Trojans Don’t Have The Depth Or the Coach To Play for BCS National Championship
There are always overrated teams when the pre-season college football rankings come out, no matter the source.
Oklahoma and Texas annually top this list, which also includes Georgia and Virginia Tech.
But in 2012, there is one school that is getting so many pre-season accolades you would think it has already won the national title. It’s a lovefest that’s bordering on gushing on the part of some media.
And it’s more off target than a pick-six.
That school is USC. The Trojans have the leading Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, two and perhaps even three spectacular receivers and play in the weak Pac-12 (four fired coaches in the off-season). A good season is assured. But they will NOT win, nor even play for, the BCS National Championship. And here are five reasons why:
1.) Matt Barkley. Sure, he’s smart, talented and personable. But he’s also prone to the interception. And not just the interception but the interception, the fourth-quarter back-breaker on the key or potentially game-winning drive. Watch out for this in close games. Plus, there’s a new starter protecting his blind side, and he may be a freshman. That will compound the problem. See also #2, below.
2.) The Running Game. It did get a huge boost (and break) when Penn State’s Silas Redd transferred, but overall the running game is untested. Prior to Redd, the Trojans only had one back with any game experience and it was considered a weakness of the offense. Suddenly it’s a strength? Redd will certainly help but he’s not Trent Richardson.
3.) USC Always Loses A Game It’s Supposed To Win. It’s as much of a tradition as Traveler and the Song Girls. Every time, whenever USC is poised for a championship, it inexplicably loses to a far inferior opponent. There’s always a game (or two) it loses most people don’t expect. Most recently you can look at Stanford in 2007 (the Cardinal were 41-point underdogs), to a 6-5 UCLA team in 2006 when a win would have put the Trojans in the BCS National Championship game, to Oregon State that same year and to Washington in 2009. Plus, the Trojans always struggle at Oregon State and Washington and while they escape the Beavers this year due to the expanded Pac-12 they do go to Seattle on Oct. 13. Other potentially expected trouble games are at home, against Cal and Arizona State.
4.) The Team Lacks Depth and the Defense Is Thinner Than a Song Girl. Okay, Song Girls are not thin, they are perfectly proportioned. But the offensive line has little margin for error and an already shallow defensive line has lost two players for the season. Without being able to rotate in fresh players, think they will tire quickly against the Oregon onslaught? Even the most die-hard of Trojan fans, the ones who are turning a deaf ear to the questions of their coach, acknowledge that if the team suffers any injuries, their BSC National Title and even Rose Bowl chances are done. Add to this the fact the Trojan defense is not really great to begin with, and that will put more pressure on Barkely, which will lead to more interceptions…
5.) Lane Kiffin. Teams are a reflection of their coach and Kiffin is an undisciplined brat. USC will get a lot of silly penalties and make other mistakes such as fumbles and blown assignments. Plus, can Kiffin even coach? He’s never stayed in one place long enough to be properly evaluated. He is definitely a better coach than Ted Tollner and more organized than “Chinese fire drill” Paul Hackett, but we just don’t know how good (or not) of a coach he is yet. At the very least you have to question his sideline acumen. He blew the game against Stanford last year squandering timeouts and then running a silly across-the-field play with time expiring. Then he blamed it on the officials.
It’s easy to get excited about USC because of the offensive potential of Barkley and receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. But look below the surface and the Trojans and you will find a hollow Trojan horse.