Trojans’ season can be salvaged with ‘imperfect 10’
For all intents and purposes, a chapter of USC football has been closed. The quest for an eighth consecutive conference championship is over. Unless, of course, you’re one of those finding that they have yet to be mathematically eliminated for at least a share of the league prize. That would also make you one of those pinning your hopes on uncontrollable factors, which would include Washington State beating Oregon State down the stretch. I hate to be the one to burst your bubble or correct your impaired vision, but the Cougars beating anyone is a reach.
Let’s face the facts. There’s little left to defend, outside of pride and honor. The Pac 10 title is gone. A thirteen game home win streak, gone. The possibility of a top-5 finish, done, kaput, over. “No loss” November is now just a page on a calendar, no different than any other. 2009 began with the drubbing of another opponent in January’s Rose Bowl. Now approaching December, the empire has suffered historical margins of defeat that has some critics implying that the team has quit on their coach.
Unless you’re a true freshman, quitting would be easy. For anyone else, it’s a difficult season to stomach, after experiencing the glory that comes with dominance and success. Now UCLA is just around the corner, and the sight of the Bruins is a motivational tool in itself. But there’s another reason these Trojans should fight on and to the finish, because one streak still remains intact.
There are two games that remain on the USC schedule. Both are played in the Coliseum, and one opponent is a rival. In the season finale with Arizona, the Trojans could be be in a position to play Pac 10 spoiler, while also defending a streak that began in 2002.
Three victories to close the season will give the Trojans 10 wins, extending a streak that currently stands at 7 years. Of course, the third game to close the season and record win No. 10 would be the postseason bowl. Texas holds the longest active streak of 10-win seasons, elevating their number to 10 years with a victory last week.
For motivation, I give you something to take pride in, and something worthy of defense. Ten victories may salvage what has been a long and painful season, because it will represent one lone achievement amidst all those that failed.