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USC coach Clay Helton leading his Trojans out of the Coliseum tunnel just before a game. Photo courtesy of conquestchoronicles.com.

 

HOW I SEE THE TROJANS FARING IN EACH GAME DURING THE 2017 SEASON

This year, I thought I would state my predictions for this 4th-ranked USC team in a slightly different way…

Everyone on the sports channels and in the sports pages has been singing the praises of this Trojan team, practically crowning them Pac-12 Champions and giving them a spot in the College Football Playoff before their first kickoff against Western Michigan at the Coliseum five days from now (as of this writing).

I can’t say that I blame them, as ‘SC is loaded and has major momentum after winning their last nine games, including a win that the Trojan Family will forever be ecstatic about in the Rose Bowl.

With a quarterback who’s not only on a roll, but someone who pretty much everyone has in New York in early December accepting the Heisman Trophy.

When I looked at USC’s schedule, I honestly had to agree with the pundits in saying that the stars are aligned for them to win the vast majority of their games if not all of them.

I’m picking Clay Helton’s cardinal-and-gold bunch to not have much of a problem with most of the opponents they will be facing…

 

Easy Wins – wins where I’m sure the scrubs will be playing by the 4th quarter:

Western Michigan, California, Oregon State, Arizona State, Arizona

Probable Wins – Opponents that will give USC a battle but because of the Trojans’ advantages will come up short:

Texas, Utah, Notre Dame

I know, I know – What about the UCLA game?

It’s a personal tradition of mine on this site that I never make any predictions of how the Crosstown Rivalry Clash will unfold, particularly who will win and the score, until two days before the game.

To find out how I see that battle unfolding and whether or not I see ‘SC retaining the rights to the Victory Bell, you’ll have to check out this site on November 16th.

 

Sam Darnold, the #1 key to USC’s plans of college football domination in 2017…

 

Having said all of that, as I have stated in the preview of this Trojan team there are three schools that I think are capable of beating them.

Three opponents that could beat ‘SC and ruin their plans of “Conquest” and national championship glory.

Here they are:

STANFORD, at the Coliseum, September 9th

In my opinion, this will be the toughest game on USC’s schedule.

The team that is most capable of beating the Trojans.

This fellow California private university from Palo Alto has had ‘SC’s number, beating their SoCal rivals in six out of the past eight contests between them, including in the Pac-12 title game in 2015.

And by what I saw this past Saturday in Sydney, Australia, what with the Cardinal crucifying Rice so bad (62-7, including a 38-0 halftime lead!) that I’m sure that folks are wondering if that Ivy League-level school from Houston – prayers go out to all those folks due to that hurricane and huge rain deluge – should drop football,

Which had that school with the tree mascot and very non-conforming and just plain cool scatter band featuring a running back, Bryce Love, filling the shoes of departed all-everything stud Christian McCaffrey rather neatly,

It would surprise me not in the remote least if “All Right Now” is blasting in the Coliseum instead of “Conquest” and “Tusk” after that game.

 

WASHINGTON STATE, in Pullman, WA, September 29th

This has the words “TRAP GAME” screaming all over it.

Why?

  1. These Cougars from the Palouse are a good, solid team with a high-flying offense that can move the ball and score quickly, led by head coach/offensive guru Mike Leach and senior quarterback Luke Falk.
  2. They beat top-tier teams like Oregon and Stanford on the road last year, and…
  3. With the game being in Pullman, a place where opponents have ALWAYS had trouble and where the weather has often played a factor, combined with a team and fan base that will be waiting for USC with rabid intensity…

I can definitely see Wazzu pulling off the upset and the students storming the Martin Stadium turf when the clock hits three zeroes in the 4th quarter.

 

COLORADO, in Boulder, CO, November 11th

Just like with Washington State, this is screaming “TRAP GAME”.

Despite the fact that the Buffaloes have to replace their four-year starting quarterback, Sefo Liufau, and eight of their 11 starters on defense.

With ‘SC not having any bye weeks this year, they could be a beaten up bunch of Trojans by the time this contest comes up.

The weather may well not be all sunny and warm like they’re used to in L.A., Boulder being in the Rocky Mountains and this game being in mid-November,

And if I know the USC community in general, not just the team, they may not be able to help but look past these defending Pac-12 South champion Buffs a little bit.

And they may have a bit of trouble keeping their minds off of crushing their next opponent: UCLA.

Plus those CU students and fans, with Ralphie, their buffalo mascot, leading the way, will be more than ready to go for the upset.

In other words, the Trojans may be ripe for one by that time.

 

There you have it Trojan Family, how I see the games being played out.

I don’t see the Trojans going 12-0, because even in the glory years of a decade ago (with the exception of 2004-05 of course), there was always one or two teams in the conference that had no business beating them doing exactly that; remember the Bruins and 13-9 in 2006?

I don’t think this year will be any different, though in the end I think ‘SC will definitely be the Pac-12 South champs with a strong possibility of being Pac-12 champs with a berth in the four-team playoff.

I suppose there’s nothing left to do but have the Trojan marching band’s drum major stab the middle of the field at around 1:45 pm this coming Saturday.

 

USC students passionately rooting for their Trojans. Photo courtesy of upi.com

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