Just sayin': South lead on the line

Just talkin' about this week, last week, the rest of the college football world and what life might be like Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Sure you can say USC should be 7-0, and could be 3-4, but where they are now is 5-2 (4-1) and in first place in the Pac-12 South -- and USC fans can only hope, getting better every game.

But the Trojans have to have Arizona State lose since the Sun Devils have the tiebreaker now and a not-too-terribly difficult schedule that if they pull through as the result of that Hail Mary, USC fans will have two plays that they'll never allow their minds to re-run. Vince Young and Jaelen Strong, joined forever in Trojan infamy . . . we're Just sayin'.

*** And yes, you can say USC has its fate in its hands if it wins out and maybe it works out like that -- if ASU doesn't lose. Could they? Sure. Should they? Well they should have lost at USC -- and didn't . . . Just sayin'.

*** Not to make the point too strong here but how do the folks calling for Cody Kessler's head feel now? And we say "feel" advisedly because there wasn't a whole lot of thinking going on in those assessments . . . Just sayin'.

*** You can say it was a change in Cody, but we're sticking to our take that the change was as much in thinking from the top down in having receivers catching the ball headed toward the end zone for a change and running serious play-action off a serious run game . . . Just sayin'.

*** Go vertical, the Trojans were telling their receivers. The heck with all that horizontal stuff . . . Just sayin'.

*** We've seen Claude Pelon and Delvon Simmons step it up the last couple of weeks, and Cody Temple and Greg Townsend Jr. All four will need to be there with Leonard Williams and Antwaun Woods the way Utah's Devontae Booker (124 yards a game) has been running the ball, second only to Buck Allen's 130 in the Pac-12 . . . Just sayin'.

*** We know everybody is talking about Utah going nuts over the Utes' biggest-ever Pac-12 game and "the blackout" and what a tough place Rice-Eccles Stadium is to play. But honestly, if you're not running a marathon, it's not that intimidating a venue. If USC shows up and plays 60 minutes like a USC team is supposed to, it will be just another place . . . Just sayin'.

*** USC fans are considering it some sort of a moral victory when for the first time all season, the Trojans didn't have more penalties than an opponent -- although the same number, seven, as an opponent Saturday against Colorado. Is this like the Stockholm Syndrome for football teams caught in a terrible place where they can't leave? . . . Just sayin'.

*** Don't bring your skis to Salt Lake City this Saturday. The high is expected to be 77 and sunny with even the late-night game (8 p.m. MT) getting no lower than the comfortable 50s . . . Just sayin'.

*** Why do we have this feeling that the weather gods may catch up to USC the next week in Pullman although that 1:30 kickoff announced Monday gives the Trojans a shot to make it back to California for the rest of the schedule unscathed by back-to-back trips to the Rockies -- OK, the Wasatch Range -- and the Palouse courtesy of the Pac-12 schedule-makers . . . Just sayin'

*** Was it a false alarm apparently, at least for last week and a Colorado team coming off a bye, when both top wide receiver Nelson Spruce and coach Mike MacIntyre felt the Buffs came out flat with the extra week between games. Too much rest they said. Maybe it plays out that way the rest of the way in the South and all that extra time for USC's division opponents works against them . . . Just sayin'.

*** We're guessing that after last week, USC is a tougher team to gameplan against than it was before the Colorado game. Just seeing what JuJu Smith can really do has to make opponents' DC's sweat a little bit . . . Just sayin'.

*** Speaking of JuJu, would it be correct to say that the only team capable of taking him out of the USC offense was USC . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Just heard this quick analysis of what's wrong with Pete Carroll's Seahawks: No offensive identity and not much pass rush. Let that be a lesson to everybody around here . . . Just sayin'.

*** Darn Vegas oddsmakers. We thought USC might have had a chance to go on the road two straight games in the Pac-12 as favorites against higher-ranked league opponents. But they made the Utah game a pick-'em deal so if you want to call the 20th-ranked Trojans underdogs to the 19th-ranked Utes, we guess you can . . . Just sayin'.

*** So let's see if we've got this right from a quick look at the national AP voting that has a majority of Pac-12 beat writers/AP voters ranking USC below where the national vote has the Trojans -- and they have Arizona, for just one example, ranked higher than the Wildcats ended up and higher than a USC team that beat them in Tucson . . . Just sayin'.

*** But you have to love the AP guys who mostly had Michigan State above an Oregon team that beat the Spartans by 19 for a while there -- with both teams having a single loss. And the doofus coaches still have MSU above the Ducks. But how do the AP guys drop Notre Dame to seventh after standing off No. 2 Florida State on the road the way the Irish did? If FSU is No. 2, Notre Dame is No. 3 -- for this week, anyway. It's not that hard, really . . . Just sayin'.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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