Tag Archives: Pac 12

USC Trojans Ranked 15th in Coaches Poll

USC Trojans Football TicketsThe USA Today preseason Coaches’ Poll was released this past week with the USC Trojans ranked 15th, the fourth ranked Pac 12 team behind the Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins and Stanford Cardinal. The Trojans are in a pack of teams that includes long-time rival Notre Dame (17th), Arizona State (18th) and Washington (25th), indicative of the strength of the Pac 12 and the USC schedule. It’s an impressive pre-season rank for a Trojans team that was in a dire position mid-way through last season when then Head Coach Lane Kiffin was fired following a blowout loss to Arizona State in Tempe. Provided quarterback Cody Kessler can continue to show the improvement he displayed in the second half of last season, the Trojans should be in good position to contend for the Pac 12 South and have an outside chance to compete for the inaugural NCAA Football Final Four.

According to Las Vegas the Trojans are 5/1 odds to win the Pac 12, behind just Oregon and UCLA who are neck in neck at the top of the favored programs in the conference. These odds include 7/4 chance to win the Pac 12 South, behind UCLA who’s been pegged at 5/4. Arizona State and Arizona are just behind UCLA and USC in the Pac 12 South according to Las Vegas, with the Sun Devils at 3/1 and the Wildcats at 10/1. Overall Vegas has projected the Trojans to win 8.5 games, a likely realistic number considering the strength of their schedule.

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Rose Bowl Stadium

Will Ohio State face Stanford 2014 Rose Bowl?

With just three weeks remaining in the regular season the race for the Rose Bowl is taking form. This year’s Rose Bowl will be held January 1st in Pasadena. Here’s a look at the current race in the Big Ten and Pac 12.

Big Ten: Ohio State is undefeated, winners of 21 straight, and has a clear path to take home first place in the Big Ten Leaders division. Due to their victory over second place Wisconsin the Buckeyes would have to lose two of their remaining games to not make the Big Ten title game. In the Legends division, the race is still wide open, with Michigan State the one team that controls their own destiny. Michigan State is undefeated in the division but has three relatively tough games remaining. The Spartans travel to Northwestern and Nebraska followed by a home matchup with Minnesota. If they win out, they’re in. If they lose one or two games the Spartans open the path for Nebraska or Minnesota to take the Legends Division. The Minnesota Gophers are the surprise Big Ten team, winners of four straight conference games. The Gophers have already defeated Nebraska and finish up the regular season at Michigan State. If the Spartans lose at Northwestern or Nebraska and Minnesota wins out the Gophers would advance to the Big Ten title game. Nebraska, who won at Michigan this past weekend, hosts Michigan State in Lincoln on Saturday. If the Huskers defeat the Spartans and win their remaining games they’ll take the Legends Division.

Ohio State will be heavily favoured in the Big Ten title game, no matter who represents the Legends Division. If Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State win out the Rose Bowl will likely feature an undefeated Ohio State versus either Stanford or the Pac 12 South representative.

Pac 12 Conference

Pac 12

Pac 12: With Stanford’s victory over Oregon on Thursday the Cardinal control their own destiny in the Pac 12 North race. The Cardinal have a tough game with USC this coming weekend but wrap up conference play with a bad California team. They would need to lose both their remaining conference games for Oregon to overcome them, an extremely unlikely scenario. The race in the Pac 12 South is still very much wide open. First place Arizona State will take home the division if they win their remaining games including a key matchup with UCLA. The same goes for UCLA who will once again represent the Pac 12 South in a big rematch versus Stanford if they win out. Third place USC is on a hot streak lately but would need to defeat a good Stanford team this weekend as well as knock off UCLA in the battle of Los Angeles to end the season. Due to USC’s loss at Arizona State, the Trojans would still need major help to beat the Sun Devils. Arizona State’s late comeback versus Utah this weekend may have any realistic shot of USC winning the division. If the Trojans can defeat Stanford and win out there is still an outside shot though. ASU still has games remaining versus UCLA and their annual rivalry game with Arizona.

Rose Bowl Projection: It’s tough to see anyone beating Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. The same goes for Stanford in the Pac 12. Look for Stanford to knock off UCLA in the Pac 12 Title game, setting up a very attractive Rose Bowl matchup between the third and fourth ranked teams in the country, Ohio State and Stanford.

By:Chris Michaels

Can UCLA Win the PAC 12 in 2013?

After the first few weeks of the 2013 season the UCLA Bruins are the front runner in the PAC 12 South. Part of this is their good play and part of it is their cross town rivals, USC, are falling apart quickly. Lane Kiffin has been let go by the Trojans and they now have an interim coach. If that isn’t funny enough, the interim coach is allowing the offensive linemen to eat cookies while on the training room tables. I kid you not. That is another story for another time. Now that USC is basically out of the picture in the PAC 12 South it looks as if it is going to come down to Arizona State and UCLA. My personal opinion is that the team that doesn’t lose the silly game(s) will end up being in the PAC 12 championship game in early December.

Losing Silly Games

When I refer to silly games I mean games in which the ranked and/or favored team should easily win. In many of the conferences not named the SEC some of the contenders will lose game they should dominate. If UCLA is picked to beat Arizona by two touchdowns they should not lose that game. Unfortunately, both UCLA and Arizona State fans have seen their teams lose these silly games time and again. They will beat a top 10 Stanford team and come back and lose to an unranked Utah or Washington State team. The PAC 12 South team that can avoid this bad loss will likely come out ahead in the division. Getting past Utah on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 was a very big deal for the UCLA Bruins. This was a road game on a Thursday night and they are never easy. Being a Thursday night road favorite is a recipe for disaster.

The Bruins had to travel to Utah to play the Utes and they knew they had to return to Los Angeles the next morning to go to class. This is often quite difficult. In fact, this is one of the reasons we see so many Thursday night home dogs winning games against teams that are much better. Even though UCLA barely pulled this one out it is still a W in the column and that is all that matters. In fact, this might be just what UCLA needs to get over the hump and get into the top 10. Unfortunately, teams often get ahead of themselves and do not play for the game that week. This is very true for teams that reach the top 10 that have not been there in the recent past.

After watching endless weeks of college football I can remember numerous times when a team finally gets into the top 10 and they subsequently lose two or three straight. The old phrase, “act like you have been there” is extremely important when it comes to college football rankings. Trying to keep college football athletes grounded is like trying to drink watch from a fire hydrant. It is not that easy and some people end up making a fool of themselves. If coach Jim Mora, Jr. can keep the UCLA Bruins grounded for the entire 2013 season I will be extremely impressed.

Winning the PAC 12 This Year

Since the PAC 12 has split into two divisions the North division has been much stronger than the South division. The same is true this year. Both Oregon and Stanford are in the top 10 while the only major contender in the south is UCLA. I know Arizona State has played very well to start the season but they will need to prove themselves over time. UCLA has been stable since Jim Mora, Jr came to town so I can honestly say they could be a top 10 team by the end of the year. Winning the PAC 12 South will be much easier than winning the PAC 12 North.

Something interesting about the PAC 12 Championship game is it is played in the home stadium of the team with the better record. That means Oregon could be ranked #5 in the country and have to travel to Los Angeles to play a lower ranked UCLA team if that UCLA team happens to have a better record. I do enjoy the fact that this game is played in the home stadium of the team with the best record. I think other major conferences should consider something similar. One of the most interesting dynamics of this type of setup is the weather difference in December. I can promise you that the weather is much different in Eugene, Oregon as compared to Tempe, Arizona during the first few weekends in December.

The PAC 12 conference is very large geographically. Especially when it comes to north and south. No matter which team wins the SEC it is going to be the case that they come from the south. That said, there is no other conference that allows the team with the best record to host the championship game. I do wonder how this works when it comes to tickets and preparing for the event. The SEC knows they must prepare the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. They have all year to prepare. The same is true when it comes to the ACC. They know the location so they do not have to worry about all of the logistics. When it comes down to it, the PAC 12 just has one more home game for the best team.

Tickets for the PAC 12 Championship Game

Getting tickets to most conference championship game means fans will have to order well ahead of time. With the PAC 12 Championship Game fans will have no idea where the game is going to be played. This makes it harder for fans to make an early decision. When going to Jacksonville, Florida for the ACC Championship or Atlanta, Georgia for the SEC Championship it is not all that hard to book the trip ahead of time. When planning the PAC 12 Championship you may end up in Eugene, Los Angeles or Tempe. Heck, you could even end up in Pullman, Washington.

The PAC 12 is a very unique conference in that they have some of the best teams in college football but the fans do not show up to the games. During the 2012 PAC 12 Championship in Palo Alto (Stanford University) the stadium was half empty by the time the game kicked off. Everyone that is watching on TV sees this and it makes them feel as if the PAC 12 is not big boy football. Even during top 25 matchups this year I have noticed that some of the PAC 12 stadiums are not full. One could make the argument that they are not full at the kickoff of the games but I can assure you they are not full at the end of the games either. Until the fans start to show up to some of these games I do not think the PAC 12 will get the respect it deserves.

One way to gain that respect is to sell out the PAC 12 Championship game almost immediately. Unfortunately, the only way they will likely do that is to have the game in Eugene as Oregon fans will gobble up the tickets. If the game is in Los Angeles or San Francisco it is highly unlikely the game will sell out quickly. In fact, if it happens to be in these California cities there is a good chance the game will not sell out at all. West Coast fans complain they get no respect but it comes with the territory if you are not willing to go to the games. These athletic departments are willing to pony up millions of dollars to improve facilities yet the fans are not willing to spend $100 a week to go to the games.

When the economy was struggling it was completely understandable that fans did not want to pay the extra money to go to these games. Now that the economy has improved and many people are doing well financially it stands to reason that these games would be more highly attended. SEC games in the south are almost always packed. Even if the team is not that good fans will still pay to go watch their team play. This is not the way it is in the PAC 12. The bottom feeders of the PAC 12 see attendance rates below 50%. Never would an SEC team consistently see attendance rates below 50%. There have been years in which South Carolina has only won a single game but 70,000 fans still fill Williams Brice Stadium.

When PAC 12 fans start to attend games the east coast will take notice. Until then, the PAC 12 will be known as a flashy conference with bright colors and crazy offenses. Something else that would help the PAC 12 tremendously is to win a national championship. When this happens maybe fans will actually come out to the games.

By Jesse Wojdylo

USC UCLA A Rivalry Unlike Any Other

Two schools located in the same city, Los Angeles, separated by just twelve miles makes
for one interesting rivalry. The likelihood that alumni and students from the schools
will interact with each other on a daily basis is very high. Ohio StateMichigan and
Army-Navy are two other huge college football rivalries that come to mind, but neither
features the kind of proximity that is seen by the Trojans and the Bruins.

The schools have competed against one another in a variety of sports since the early
1900s. USC, long recognized as a “football school” and UCLA, the “basketball school,”
both have storied traditions in other non-revenue sports as well, such as track & field,
volleyball, and water polo. UCLA actually holds the NCAA record for most team national
championships with 107 and most overall national titles with 128, more than any other
school in the nation. But, it’s on the football field where the real rivalry begins.

Since the formation of the old Pacific Coast Conference, which is now the Pac-12, USC
and UCLA have shared or won 54 conference football championships. The rivalry
game, normally played the last week of the regular season, has had conference title
implications as well as, on some occasions, national title implications, and has served to
determine the conference’s Rose Bowl berth on several occasions.

One of the most memorable was the “Game of the Century” played in 1967 pitting #1
UCLA led by QB Gary Beban against the second-ranked Trojans and a phenomenal
young running back named O.J. Simpson. USC won 21-20, beat Indiana in the Rose
Bowl, and claimed the national championship. Beban did win the Heisman Trophy that
year. Simpson won it the next.

Recently, though, the game has lost some of its luster. While USC has flourished,
winning national championships in 2003 and 2004 and losing in the title game in 2005,
UCLA has struggled. The hiring of “golden boy” former QB Rick Neuheisel in 2008
was to signal the return to prominence. It was not to be as the former Rose Bowl MVP
produced only one winning season and a 21-30 overall record.

USC has dominated the rivalry of late. The Bruins’ last victory in the series was in 2006.
With another BCS title game berth on the line, UCLA pulled one of the great upsets in
college football with a 13-9 victory denying the Trojans the chance to play for another
national championship. USC still won the Pac-10 and went on to the Rose Bowl that

Since the ‘06 win, the Bruins have not fared well in the “Victory Bell” match-up, losing
miserably last year, 50-0. USC has won 12 of the last 13, holds a 46-28-7 advantage in
the series, and in the last five meetings has outscored UCLA, 158-35. USC has owned the

Victory Bell for the better part of the past two decades. The bell, originally from an old
Southern Pacific railroad locomotive, has traditionally been awarded to the winner of
the USC-UCLA game every year since 1942.

If there is a year to mark a turning point in the rivalry, it may very well be 2012. With
new coach Jim Mora, Jr., the Bruins are off to one of their best starts in recent history.
UCLA is 4-1 with a big win over then 16th-ranked Nebraska. Their only loss was a 27-20
setback to 18th-ranked Oregon State.

The Bruin offense has become more consistent and it starts with the play of freshman
QB Brett Hundley. Hundley is completing 66 percent of his passes (121-for-183),
has 1,480 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and has a passer rating of 150.6. And, led
by Jonathan Franklin, UCLA has one of the top 15 rushing offenses in the country.
Franklin, a 5-11, 195-pound senior, has 693 yards rushing including two 200-yard
games already this season.

If the Bruins continue to improve and stay healthy, it’s possible that this year’s Nov.
17th match-up with the USC Trojans could be for the Pac-12 South Division championship.
USC, however, has it a little tougher meeting two ranked opponents, Washington and #2
Oregon Ducks, prior to the cross-town rivalry.

The Trojans are led by senior QB Matt Barkley, who stunned the football world last year
declaring he would return for his senior year at USC. With Barkley, the country’s best
receiving tandem in Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, and the addition of Penn State
transfer Silas Redd, the Trojan offense is its strength. The vulnerability lies within the
Trojan defense as Stanford proved as they handed USC its only loss of the season, 21-14.

While it may not be a “game of the century” this year, the Victory Bell tilt will be one to
watch as the regular season winds down. The UCLA Bruins will be looking for a signature win
as they enter the Mora era and will desperately want to end the Trojans’ dominance in
the rivalry. USC, on the other hand, may need the victory as it fights for to keep a BCS
bowl bid alive. The 2012 edition should be a good one, a return to the gridiron battles of
the 1960s and ‘70s.

You can purchase USC Vs Ucla tickets now

USC Trojans Football 2011: Where do the USC Trojans Stand

The USC Trojans were at the top of the Pac-10 for years. Now, it is safe to say that they are not the elite team that they use to be. Pete Carroll leaving the team and other off field woes have definitely hurt them in a big way.

However, these are not the only reasons why the Trojans are not dominating the Pac-12 anymore.

The competition is a lot better now then it was a couple of years ago.

With this said, the Trojans find themselves in second place in the Pac-12 South, trailing No. 22 Arizona State. However, they are only one game behind them.

This would not be that bad, if USC’s only loss did not come from the Sun Devils.

More than half the season still has to be played, but USC’s toughest games are ahead of them.

USC will have two tough road tests at Notre Dame and No. 9 Oregon. However, they lucked out by getting No. 7 Stanford at home. Not to mention, USC really lucked out by not having Stanford or Oregon in their devision.

USC will be favorites against Notre Dame and the rest of their competition, but they will be huge underdogs against Oregon and Stanford. If the Trojans can upset one of these two teams, they will be looking really good in the Pac-12 South.

That is of course if the Sun Devils lose. Arizona State controls their own destiny. They are playing great football right now and they are clearly the best team in the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils will have to face Oregon on the road in a couple of weeks.

Oregon will be the clear favorite in this game and they will most likely knock the Sun Devils into a tie for first place in the South.However, after that game, Arizona State’s schedule does not look bad at all.

In fact, their last five games of the season will be played against teams that have a total of two wins in the Pac-12.

The Trojans are not who they use to be. If they can pull off some big upsets this year, then maybe they will win the Pac-12 South. The way they are playing this season makes that unlikely though.

For the time being, the Trojans remain one game back in the Pac-12 South.

By: Trevor Lowry