Five Deep Breaths, courtesy 2004
3: Winning margin, USC-Stanford, last weekend in September.
6: Winning margin, USC-Cal, very next game.
8: Winning margin, USC-Oregon State, first weekend in November.
5: Winning margin, USC-UCLA, last game of season.
36: Winning margin, USC-No. 1 Oklahoma Orange Bowl, for the national title.
Five More Deep Breaths, courtesy 2005
4: Arizona State lead with 3:44 left in game, USC-ASU, first weekend in October.
7: USC lead early in the 4th quarter, USC-Arizona, very next game.
3: Winning margin, Northern Indiana Affair, very next game.
6:22: Time remaing in game when USC took lead, USC-Fresno State.
47: Winning margin, USC-No. 11 UCLA, very next game.
And now: Inhale... Hold... Exhale... 2006!
6: Winning margin, USC-Washington State, last weekend in September.
5: Yardline on which USC intercepts WSU Hail Mary on final snap.
6: Winning margin, USC-Washington, first weekend in October.
15: Yardline on which UW's final drive stalls, despite copious time-management assistance from refs.
EA-SY! Breath! BREATH!!!!
(by way, anybody get the title of this post yet?)
Just what do we have here:
- Two up-market football teams blow a season's worth of want-to and luck in their once-a-year shot at the shiniest program in the country (consider: UW scored a TD on a fake kick(!) but SC was the team playing with house money? Really?)
- With SC breaking in a new QB.
- In the the last weekend of September and first of October.
- And, just like at least 10 times in the past two years, it almost worked.
- And, just like at least 10 times in the past two years, SC came through.
So what is the general concensus? From today's ESPN CF podcast:
David Albright, to Ivan Maisel: "...maybe you can figure out what's wrong with USC."
Maisel: "They are having more trouble than anybody dreamed, aren't they?"
Or from the AP's story on Florida leaping-frogging USC to No. 2:
Mike Radano of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. [ed - Courier-Post's nearest IA teams: Temple and Rutgers], was one of many voters to move Florida ahead of USC this week. "USC hasn't been its same dominant self," Radano said. "I thought they got a little fortunate yesterday."Really? USC got 'a little fortunate' but Florida, after beating LSU, is the New Economy? Sure about that? Let's take a look:
5: LSU turnovers.
52: Consecutive I-A teams to lose after committing 5 turnovers in a game, according to CBS (last team to win with 5 turnovers: LSU! ta da!)
1: LSU fumbles in endzones recoverd by LSU for FLA safety.
16: Florida points off turnover/kickoff-safety.
1: LSU punts blocked.
2: LSU turnovers in Florida Redzone.
1: Florida yardline LSU's Jamarcus Russell fumbled on in second quarter.
17: Plays in drive leading to fumble.
1: Number of offensive plays later that Russell threw an interception.
2: LSU first-play-interception drives.
10: Seconds into second-half Florida scored safety when LSU returner fumbled kickoff, recovered in endzone and was tackled (NOT one of the 5 turnovers).
14-102: Florida Penalities-Yards penalized. That's 7 penalites per spots in AP poll. Sounds like a contender.
But Florida is No. 2 (next to Holy Writ Ohio State) and USC was 'very fortunate.'
Didn't we already sit through our annual eruption of irrational SEC exuburance after Cal-Tennessee? Didn't it take Air Force one week to burst that bubble?
And wasn't Auburn already composing outraged letters last week about being left out of the BCS championship game?
Pardon while I fail to evacuate my bowels trying to decode the many enigmas of Florida's offense, like 'if Tebow comes in, just what kind of Mad Scientist-shit is Urban trying to pull?'