247Sports' Brad Crawford just ranked 'College football's 10 most-hated teams of all time,' and USC football was sure to make the list. The 2005 Trojans were ranked as the second-most hated team of all time. It was perfect. The best part about being a USC fan is knowing that your team is one of the most hated programs in the country.
They're hated for great reasons. They have the second-most National Titles ever (11), the most Heismans ever (7), and the most Rose Bowls ever (25--17 more than the next-closest team). There's no better feeling than knowing that this team is hated for the best possible reasons. Heck, USC even steals head coaches from other blue bloods these days.
As for the 2006 Trojans specifically, it really speaks to how hated this program is. This wasn't even a team that won the national championship. Yes--even one of USC's teams that didn't win it all is so good that they are the second-most hated team of all time. Many do consider the '05 Trojans to be the best college football team to not win a Natty.
USC football's 2005 team was easy to hate.
USC football had multiple Heismans on the squad in 2005. Matt Leinart won it in 2004, and Reggie Bush won it in 2005. Funny enough, USC had another running back on the roster outside of Bush (LenDale White) who had nearly 200 carries. White had 197, and Bush had 200. It speaks to how dominant White was too. He led the country in touchdowns that year (24).
He also had two receiving touchdowns, and Bush did too to go along with his 16 rushing touchdowns. White's 1,302 rushing yards that year were already ridiculous. Bush adding on 1,740 more made this running game unstoppable.
How did this team not win that third straight National Title? It certainly wasn't due to an imbalanced offense. Leinart threw for a career-high 3,815 yards, and also threw 28 touchdowns to only eight picks. This team came into the National Title game 34-0 in their last 34 games. With or without a Natty, they were too good not to hate. Here's what Crawford had to say about the team in his article:
"The glory days of 21st century USC Football came to a head in 2005 when the Trojans were front-and-center every week on College GameDay with Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and others dominating the national conversation. Everyone knew about the win streak and East Coasters were often glued to TVs every Saturday for late-night action. USC-Texas was perhaps the biggest hype machine game of all-time and it delivered as Vince Young and the Longhorns won in the closing seconds, snapping USC’s run at the top. Earlier that season, Bush helped USC beat Notre Dame by pushing Leinart into the end zone in South Bend and eventually won a Heisman that was later stripped. The Trojans featured one of the most explosive offenses of all-time, scoring 50 or more points seven times that season."- Brad Crawford, 247Sports
50+ points seven times. They were incredible. This article hasn't even mentioned Dwayne Jarrett, who had 1,274 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. The defense was stout, featuring most notably DL Frostee Rucker's 58 tackles (13 for loss) and DB Darnell Bing's 4 interceptions. The coach was pretty phenomenal too.
Now that USC has another elite coach for the first time since Pete Carroll was here, perhaps another National Championship appearance is on the horizon. When USC has the right coach, there truly is nothing like it. Nothing like it to the point where they're even the second most-hated team of all time in a year they don't even win the national title.