USC shocks Oregon; is for real again

Don’t look now, but USC is 9-2, and although it can’t go to a bowl game, it just seriously impacted the BCS picture.

The Trojans went into Autzen Stadium and put on an offensive clinic against Oregon, as Matt Barkley and company carved up the Ducks in a 38-35 USC win. That makes two teams who looked to have a good shot at playing for a national title (Oklahoma State and Oregon) who are now just hoping to win their conference and play in a BCS bowl.

That’s the major story that comes out of this weekend, that the BCS was shaken to its core, and Alabama’s path to a rematch just got a lot more clear. But maybe, just maybe, we should look a little at how good USC actually is.

This is a team that took Andrew Luck and Stanford to multiple overtimes. That went into South Bend and beat up on Notre Dame. And now, despite NCAA sanctions and not having a full complement of scholarships, the Trojans are coming together and looking like a top 10 team. Yes, top 10.

Matt Barkley is the real deal, and the team that loses the Andrew Luck sweepstakes should not be disappointed in having to “settle” for Barkley. His receivers, namely Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, are spectacular, and despite very little depth on the offensive line, the Trojans have put together a solid run game.

I realize nobody wants to admit this, and believe me, I’m in that group, but Lane Kiffin is doing one heck of a job right now in Los Angeles. He’s convinced a team with literally nothing but pride to play for that these games matter.

UCLA is the only game left on USC’s schedule, and that should be a win. And, frankly, 10-2 for the Trojans is an incredible accomplishment this year. I’m not sure if this will translate to more success when the Trojans become eligible for bowl games next season, as I’m assuming Barkley is going to jump to the pros. But if he stays, I don’t see why USC can’t compete for a national title next year. Seriously.

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