Monday, October 27, 2008

Pasadena in January appears more likely

Sometimes there’s just no getting around that “oops”. Last year, with the madness of the season, USC nearly had the opportunity to overcome the horrible loss to Stanford and still qualify for the BCS championship game. It was the second loss, to Oregon, that ultimately did them in. And even then, it was still close. Two years ago, it wasn’t the slip up against Oregon State that kept the Trojans out of the National Championship game, it was the “oops” at the end, losing the regular season finale to UCLA. This year, it’s appearing more and more likely that the bad outing against the Beavers will stick and deny USC another title opportunity.

There’s still a lot of college football to be played, but if you look at the current BCS standings, and the games to be played by those ranked opponents, it would take a couple of heavy hitters to also fall flat on their faces against lesser opponents for the Trojans to have a chance. A big blow was Ohio State losing to Penn State on Saturday. Not only did the Buckeyes serve as a road block for lower ranked programs nipping at the Trojan heels, but their loss may have granted Penn State a free pass to Miami.

Texas has just one obstacle remaining, and that’s this weekend’s opponent, Texas Tech. Even if the Red Raiders bring down the Horns, with USC’s dismal performance against Arizona, and a winless opponent in Washington this week, there stands the chance that Tech would leap-frog Southern Cal in the BCS standings. For Trojans fans, the game in Lubbock is a “lose-lose” situation, unless you believe the Red Raiders wouldn’t win out.

Then you have a softened SEC, and Alabama rolling through it. The SEC West is the Tide’s to win, and the lone obstacle may be Florida in the SEC title game. Then again, depending on this weekend’s results, it may be Georgia, and we already know what Bama did to the Dawgs. But again, it’s another “lose-lose” situation, because the SEC champion, regardless of who it is, will likely finish ahead of USC.

This leaves us viewing the postseason through Rose colored glasses, and that isn’t even certain. For USC to even have a date in Pasadena, they need Oregon State to lose another game in conference, as a tie-breaker would be the head-to-head meeting with the Beavers, and they would receive the automatic bid. The most important thing is to not lose again. Even if Oregon State was to win out, a one loss Trojans team would surely pick up an at-large BCS bid and appear in a BCS game. If you really look at it, that may actually be better for the fans, if we can’t play in the championship game. Just imagine, Penn State rolling into the National title game, and a USC Pac 10 champion drawing Big 10 runner up Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Why not? Illinois had 3 losses and got there. It would mean the Buckeyes and Trojans would meet 3 times in a two year span. I don’t know about you, but give me someone else. After all, the drubbing of Big 10 opponents becomes…well…boring.

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