Now that the streak is over

Time to focus on the next year. Who is it going to be – John David or Mark Sanchez?

What about the defense? How will it turn out to be?

USC is certainly not going to be #1 next season. The point is, how low will they start the season?

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3 thoughts on “Now that the streak is over

  1. Top five probably, certainly no lower than 7 or 8. A lot of pundits questioned USC’s speed on defense, especially after the Rose Bowl. I think that’s an over hyped angle, looking for excuses on how we didn’t stop VY. Our secondary, despite the fact I have heard that Darnell is going to leave, will actually be better. Our linebacking corp will be incredible. Our defensive line is the question mark. It isn’t like we were getting pressure on Vince in passing situations during the Rose Bowl and it could be without Frostee or LJ that the athleticism of the front four will actually be worse next year. Ouch.Our offense will be fine. With AT LEAST 3 offensive linemen back I’ll trust Michael Coleman or Hershel to average at least 5 yards a carry next year, even if Lendale decides not to come back. Obviously Sanchez and Booty have incredible potential. People started getting down on Dwayne towards the end of the season despite the fact he was an AP All-American. I still think the guy is a stud and with potentially Steve Smith back, Patrick Turner, and Hazleton this is going to be perhaps the greatest WR corp USC has ever assembled and certainly one of the best in the nation. The TE situation is obviously in fine hands with Fred Davis. Stewart Mandel at CNNSI sees a lot of similarities between this year and Matt Leinart’s first year — replacing our Heisman winning QB (Carson and Matt) and the leader of our defense who played strong safety (Troy and Darnell).I know Dixon is a bright future for Oregon but ASU shouldn’t be any better than last year, despite the emergence of that backup QB, and Arizona is improving but has a long way to go. UCLA should certainly have a drop from this year. I don’t know what the QB situation is like at Cal going into next year but if that doesn’t improve then they’ll be in trouble as well. Washington St. and OSU should continue to be the dregs of the conference. We’ll see about Washington, I think they’ll certainly be better than last year (but it’d be hard not to be).The point is USC could certainly, depending on how much the defense improves and how quickly the new QB sets himself up, go undefeated through the Pac 10, and we should know after the first two weeks (Arkansas and Nebraska) if that would be enough to put us in national title contention. That may be a stretch but I never would’ve thought after Carson left that Matt could have such a great season so fast. And it is not like our defense was carrying the team that year. Statistically it was about on par with this year’s defense. At the least I think you have to put USC as the hard on favorite to win the Pac 10 and return to the Rose Bowl.

  2. I mostly agree with the previous poster. If we have learnt anything from the past few years that Pete has been the coach it is that USC gets progressively better as the season progresses. We will know everything about the USC team next year by the midpoint of the season and if we are going to lose we will likely lose early.The good news is that USC’s schedule sets up very favourably for a solid season and a shot at the Pac-10 title. The first five games of the season (when USC will be gaining its footing and finding out what this team is capable of) are actually very winnable – unlike 2005s death stretch – they are all against this year’s lesser conference teams (Arkansas, Nebraska, AZ, WSU and Washington). Our toughest tests in this early part of the schedule will likely come at Arkansas in the season opener (they will be out for revenge for last seasons beatdown) and at Arizona in game 3 (should be much improved on O). If we can get past those games and Arizona St. in game 6 (deciding game ofhte season IMO) we should by then be much improved on O and solid on D. The best part of next years schedule is that our toughest games (at Arkansas, Arizona St., Cal and Notre Dame) are either at home or have no bearing on the Pac-10 race. As a result I expect that depending on the outcome of the first half of the season we should be able to at least challenge for the Pac 10 conference title and a return to the Rose Bowl. Depending on how good Booty or Sanchez are we may even be able to push late in the season for ashot at the Fiesta. Could you imagine it coming down to ND in the final game of the season for a shot at another title game. ND will be out for blood next year and it will be a battle again – except this time on our turf with our 90,000+ fans.

  3. RPM says:

    @TXMed: I would put USC in the top 5 too. I like Kirk Herbstreit’s opinions and he put us at #3 behind Texas (if Young comes back) and Ohio State. Looks like the initial schedule may work well in favor of the Trojans. Notre Dame is going to be a tough one. I would not be surprised if Cal gives us a good run because they seem to have found their QB (Levy). The Washington schools are still reeling. @trojan williams: I have started thinking of ‘win the pac 10’, which is quite a realistic goal. But hey, we have been highly spoilt in the last 52 games, winning 48 of them. We have gotten used to winning even with the worst situation (Notre Dame game) towards the end of the game. Let’s get used to reality, which is USC is a good team now but they are starting afresh. We may lose a game or two in a season and that’s ok :-)In any case, I do believe that we played a great game and Vince Young beat us single-handedly.

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