Make no mistake; it is "our" time. Not "our" time as in the Oregon Ducks, but "our" time as in anyone not wearing cardinal and gold, winning national championships, and taking home Heisman's three times in the last five years. Not the team who's won five consecutive conference championships, thirty six of their last forty Pac-10 games, and infinite amounts of praise, notoriety, and fame in recent years, multiple decades, and one very long century of football. "Their" time is up, and "we" are the ones who have to make it happen.
The University of Southern California has been on an unbelievable ride in recent years. Their success has transcended the game of college football and the athletic arena which it has dominated. It's been the darling of ESPN, Hollywood, and the NCAA. It's produced players such as Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Reggie Bush, dominated perennial collegiate powers the likes of Oklahoma and Michigan, and attracted the best and most beautiful fanatics that bandwagons had to offer, but all good things come to an end, and the end is now.
"We're" tired of being pushed around. "We're" tired of playing second fiddle. And "we're" tired of hearing that incredibly overplayed fight song, seeing that obnoxious peace…err…victory sign, and feeling like stepping stones on the path to championship, after championship, after championship.
The Trojan's have been stealing "our" lunch money for years, and it's time we belly-up to the beast.
With already one conference loss to their credit, a second would almost certainly end their reign of terror. A reign which has heightened the perception of the conference as a whole, but diminished the perception of the teams and programs not named Southern Cal. California is a good program. UCLA is a good program, and doggone it, Oregon is a good program! All with degrees of success, yet success unfortunately limited by the likes of Tommy Trojan.
Oregon is the first team in four seasons to be favored over the Men of Troy. They'll step on Rich Brooks field later today as three point favorites and popular picks to win the contest scheduled for 12:00 PM in Autzen Stadium. But will they really be considered the team to beat? Does anyone really feel as though the Trojans are the underdog?
Of course not.
USC has countless All-Americans, unlimited depth, and more potential first-round-draft-choices than the Rolling Stones have brain cells. Their record is irrelevant. Their health is a non-factor. And their inexperience at quarterback is a laughable excuse at best. This is USC, the team, university, and program whose been continually lauded as the benchmark for all aspiring contenders, and until forcibly removed, will remain the cherry-on-top of a conference singing back-up to a self-absorbed, attention-driven lead singer.
So how does Oregon chop-down that Trojan oak? Quite simply, by playing their game.
If the Ducks play loose, they'll score their points. If the Ducks play smart, they'll contain the Trojans' offense. And if the Ducks play their style of football, they'll win this game. It really is that easy.
I truly believe Oregon can win this game. In spite of SC's recent dominance, influx of talent, and unrivaled tradition, the Ducks are the better team in 2007. Dennis Dixon's riding a wave of momentum and confidence, Jonathan Stewart's rising to the level of expectation which preceded his arrival in Eugene, and the program is aglow with that aura of something good, which while unexplainable, is undeniable as well.
It's time to slay the giant. It's time to "David" the Goliath. And it's time to finish what Stanford started October 6th that ill-fated night in the Coliseum. It's "our" time today in Autzen Stadium, and it's up to Oregon, their players, and their fans show "them" their time is done. In the famous words of the late, great Herb Brooks, "now go out there and take it!"
Game Day: It's "Our" Time.
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