Will USC Respond to Coaching Change?
Will USC Respond to Coaching Change?
By Wayne Root:
The Southern Cal Trojans play their first game of the post-Lane Kiffen era Thursday Night at home against Arizona in a game that will be nationally televised by FoxSports1. Ed Orgeron takes over on a temporary basis at head coach. You would expect more effort from the players who hated Kiffen, but the jury is still out on how much talent is really on the roster.
Blue Chips don't matter if you don't have a quarterback who can get them the ball! And, stud wide receiver Marquise Lee might have to miss the game because of a sprained knee. Can the team that couldn't score much on this field against Washington State and Utah State find a way to reach the end zone against Arizona? With Lee hobbled or out?
It would be easy to answer that question if we knew much about Arizona. Unfortunately, the team has yet to give us a good look against top competition. Their game against Washington plays played in a rainstorm. Conditions should be much better in Southern California.
The best case interpretation of Arizona so far:
- They dominated Northern Arizona, UNLV, and Texas-San Antonio
- UNLV and Texas San-Antonio have had some other decent outings
- They hung tough at Washington much of the way in tough scoring conditions
The worst case interpretation:
- Their offense really didn't look very good at any point considering who they were playing
- Rich Rodriguez isn't a very good coach, making him an AZ version of Lane Kiffin
- USC has seen variations of this style of offense a few times this year already
I learned a lot about Arizona when they faced UNLV up here in Las Vegas. But, teams from major conferences tend to dominate UNLV wherever the game is played. So, that 58-13 win must still be kept in perspective.
As I write this, I still haven't decided yet how I'm going to attack this game. THE KING OF UPSETS could step out on Arizona because USC is 1-4 ATS this year and will be lacking a key weapon. But, my sources have told me that team attitude was HORRIBLE under Kiffin, and has no place to go but up after the coaching change. We could see a revitalized Trojan effort that could inspire a strong second half run. It's still possible for them to win the Pac 12 South with two league losses because their main competitors still have some tough games left.
I can tell you this...the Pac 12 schedule this weekend is set up to produce a potential SHOCK THE SYSTEM release from WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
- Stanford at Utah: This is a very tough schedule spot for the visiting Cardinal. They had a real war with Washington late last Saturday Night. And, that was after two intense games with Arizona State and Washington State that the team gave top priority. Is there any gas left in the tank for a trip to Utah? The Utes gave UCLA all they could handle last Thursday, and have a couple extra days to prepare.
- Oregon at Washington: This Washington defense might have what it takes to derail the Oregon juggernaut. They held Stanford to 279 total yards last week, and you all remember how they embarrassed Boise State 38-6 in their home opener. If Washington had last week off, I definitely would have been on them here as a live dog with upset potential. I need to determine if they have anything left in their tanks after that Stanford game. Washington is for real. Drawing Oregon and Stanford in back-to-back weeks was a very bad break.
- Oregon State at Washington State: I'm not going to say much here...other than the fact that the game is near pick-em but I think one team is going to have a statement performance in a victory by at least a touchdown. Will that qualify for the handful of BEST BETS that I release to my paying customers? It just might...you'll have to sign up to find out.
- Colorado at Arizona State and California at UCLA: I'm not going to suggest these games upset potential. I am going to suggest that either big favorite could come in flat and overconfident in this schedule spot...and that either underdog could step up and play a good game. Cal is long overdue to cover a spread. Colorado has a great attitude under their new head coach.
I continue to believe the Pac 12 is the second best conference in college football right now...and is a lot closer to #1 SEC than many think. I hope we get to see Oregon/Alabama in a bowl game. I'm very confident at the moment that the Pac 12 will do well in the postseason.
Arizona/USC will kick off a huge weekend in the league and college football as a whole Thursday Night. You can purchase my Thursday football picks right here at the website with your credit card. Any questions can be answered by my representative in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS.
October is a month for upsets, as I discussed last week. Somebody important is going to be falling very soon. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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