Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Most Recent FO Features

HackenbergChr15.jpg

» SDA: From Death Valley to Happy Valley

While Saturday won't give us an answer to which is the best one-loss team, it is still a big week for conference races across the country.

14 Sep 2009

One Foot Inbounds: The Battle of Midway

By Robert Weintraub

Last weekend’s Ohio State game with Navy reflected the Battle of Jutland, an even affair marked by late dramatics in which both sides could claim victory. Saturday’s epic collision with USC was more like the Battle of Midway. The Buckeyes, playing the Japanese fleet in this exercise of the mind, dominated the encounter until a historic few minutes turned the battle -- and the tide of history.

If you prefer a landlubbing allusion, Southern Cal’s Long March was worthy of Mao. I had just about written off the Trojans as a work in progress, obviously talented but still a little green at key positions. Then the greenest, keyest of them all, freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, led USC on what was (unofficially but essentially) a 95-yard, game-winning drive. It was second-and-a-mile at his own 5-yard line, with nothing but tribulations for the USC offense behind him and with 105,000 baying Ohioans all around him -- and the next thing I knew, the kid from Newport Beach (try a Balboa Bar next time you’re there) had his team in the end zone with less than a minute to play. It was an exceptional moment in what seems sure to be three years of them (after Sam Bradford’s misfortune, I wouldn’t take odds on Barkley staying in school for his senior season). The drive was reminiscent of the one four seasons ago in South Bend, when the “Bush Push” got USC past Notre Dame (or for you older fans, the 1980 Rose Bowl, when the Trojans went 83 yards, almost all of it on runs by Charles White, to pull out a 17-16 win over ... yep, Ohio State).

(Painful aside -- there was another spectacular 91-yard drive in Ohio this weekend. Unfortunately, Cincinnati’s late march against Denver was undone by a tragicomic fluke play that dovetails nicely with the franchise’s absurdly ill-fated history. While the Buckeyes mean nothing to me, on Sundays I am a rabid Bengals fan, so naturally I’m writing this column from the fetal position.)

Poor Aaron Corp. USC’s would-be signal caller got hurt a few weeks ago, leading coach Pete Carroll to pull the trigger and go with his star recruit. Barkley took a Bradford-like smash to his shoulder in the game, and the cameras caught Corp warming up, a wistful look in his eye. But after that drive, it looks like transfer time for the Corpuscle.

Joe McKnight was the executor of the drive. Despite his slight frame, he often serves as USC’s closer back, first among equals in the Trojans' never-ending platoon of runners. He is deceptively strong and willing to buck defenders for extra yards. And, as he showed Saturday, McKnight is an excellent receiver. The one thing he did wrong on the drive was blitz pickup -- his whiff on the first play led to a sack that got the Men of Troy into a serious pickle. Fittingly, Joey Mac got his team out of trouble with a slithering run and a sharply timed route out of the backfield. I also liked his leap for the paint on the two-point conversion. Barkley will get the chicks, but McKnight is one hell of a wingman.

In the losing locker room, coach Jim Tressel has to look in the mirror and wonder why he ordered throws late in the first half with a 10-7 lead and spotty quarterback play. The incompletions allowed USC to get a cheap three before the halftime gun -- points that proved to be the decisive margin. Coach Sweater Vest pulled a similar stunt against Navy, going for it and failing on fourth down in field goal range, allowing the Middies to get back in the game. Someone needs to remind him that Terrelle Pryor may be the next Vince Young, but he is like VY was as a sophomore -- a galloping colt still prone to locking in on receivers, misreading coverages, and looking uncertain in the pocket.

Ohio State’s offense was mostly futile, but the defense was a force. No one yammers about slow Big Ten athletes in the presence of linebacker Brian Rolle and his crew. The defensive XI were a wrecking crew Saturday evening until the USC offensive line, led by fantastic center Dan O’Dowd, got some momentum going and, at long last, enforced its collective will. By the way, Brian is indeed related to NFL players Antrelle, Samari, and Cinnamon Rolle.

Completing the terrible day for Buckeye fans, Michigan defeated Notre Dame, found its own freshman quarterback/folk hero, and looks like it has finally recaptured its missing mojo. Quarterback Tate Forcier is not nearly the passer Barkley is, but he resembled Doug Flutie on Saturday, scrambling and improvising his way to several big plays. Darius Fleming, the Irish linebacker Forcier left tangled in knots en route to a critical touchdown scamper, would swear Forcier is Pat White.

Notre Dame may have had its BCS hopes diminished (although that unbusted trust will shoehorn the Irish into a big game unless they completely collapse), but they finally have a dynamic offense. It’s less due to Charlie Weis’ “Decided Schematic Advantage” (Weis had his own clock management issues late in this one) and more due to the stellar play of wideouts Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. The latter has a vertical leap that would shame half the NBA. Floyd’s nick to his knee in the fourth quarter was critical -- it’s not a serious wound, but he missed the drive that could have iced the game. In his place, freshman Shaquelle Evans was slow out of his break, and a wide open third down conversion was left wanting. A short Notre Dame punt later, and the Wolverines were ready for a last-second victory.

Speaking of special teams, the two contests in Georgia were lousy with big plays from the “third phase.” On Thursday night, Georgia Tech and Clemson offered a fake field goal for a touchdown, a pooch punt returned 85 yards for a score, and several clutch field goals. The Georgia and South Carolina special teams units were even more entertaining -- or sloppier. Georgia had 204 kickoff return yards in the first half, including a 100-yard score. There was a critical blocked extra point, a nice fake punt by the Gamecocks, a snap sailing over the head of the punter for a safety, and six field goals, including a 50-yarder by Georgia's Blair Walsh. If Penn State is Linebacker U, and USC is Quarterback U, then Georgia is Kicker U (John Kasey, Todd Peterson, Billy Bennett, Brandon Coutu, and now Walsh -- not bad). It's worth mentioning that South Carolina’s special teams coach is Shane Beamer, son of the special teams master Frank Beamer of the Blacksburg Beamers (Virginia Tech).

The Georgia Tech game also showed the best subtle adjustment of the weekend. Clemson’s inside beefeaters, defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson, had shut down the triple option and Georgia Tech back Jonathan Dwyer for most of the game. So Tech coach Paul Johnson, the Maharishi of the option attack, changed quarterback Josh Nesbitt’s read from the end to the tackle, a maneuver called the “mid-line option.” Nesbitt started to check if the tackle turned his shoulders in toward the B-back, Dwyer, and when he did, Nesbitt pulled the ball back and ran it through that vacated hole. Nesbitt ran nine times for 44 yards on that drive, which resulted in the tying field goal. Tech pulled out a 30-27 win after Nesbitt completed only his third pass of the game, a 39-yarder on third-and-11, no less, a read known as the “desperation chuck option.”

Oklahoma State did not adjust particularly well to success. Seven days after the supposed “biggest win in program history,” Oklahoma State came crashing to earth like Skylab in a 45-35 defeat at the hands of Houston. The Space City Boys burned Oklahoma State for 37 points a year ago, but surrendered 56 and 699 total yards. This time, the Cougars tackled infinitely better, and Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson was terrible. It’s worth remembering that, before the Georgia game, rumors flew that Robinson was injured. He has been a shadow of his 2008 self so far this year, so perhaps he is infirm. As for the other triplets, running back Kendall Hunter was hurt in the game, and receiver Dez Bryant counterbalanced an electrifying 82-yard punt return touchdown by letting a pass go off his hands. That pass was then picked off and returned for the game-sealing score.

Houston, featuring a style similar to Texas Tech (which is nice, because who wants to schlep to Lubbock, Texas, if it can be avoided?), and fronted by the excellent quarterback Case Keenum, worked Oklahoma State's apparently not-greatly-improved defense with multiple bubble screens and quick hitches. The Conference USA athletes broke Big 12 tackles and outran Big 12 speed all afternoon, leading T. Boone Pickens to consider diversifying his donation portfolio. Somewhere, David Klingler is smiling.

This game also served as a nice example of why no one should take my Thursday afternoon picks seriously. Not only am I an idiot, I am weak-willed -- I loved Houston (+15.5) all week, then saw that the Stat Brothers, Fremeau and Connolly, both had Oklahoma State winning comfortably. So not only did I change my mind, I made the Cowboys my lock of the week. When it comes to intestinal fortitude, I fall somewhat short of Matt Barkley.

Toedrags

  • Best visual of the weekend: Steve Spurrier crumpling in agony after the last-second incompletion in the end zone against Georgia, while behind him, his security troopers, obviously employees of the Peach State, fist bump joyously before getting their game faces back on to keep drunken frat boys from assaulting the “Ole Ballcoach."
  • Second best: Virginia’s Cavalier mascot getting bucked from his horse during pre-game festivities on the field. It was a perfect metaphor for the collapse of the Wahoos, who were humiliated by Texas Christian, 30-14. If anyone has something important to tell Virginia coach Al Groh or Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen (Maryland, to its “credit,” managed to escape FCS power James Madison in overtime, 38-35), you better say it soon, because they aren’t going to be on their respective sidelines for long.
  • Third best: The Ohio State tuba player who smashed the ESPN camera with his blunt instrument. Hey, Band Camp, that camera costs more than your tuition, or about 75,000 tubas.
  • Lesser-known defenders who were outstanding on Saturday: linebacker Quan Sturdivant of North Carolina, linebacker Eric Norwood of South Carolina, linebacker/defensive end O’Brien Schofield of Wisconsin, and safety Rahim Moore of UCLA. Any others I missed?
  • The NCAA is placing increased “emphasis” on calling holding penalties this season, apparently because the game is too popular and entertaining. Also senseless -- the taunting call on Notre Dame’s Armando Allen for shushing the crowd after a touchdown.
  • In the same game, the back judge may have saved Michigan. After the winning touchdown pass, wide receiver Greg Matthews was running with the ball, looking for all the world like a man about to draw an excessive celebration flag. But he collided with the ref, who practically grabbed the ball from Matthews before he disappeared in a sea of maize and blue. After the Jake Locker incident last year, scoring players should simply drop the ball the instant they cross the plain.
  • I thought UConn had an exceptional bounce to convert an onside kick against North Carolina -- then a few minutes later, Andrew Aguila of Central Michigan pulled off an even better one against Michigan State. It was like an old Superball -- skipskipskipskipboing! -- skying over the Spartans’ hands team right to a streaking Antonio Brown on the sideline. Then Aguila drilled the winning field goal (after a MSU offsides penalty). Still, the TV tough guys laugh at kickers. I knew Aguila was going to hit it when he and his holder did the jumping body slam thing everybody does now when MSU called timeout, before his winning kick.
  • And congrats to Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour, who passed Byron Leftwich to become the Mid-American Conference's all-time leader in total offense. As Todd McShay said on ESPN, “We’ve seen every part of the Dan LeFevour package today.” Now that’s a superscout.

OFI TOP 25

1. Florida
2. USC
3. Alabama
4. Texas
5. Cal
6. BYU
7. Penn State
8. Ohio State
9. Ole Miss
10. Boise State
11. Georgia Tech
12. Virginia Tech
13. Oklahoma
14. Houston
15. Miami
16. Michigan
17. Cincinnati
18. Utah
19. Notre Dame
20. Nebraska
21. Oklahoma State
22. Auburn
23. TCU
24. Georgia
25. LSU

Lurking: Oregon State, South Carolina, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tulsa, Boston College.

Posted by: Robert Weintraub on 14 Sep 2009

30 comments, Last at 17 Sep 2009, 4:18pm by PHn

Comments

1
by Jack (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 2:13pm

Hey, I know about Antrelle and Samari Rolle, but brother Cinnamon has been below the radar. Do you suppose my Texans could pick him up? It's obvious they need help after being dominated by the Jest (well, I misspelled that but somehow it looks appropriate).

30
by PHn (not verified) :: Thu, 09/17/2009 - 4:18pm

How soon we've forgotten cousin Rocken, a Hall of Famer in Cleveland.

2
by BroncosGuy (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:04pm

Nate Triplett (LB) of Minnesota had an outstanding game.

3
by Kevin from Philly :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:13pm

I'm guessing the cameraman at the OSU/USC game is getting a lot more grief today than the tuba player. Pretty dumb to put an expensive piece of equipment in harms way like that.

4
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:21pm

"(although that unbusted trust will shoehorn the Irish into a big game unless they completely collapse)"

One of these days, someone will explain to me how a few bowls negotiating with all conferences and independents and deciding to create a contract with the teams and conferences that will provide the biggest revenue stream is a trust. It certainly looks like the free market to me.

In fact, if the NCAA colleges grouped together and told the bowls "you have to take the winner of mid-major conference X rather than just the most profitable teams," that sounds a heckuva lot more like a trust.

Notre Dame gets into a big game because their fanbase is very big and travels well. This is economics, not a Lou Holtzian conspiracy.

7
by ChrisH :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:07pm

Free Market, at least to me, would be that they were going to put together a game that draws the most viewers, which might be Notre Dame and Florida this year. What they're doing is saying "we want to create games that have the best teams play each other, and that's the point of the BCS", but really, they are doing "we want the best teams that you know and have huge national followings to play each other, and and if the best team is BSU/TCU/BYU, we'll find a way to exclude them since no one cares to watch them". That is why people would say it's a trust.

15
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:41pm

"but really, they are doing "we want the best teams that you know and have huge national followings to play each other, and and if the best team is BSU/TCU/BYU, we'll find a way to exclude them since no one cares to watch them". That is why people would say it's a trust."

Then people don't understand what a trust is. Boise State, TCU, BYU were all included in the BCS via their respective conferences. The bowls themselves were less impressed with the MAC, MWC, Sun Belt, WAC, etc. than with the Big East, Big Ten, PAC-10, SEC, ACC, and Big 12. So the latter got preferential treatment.

How is this any different than any other bowl tie in, or any other exclusive negotiation?

Plus, I don't get it - if you're talking about the NC game, the path for Boise State, TCU, BYU is the exact same as for Alabama, Notre Dame, etc. Finish ranked #1 or #2 in the rankings. Fully 1/3 of the rankings are completely unbiased by conference, and not once has a non-BCS team been ranked #1 or #2 by that portion of the rankings. Simply put, they have not performed as well as the BCS teams have.

12
by zlionsfan :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 7:04pm

If by "all conferences and independents" you meant "half of the conferences and Notre Dame" then you are off to a good start.

Notre Dame is no different than Michigan or Ohio State or USC or Alabama or any number of other big teams in that they have a large fan base and attend bowl games well. They are completely different in that they get all of the benefits of being associated with the Big East (bowl tie-ins, for example) and none of the responsibilities (like conference play and conference standings).

14
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:24pm

If by "all conferences and independents" you meant "half of the conferences and Notre Dame" then you are off to a good start.

No, all. The BCS bowl system includes provisions to allow non-cons in, which means they did negotiate with them.

They have lesser status because they have less bargaining power. That's called "the free market."

They are completely different in that they get all of the benefits of being associated with the Big East (bowl tie-ins, for example) and none of the responsibilities (like conference play and conference standings).

Gee, I wonder why that is? Might it be because they have a bigger fanbase and travel better than anyone in the Big East, and so were unwilling to trade that negotiating power to be in the conference when they have the ability to negotiate the same benefits themselves?

17
by Muldrake (not verified) :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 3:15am

Actually, Notre Dame has significantly less power to be guaranteed a BCS bowl game than the rest of the non-BCS conferences. Notre Dame needs to be in the top 8 to be guaranteed a BCS bowl and, for the most part, other non-BCS teams only need to be in the top 12. They also get significantly less money than other BCS participants. Losing seasons and bad BCS showings very possibly weighed in on this downgrading of the power of Notre Dame's negotiating ability. This is probably still probably a better deal than joining the Big East and merely needing to win the conference to go to the BCS because losing to, say, a Syracuse, doesn't hurt them as much if they remain out of the Big East.

And there's no doubt that Notre Dame travels better than other non-BCS schools and also garners much better TV ratings. While people who follow college football closely were immensely interested to see Utah or Boise State take on the big boys, more casual fans are just happy to see Notre Dame get manhandled when they reach the big stage since their fans are so arrogant about how they belong there more than anyone else. For example, we deserve the BCS bids because we have more fans...quality games be damned!

18
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 2:44pm

For non-BCS bowl games, Notre Dame still has tie ins with most Big East bowls as well, which is probably more lucrative on average than the occasional BCS bowl game.

"For example, we deserve the BCS bids because we have more fans...quality games be damned!"

Well, yeah. That is kinda the whole idea - it's why Ohio State tends to be an at-large bid even when they're a notch below some other at-large teams in quality.

"While people who follow college football closely were immensely interested to see Utah or Boise State take on the big boys,"

There's an interesting point here. The Utah/Boise State games were interesting... but they still included a BCS conference team. What if it was, say, Boise State vs. Utah, or Utah vs. TCU, etc.? Would that still be interesting to casual fans? Based on the TV ratings of the occasional regular season matchups of that quality, I'd say "no."

Which means that the limitation of 1 non-BCS conference autoberth is probably economically quite smart.

22
by Eddo :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 6:12pm

What if it was, say, Boise State vs. Utah, or Utah vs. TCU, etc.? Would that still be interesting to casual fans? Based on the TV ratings of the occasional regular season matchups of that quality, I'd say "no."

While I agree with you on just about everything you're saying, Pat, I wouldn't use TV ratings of regular season games as evidence of any kind. For the most part, regular season games between the BYUs and Utahs of the world don't have the hype/buildup, national broadcast range, and favorable timeslot that bowl games have.

I imagine this is less pronounced, but still there, for games between BCS teams. I bet more viewers would watch a Rose Bowl game between USC and Ohio State than watched their matchup this past Saturday.

23
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 7:10pm

"For the most part, regular season games between the BYUs and Utahs of the world don't have the hype/buildup, national broadcast range, and favorable timeslot that bowl games have."

Right, but I wasn't comparing them to bowl games. I was thinking about comparing them to BCS conference games. Now, granted, they've got poorer coverage, and different timeslots, but part of that is because of the poor ratings they get anyway.

5
by Tarrant :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:46pm

The Saga of Aaron Corp really shows how a minor thing can almost derail a career - one month ago he was the de facto USC starter going into the season, with Barkley slotted to likely be next year's wonder. If he did well, then he might have had the NFL draft in front of him, everything - a la Mark Sanchez, who after all, only had one year of full-time starting at USC. Then a minor injury, which prevents a week or three of practice, and suddenly he's lost his starting job, and perhaps his entire potential career at USC, barring injury to Barkley that prevents him from playing.

On the other hand, Matt Cassell threw about a dozen passes for USC over five years, backed up two Heisman trophy winners, and look at him now (another player whose career was launched due to an injury - an injury to a player whose career itself was also launched due to injury. Odd how that works).

6
by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:47pm

Rob, you said last week you were going to vote based on games played, not potential.

I know it would make you the only person on earth, but how can you not have USC over Florida based on that logic? I mean, *at* OSU, Florida playing 2 home games against my high school and yours?

8
by hrudey (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 6:25pm

Would you have put Navy #1 if they came back from their late four-point deficit to beat OSU? I doubt it. USC came back from their five point deficit, true, but they looked nothing like the #1 team in the country, and were only bailed out by the fact that OSU is awful in big games.

And I think it's fair to say that he has seen Florida -- they returned the entire two-deep on defense that clamped down Oklahoma last year, plus most of the offense. If you're the defending champions and you return that much talent, you don't get passed in the polls because the Buckeyes soiled themselves.

16
by peachy (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 11:17pm

I don't get the scorn for Troy I see so many places - sure, they may be in the Sun Belt, but almost every year they give some big name a serious scare. Last year they lost to LSU by 9 after leading for most of the game, the year before they lost to UGA by 10 a few weeks after BEATING Oklahoma State... in fact, the last time they lost by 50 was in 2006. How many "patsies" can say the same? (For that matter, there are several BCS-conference teams who were beaten that badly the last two years.)

20
by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 4:19pm

Hey, hrudey, I love to get people to jump to defend college teams. Gotcha!

What Rob said was, "quality of opponent is critical ... But I don’t hold with the notion that a team can’t fall if it wins," which sounded a little stronger in my memory than it does now. I thought he meant he was going to be strongly retrodictive, but it seems that I misremembered. (He did also go on to specifically say "a win by USC is likely to vault them over every school not based in Gainesville.")

USC returned 10/11 of their offensive starters, but they were manhandled by the OSU defense. How about we wait and see what good returning two-deep worth of starters is for Florida until they've actually played someone? Though if you want to "crown their asses," I can't pass up a chance to use that phrase :-).

And, peachy, thanks; I have much greater respect for Troy now that you've described what they've done.

25
by robwein (not verified) :: Wed, 09/16/2009 - 4:07pm

I believe I stipulated that is my policy for every team other than the Gators--they have my #1 until proven otherwise.
Rob

9
by Will :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 6:26pm

For all the hooplah over Matt Barkley's "heroics", if Terrelle Pryor has even a mediocre game, the Buckeyes probably win by 10. Instead, Pryor comes up small again in a big game. At least he was mature enough after the fact to recognize that much of the loss was on his shoulders.

Will

29
by Tom Malone (not verified) :: Thu, 09/17/2009 - 3:49pm

Don't disagree, but don't forget about the 10 points USC left on the field in the first half with the field goal bouncing off the upright and Damian Williams half shoe out of bounds TD catch.

10
by Will :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 6:27pm

For all the hooplah over Matt Barkley's "heroics", if Terrelle Pryor has even a mediocre game, the Buckeyes probably win by 10. Instead, Pryor comes up small again in a big game. At least he was mature enough after the fact to recognize that much of the loss was on his shoulders.

Will

11
by t.d. :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 7:03pm

I thought the game revealed far more about Ohio State than USC. Although USC is bound to get better as the season goes on, I'd imagine that either Florida or Texas would be licking their chops for a shot at this team. Without taking 'brand name' into account, I don't think either of these teams would deserve to be ranked. The Notre Dame-USC game figures o be interesting for the first time in years.

13
by Anonymous76 (not verified) :: Mon, 09/14/2009 - 7:33pm

I'd be hard pressed to find 25 teams better than both OSU and USC though I agree with the sentiment. I wouldve said that I wouldn't have them ranked so highly. They're still top 25 teams in my book bit they weren't 3 &8.

Also, the person above who claims that Notre Dame has no Big East-related commitments should do a little more homework before spouting off. UConn & Syracuse don't magically appear on the football sked because Notre Dame thought they'd be fun to play.

19
by Todd S. :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 3:51pm

Isn't long-time Bears kicker Kevin Butler a Georgia alumnus as well? (Checks pro-football-reference) Yes! Yes, he is.

21
by Rover (not verified) :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 5:07pm

Weintraub is the Christina Kahrl, without her posse, and TMQ, without his goofiness, of college football writing. Thank you for keeping your style (and thereby forgoing more lucrative gigs).

24
by Ought Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 09/15/2009 - 11:24pm

Sometimes less is more.

26
by Matt Shevin (not verified) :: Wed, 09/16/2009 - 10:05pm

LOVE the column. Best perspective of CFB out there.

I wonder about Friedgen-- Maryland seems to have a love affair with him, and appreciates his taking them back to regular bowls. As a UM alum, I think I'd be upset to see him go. And they've questionably promised to hand the reins over to OC James Franklin when Fridge is gone.

27
by Silverdog (not verified) :: Thu, 09/17/2009 - 2:49am

Rob,

What gives, PSU is still #7 after they beat a "quality" opponent in Syracuse? I josh, of course.

So will you be in temple or watching Penn State/Temple on Saturday? :-)

Let's catch up...

28
by Tom Malone (not verified) :: Thu, 09/17/2009 - 3:39pm

Huge USC fan, but before they take the number 2 spot, let's see how they perform against a trap team Washington. This is where they historically screw up. And thank you for the honesty with LSU. If USC tramples UW (they better) it exposes how soft LSU's wins have been.