This would be a better video without Fallon but you take the bad with the good and Fight On!
Notes from the Golden Orange
EppsNet Archive: USC Trojans
I lost track of the number of headlines I saw this week regarding how USC (3-3) could possibly be a 3.5-point favorite over undefeated and third-ranked Utah (6-0).
It’s weird that no one in sports journalism seems to understand what a point spread really is.
It’s not a prediction. It’s not a scientific analysis. It’s a gambling mechanism. The only purpose of a point spread is to distribute the betting equally on both teams so the bookmaker can pay the winners with the losers’ money.
USC is a 3.5-point favorite for one reason and one reason only and that is because there are more people willing to bet on USC than there are people willing to bet on Utah, so a carrot is offered in the form of 3.5 points to induce more bettors to put their money on the Utes.
Substitute any other team . . . Team X is a betting favorite because more people want to bet on Team X than on Team X’s opponent.
“Team X is a betting favorite” is not the same thing as “Vegas thinks X is the better team.” Vegas has no opinion on who has the better team. That’s why point spreads fluctuate, sometimes by a lot. If too much money comes in on Team X, the point spreads changes to be more favorable to X’s opponent.
Sorry to spoil Reggie Miller Jersey Retirement Night at the new Pauley Pavilion, but you should know better than to schedule these things against the Men of Troy.
We’re up here in Berkeley for Parents Weekend. I was saying since we arrived that this looks like a winnable game for Cal and couldn’t find one person — student or parent — to agree with me. Cal was 1-4, UCLA was 4-1.
Cal fans are conditioned for disappointment. I’m a USC guy and USC fans were the same way in the pre-Pete Carroll era. Fans showed up for games not to cheer on the team but to bemoan another disappointing performance.
This is a nice wakeup call for the Bruins. Despite their record and ranking coming into the game, they’re not very good.
Cal opened their new stadium with a 31-24 loss to Nevada. The Bears looked sloppy, more like a high school team.
That said, time to switch over to Fox and watch some REAL football at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum as the top-ranked Men of Troy take care of some Unfinished Business!
Penn State announced that its uniforms will feature player names on the back of its jerseys for the first time in school history. Once the Nittany Lions run out on the field this weekend, USC football will be the only FBS school never to have had surnames on the back of its jerseys.
By being traditional, USC football has become unique…
We don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey because there is no name on the back of the jersey.
We only have numbers so our moms can recognize us from the stands.
It’s move-in weekend at UC Berkeley, the world’s greatest university . . .
How many schools even have Nobel Laureates on the faculty? Of those that do, how many of them teach small classes for freshmen and sophomores?
Ivy League schools, with the exception of Harvard, are coasting on their reputations. When’s the last time you heard of an enterpreneur from Dartmouth or Brown or Yale?
Stanford is great in engineering and business but limited in other areas. Also, top professors at private schools would rather piss on a spark plug than traffic with undergrads.
That said, the University of Southern California football season starts Sept. 1 against Hawaii. The Men of Troy!
FIGHT ON FOR OLD ‘SC! OUR MEN FIGHT ON TO VICTORY!
Oakland Raiders sign Matt Leinart to back up Carson Palmer
Deja vu! Here’s a picture of Matt Leinart backing up Carson Palmer 10 years ago.
Backing up both of these guys was Matt Cassel (#10), who has so far had a better NFL career than Leinart, despite a college career in which he threw zero touchdown passes and never started a game.
I don’t know who the other two kids are. The coaches are current Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian and current Hawaii head coach Norm Chow.
Junior Seau Dead in Apparent Suicide
Seau was a legend in San Diego, where he lived and played most of his career. He was also a legendary member of the USC Trojan Family.
The number 55 is now synonymous at USC with great Trojan linebackers, but Seau was the player who made the number famous. It has since been worn by Willie McGinest, Chris Claiborne and Keith Rivers and is only assigned at the head coach’s discretion.
This picture was taken just a couple of weeks ago at the USC Spring Football game. He doesn’t look like someone ready to end his own life, but you never really know what someone’s life looks like from the inside.
We have closed the gap more with SC. We got a chance to win a championship this week. That’s closing the gap. We haven’t had that chance in the past. We’ll see where the gap is after the ball game, but the gap is closed.
Tonight they were clearly the superior team. I don’t think that’s the case all the time. I believe we can close the gap, and we will. We weren’t good enough to play a marquee team like USC.
The gap was really close. You can tell by the score.
Maybe Neuheisel meant that the gap has been closed since 1929, when USC won the inaugural crosstown showdown 76-0.
Using any more recent date as a starting point for gap measurement, it looks wider than ever.
At 10-2, USC finishes with the best record in the Pac-12 Southern Division but because of NCAA sanctions isn’t eligible to play in the conference championship.
That means that officially UCLA is the Southern Division “champion” and will play Northern Division winner Oregon next Friday.
- USC blows out crosstown rival UCLA 50-0 (abclocal.go.com)
The theory of evolution claims that only the strong shall survive. But the theory of competition says that just because they’re the strong doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked . . .
We’re here to ruin your season. — Matt Kalil
The Ducks were 15-point favorites at home — 21-game home winning streak, 19-game conference winning streak . . . the Men of Troy haven’t had the speed to play with these guys the last couple of years but this year they do.
It looked like the Trojans had fumbled the game away with 2:54 left, up 3 on the Duck 15-yard line — a blown handoff between a fifth-year senior (Marc Tyler) and a Heisman Trophy candidate (Matt Barkley). Oregon had already scored two fourth quarter touchdowns and the Trojan defense was tired.
Ironically, the up-tempo Duck offense ran out of time. They never called timeout — they had all three available — as the clock ticked down between every play and they wound up having to send out their lousy kicker (60 percent, career long 40 yards) to try a game-tying 37-yard field goal with five seconds left.
Which he missed.
He may be the only weak link on that team. If you win every game in a blowout, you don’t need a good kicker but they needed one last night and he wasn’t there.
- Missed FG spoils Oregon’s comeback vs. USC (sports.espn.go.com)
This is either the 2011 version of the Four Horsemen or an Irish production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Notre Dame came into the game at 5-2, USC at 5-1, both unranked, but for some reason Notre Dame was a 9-point favorite.
The Trojans dominated on offense and defense, gave up a touchdown on a kickoff return, and left some points on the field at the end of the game when they let the clock run out on the Notre Dame 2-yard line.
Looking ahead, the Irish played a lot of juniors and seniors, while the Trojans were playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores.
I don’t know why the Irish, trailing by 14, let the Trojans run out the last four minutes of the game without ever calling a timeout to try to get the ball back.