February 26, 2009

Mitch Mustain

Pretty good article on the USC quarterback situation. I'm actually surprised that USC is headed for an all out QB battle this offseason. I sort of expected to see Mustain anointed as the man in LA, but it sounds like this thing will not be settled any time soon.

It seems like USC has been enamored with Aaron Corp ever since they landed him. It would not stun me if he wins the job.

And then you have Matt Barkley coming in as the #1 prep quarterback in the nation. Who knows. Maybe he'll work his way into the mix. He's already enrolled at USC and working out.

Should be interesting to see what the USC offense looks like next year. They have their entire offense back other than the quarterback, so whoever wins this job is basically going to be a game manager type who takes advantage of a great line and all those skill weapons and doesn't screw it up. How long will it take for the new QB to get settled though?? If Mustain or Corp is shaky in the early going, that could knock USC out of the national championship race. Would Barkley get a look if Mustain and Corp struggle?? Hmmm. Then again, USC never seems to have problems reloading at any position.

USC also has an all new offensive coaching staff with John Morton moving up to OC and Jeremy Bates coming in from Denver. Are these guys going to embrace more of a wide open attack?? It seems like USC fans have complained a lot about conservative playcalling (although we never seem to see that against ND).

Either way, I'm expecting USC to be really really good next year, which brings me to my next point. I'm seeing a lot of chatter on the ND message boards lately about how ND needs to beat USC next year and how that game is the defining game for 2009. Really?? I am kind of stunned that our fanbase is even having these discussions. We were 7-6 last year!! They beat us 38 to freaking nothing and we didn't get a first down until the 3rd quarter. And we're talking about them like it's some sort of toss up and breaking down their roster like it's the Game of the Century? What USC fan is even remotely thinking about us as one of their tougher games?? This is the equivalent of Stanford or Arizona talking about this stuff because that's where we stand in the football world right now. Maybe everyone has really embraced this "audacity of hope" thing, but it seems a little silly to be talking about USC as some sort of defining game. How about we beat freaking BC or Michigan State first?? Or how about we just beat Nevada before we start talking about how we match up with USC??

Don't get me wrong, I think ND can have a very good team next year if things break right, but I'm certainly not going to be talking up how we stack up with USC in February. Until I see it with my own eyes, we are an inferior team and an inferior program no matter who is on our roster and who is on their roster. The defining game of 2009 is not USC. It is Michigan State and BC and Pitt and Purdue. Until we show that we can beat those teams year in and year out, we have absolutely no business comparing ourselves to USC in my opinion.

I'm hoping that we are 5-0 heading into that USC game and the crowd is fired up with College Gameday in the house, but I'd rather just wait and see for now.

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