I’m still jetlagged from that oddity of a football game last Thursday. I am so freaked out that I will actually get to watch college football on Saturday, I probably have to cancel a bunch of plans. Larry Scott has me thinking it’s spring.
The scheduling has been odd as well, this game wrapping up what will be a first half of the season spent basically on the road. Save a track meeting in Tucson against Arizona in late October, USC is wrapping this thing up at home (I am including UCLA because our name is on their stadium more than theirs is).
It’s always a weird week when you have to pick on U-Dub. I mean, it’s easy to make fun of them for going by U-Dub, which is so “Stuart Scott abbreviating baseball player names”. Washington was the first president of the United States. He helped defeat the British even though he lost more battles than he won. He was the ultimate winner during sanctions. Like, taxation with representation sanctions. My homies are throwing tea in the river. Let’s hide in New Jersey and freeze these redcoats out.
Basically calling yourself Washington is awesome. I may just do it. Washington Bearfighter, hell with a pen.
But no, Washington. Go by U-Dub. That’s way iller. Like basketball shorts in the 80s. You can’t take it back now. It happened.
It’s also hard to get violent about their mascot because unlike stupid ass bears and beavers and ducks and cougars, things that anyone would get a kick out of eating or hunting or just picking on, they go with a Husky. I may be a scourge to the Pac 12, but I am no dog killer. Their mascot is cool. It’s too cool to even have one eye color. Like Stuart Scott. That’s crazy, two Stu Scott references in one week over fifteen years passed the point where he was relevant or didn’t make me want to rub a cheese grater on my face during his broadcasts. A for effort, but sometimes I just want you to explain it was a deep home run. You have jumped the shark, Stu.
The real story when USC plays Washington is the Brotherly Battle. Raised as warring siblings by Uncle Pete and attached at the headset since birth, Coach Kiff and Coach Sark really are known for being a part of USC’s legendary offenses. When these two coaches have at it, it’s a battle of smart-ass versus “I-didn’t-call-her-but-I-said-I-would-and-PS-I-got-Del-Taco-when-I-snuck-out-of-her-apartment”. I’ll let you guess which is the second one. No I won’t. That’s Kiffin. Obviously.
The Brotherly Battle is complete with tradition and each side has won a meeting. The battle is kicked off with their version of lighting the Olympic torch, which is, of course, Sark proclaiming to the world that on the 7th day, the Lord didn’t rest. He created USC’s starting lineup. Then Kiffin ceremoniously responds by saying our team is a garbage sandwich marinated in cat urine and we are back to square one.
The thing is, Sark is 3-1 against USC since taking over, a part of the clear backwards day we have been experiencing with the Pac-12 North since forever. Luckily, and unlike Stanford, last year we slapped the Huskies around and our best run of the day come from Cyborg Punter Kyle Negrete. This restored balance to the the rivalry (another one where USC has won 50 times and they have won about half that). For a million reasons, that needs to be upheld this week.
USC is fired up to close out this road show at 5-1 with a strong driver’s seat for the Pac-12 South Title and a berth in the Championship Game. 5-1 will put the team back in the conversation heading into the part of the season where they get to play Oregon and Notre Dame and turn some heads. Our team is so jacked up they aren’t even going to eat any of the cream cheese hot dogs they serve in Seattle. That’s hard to do. They don’t make sense, but they play for keeps. I once ate one in the rain with my wife, who then was my girlfriend, and her Anthony Bourdain-like appreciation for processed meats served in regional style was clear cut evidence that she was raised well and could run with me like two wolves on the prarie. Those hot dogs are good and our team won’t even eat one because they are going to pretend the Huskies are bears and eat them. Sorry. If it makes you feel better there animal overpopulation in Seattle, it’s a public service. I am making this up. Seriously, no dog killing. If anything their mascot pledges allegiance to us and helps us eat their players. That’s bad ass.
What’s awesome is that you’d think Washington “when-won’t-he-suck” quarterback Keith Price would be stoked. He’s not. Here’s what he gave ESPN:
“I don’t think I’ve been enjoying the game the past couple of weeks,” said Price, who left with a knee injury in a 40-17 loss at then-No. 18 USC on Nov. 12. “I haven’t been playing with the same passion as last year, the same confidence, the same swagger. I’ve got to get back to that.”
You haven’t been enjoying the game? I haven’t been playing with the same confidence, passion and swagger? While you were trying to existentially get excited to play football in an NFL stadium on television, half of Seattle just hooked up with your girlfriend. This puts fear in my heart. A man with nothing to live for is dangerous. USC can’t be the crying shoulder to get this guy healthy. New blog favorite Morgan Breslin needs to try and ingest this coward and worry about digesting his helmet and pads earlier. I’m talking snot bubbles like The Program. Morgan Breslin is going to tackle Keith Price’s political science professor and then hook up with HIS wife.
I am not a football coach, but if I were and I caught my QB giving quotes like that, even if it was part of a ploy to get USC to fall asleep Stanford style, I would dump his ass in the Puget Sound by cover of nightfall and make him swim ashore to build character. And find me a salmon while you are out there. Now cook it on a cedar plank and stare the other direction when I dine. I only break bread with winners.
Sark will give us his best game plan and Kiffin will probably pull out a few tricks. These guys love to hate each other. This is Kiffin himself only less swagger and no Layla. No offense to Mrs. Sark who I recall being good looking, just Kiffin won the Pac 12 Lifetime Achievement Award with that letter of intent.
The rumor that Sark hooked up with Erin Andrews does up his stock, but let’s keep it real. If you follow her on Instagram, you know at this point like most contestants on the Bachelor, it doesn’t matter how attractive she is or how much football she pretends to know. She will make you hate life. Follow her on Instagram. After two weeks, tell me if I am wrong. Week one, you’ll say, she’s hot. Week two, you’ll wonder how a person finds the time to upload a picture of themself with every human they encounter on the street. You work at Fox. I assume you know Joe Buck. Also, I got it the first 30 times you posted pictures of you and Joe Buck. Just go back to getting with Joey Harrington. That’s my only rationale for having kept him on television. You are in love.
USC would have laid down and died last week after spotting Utah 14 on the road if they weren’t kicking it into gear to be in the best possible situation for when this schedule turns ugly. The mental game is winning even though the media won’t get back on your jock until you beat Oregon. We’ll probably get two chances and a win in either will probably land USC in a BCS game. A win in both, I still think USC finds it’s way into the Crystal Ball Bowl, which again, I want to see someone crack and fill with candy. Florida has no offense. LSU is just not that good. Give it time. Give it time.
I expect some fireworks, but I expect a victory and a 5-1 mark at the turn.
USC – Cream Cheese Hot Dog
UDUB – Dog Covered in Cream Cheese
Look, these coaches are Trojans and they put the “DICK” in predictions. So I am not giving one. Other than to say we’re winning. There will be some trick plays. In the end, playing in a NFL stadium is a big advantage to USC who has players that will actually play in the NFL thus making this feel like their natural environment.
2 PT CONVERSIONS
2 for 3
They are going for them this week. Kiff and Sark are like watching two kids play Madden hopped up on candy and Mountain Dew.
KIFFIN OUTFIT PREDICTION
The grim reaper outfit for the 2nd half threw me for a loop. They are calling for rain and low temperatures. I am calling it. He’s going white puffy jacket and bringing back the white beanie.
KYLE NEGRETE CYBORG PUNTING
Based off last year’s game, I am predicting:
7 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD. And a punt. Inside the 10.
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