Free your calendar. Set your Tivo. Turn off laptop, cell phone, PDA. This Saturday is the Pac-10, no, the national, game of the year.
As the world knows, two squads will be battling for sole ownership of the Pac-10 cellar, the Cheat Pete Trojans and the WSU Cougars. Wazzu is a heavy favorite to pull out the loss, as they return much of last year's team that had the worst defense in the nation and build upon the 2008 foundation of one conference win, copped against the only college footballers to garner a winless season. USC has an uphill fight to overcome its huge talent gap over the Cougars, its home field advantage, and a 44-point betting line in Vegas. Can Cheat Pete pull this one out and succumb?
It's certainly not without precedent, as with a more skilled (and higher paid and less academically endowed) squad, he choked at home to 41-point underdog Stanford. He is already making excuses for his men, so it appears he is working hard on the demotivation factor.
Prediction: SC 30, WSU 7, and MSM headlines that the Trojans are back
UPDATE: NBC Sports has quickly taken note of this stellar matchup; http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/09/23/worst-of-the-weak----land-of-disenchantment/
No. -10 SMU at Washington State . . . This was the "Worst of the Weak" Super Bowl. Two teams locked in a ferocious battle to see who was worse. The competition was so close that they couldn't settle the matter in 60 minutes, forcing the unfortunate 22,319 in attendance to sit through some overtime. As one would expect, it was a pathetic extra frame that saw the Mustangs throw an interception on their only play, followed by the Cougars gaining a grand total of three yards before they kicked a 39-yard field goal to end the festivities. In this particular upside-down corner of the college football world,SMU "won" 27-30. Congrats!
No. -6 USC . . . In addition to the shocking loss at Washington, you can blame Pete Carroll for this ranking as well. According to him,Jake Locker is the best quarterback that his team has faced in the nine years that he's been piloting the Trojans. We could argue that point, but won't. It's more interesting to call into question his previous banana peel incidents that came at the hands ofMatt Moore (Oregon State 2006), Patrick Cowan (UCLA 2006), Tavita Pritchard (Stanford 2007) and Lyle Moevao (Oregon State 2008). Succumbing to those world beaters in recent years earns USC this retroactive ranking.
No. -5 Lane Kiffin's Mouth . . . Urban Meyer absolutely deserves an assist, but when will it end for Kiffin? Will it ever? He's been a collegiate head coach for a grand total of three games, so it's simply remarkable that he's already the poster boy for poor behavior. At 1-2, Kiffin needs to shut up and coach.