Isn’t it almost outrageous that the best college football team playing in LA County these days isn’t even from here? Or should we be grateful that we have at least one top 25 team even as a temporary boarder?
USC players pack it all in all forms, and it will be no surprise if their fans—large numbers of whom have quickly left the Coliseum from the last three disappointing home games—do the same. UCLA’s early-season win over LSU proved to be fools’ gold as Ed Orgron is now coaching for his job at Baton Rouge, and every time you think Chip Kelly’s Bruins have turned the corner there’s another The obstacle drives them up.
Meanwhile, a temporary transplant from San Diego State, using the Galaxy’s home in Carson, while his own stadium project rises from the ashes of the former Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, continues to beat people up and earn his way up the rankings. Leads the way. Can we adopt them?
Saturday’s results were normal.
USC suffered another disappointing, disappointing loss to a team it had not lost at home in decades. This time a Utah team was over a century in the making that hadn’t defeated the Trojans in Los Angeles since 1916. His spirit crushed on the opening drive of the half and then the second half.
And when Beat writer Adam Grosbard noted in the game’s story that “it was clear there was no fight left on this USC team,” that may have hit the final nail in this Trojan season. You could blame Clay Helton for the circumstances that led to his firing after the Stanford defeat, but the embarrassment against Oregon State and now Utah, when the Trojans defense looked indifferent and borderline indifferent every second half. Was? They are on the players.
Thoughts that a midseason coaching change could catch the attention of athletes? These Trojans did not find the memo. But that perhaps clarifies what athletic director Mike Bohn will be looking for in a permanent replacement, as there are issues on two fronts. The new coach would not only need to restore the confidence of the fan base (or at least keep them in their seats), he would also need to become a rigid disciplinarian, modifying the mindset of the returning players.
And no, coaches who can’t practice self-discipline need not apply to those who worship at the altar of Urban Mayor.
to UCLA? The Bruins beat Arizona late Saturday in Tucson, and the Wildcats have now won 17 pre-2019 games. The Bruins are 4-2 on aggregate, and they are still in a slightly better position at 2-1 in the conference. USC is to feature in the Pac-12 championship game, but defensive breakdowns against Fresno State (40–37 loss) and South division leader Arizona State (42–23 loss) are serious flaws that warrant suspicion.
LSU victories look less important, the deeper we delve into the season. At this point, it could mean that Kelly’s job security is slightly lower than that of Orgeron, as the Tigers are 3-3 on Saturday after losing 42-21 to No. 16 Kentucky. (Then again, the real winner of that UCLA-LSU game may have been the person marketing the “Sissy Blue” T-shirt—inspired by an insult to former USC coach Orgeron—and the athletes making zero money by endorsing them. )
Meanwhile, when this week’s Associated Press writers’ poll and AFCA coaches’ poll came out on Sunday, San Diego State was ranked number 24 in both, as one of 14 teams unbeaten 5-0 in the nation. The Aztecs dominated New Mexico 31-7 in Carson, and while New Mexico is now 2-4 – and one of SDSU’s previous victories was at Tosan, who is 2-3 and also lost to New Hampshire and North Dakota State – 5-0 is 5-0.
When was the last time Aztec fans could claim their team’s record was better than Alabama’s? (Answer: As of now, Nick Saban did not get to Tuscaloosa in 2007, although both were 7–2 after the November 6, 2010 game.) Nevertheless, since 2015 SDSU is 53–22, with two points. Four seasons of victories and three bowling victories.
“We have big goals,” SDSU coach Brady Hock said after Saturday’s game. “Look at (fellow Mountain West team) Nevada. They beat Boise State last week. Then Boise (first unbeaten) beats BYU. That gives you an idea of how good this league is and what kind of football teams we’ll be here in the future. going to face.
All coaches say these kinds of things, so take it with a grain of salt.
But consider: Carson has three more “home” games against Nevada, Fresno State and Boise State at San Diego State, the last game at 9 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, what else is there to do on Black Friday?
And the Aztecs’ roster includes 28 players from LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. This includes his third leading rusher at Chance Bell (Burbank Burroughs High), his second leading receiver at BJ Busby (Long Beach St. Anthony), and five of his top 10 tacklers: Patrick McMorris (Santa Ana High), Segun Olubi, and Patrick McMorris (Santa Ana High). (Corona Centennial), Tyler Hawkins (Palm Springs High), Trenton Thompson (Dito) and Noah Evinger (Anaheim Servite, via Cerritos).
So if we can’t adopt the Aztecs outright, we should at least pay attention to them until they get back home. Who knows? The competition for attention can speed up our own teams.
@Jim_Alexander on Twitter