Thank you, USC Trojans, for not showing up to play Saturday night in South Bend. You did the greater metropolis a big favor. You made less complicated a very busy night of channel flipping. You allowed millions of Trojan fans, who are also Dodger fans, to switch over early to scrutinize which opponent the Dodgers are going to be playing next Tuesday in the World Series.
You freed up “record” space on TV devices and made moot having to “add extension” in case of an exciting single, double or triple overtime.
How many missed endings have YOU missed by not hitting the extension add on your recording device?
The only “torn” segment of civilized society may have been for those UCLA fans, who are also Dodger fans, who may have had to choose American League baseball, with that insidious designated hitter, over watching USC get its rears kicked on national television.
That’s always going to be a tough call.
USC’s “patty-cake” act in South Bend, however, freed most Angelenos to completely set aside college football, for the foreseeable future, to focus on the foreseeable present.
Game 7 of the ALCS, between the Yankees and Astros, was way more compelling than Game 8 of USC’s season, which took a dreadful turn on the turnpike.
USC’s defense was so helpless and horrendous it was rumored former coordinator Justin Wilcox phoned just to say “wow.”
Yes, Notre Dame had a week to prepare and yes, USC entered the game with a lot of injuries. And yes, Sam Darnold’s second season at quarterback is way different than his first.
But 28-0 at halftime?
Don’t ask me the final score because I’m going to have to trust my Sunday morning paper on that one. It says 49-14. In 2005 the Trojans walked out of South Bend with the famous “Bush Push.” This was “The Love Tap.”
USC’s defeat did sort out some things. It put to end, basically, the notion that the Trojans can make this year’s playoff after a (whatever-the-score-was) loss at Notre Dame.
The Trojans rallied from 1-3 last year to make the Rose Bowl, but that was a different dynamic. This loss was worse than last year’s 52-6 opening loss to Alabama: Max Browne started that game. Saturday’s game will wake up the echoes at Notre Dame, which has proved itself a legitimate national title threat, and probably will start a chorus in Los Angeles about the long-term coaching viability of Clay Helton.
Save that for another day. USC’s next two games are at Arizona State and home against Arizona, suddenly not the “Ws” you marked down even a month ago.
Arizona State, a week after beating Washington, went to Utah on Saturday and walked-away a 30-10 winner. USC defeated Utah last week by one point. And now Arizona is 5-2 after a late night, overtime, win over California.
The Pac 12’s playoff light is getting dimmer. One-loss Washington, which had a bye week, now remains the last, best chance. Thank goodness it upgraded its non-conference schedule with Rutgers, right?
Or maybe you missed it: Rutgers has now won two straight Big Ten games for the first time since joining the league in 2014.
The U of Dub can also lean on Fresno State, right? Because that FSU has a better W-L (5-2) record than the FSU in Tallahassee (2-4).
Also, Washington’s seven-point loss at Arizona State last week won’t look so bad if the Sun Devils keep playing like they did Saturday at Salt Lake City.
It’s amazing what happens when you allow a season to play out.
For now, USC fans, sit back and relax. And enjoy the World Series. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.