The season ended well for USC. Thumped Illinois in the Rose Bowl and won the one that matters to Pac-10 the most. Of course got the 6th straight Pac-10 championship. Finished #2/#3 in the final rankings. After losing to a 41-point underdog, finishing that way is not too bad.
Now, let’s look forward to the next season. I am very very optimistic about the QB position. Granted that the receivers underperformed this year and granted that JDB played some games at less than 100%, but it is a well-documented fact that I did not believe in the JDB hype. He was less than inspiring and very predictable. I really think Sanchez is the man. He did make some mistakes as a starter after JDB was injured this season, but with that experience and with the mindset of being a possible starter (rather than a backup), I think he will deliver.
As for the receivers, I hope they get healthy and stay fit and respond to the new QB. The backs are hopefully going to develop even more.
The only unknown at this point is who will fill in for big TE Fred Davis. Just like Dominique Byrd before him, Fred Davis very quickly became the QB’s favorite target especially when other weapons were not up to the mark, or in tough situations like 3rd and long. I am not sure if the incoming guys are going to be able to fill in quickly. Let’s hope for the best, which is all we can do at the moment.
As for the schedule, at some point it looked good to have Ohio State on the non-conference schedule this and the next year. But the way they got thumped yet again, it almost makes it feel like on paper USC needs to thump them too, or else USC is not as good as Florida from 2 years back or LSU from this year. I feel it is unfair to see it that way, because every season is a new season. Ohio State was fortunate to be ranked #1 at the end of the regular season, but they could easily have been a top 10 team even if they had played some tougher non-conference teams and if the Big 10 had been stronger. So that game vs Ohio State is going to be a big one at the top of the season. If USC’s parts are well-oiled by then, I think it would be a big boost to the team to beat Ohio State early and then tackle the Pac 10.
On a parting thought, to all the LSU fans dying to take away the AP championship from USC a few years back, would you please return yours from this year back to the AP because you hate that trophy so much and because you don’t think that is the National Championship anyway? Thank you. And see you next year if you are in the top 2 😉