Los Angeles, California – “At the end of my decision process, I was affirmed that two wonderful options stand before me. I am prepared to play quarterback in the NFL. It is my dream to play quarterback in the NFL. And I intend to make that dream a reality. … But I know in my heart that I have not finished my journey as a Trojan football player. Our USC football team has been through some tough times, and we have persevered. But the 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to, and I intend to play a part in it.”
Ever since Matt Barkley spoke these words at a press conference held on December 22nd, Trojan fans have anxiously been awaiting the upcoming football season. “Unfinished Business” has become the mantra for the 2012 USC Trojan team. With the season less than two weeks away, USC is about to begin their journey to finish that business.
What is the Unfinished Business, though?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Barkley wants a National Championship capped off with a Heisman. Barkley has been vocal about his desire to bring home the bronze statue and we are all aware of the expectations the Trojans have this season. This might be SC’s last shot to meet those expectations with the brunt of the sanctions hitting them over the next couple of seasons.
So, how does USC go about finishing said business? Here are five things the Trojans need to do to reach the college football Promised Land:
5. Gangbang the Pac-12: The Pac-12 is not the strongest conference in college football. I mean, it’s not not as weak as the Big East or the ACC, but it’s not as dominant as the Big XII or SEC, either. With that said, most serious contenders in 2012 will have a significant advantage when it comes to Strength of Schedule. USC should expect that other undefeated teams will vault them if they come from a stronger conference.
Knowing this, the Trojans are going to have to channel their inner-Chip Kelly and demolish their opponents by the largest margin possible. USC cannot afford to take their foot off the gas this season. I’m not necessarily encouraging poor sportsmanship as much as I am suggesting that the Trojans play by college football’s rules instead of their own this season. It’s not something I would normally suggest, but the ends justify the means.
Writers won’t admit it, but most of them love beatdowns in college football. It gives them a sense of where teams stand. Since most competition in college football takes place inside the conference, if you have a weak conference then writers are hesitant to give you their top vote. This is where the beatdown comes into play. Everybody loves coaches like Boise State’s Chris Petersen. He plays the game right and he knows how to show tact. You know what the voters loved more? The Auburn and Oregon teams that were scoring a point a minute and couldn’t be stopped.
Sure, Boise State and TCU had fantastic seasons. Oregon and Auburn had unforgettable seasons, though. The Ducks and the Tigers weren’t just better than everyone else, they were much better than everyone else. And USC will need to be that much better than everybody else if they expect to get the nod over a team from a stronger conference. It’s not enough to beat their opponents; they need to leave them walking funny.