The USC Trojans are quickly becoming the joke of not just the Pac-12 for the 2012 College Football season, but for the entire state of California. Remember; this is the team that was ranked number one on the AP preseason poll.
Now? It’s number 6 in the state of California, who is sending two teams, 10-2 Stanford and 9-3 UCLA, both ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings, to the Conference championship game. One of them will be going to the Rose Bowl. USC? All projections suggest that the 7-5 team will be headed to face Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, taking place at El Paso, Texas. USC played there twice in the 1990’s.
The loss to Notre Dame, at home, was the final coffin in a terrible and disappointing season for the Trojans, beginning with easy wins over Hawai’i and Syracuse, but changed quickly into a bad one. It began with the loss to Stanford, but USC rebounded with a bunch of weakling, earning four straight victories over California, Utah, Washington and Colorado. Terrible teams, misleading wins. The closing month exposed Lane Kiffin and the team (still under certain restrictions) he build: Four losses in five games, including to Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame.
USC failed to beat a ranked team and lost all their games (4) to teams in the top 25. They become the first preseason AP number one team to finish with 5 losses since Ole Miss in 1964, finishing that season with a 5-5-1 record.
And it’s a glance at other California schools from mid-major programs that finished with a better record than USC that’s even more shocking and telling as to how bad this season was. San Jose State finished with a 10-2 record, ranked #25 in the BCS. One of their losses this year was to Stanford.
San Diego State finished the season with 7 wins in a row, claiming a 9-3 record, with two of their losses coming against San Jose State and Fresno State. Fresno also finished the season with an impressive 9-3 record. All those teams got votes in the latest AP Poll. The only team worst than USC this season in the state of California was… California, with a 3-9 record. They fired their head coach Jeff Tedford after 11 seasons, finishing with a losing record for the second time in three seasons.
There are many calling for the head of Lane Kiffin. It’s not just his behavior that’s annoying Trojans faithful and those in wider circles. Kiffin’s play-calling and simply the inability to make something more of a super talented offense with Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee is good enough to get him fired in a lot of other places. Maybe Trojan chiefs know something we don’t; about upcoming classes, and about the time the restrictions fall. In plenty of people’s books, Kiffin’s 25-12 record with USC over the last three season warrants a termination letter, which would make a lot of College Football fans around the country very happy.
Sometimes, it’s very easy to blame one man for the shortcomings and failures over a long period of time by an entire program.