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Overrated? USC? Not by me?
2005-12-30 09:52
by Bob Timmermann

As an alum of UCLA (who is legitimately afraid that his team will lose to Northwestern today), I find USC appropriately rated, but it's always chic for someone to point out that the team isn't as good as everyone believes. In this case, it's Jonathan Chait of the New Republic writing in Slate.

Left out from the article by Chait is whether or not Texas is overrated or underrated. If Texas is similarly overrated like USC then on January 4, then Traveler is going to be one tired horse.

2005-12-30 10:14:38
1.   Penarol1916
I think the real point of the article is that this USC team isn't even as good as last year's team and has yet to win the national title, yet ESPN is pitting them against the best teams of all time.
Personally, I think that Texas is very over-rated, they played one good team all season in Ohio State and were lucky that Jim Tressel was an idiot with regard to who should be playing quarterback the whole game, but if people are going around proclaiming this version of USC the 3rd best of all time. I think that USC will be deserving national champion, but calling them an all-time great even before their bowl game is over-rating them.
2005-12-30 10:18:49
2.   Bob Timmermann
But is ESPN guilty of overrating or just overhyping?
2005-12-30 10:47:19
3.   Stevenalpert
It is hype but deserved. USC has superior line play and a better coach and they will win convincingly unless they fumble a lot and make dumb penalties. Actually, I recall a Miami bowl game (maybe it was against TX or Nebraska) where they committed a record number of penalties and it still did not matter they won by 40 or 50 anyway. USC is similarly unbeatable next week. I am still in Las Vegas and to bet on USC without points you have to lay 3-1 (bet $300 to win $100). That is amazing odds for two undefeated teams matching up in the Rose Bowl. Texas is getting no respect. This could be because they are not so special (I do expect 'SC to bottle up Young and expose the Longhorns lack of options) but it is also because this USC team in general (for the last 3-4 years)is the best ever. They own the Heisman trophy (they do not just win it, they have a few guys competing one another for it) and they have only lost one game (and it was in overtime to another great team). I happily laid the $300. Let's hope Texas is not Buster Douglas or Villanova.
2005-12-30 11:09:15
4.   sanchez101
ESPN's special comparing 2005 USC to the greatest teams of all time would make a lot more sense if it was the 2004 Trojans, but the main purpose of the piece isnt to actually compare the two teams or to provide reasonable analysis, or even to answer their own question. The purpose is to hype the national championship game, which is why they cant really use 2004 USC. Of course I think they could still use the 2004 team, the roster didnt change that much, but thats probably not how ESPN and ABC think.
2005-12-30 11:17:56
5.   Penarol1916
3. I believe that you are thinking of the 1991 Cotton Bowl when Miami absolutely destroyed Texas and the NCAA instituted its anti-celebration rules the next year using 7 examples of Miami's behavior during that game. That game was also the focus of a book by John Fienstein about how Texas fans thought that by winning the SWC that year they were back as a power program, but Miami showed them that they still have a long way to go.
2005-12-30 11:32:33
6.   Linkmeister
ESPN has so many channels and so many talking heads that it has to fill the time and occupy the "talent" somehow, and hype seems to be the simplest way. See also the idiotic "Steve Phillips as GM for a day" gibberish they televised last month, with "real" ESPN reporters asking questions. They should have been embarrassed to participate.
2005-12-30 13:00:30
7.   Telemachos
My favorite ESPN talking point that's been getting a lot of play over the last few days is the question posed to another talking head: "Can you remember another bowl in your lifetime that's been sooo anticipated? This is the matchup of all time!"

I'm waiting for someone -- anyone! -- to answer, "Yes, last year... when the USC/Oklahoma game was hyped to the same ridiculous measure".

2005-12-30 13:17:16
8.   jasonungar05
What is amazing to me about SC is that in the last three years there have been only 4 games where they didnt win by at least 7 points. (not counting the three losses).

They lost 3 games by a total of 13 points. 2 of them in overtime.

In the last 3 bowl games they outscored opponents by 71 points.

I predict a blowout.

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