


#1: Introduction: Colorado and the Hist-O-Graph - It explains *mostly* everything

#2: The Three Kings: Texas, Oklahoma, and USC

#3: California Bears Have A Deal With the Devil, and the Missouri Tigers

#4: The Colorado State Rams Suck

#5: Ohio State Buckeyes: OSU, the OSU, and the other OSU

#6: Washington State Cougars and Iowa State Cyclones: Just... How?

#7: Stanford Cardinal and Texas A&M Aggies: Luck Has Everything to do With It

#8: Washington Huskies and Kansas State Wildcats: Here Comes a New Challenger!

#9: Oregon Ducks and Texas Longhorns: Here there be Monsters

#10: Arizona State Sun Devils and Texas Tech Red Raiders: Good in their Own Special Way