Will it feel weird if USC goes to the Rose Bowl without winning the Pac-12 or even the Pac-12 South? What about Ohio State going to the College Football Playoff without making the Big Ten championship game? This is college football circa 2016.
USC fans want to play Michigan but a more likely scenario is facing Penn State or Wisconsin. A rematch of last year’s Holiday Bowl vs. Wisconsin, even with Justin Wilcox, sounds b-o-r-i-n-g. At least Penn State’s James Franklin brings a little fire.
By the way, USC’s 9-3 record looks pretty good after that 1-3 start. You know who else is 9-3? Stanford. Not bad after a 3-2 start. But that is life in the Pac-12, where six teams have losing records. USC and Stanford could both end up 10-3 with bowl victories. If only Keller Chryst had started sooner. Just kidding.
Clay Helton said he will speak to Adoree Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster in December about their futures. Helton was asked if he wants to go to the Rose Bowl: “We’ll get picked to go to a special place.”
On the ide of going to Rose Bowl without winning Pac-12 South or Pac-12 title, Helton said, “That’s the system we’re under.”
Helton was asked about Notre Dame defensive lineman Jerry Tillery kicking Aca’Cedric Ware’s head and stepping on Zach Banner’s ankle: “I think it was a poor decision by a young person.” Helton said it was not a reflection on Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Ware had x-rays and an MRI that were negative and will be observed for concussion-like symptoms. Linebacker Porter Gustin lost a tooth during the game.
Former USC player/assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu was fired today as UCLA offensive coordinator and will not return to the school. It’s a tough break for Polamalu, who longed to call plays and got into a famous argument/altercation with Lane Kiffin at the Sun Bowl about his duties. Polamalu was always immensely popular with his players wherever he coached.
USC ended the regular season in resounding style as Adoree Jackson put on a one-man show. In my analysis, I look at how USC’s fans remained skeptical throughout the season.
Excerpt: The season ended with an average home attendance of 68,459 per game, the lowest since 2002. If USC’s own fans are not too excited, why should anyone else be? Not that it deterred the Trojans from enjoying the often-wet atmosphere in the Coliseum.
“I felt like it was back in 2005,” USC safety Chris Hawkins said. “We were dancing in the student section.”
Hey, everyone gets lucky now and then, right? I correctly predicted USC would defeat Notre Dame, 45-27. Thanks, Brian Kelly for the failed 2-point conversion! Although I’m sure that angered all those gamblers who had Notre Dame +17.5.
Colorado defeated Utah, 27-22, and will now play Washington in the Pac-12 title game. USC will now take some time off and wait to see what happens. If Washington goes to the College Football Playoff, there is a chance USC could go to the Rose Bowl. USC’s other best option is the Alamo Bowl.
Does Colin Cowherd realize Mike MacIntyre of Colorado might deserve national coach of the year consideration yet?