Implications From USC vs. UCLA

By Rick Stavig

The implications from today’s game between the Southern Cal Trojans and the UCLA Bruins are enormous.  You’d have to be dim not to recognize that.

The obvious implications rests in the standings.  The winner of this game wins the Pac 12 South and heads to the Conference Championship game to play (essentially) the winner of the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal game.

But the privilege to play in the Conference Championship game isn’t the only thing on the line here.

This game carries major recruiting implications as well.  Both schools are located in the Los Angeles area and both are nationally known schools- hence- both have the same exact turf for recruiting high school kids.  Naturally, the Trojans have dominated this battle in recent years, and are continuing to dominate even in this years class.  But anyone who isn’t aware of how improved the Bruins are this year simply isn’t paying attention to the sport.  Not only that, but the Bruins have a heck of a class coming together.  No, not even close to the kind of class growing at SC, but impressive in their own right.

If the Bruins win this game, they are sending a message to recruits that a new regime is taking power of the city of Los Angeles.  No, other than maybe Eddie Vanderdoes (whose been mulling a change to the Bruins), recruits in this class probably won’t switch their pledges based on this game.  But recruits in the 2014 and 2015 classes will be heavily influenced from the outcome of this game.

Another thing to keep in mind is Lane Kiffin’s job security.  I know Kiffin somehow and someway is considered a ‘good’ coach (even though he has a mediocre 37-31 career record between head coaching stints in the NFL, the SEC and the Pac 12).  But, just maybe, he’s not actually that good of a coach (gasp!).  Kiffin has successfully destroyed the Tennessee Volunteers from not even one full years worth of work.  They were recently just put on more sanctions from the NCAA recently from new evidence of further recruiting illegalities.

It’s also peculiar how the Trojans ball boy was recently discovered to be deflating the balls (making them easier to throw and catch) for the Trojan offense.  Somehow, this young student, with no knowledge or instruction by the team, coaches or administration, totally acted on his own to help his schools offense.  Amazing that no coaches or players knew what was going on.  For being a good academic school, Southern Cal sure lacks some intelligence in their Football Administration.

Last but not least, let’s not forget what a disappointing year it’s been for Kiffin’s team on the field.  They started the season ranked number one, and if they lose to the Bruins, they will have four losses on the year.  That, friends, is hugely disappointing to SC fans.  That’s simply not going to cut it.  Ya know, I don’t remember Pete Carroll ever not living up to expectations (on the field) like Kiffin perennially does, but hey, I’m just a guy with a computer!

Needless to say, a lot is at stake in todays Trojans and Bruins matchup.  It’s the battle for the city of Los Angeles, and the winner will be the new king of the Pac 12 South.

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