It is quite possible that the USC debacle helped UCLA in a couple areas. While it has already been stated that USC's loss took a lot of the thunder out of KD's epic failure, I do believe there are a few positives that need to be mentioned:
- Stanford was able to beat the #2 team in the nation with a back-up quarterback with negligible experience. KD's game plan prevented UCLA from succeeding in the face of Ben Olson's unintended injury. Stanford proved that success is possible with untested talent. KD proved that he cannot win when things don't go his way. In fear of beating a really dead horse with a huge stick, I will quickly mention that it is uterlly ridiculous to not have a better QB plan set up when you are one injury away from disaster. Stanford, with inferior talent, took it to USC in their home and blew away their 35-game home winning streak. In summary, my point here is that good coaching overcomes adversity. Bad coaching creates adversity. 18% of the nation saw the latter.
- This point is both good news and bad news mixed into one. While USC's loss definitely overshadowed ours in the media, don't think for a second that the media didn't notice. Here's a local example - I was driving home from UCLA last night and was listening to John Zigler (KFI 640AM). For those of you who do not listen or get this program, it is essentially a program dedicated to the day's news. John decides to take a left turn with the program and talk about UCLA's deplorable showing at the Rose Bowl. It was quite interesting to here from a guy who does not care about UCLA one bit. On the national level, Jay Leno just said that UCLA stands for "U Can Lose to Anyone" during his monologue. Again, I understand that being the laughing stock of college football is not something to celebrate, but it is a good sign that both the local and national media still think UCLA's important enough to mention and that they notice the terrible job KD is doing. At the very least, they are making KD's incompetence apparent.
- Beating USC will not save KD's job this year. They have already lost to Stanford and had a poor showing against Washington. I am willing to bet that USC drops at least one more game to either Cal, ASU, or Oregon. They have some real issues on that team that stem from a lack of execution and preparation (injuries are surely playing a huge role as well). If UCLA goes into the Coliseum when USC has nothing on the line besides a Holiday Bowl (Cal, I'm looking at you to ensure this), then even a win over USC does not have nearly the same effect that it did last year. Beating what would be considered the weakest USC team in years would not be an accomplishment for one to hang their hat on. Knowing KD, he'll probably win this game out of pure dumb luck. That's why I thought this was important to mention.
I'll leave you with a positive quote that I read in the Daily Bruin today. This is how Shannon Tevaga responded to MBT's play during the ND game:
"I don't even know what was going on (with our pass protection). I'm speechless. (Bethel-Thompson's) a soldier. Mac has the biggest heart on the team. The job he did to come in, on the third string, break the huddle - he's a soldier. I'd go to war with Mac any day."
We appreciate your efforts too MBT.