FanIQ 2008 USC Preview
Suggested USC “Oprah Book Club” reading “How To Potentially Ruin Your Offense by Dancing the Carioca Shuffle” written by Mark Sanchez (forward by Ickey Woods)
What was learned in 2007 Year after year, the USC Trojans football team is like a rubber ball. They just bounce back every year, even after experiencing some type of adversity (usually injuries and/or losses). Yet, they manage to win more Pac-10 football titles, and the Trojans have a tendency to trounce opponents in BCS bowl games (like Illinois last year). The Trojans also dominate in recruiting top players annually, and it translates to success on the field.
Expectations in '08 This year will be no different for the Trojans, in that USC expects again to be in contention for the Pac-10 title, and probably the BCS Title Game. Starting QB Mark Sanchez has said that the Rose Bowl is the main goal for the Trojans every year, but you sense they aspire for more. USC is loaded with talent on both sides of the football, especially on defense. The Trojan defense, arguably the best in all of college football, features key players like in LB Rey Maualuga, LB Brian Cushing, and FS Taylor Mays. The young offense, anchored by leaders RB Joe McKnight, WR Vidal Hazelton, and WR Patrick Turner, will need to step up as a whole to compliment the defense, in order to make it all the way to the national title game. With that said, until someone unseats USC, the Trojans should have enough gas in the tank to win their seventh straight Pac-10 title.
What will keep them from fulfilling expectations? Can the offense grow up in a hurry? Is Sanchez completely healed from his “carioca shuffle” mishap? The USC schedule is favorable, but I don’t see them getting past Ohio State, even at home. The lack of answers offensively early in the season will keep the Trojans out of the title game in 2008.
Big Men on Campus Success for USC will primarily be measured on how well Sanchez, McKnight, and Maualuga perform on the field. The media will continue to give these guys the star treatment, and rightfully so (until which time they no longer deserve it).
Schedule and Predictions 11-1 (9-0 Pac-10) in 2008
Aug. 30 at Virginia (Win), Sept. 13 vs. Ohio State (Loss), Sept. 25 at Oregon State (Win), Oct. 4 vs. Oregon (Win), Oct. 11 vs. Arizona State (Win), Oct. 18 at Washington State (Win), Oct. 25 at Arizona (Win), Nov. 1 vs. Washington (Win), Nov. 8 vs. California (Win), Nov. 15 at Stanford (Win), Nov. 29 vs. Notre Dame (Win), Dec. 6 at UCLA (Win)