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September 15, 2010

Hold Your Chariots

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By The Daily Axe Staff
Muhammad Ali, bust portrait / World Journal Tr...
The 2010 USC Trojans are not exactly on par with boxing great Mohammed Ali.

Want a laugh? Check out the cheap 8.5″x 11″ piece of paper that Lane Kiffin and Friends posted on the doors of USC’s Heritage Hall today. The “motivational poster” features a picture of Mohammed Ali and claims that USC football is engaged in a “13 round heavyweight fight.” That they are. There are, however, several intellectual problems with the USC poster:

  • The paper cites USC’s first two wins–at Hawaii and versus Virginia–as if they are precursors to future success. While no rational observer doubts that the Trojans will win more games this year, no such people believe that USC will continue a 100% winning rate. In fact, Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples is threatening to drop the Trojans from the Top 25 Power Rankings for next week. They’ve already dropped to #22, behind fellow PAC-10 teams Oregon (#4), Stanford (#16), Arizona (#17), and Oregon State (#19).
  • “Stay Focused!” reads the penultimate line of the poster. Have the Trojans been focused at all this season? The USC defense is 73rd in the country in scoring defense by allowing 25 points per game. Furthermore, neither of their two opponents thus far are particularly good football teams, and both play in subpar conferences (Hawaii in the WAC, Virginia in the disappointing ACC). Even the USC offense, which looked so “focused” against Hawaii en route to posting 49 points on the Warriors, was outclassed by Virginia last Saturday. Virginia topped USC in virtually every offensive statistic, including first downs, total yards, and rushing yards.
  • “As of today only 43 teams in the nation are 2-0!” Correct, but deceiving. Everyone expects USC to be 2-0 at this point. Actually, everyone expects USC to be 2-0 and have a total winning margin of about 75 points. Their actual margin? 16 points, or barely one touchdown per game. Winning is a worthy source of pride, but USC is still underachieving. Plus, does USC now take pride in being one of the USA’s top 43 college football teams? Their former coach’s book is called “Win Forever.” That doesn’t sound like the motto of a team that is merely appreciative to be in the top 43.
  • “Toughness & Discipline!” Yeah right, Lane Kiffin. Shut up.

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About the Author

The Daily Axe Staff
The Daily Axe is an independent Stanford sports website covering Cardinal athletics year-round. Find The Daily Axe on http://DailyAxe.com and on social media via the links below.




 
 

 
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