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Is West Coast football back to normal? (2021 PAC-12 preview thread)

michaeljordan_fan

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I think the Oregon/Ohio State game will give us a pretty good measuring stick for where the top portion of the Pac 12 is. Not saying the Ducks will be the best. Could be USC, could be UW, could be ASU, maybe Utah's got more than I think they do, whatever.

Ohio State isn't going to have a friendly warm up game prior to hosting the Ducks. They're going to play at a Minnesota team that has its real offensive line back, the same one that humbled Auburn 2 years ago when MN finished top 10. 2 of those guys, the ones who are thought to be 1st or 2nd day draft picks, opted out last year. It's the same people that have been around forever, and they're fucking enormous. Blaise Andries seems like he should be pushng 25 or 30 by now but has 2 years left. Morgan was #5 in passer rating in 2019 behind Burrows, Tua, Hurts and Fields. Ibrahim is probably the best RB in the B1G. If MN has patched together a defense by now after losing their entire 2019 front 7, tOSU is going to be in a brawl.

Now, to be clear- Ohio State is going to win. They'll pull away. They'll probably win by 2+ scores when it's all said and done. The talent will eventually speak, but I think they're going to be pretty battered and bruised going into Oregon. If Oregon can be competitive or pull off the upset (which I doubt, I don't think they have the offensive firepower) in Columbus, I think it will tell a lot about the Pac 12's talent level. There are some squads that can hang. Whoever comes out on top should be under consideration unless everyone cannibalizes each other and the winner is 9-3.

Eh, it'll tell a lot about Oregon's talent level...not necessarily the PAC-12's. Oregon continues to be the most talented team in the conference.
 

WizardHawk

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The schedules in visual form are always helpful.
helmet sched.PNG

You be the judge
 

trojanfan12

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Bottom line: People are saying that Clay Helton is on the hot seat again in L.A. (so what else is new?), and they're wondering if he can fix the offensive problems USC has. But the schedule's easier than at first glance, and the defense looks very good.
So maybe all Clay has to do is fix the offensive inconsistences, and USC can contend for the PAC-12 title again to save Clay's bacon. The Notre Dame and Arizona State games looms large, however.

Unless something else weird happens, Helton will be out of excuses after this season.

Before, he had dealt with the last of the sanctions, being interim coach after the frat boys Kiffin and Sark, 2 crappy AD's, constant calls for his head and Covid. All of that is now in the past (even the calls for his head have quieted a good bit). His staff has been upgraded at pretty much every spot. Bohn has upgraded everything around recruiting and USC has been able to put together a couple of really nice recruiting classes.

I think anything less than making the PAC-12 CCG and he's gone. Even then, he might only be able to survive losing if it's a close game.
 

trojanfan12

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I think it's too late for it to impact them in 2021 but I really doubt Herm is back in 2022

Just having that shit hanging over a teams head all season can wear them down. That's a lot of what happened to Pete Carroll's last team at USC when they had the Reggie Bush crap hanging over them.

On the other hand, they have a schedule that should be pretty manageable. They have 3 "could go either way" type games where they are @Utah, USC and @Washington. Assuming they handle the investigation hanging over the program okay, those 3 games will make or break their season.
 
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trojanfan12

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Imo, USC has 8 games that they should definitely win...San Jose St., Stanford, @Wazzou, Oregon St., @Colorado, Arizona, @ Cal, and BYU.

Of the remaining 4, they get Utah and UCLA at home, so they should win those. Then they have @Notre Dame and @ASU. Hopefully, they can split those games.
 

Duckboy33

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Just having that shit hanging over a teams head all season can wear them down. That's a lot of what happened to Pete Carroll's last team at USC when they had the Reggie Bush crap hanging over them.

On the other hand, they have a schedule that should be pretty manageable. They have 3 "could go either way" type games where they are @Utah, USC and @Washington. Assuming they handle the investigation hanging over the program okay, those 3 games will make or break their season.

They've had a bunch of assistant coaches suspended during Fall Camp. That may have an impact on their season, as well. That said, they have a ton of talent at the skill positions and they're likely to put up a lot of points this year. I just wonder if their O-Line or front 7 are good enough to hold up against the better teams but as you noted, they don't have that many of those kind of games on their schedule.

I'd also put UCLA as a game that could go either way.
 

trojanfan12

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They've had a bunch of assistant coaches suspended during Fall Camp. That may have an impact on their season, as well. That said, they have a ton of talent at the skill positions and they're likely to put up a lot of points this year. I just wonder if their O-Line or front 7 are good enough to hold up against the better teams but as you noted, they don't have that many of those kind of games on their schedule.

I'd also put UCLA as a game that could go either way.

Yeah, those suspensions could be an issue. Also, how much time the NCAA is hanging around is likely to effect them as well.

You may be right about UCLA. I don't think they're a threat to win the South...but they could be the team that decides who does. I could see them pulling off an upset or 2.
 

Boise4Life

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They've had a bunch of assistant coaches suspended during Fall Camp. That may have an impact on their season, as well. That said, they have a ton of talent at the skill positions and they're likely to put up a lot of points this year. I just wonder if their O-Line or front 7 are good enough to hold up against the better teams but as you noted, they don't have that many of those kind of games on their schedule.

I'd also put UCLA as a game that could go either way.

I’m going to respectfully disagree with you here on the skill position talent. Daniels is a decent QB but he struggles with his reads and accuracy. I personally think he’s overrated. The WRs are complete garbage. That is a major, major concern. Hopefully some are able to somehow emerge but I will say that last year’s freshmen tailbacks are studs, particularly Rachaad White. Damn if that kid is not a freaking BEAST. My guess is he absolutely blasts off into space this season. I love his game.
 

Duckboy33

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I’m going to respectfully disagree with you here on the skill position talent. Daniels is a decent QB but he struggles with his reads and accuracy. I personally think he’s overrated. The WRs are complete garbage. That is a major, major concern. Hopefully some are able to somehow emerge but I will say that last year’s freshmen tailbacks are studs, particularly Rachaad White. Damn if that kid is not a freaking BEAST. My guess is he absolutely blasts off into space this season. I love his game.

I guess we'll find out soon. I think they are going to have one of the best statistical offenses in the PAC this year.
 

WABLTY

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Just having that shit hanging over a teams head all season can wear them down. That's a lot of what happened to Pete Carroll's last team at USC when they had the Reggie Bush crap hanging over them.

On the other hand, they have a schedule that should be pretty manageable. They have 3 "could go either way" type games where they are @Utah, USC and @Washington. Assuming they handle the investigation hanging over the program okay, those 3 games will make or break their season.
@Oregon State late is a trap if I've ever seen it. It's not that they're good. It's that weird shit happens in Corvalis. ASU's schedule is a favorable one, but that and @UCLA (who we gifted a 17-3 halftime lead off a full month of COVID and lost at the last minute) are more issues.

I'm very confident in our team overall. I'm less confident we won't blow it even though I think our roster is the strongest it's been since the 90's Rose Bowl team. I think we can win all 3 of those games. We've kind of owned Washington and Utah for the last two decades, and the USC/ASU game has been a single score thing for the last 3 years where last season was kind of a miracle for USC to win. I like us to win any of those 3 you mentioned in a vacuum, but expect we'll lose 1. But I'm concerned we'll fuck another one up. Colorado, Oregon State, Stanford, something like that.
 
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wazzu31

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Imo, USC has 8 games that they should definitely win...San Jose St., Stanford, @Wazzou, Oregon St., @Colorado, Arizona, @ Cal, and BYU.

Of the remaining 4, they get Utah and UCLA at home, so they should win those. Then they have @Notre Dame and @ASU. Hopefully, they can split those games.
Shut your whore mouth. We are going to beat you guys even though our coach will be at home on zoom.
 

Boise4Life

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I guess we'll find out soon. I think they are going to have one of the best statistical offenses in the PAC this year.

I hope you’re right. As an alumni that would be awesome for this fan to see. The running game should be dynamite. If opponents load the box hopefully the offense can take advantage through the air.
 

BamaDude

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Unless something else weird happens, Helton will be out of excuses after this season.

Before, he had dealt with the last of the sanctions, being interim coach after the frat boys Kiffin and Sark, 2 crappy AD's, constant calls for his head and Covid. All of that is now in the past (even the calls for his head have quieted a good bit). His staff has been upgraded at pretty much every spot. Bohn has upgraded everything around recruiting and USC has been able to put together a couple of really nice recruiting classes.

I think anything less than making the PAC-12 CCG and he's gone. Even then, he might only be able to survive losing if it's a close game.
It was almost like the Pac-12 didn't have a season last year. And hardly any of the West Coast teams got much in the way of experience due to the late start to the season & all the postponements & cancellations. I think the USC heads of state have grown somewhat used to mediocrity, and that Helton can skate by for another year if the Trojans win at least 9 games, don't have a blowout conference loss, and are still in the running for the Pac South title going into the last 2 weeks of the season. I also think ASU loses at least 2 games, but a 10-2 season could be enough to get a team into the Pac title game.
 

trojanfan12

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It was almost like the Pac-12 didn't have a season last year. And hardly any of the West Coast teams got much in the way of experience due to the late start to the season & all the postponements & cancellations. I think the USC heads of state have grown somewhat used to mediocrity, and that Helton can skate by for another year if the Trojans win at least 9 games, don't have a blowout conference loss, and are still in the running for the Pac South title going into the last 2 weeks of the season. I also think ASU loses at least 2 games, but a 10-2 season could be enough to get a team into the Pac title game.

USC was a big part of the reason the PAC had any kind of season at all. From what I heard, USC hinted at going independent and that got everyone back to the table.

It would be really tough for him to survive anything less than a CCG appearance and I think he has to win, but could survive a close loss. For him to skate by with a 9 win season, there would have to be another weird thing that happens. Or it would have to be good enough to get to the CCG and win the conference.

Anyone at USC who may have accepted mediocrity is gone. His coaching staff has been upgraded, recruiting tools have been upgraded (not to mention stealing arguably the conferences best recruiter from, Oregon). This is most I've seen AD focused on football since Mike Garrett during the Pete Carroll era.

If any of the current administration have trouble remembering how important football is, there are lots of alumni, boosters and fans willing to remind them. lol
 
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