USC Morning Buzz: Pac-12 Needs To Be As Ruthless As SEC

In my Pac-12 column today, I write that the conference needs to act more like the SEC if it wants to have more teams make the College Football Playoff.

Excerpt: Alabama wasn’t playing a Friday night road game this season. Who did? USC and Washington. Both lost. A 12-1 USC or 12-1 Washington would give the committee a lot more to think about.

Wolf: Pac-12 needs to become as ruthless as the SEC

95 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Pac-12 Needs To Be As Ruthless As SEC

  1. Look at who the President’s of the Pac 12 schools are. Lesbo foreigners, bookworm psychologists, ex government worker, I think only one ever worked in the private sector, and you want that bunch to be ruthless ?

        • Quit acting like a scorned little b**ch. Leave PW out of it. Your detective skills have mislead you, once again

      • He’d fit right in with the nationalist socialists. What did they used to call those back in Germany? Oh, yeah, nazi.

          • You’re defending a guy that uses those labels? You’re no better. That’s how it works, call one group out for not fitting in then segregate the next because they don’t look at he same..Auschwitz was built by people who thought just like that

          • Everybody is a racist or a Nazi that doesn’t agree with your viewpoint. I realize it is not politically correct, but I am not fond of the LGBT movement and all it stands. No better or no worse than everyone else. If you like two guys kissing and holding hands GO FOR IT!

          • You read too much into it. Just stop segregating. You don’t have to like anything, you don’t have to be their friend you don’t have to do business with them. Just put a star on them so we all know who they are..

        • If I have to explain it is hardly worth the time. Ask any 5 grade government working teacher and they will explain why people try to label and name call. Usually comes from lack of education, understanding and fear.

          • Says who? Last time I checked, Lesbian or Lesbo, is not a race or ethnicity of people. I’ll ask you one more time, how was his comment racist?

          • Actually your both correct it is not racist but a very derogatory term. Congrats.

          • University presidents have always been academics, but in the past they, and also politicians (including democrats like Pat Brown) were uniquely focused on excellence. Not anymore. Now it is about “diversity”.

          • Do you honestly believe that any of these Presidents care more about the LGBT movement than their football teams?

          • I corrected it. Now I’m polically correct. Sad that people revel in trying to belittle groups of people not like themselves. Enjoy your day

          • Actually, you were the one belittling because you did not like what Cortez posted. Now who is at fault? Like or not the First Amendment of the Constitution protects his right to have an opinion, whether you like it or not.

      • What part is not correct Warrior? He just said it the way it is. No Politcal Correctness to it. I liked it.

      • That’ s because the NFL has an even playing field. Unless you’re the patriots. That’s a whole different story.

  2. If we played a bunch of soft teams Scott would complain. If we played games when it was weather wise or during normal hours, Scott would complain. So we’re not the SEC. Does anybody really want to be?

    • Scott complaining is as expected as the sunrise. We just carry on in spite of him and maintain a sense of humor through it all.

  3. I said two months ago, it’s not popular but times have changed. We need to play ND. every other year. Reasons are simple, ND. on our schedule is now just part of our schedule. Recruits don’t get excited about it. So we add teams like Bama and Texas. We need to play them every other year so our schedule isn’t so brutal. Playing 9 conference games now plus two big non conference games is physically brutal. If we would have played someone else less physical against either ND. or Texas, we’re not as banged up and we’re in the playoffs. It’s time to change, every other year would make it even more special. Plus provides our scheduling more flexibility. It gives our recruiting more exciting games against big teams without the expense of wins and losses. The PAC 12 and USC needs to roll with the punches just like the other conferences. Oklohama and Ok. State don’t play on the last game of the year anymore. Big Ten changing their conference alignment. These things took hits from uninformed fans but their hits now. Win more games, play in more playoffs and the PAC -12 can demand more dollars and get on a national stage with Direct T.V.

      • That’s why we can’t wait anymore on the PAC 12. We must do the things that put us back in the spotlight. To pay for better coaches and facilities down the road. Things that get us in better position and play for National Championships again.

    • I respectfully disagree. Play the best, beat the best, no question, you’re the best. Drop ND to make the playoffs? Please….just win baby. Only adjusting needs to be done is by Larry Scott, and that’s to put out a fair unbiased schedule with a bye week before any road Friday night games, if they have to exist. That’s it.

      • I understand, but that’s what me and you feel. I’m saying if other conferences are doing the things that bring them National Championships and the PAC -12 wants to live in the 70’s then USC has to adapt. I think it’s time for USC to go independent in football only. Maybe look at the Big 12, USC and the PAC 12 is being left behind. Look at the disparity in money through 2025. It’s forecasted to double by the next contract extensions. If we can’t keep up with the facilities and the coaches contracts then we are done. It’s getting closer than you think.

        • Being independent could be good financially, but it takes away the conference championship mantle. I can see ND being independent, but BYU isn’t doing all that great. With some of these new coaches the conference can rise up, and with a new comish it could really rise up. Pac12 has nowhere to go but up.

  4. writer is so rite! if john rosen and ucla didnt have to play satirday gaims ether they wuold be in play offs, smdh

    • I remember Jim Mora saying that VERY thing —word for word—-after every loss. He even concluded with the very same phrase —“shaking my damn head.”
      Coincidence? I wonder.

  5. This conference will not change a thing until there is a new commissioner with a set of testicles. Until then expect games on Friday nights and late Saturdays, an unfulfilling tv network, very poor officiating, and no respect from the NCAA. Larry Scott HAS to go.

  6. Nobody takes the PAC 12 serious, because most of the teams play finesse football, and very few play defense. The conference reminds me of the old WAC, which featured Lavell Edwards old BYU teams, all offense, and no defense. I know Willie Taggart will eventually have Oregon playing physical football, and hopefully so will Herm Edwards over at Arizona State, because the conference needs a tougher reputation in order to be respected

      • I thought Stanford was a standard bearer for physical football? We beat them twice. I’m not saying SC plays the same style as Alabama or is an extremely physical team. I do believe our physicality is underrated on this board. I see missed blocks/assignments blamed on physicality often here. If the final stand vs Stanford when they were awarded 6 plays inside our red zone doesn’t speak to our improved physicality then I don’t know what will? If st the beginning of the year I asked Fred if we beat Stanford 2X this user and win a PAC 12 championship will you support Helton I bet he would have said yes.

        • Very smart observation, Brent4c. There is probably no other team that could have stopped Stanford at the goal line more effectively than we did….repeatedly [and that includes any team you want to mention from the SEC]. Our problem on defense has not been lack of physicality on the line—–it’s been the goofy play of our corners. Fix that one weakness and —-with our offense—we’re good to go against anybody.

          • “My kingdom for Jonathan Lockett’s miraculous recovery” (okay, maybe mine isn’t quite as literary….).

          • If you have watched the game again, notice the huge adjustment the defense made on that goal line stand. Thank Pendy for that. 11 guys on the line.

          • Yep. He knew how Shaw would think —-and he countered! He out-thought Whittingham on the 2 point attempt at the end of the Utah game, too.

        • Totally agree, but I believe SC really damaged itself and reinforced the perception it’s not a physical team with the ND fiasco. USC got brutalized that game and it wasn’t just missed assignments and wrong head placements. We were physically punished.

          The Irish kind of woke up USC, thank God. After that laugher, USC returned to Los Angeles a scorned outfit and USC’s OL coach was walking out of interviews, et al. It was bad. To SC’s credit, they drew a line there and got refocused and started playing tough and more physical again.

          But the non-physical label was promoted by USC itself against ND, when the world was watching and stopped after the 1st half because we had all seen enough.

          USC has been tougher after that humiliation and that’s why we’re in the Cotton against OHIO ST. Our stand against STAN was one of our best ever. It won the game and hopefully set the tone for OHIO ST.

          • Still can’t believe the ND nightmare, and agree Trojans are very different team now. Plus, with a LOT more team speed than Wisconsin, who hung in with OSU in the second half of that game.

          • For some reason, the team got it into their head —after Sam’s first down “fumble”—that it wasn’t their day. From time to time, I’ve seen this reaction to a bad start in sports ranging from boxing to tennis. The odd thing is that this wasn’t at all in character for the 2017 Trojan team —-usually their reaction to adversity is to fight even harder.

          • Physicality isn’t our problem. Having 23 people on the IR that week was, playing two true freshmen one which had to burn a redshirt and having 6 of your top 8 linemen out. ND. having a bye week was the big difference. Which gets me back to USC scheduling and other conferences are not allowing this to transpire against its elite teams in the conference. You think OH State, Bama, Clemson, or Texas puts themselves in those positions. No, we need to schedule better period.

          • Any objective person looking at our injuries on both sides of the line, PLUS our byeless schedule, PLUS Notre Dame’s bye the weekend before playing us —-would have predicted a bad day in South Bend.
            [I say any “objective” person cuz, even though Jack B. kept warning me that we better watch out, I predicted easy victory].

          • Most of our top OLs aren’t great anyway. They’re all just average guys, some below average – and those are the starters.

            Injuries are a part of the game and many teams had as many or worse injuries as USC did. Teams like FSU and ORE lost their QBs and the party was over for them. Had USC lost Darnold, bye bye. I’m not complaining.

            We’ll just agree to disagree on the ND deal. I have my own set of eyes and I saw ND throw us around like a rag doll and it wasn’t because of injuries. We weren’t prepared to play, period, got hit in the mouth and rolled over like punks. Even Kelly came out after the game and said it could have been a lot worse if he wanted. And buy the way, we were suddenly fine against ASU the next week. The difference wasn’t injuries, it was the opponent.

            By scheduling “better”, I guess you mean only play ND as the good out of conference game. I think that would be a horrible shame, but I’m sure it would help our shot at an NC based on how things are run now.

            The truth is, this 2-loss USC team could have made the POs if we just looked better against the weaker teams. But we always played down, committed massive penalties and kept crappy teams in games, making ourselves look bad. Nobody was impressed with that and in the end, USC just didn’t pass the eyeball test – like OHIO ST.

          • Agree to a point, but if ND was so much better than us, how did Stanford beat them easily?

          • Match-ups. It’s all about that. And ND fell apart in MIA. That was a bone crushing public defeat for them.

            Suddenly, the Catholics v Convicts was reversed on ND and they lost really bad, 41-8. ND just ran into a big-time buzz saw. They lost all their mojo that day and any real shot at the POs. It was a big and sudden drop for ND because once that happened, and with no conference title game to prop them up, they quit a little IMO.

            So they walked into STAN, which was a team on the upswing with a new, exciting QB, Costello (reminds me of Darnold), and lost a pretty tough game that saw STAN dominate at the end.

            And for some reason, ND’s QB started regressing and after the USC game. He never looked good again. I don’t know why that is, but USC’s CBs have been bad all year.

            Personally, I don’t think Kelly is that good of a coach and I think Shaw at STAN just flat out-coached him. I’m a big fan of Shaw’s and that’s one reason I think Helton deserves some slack. He beat Shaw twice in one year. Now that’s impressive.

          • I’ll agree to disagree. We had no shot when we got off the plane the next week we had 3 of our 6 back. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that AZ. is as physical as ND. But what I’m seeing from you is that you think the saying next man up really is what coaches believe. They don’t. It’s a heartbeat statement having 6 of your top eight our coaches and really probably the team knew they were in big trouble. Bottom line if you’d play football you know that those type of losses is unrealistic to win. It’s not a defeatist attitude it’s reality. There’s a reason why they’re sitting on the bench.

          • I guarantee you, Lynn Swann thought we had a great shot at beating ND in South Bend that day. And if he suspected that USC was going to get slaughtered going in, why did he wait until after the game to tell Helton to address several things that had nothing to do with injuries? There had been infighting on the USC coaching staff and it was open for the players to see.

            I’ve never said next-man-up is always good enough. That would be silly. Starters are obviously starters for a reason. I just said some of USC’s starters on the OL and at DB aren’t all that talented and never will be.

            If USC had been coached better, they could have beaten ND. MIA figured it out, and rolled the Irish. So did STAN. USC is better than both MIA and STAN. USC just didn’t show up against ND, regardless of injuries, and Swann and Helton had a big post-game talk about that.

          • Agree Jack, ND was awful. It’s interesting when other teams have a bad loss the talking heads mitigate it w a key injury etc. Clemson loses to Syr and all we hear is how the QB was hurt.
            SC lost effectively 3 DL that week and stared a true fresh DT yet not one word outside of SC circles how the real DL didn’t play that game.

          • I agree that the injuries hurt us. Poor Trojans. That’s the way it goes. We didn’t have the depth to survive in South Bend. But that’s no excuse to lose by a whopping 35 and it could have been 60!

            I remember talking with friends at the ND game half-time and were all fully amazed that at 28-0, we hadn’t seen one single thing positive about USC in the entire 30 minutes of play. USC laid down. On that day, we caved.

            Many here obviously want to blame it all on injuries or a bad call. I’m not buying that for a second. We weren’t ready and it was obvious once Darnold fumbled that early snap we were folding our tents and headed for a horrible beat down. Well, we got it. The nation took notice and never really took this SC team seriously after that day in South Bend. SC fans don’t always see things the way the rest do, and on that day, the rest saw what I saw: a mentally weak team that didn’t compete, was unprepared and was ready to make all the excuses in the book.

          • Even the vaunted Alabama with all their physicality would have been embarrassed by ND that day. I do not believe anyone would have beaten them that day, it just all came together for them at one time

          • That’s an interesting theory and I agree that ND played lights out. They were awesome.

            But ALA is NEVER embarrassed, at least score-wise, that I’ve seen. Saban’s just too prepared and good for that. It would be interesting to know when was the last time ALA lost by more than 14, let alone 35.

            Saban hasn’t been learning on the job for a long time. Helton’s still figuring it out and I think this last ND blow-out was a big piece of his learning puzzle. I know Swann had a big talk with him after the Notre Dame game, as he should have, and demanded that Helton handle some things that were bothering the staff and the team. USC is 5-0 since then and looking better than at any time all year.

      • Willie is most likely out the door, Herm Edwards got the job because the AD is his old agent and is an awful coach

  7. Scooter, so what you are saying is that the PAC 12 should never play a Friday night game (bama), never travel for an important nonconference road game, play only 8 conference games, play division 2 teams in November and don’t make the league championship game but still got to the playoff? Now we get it.

    • Easy and sleazy, but it seems to work for Alabama.

      This may in time backfire against bama as people realize the sham they put on to get national recognition and committees react to it. As bama then schedules more competitive opposition their record comes back down to the level of the the rest of us hard working folks.

      • The solution is the 8 team playoff where every conference winner is guaranteed a berth.

  8. Lynn “I am Max Nikias Yes Man” Swann is carrying on Pat Haden’s athletic director legacy of being a wimp who bows down to the NCAA.

  9. I keep hearing how usc should schedule more out of conference creampuffs. One of the things I’ve always been proud of is that we are not afraid to schedule tough games. It may mean less opportunities for the playoffs, but if we are not good enough on any given year to handle out of conference foes, we probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. Even though I despise Notre Dame, I’ve always respected the fact that they play a tough schedule year in year out, and am happy to say that USC, Notre Dame , and UCLA are the only schools to never schedule lower division. I’m more mad that the SEC and ACC aren’t forced to play 9 conference games, and aren’t penalized for it, thus this conversation

    • Agree. If USC starts scheduling down, that would be so regrettable. But the way things are, the ACC and SEC get to skate because the south dominates the make-up of those who control the game IMO.

      This ridiculous no bye deal for USC is an inexcusable fubar at the doorstep of Larry Scott, who is looking worse and worse all the time. For some reason, the P12 presidents seem to love him.

      CFB is just wildly complicated. Endless debate. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here because we sure don’t come here for the so-called inside info.

  10. Darnold named first team all P12 ahead of Rosen.

    Other USC first-teamers: RoJo, Green, Nwosu, Smith, Tell, Pittman

    2nd teamers: Burnett, Lobendahn, Rector, Lopes

    HM: OL Chris Brown, RJr.; TB Stephen Carr, Fr.; DL Josh Fatu, Sr.; DB Chris Hawkins, RSr.; DB Iman Marshall, Jr.; WR Steven Mitchell Jr., RSr.; TE Tyler Petite, Jr.; DL Brandon Pili, Fr.; TB Tyler Vaughns, RFr.

  11. Scott Wolf knows better! You have a conference of school presidents that care less about whether a PAC-12 school makes the playoffs or not. They pay less for coaches and have the least facilities. And they have the worst commissioner there is.

  12. It’s simple as long as we are in a conference that plays nine games we will always be at a disadvantage.

  13. USC isn’t getting any respect as long as that wimp Lynn Swann is taking marching orders from the Greek fundraiser. Trojans having that second rate coaching staff doesn’t help either.

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