On a day like every other these days, when USC football dominates the national news, let's get right to it.
We're "Just Askin' " here. Answer at your pleasure.
Just Askin' . . . If there's a better way to finish up the weekend with a Top Ten football team coming off a "stick-it-in-your-ear, Farmies" win in Palo Alto with the whole world watching and fuming and expressing all that faux outrage that you can gin up on social media these days? We'll answer that one. No there is not.
Just Askin' . . . if the sports talk guys on your home radio station in LA, who never talk college football or Trojans, are finally forced to talk them some USC football after the most-viewed game in the nation, even if they can't help themselves from being critical, how bad can that be? You're 2-0, No. 9 in the nation and on your way. And they have to talk about you.
Just Askin' . . . if that wasn't already about as good as it gets? And that was even before the Pac-12 joined in Monday, as we knew they would and as they had to just the way Stanford fans in the stands were calling for the head of Hayes Pullard?
Just Askin' . . . why in the worst-officiated conference in college football isn't every AD rushing the field to confront these flag-firing yahoos the way USC AD Pat Haden did Saturday? They couldn't fine all of them.
Just Askin' . . . why don't all 12 of them come down to the field and confront the kind of rank amateurism that made the USC-Stanford game, except for the sheer drama of it and the Trojans' determination not to lose, almost unwatchable with the 18 penalties?
Just Askin' . . . if the Pac-12 officials are doing a fine job and getting it exactly right, then are we to assume that Pac-12 teams are more undisciplined, more poorly coached and out-of-control than any other in America? Those flags would seem to say they are. Do you believe that? Does anyone?
Just Askin' . . . now that the Pac-12 has gotten the obligatory $25,000 fine and smarmily-worded sanction of Pat out of the way, when can we expect to see the ruling in the Stanford clock operator's case from four years ago when some unknown someone in Stanford colors both started and stopped the clock incorrectly in order to give Stanford a win at the buzzer? Any news on that one yet, Larry? Still working on it? By the way, what was that guy's name? Or is someone still protecting him?
Just Askin' . . . while we're at it, what sort of discipline was meted out to that officiating crew that allowed that to happen costing USC a win the Trojans deserved? Did any of them get the Matt Barkley reprimand for verbally "targeting" Vontaze Burfict, that paragon of Pac-12 student-athletedom? Were they protected, or sanctioned silently? Whatever happened to those guys?
Just Askin' . . . as long as we're here, what happened to the Pac-12 crew that had a guy slip and fall and make no call as a Stanford DB tackled Robert Woods in the end zone before the ball arrived for what would have almost certainly given USC a TD that would have avoided that overtime loss three seasons ago? Worst single call of the entire season, the late Sid Semon, longtime Pac-12 officiating observer, would say later. Anything happen to those guys?
Just Askin' . . . while we're not looking for more calls here, does anyone at the Pac-12 review the films and wonder why one Stanford preseason All-American offensive tackle didn't get a handful of illegal procedure calls for leaving a half-count early on every pass play? Isn't the only way a guy that good does that is if he knows it's not going to be called?
Just Askin' . . . but didn't it seem that after Pat came down to the field Saturday and Sark threw his tantrum -- nothing wrong with one of those every so often at the appropriate time even if you're wrong on the particular play -- that the officials backed off and let the players decide the game?
Just Askin' . . . has there ever been a more joyous, more united sideline in modern USC football history than Saturday?
Just Askin' . . . doesn't that make it all worthwhile? That Sark called for help, help came, the world took notice, and now the Trojans can all go back to playing football but with the knowledge that if you're a USC guy, someone has your back?
Just Askin' . . . did the NCAA really cut a deal with a Penn State program where there are all sorts of folks still trying to sue them basically taking back enough sanctions that the Nittany Lions will have more scholarship football players next season than USC will? Did those grandstanders really do that?
Just Askin' . . . that now that Pat has generated so much Trojan good will, wouldn't this be the moment to tell the USC faithful that a USC program that made it clear it would not sue the NCAA, also had a deal, more than one of them with the double-dealing NCAA, for much the same kind of relief?
Just Askin' . . . and then maybe Pat could tell USC fans how and why the NCAA double-crossed him and USC and whether it was, as we've been told, after the NCAA's attorneys in the Todd McNair case decided it would look bad for them to treat USC fairly now?
Just Askin' . . . if this might not also be the time for Pat to remind the NCAA that if they still want to make a deal giving USC the ability to get to 85 scholarships with this recruiting class while giving them back all the asterisk victories, USC will agree to let Todd McNair take care of the legal issues after the emails are released? But if they don't, he won't be able to guarantee them that USC will keep passing on putting together a lawsuit on top of Todd's.
Just Askin' . . . if the NCAA is maybe thinking that if the most ridiculously unfair sanctions in the organization's checkered history haven't been able to kill USC football, what would happen if they treated the Trojans fairly? Although maybe that's the same question the Pac-12, and its football officials, are asking.
Just Askin' . . . if you're going to have a Monday in the Pac-12 when your coach and AD, in the first announcement of the day are repriimanded and the AD fined $25,000, and then in the second major announcement, two of the three Players of the Week are your All-American D-lineman Leonard Williams who dominated Stanford despite a sprained ankle and Andre Heidari, who for the second straight year, kicked a game-winning hole in the Cardinal's heart, haven't you had a pretty good day?
Just Askin' . . . isn't it a kick that four Trojans are in the top five newsmakers in the Pac-12 on the Monday after Oregon raps Michigan State in the No. 1 game in the nation?
Just Askin' . . . if it's possible to be sanctioned for getting too much attention? I mean, did ESPN's Lou Holtz, Mark May and Rece Davis really have their panties in a wad the way it looked like or were they just playing to the crowd? And does that make the case that repeating after me -- "USC, USC, USC" -- is the way to get people to pay attention to you?
Just Askin' . . . if there might be some good come out of this the way it did the last time there was an uproar involving a lead program and the officials? How when the Pac-12 basketball officiating supervisor put a bounty on Arizona coach Sean Miller, then the league sanctioned and fined him for going off when it happened to him in the tournament before one of the officials admitted what the deal was and an embarrassed Pac-12 was forced to sanction itself? Could it happen again? We can only hope.
Just Askin' . . . if they're talking about you after a game you won and you're smiling and hugging and running out of there unbeaten and ranked, is there anything wrong with any part of that? Again, we'll answer this one: No, there is not. USC fans will take this whole deal every week of the season. Bring it on.You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at email@example.com.