Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Take a number Buckeyes and wait your turn

Ever since spring practice, reporters have been digging for something or anything from Trojans players and coaches about the September 13th game with Ohio State. They swing their pick axes and barely crack the cardinal and gold pavement. Few are willing to budge, giving focus to the first opponent instead.

The game of the year comes early, and people are ready to talk about it. But as Pete Carroll teams will do, mirroring their leader, they remain hushed. You may get one or two words or phrases about the Buckeyes, but not much more than that. Now the days have drawn closer, and the axes swing heavier, but Virginia continues to be heavy on the mind.

In an interview with Fox Sports, I watched as a reporter swung his digging device in the direction of Pete Carroll. It didn’t take long for Ohio State to be mentioned, and even faster for Pete to jar the memory and point out it’s the game after Virginia. The reporter mentions how big the game on September 13th will be, with the Buckeyes coming to L.A, and Carroll fired back with how big that East Coast trip to Virginia is going to be for his program. But by far, the best answer of the interview came when the digger took one last stab and asked what the Ohio State game means for USC. With the perfect response, Carroll again fired back, this time by saying if it follows a loss to Virginia, it doesn’t mean much of anything.

No Pac 10 program has ever played in the BCS Championship game, unless that team was undefeated (USC twice). One loss Ducks and Trojans were snubbed in 2001 and 2003. To lose either or both games to Virginia and Ohio State, judging by the BCS history, it would create a severe obstacle in any championship run, while having no effect on a run for the Roses. Pete Carroll has always stressed Pac 10 title first, and then waits for the bigger picture to fall into place. But seeing that the Trojans have not lost a regular season game against an out of conference opponent in 5 years, it’s obvious through their preparation that they realize that every game holds significance, each has importance, and none should be overlooked.

No comments: