With the defense imploding last night, I heard this argument from some fans and ESPN announcer Dave Pasch: USC is 8-1 and made a dramatic improvement from last year when it won only 4 games, so there is a lot to celebrate.
My reaction: What did you expect?
Let’s review a few things regarding USC.
- Last year’s team gave up while being coached by two people (Clay Helton, Donte Williams) who basically never had control over the team.
- It took 26 transfers, including who many consider the best QB in the nation (Caleb Williams).
- It hired one of the best coaches in the nation and paid him $10 million.
- USC has an easy schedule and has been favored in every game this season but one (Utah).
This doesn’t mean USC being 8-1 is not a successful season. It means don’t compare things to last year’s disaster when poor management by Mike Bohn allowed the program’s inadequacies to fester longer than necessary. When USC ended last season with a loss to Cal, I said it was the Trojans’ worst season since 1957 when they went 1-9.
But USC is still USC. You hire a good coach; bring in good players; play a favorable schedule and you will win a lot of games.
It’s a good accomplishment but not a miracle on Figueroa as Pasch made it sound last night. Especially when giving up 406 passing yards to Cal.