Monday, November 2, 2009

All uphill from here
The warning signs, the blinking red lights and buzzers, were all there from the first game. Maybe no one heard the sirens or maybe they just pretended to ignore the red flags of what has become reality for the USC football team.
San Jose State went wide to the outside, and turned the corner for yardage. Washington State found daylight up the middle against an overrated front seven. Washington won 16-13 in Seattle. Notre Dame scored 27 points, and just missed going into overtime on a missed pass attempt at South Bend. Oregon State had everyone sweating in the Coliseum by scoring 36 points as Mike Riley tried to zero-in on another upset.
Then, last Saturday night, Oregon completed the Pacific 10 coup, scoring 47 points in a crushing defeat, a nationally-televised disaster that could have been worse. The Trojans were left naked, exposed for what they really are. The hype and swagger couldn't tackle, couldn't catch a pass, couldn't run down the Ducks' Jeremiah Masoli when he broke out of the backfield and rambled nearly 50 yards untouched.
The posturing and intimidating attitude that has become a frequent and penalty-flag calling card was swept away by the haunting boooos of 47,000 Autzen Stadium Halloween goblins. The ghouls of Oregon, a state where USC hasn't won since 2005, buried the Trojans' season in a Eugene graveyard.
Now, out of the race for the BCS championship, eliminated from playing on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl, USC has been relegated to the steerage of the bowl season, It has four games left with Arizona State this Saturday, then Stanford, UCLA and Arizona. The season, like the ashes, is cold.

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