Trojans Still A Player

Way too early to write off USC after two bad weeks

College Football Preview: Week 7

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> B.J.: No Love In The Heartland  | Bad Bruins    |  Amsinger: Picks  |  Sorenson: 10 Questions
> Braff: Backups Be Ready  |  Hart: Magic Acts  |  Trev: USC Still In It  |  Heisman Frontrunner
> Caparell: Missouri The Machine  |  Blackburn: Top 25 Pop Quiz  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions

Oct. 10, 2007

By Trev Alberts

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Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev? Just ask him.


What's the problem with USC? They looked so dominant against Nebraska and then the past few games struggle and lose to a 41-point underdog - the worst team in the Pac-10. Are they really as bad as they've looked lately? - Kristen, Los Angeles




No. I don't think they're as bad as people might think they are. It's funny listening to the response of people across the country who want to write off USC, saying they're not a player on the national scene. And I think that's completely wrong.


The fact of the matter is they've played really bad the last two weeks. We're so quick in our society to make conclusions based on two weeks about how John David Booty isn't that good or that the running backs are overrated. But it's a cumulative thing.


They've had some injuries at running back, Booty's got a broken middle finger and he played poorly, really poorly. You turn the ball over four times, you're going to get beat. It used to be before parity you could turn the ball over and still win and say we won ugly. Now you have to execute each week. They just didn't execute at all.


They're still a good team. They still have a lot of opportunities down the road. They still play Cal and can win the Pac-10 so they're not out of it by any stretch.


Should the polls, like many coaches suggest, come out after a few weeks of games? When is the best time for the polls to debut? - Zach, Washington


I agree. There will always be preseason polls because fans love it and magazines make a lot of money based on them. But you need to watch teams play two or three weeks and then you can sort of get a feel for what kind of team you're going to have and what they're made of. You just wonder how far a team that starts really low, if they go undefeated, how far up can they go?


I like preseason polls and I think they show how fallible we in the media are. They're all based on the previous year. It doesn't have anything to do with a team heading into the season. And the most commonly misunderstood thing is that you can have the exact same players on the team and that team will be highly ranked. But there is so much more involved than just having the same guys back like chemistry and leadership, and who assumes control of the team. And that can change from year to year.  


I'd like to see polls come out after two or three weeks, but I don't think it's going to happen.


Should Kansas and Virginia be taken seriously? They haven't really played anybody and are going to be bowl eligible if they win this weekend. How long before they're finally exposed? - Barry, Kansas City


Absolutely they need to be taken seriously. First of all, you can make a legitimate point that Kansas didn't beat anybody to start the season. But that win over Kansas State on the road last week validates that team. That's a huge win as Brian Jones can attest after the physical whipping his Texas team took at the hands of the Wildcats.


All I can say is Mark Mangino has a team that's a group of fighters. They don't quit and they're better defensively that you might think. Quarterback Todd Reesing is a pretty good field general. I watched that game against Kansas State and the Jayhawks had plenty of opportunities to fold and they just kept fighting. I learned a ton about them and Kansas is a legitimate team. Mangino is one of the more understated success stories in college football. Kansas is relevant again.


Virginia's only loss was to Wyoming and Joe Glenn has a good team there in Wyoming. After that game I thought Al Groh is definitely gone. But I think we've seen a nice rebound from them. They're definitely for real. I would say they're not as real as Kansas at this point. But I would say they're legitimate in the sense that they deserve respect and recognition as a player in the ACC.