beats USC 24-23
Appalachian State; Stanford just one upped you.
|Who are the big winners
from USC's loss?
1. Ohio State
Now the Buckeyes, after the win over Purdue, basically know they
can win out and end up in New Orleans.
When it comes to one-loss teams, the OU loss to Colorado doesn't
look as horrible now.
3. South Florida & Cincinnati
The Big East has eliminated one of the two key unbeatens out of
Hawaii?! The Warriors have to go unbeaten, and have to blow away
Washington, but USC's loss certainly doesn't hurt.
5. Boston College
This is starting to become the underground hot team. Now it has
to start actually playing teams with a pulse, and will start to
get more national attention.
ASU was a two-time
defending national champion with a history of winning, and an excellent
system in place, when it shocked the world with an upset over Michigan
to begin the season. But as improbable as that was, it turns out
Michigan just isn’t all that great. Also, if there’s usually going to be
a big upset, it’ll come in the season opener when the supposedly
superior team doesn’t have time to jell. After all, there aren’t any
preseason games to use as tune ups.
There was no excuse for USC this week.
It had four games to get everything together. It had a huge, dominant
win at Nebraska, and a blowout over Washington State, to get all the
kinks worked out. It had a second-half letdown against Washington to be
scared straight coming into this week. Sure, it was just Stanford, and
all the Trojans had to do was show up and go through the motions, right?
That’s how it should’ve been, and that’s certainly how USC played in the
second half. Still, there’s no excuse. USC’s third teamers are more
talented than Stanford’s first team. The Cardinal didn’t have its
starting quarterback, T.C. Ostrander, after he suffered a seizure this
week. This is US-freakin’-C. This place gets its backups drafted by the
This is USC, you know, the program that had 31 players drafted in the
last five years. The program with a BCS national championship, four BCS
wins in five years, and had lost all of two regular season games in the
last 45. The program that won 35 straight homes games, with the last
loss coming to Stanford in 2001. The program was a 38 point favorite
this week over the Cardinal. The juggernaut of juggernauts, with a
talent-level that was unparalleled, thanks to a who’s who of blue-chip,
Even superstars tend to screw up.
After the fact, the line on the ASU-Michigan game would’ve likely been
Michigan -28ish, give or take a few points. Temple’s 1998 win over
Virginia Tech was considered the gold-standard of upsets, winning 28-24
despite being 36.5 point underdogs. And now there’s this.
To understand just how big an upset this is, you have to remember where
Stanford was at last year. This was being called the worst Pac 10 team
in league history, setting records for futility on offense, and
ineptitude on defense, cranking out just 127 points on the year and only
coming up with one win. The program hasn’t had a winning season since
2001, and was coming into the game after getting outscored 141 to 51 in
three Pac 10 games.
But against USC, the offense took advantage of every opportunity. USC QB
John David Booty chose to air mail too many key throws, the Trojan
defensive backs couldn’t handle the big Stanford receivers, and now the
college football world has been turned upside down.
Yes, your world as you know it has changed, and this one win, this one
Tavita Pritchard-to-Mark Bradford fourth-and-goal ten-yard touchdown
pass will have a trickle down effect that could make this an extremely
interesting next several months. And part of that, to come full-circle,
might have something to do with Appalachian State.
Does this win mean Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh is the favorite over
LSU head coach Les Miles for what’s assumed to be an open Michigan job
at the end of this year, or at least in 2009? Does this ruin USC’s aura
of invincibility, that wasn’t stripped away by losses to Oregon State
and UCLA last season. Does this mean Ohio State is in the national title
picture yet again, and does this open the door for a slew of unknowns,
like Missouri, Kansas or South Florida, to possibly come up with a dream
Oh, this will be a fun next six weeks. Thanks, Stanford..