USC dropped to No. 21 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. USC is also No. 21 in the coaches’ poll. Full AP poll after the jump:
USC was exposed after seven weeks of indifferent play and leadership, as I wrote in my analysis from South Bend.
Excerpt: This coaching staff does not improve players. It does not coach them up or dress them down when things go poorly. The Saturday night massacre at Notre Dame was a disaster because there was an alarming lack of emotion on the sideline.
If you cannot win the line of scrimmage, you cannot play with the nation’s best teams. You can prance around the dreadful Pac-12 South but that is hardly the goal, unless you listen to Clay Helton.
The chickens came home to roost. I’ve been saying the same things week after week after week. But tonight USC played a real team that would not forgive mediocre play . . . or coaching.
What a joke of a performance for a team picked to be in the CFP. But what do you expect when USC never improves.
It’s the game of the year for USC . . . and Notre Dame. This is the first time since 2011 that Brian Kelly has faced USC with its full-time coach. He faced Ed Orgeron in 2013 and Clay Helton in 2015. That means Kelly has never defeated a full-time USC head coach in South Bend because he lost to Lane Kiffin in 2011.
In the flashback photo above, USC fullback Ben Wilson goes over the top of the line of scrimmage against Notre Dame in 1962.
USC safety Marvin Pollard, the father of current safety C.J. Pollard, was involved in an infamous onside kick in the 1991 USC-Notre Dame game. The Trojans scored to cut the Irish’s lead to 24-20 with 1:50 remaining.
USC then tried an onside kick. The ball hit a Notre Dame player then the ground and Pollard fell on it. A game official signaled USC recovered. But then another official came over and ruled Notre Dame’s Irv Smith recovered the ball. USC coach Larry Smith came on the field to protest and the Trojans received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
USC was already angry because Notre Dame scored a TD even though Tony Brooks fumbled before crossing the goal line.
“You hear all this talk about the luck of the Irish,” Pollard said. “It makes you wonder.”
USC players celebrate after Frank Jordan (3) kicks a field goal in the final six seconds to give the Trojans a 27-25 victory over Notre Dame in 1978.
Jordan made his field goal against Notre Dame on Nov. 25, 1978. Exactly one year earlier, on Nov. 25, 1977, Jordan made a field goal in the final three seconds to defeat UCLA, 29-27.