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1st & 10:
First Take… Could USC benefit from Bruce Feldman’s Body Blow Theory when they line up against Oregon this Saturday?
Evidence from this season suggests…..no.
In case you haven’t heard mention of the theory before, Feldman postulated that win or lose, the week after facing a bruising team like Stanford teams experience a drop off in performance because of the physical toll of the previous match up.
Back in 2012 when Feldman was writing about the theory, teams were 3-6 after facing Stanford and 2-7 against the spread.
But the Body Blow Theory has been blown out of the water for various reasons this season. First and foremost, teams have actually won a lot of games after facing the Cardinal — and not just games they should have won.
Nine teams have faced Stanford, not including Oregon who has yet to play their “Body Blow” game. Six have won the following week. Three have lost. Those three — UCF, Oregon State and Colorado — have a combined six wins between them.
Essentially, teams with a pulse have been able to shake off the Stanford aspect of the theory fairly easily.
In fact, teams have thrived. USC blew out ASU. Arizona demolished Oregon State. UCLA handled Cal. Washington embarrassed Arizona. Washington State beat the Sun Devils. Even Colorado gave USC a game the week after being beaten by the Cardinal.
Considering the Buffaloes tight loss, teams have gone 7-2 against the spread after facing Stanford.
So while it would be nice to point to this particular advantage for the Trojans, the results just haven’t been there this year to support that boost.
USC will have to beat Oregon without Stanford’s help.
And Ten USC Football News Links…
- Reign of Troy: We looked at USC’s match up with the Duck offense, which is hitting its stride with Vernon Adams at the helm.
- Reign of Troy: The Trojans will likely be without Leon McQuay III and Tre Madden, Clay Helton indicated after practice.
- OC Register: Who should USC hire as the next head coach? Rick Neuheisal suggests David Shaw or John Harbaugh to restore the Trojans physical dominance. Petros Papadakis wants Kyle Whittingham. Brock Huard is looking for a home run hire, in his estimation Kevin Sumlin or Bob Stoops.
- LA Times: Ronald Jones II admits that the cold got to him in Colorado. With a day game and favorable forecast, that shouldn’t be a problem in Oregon.
- LA Times: Fellow running back Justin Davis noted that Stanford had costly turnovers against Oregon. The Trojans are looking to avoid the same trouble.
- ESPN: USC vs. Oregon won’t have any national appeal or Heisman implications, but the two teams still have plenty at stake.
- ESPN: Clay Helton would rather have a team that finishes than starts fast. Luckily for him its worked so far.
- USCFootball.com: Adoree’ Jackson is not pleased with how his sophomore season has gone, aiming for spectacular instead of just all right.
- Football Study Hall: Saman Djabbari breaks down the advanced statistics of USC’s victory over Colorado.
- ESPN: The guys over at the Pac-12 Blog submitted their choice for the conference’s defensive player of the year….and Su’a Cravens was not pleased with their choices.
Stat of the Day:
According to FiveThirtyEight.com, USC has a 32% chance of winning the Pac-12. Stanford leads with a 45% mark. Utah and UCLA are at 12% and 7%.