USC empire in trouble

Michael Johnson

Washington's Donald Butler, left, fights for a fumble against Souther California's Stanley Havili. The Huskies gave the Trojans their first defeat of the season, putting the men of Troy in 0-1 hole in Pac 10 play. Photo Credi: John Lok/ MCT
Washington's Donald Butler, left, fights for a fumble against Souther California's Stanley Havili. The Huskies gave the Trojans their first defeat of the season, putting the men of Troy in 0-1 hole in Pac 10 play. Photo Credi: John Lok/ MCT

USC has dominated college football since 2002, but suffered their worst loss in the Pete Carroll era Saturday, losing to the Oregon Ducks 47-20. Individuals may start to wonder: Is the USC domination over?

The Trojans have posted some unreal numbers during this era of domination. Since 2002 they have gone 57-11 in the Pac-10 division, beating opponents by a margin of 19.5. They have also won or shared seven straight titles.

Also, Trojans hold a streak of seven Bowl championship Series (BCS) appearances, and have won two National Championships in this period. Not only have they won in championship games, but have dominated teams during this span. Their average margin of victory is 25 points.

They have not just beaten up on weak teams, but great teams. For example, they have beaten Penn State, Oklahoma and Michigan twice in a row.
The team is 27-0 in November during this time period. Furthermore, the lists of accomplishments are endless.

Nevertheless, Rome eventually fell and it looks like USC is starting to. They will most likely not win their eighth straight Pac-10 division title. The Oregon Ducks would have to have a complete meltdown.

However, no one should be surprised because the fall began long before their game against the Oregon Ducks.

It all started in the summer, losing incredible players like Rey Maualuga, Clay Matthews, and Brian Cushing. USC basically lost half of their defensive to the NFL.
Then USC failed to grab lighting quick linebacker Manti Te’o from high school, who now plays for Notre Dame. When they didn’t get him, this should have been a clear sign that the Trojans’ fortune was beginning to change.

However, no one wanted to talk about it. Sure, USC started the season not giving up a touchdown in the first five games. However, people were probably only scared because of the history of USC’s defensive.

Furthermore, when college football teams started looking at game tape, coaches saw that USC is just like any another team. For example, the stats show cracks in the USC Empire.

USC gave up 260 yards through the air to Notre Dame. Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen did whatever he wanted against the USC defensive in the second half of that game. The Trojans made him look like Joe Montana.

The Trojans followed that weak performance, giving up 329 passing yards against Oregon State. The Rodgers brothers Jacquizz and James ran past the Trojans ground defense.

Trojans got their fourth straight defeat in the state of Oregon, when the Duck dismantled them on Saturday. USC gave up 391 rushing yards and 613 total yards. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli ran all over the USC defensive, and a weak freshman named LaMichael James made everyone on the defensive look like they were in slow motion.

For any other team these stats would be fine, but this is the USC Trojans. They are known for their incredible defensive. If the defensive goes on the Trojans, then everything goes. USC is struggling now, but what about the future?

Matt Barkley, the quarterback kid from Newport Beach, is going to supply plenty of offensive in the future, but if the defensive they have now is part of the future, the USC Empire will officially be over.

Sports fans know the saying, “Offensive wins games, but defensive wins championships.” It does not look like that saying is a part of USC’s future.

Furthermore, USC is in uncharted waters. They are, for the first time in seven years, relying on their offensive to score, and that is not good for the future. They better get it fixed or the rest of their records will eventually fall.