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USC 11-2 What A Turnaround

This is all that needs to be said for now. I know that I personally predicted 8-4. I could not see how anyone could come into a program that was limping through the years with no real development going on and get past the 4 losses that I laid out. But, boy was I corrected, and happily so. The team emptied the locker room both from the player side and the coaching staff from the past year. With some exceptions of course. AD Michael Bohn made the big hire with Coach Lincoln Riley who then went on a blistering journey to get this team to a respectable spring staff and roster. This with the shortest runway known to anyone to pull this off. The combination of hiring the right staff and getting the player roster cleaned up with those who wanted to play elsewhere moved on via the Transfer Portal (TP). Then try to resurrect the high school recruiting class. I'm sorry that's too tall of an order to predict 11-2 and a game away from the College Football Playoffs after 10+ years of nothingness. This 2022 season is epic on all counts.

Getting to a recruiting class and coming to the school during week one of December 2021 and not looking crazy was pure hustle. Coach Riley got his hand-picked staff laid out and on board right away. They all literally dropped everything to join him on his journey to rebuild the USC Trojan Football program and make it relevant fast. In fact, Coach Riley coined the hashtag #WinNow which is a no-excuses approach to get it started now and get the buy-in from the administration the players, and the fans to not accept anything less. I thought he was nuts. Most had gone through 10+ years of painful administrative mistakes to just no real knowledge of how to run a true Power Five football program to get it done now!

So Friday happened. We all felt a big negative hangover come Sunday morning. We all watched what happened in that game in the first quarter with the Trojans having their way with Utah. But then most of us saw the injury. Most of us were scratching our heads as to how this amazing young man was taking snap after snap without coming out for a single play. Many questioned the staff and of course Riley for leaving him in when we have a solid QB-2 in Miller Moss. But let's not forget that we were playing Utah and one of the toughest most prepared coaches in Kyle Whittingham bar none. He's at the top of the really good coaches who build sustainable and strong programs year after year. He had this uncanny ability to take a punch and never lose sight of the mission and wear down his opponents. The injury did happen at a time when most could see the Trojan's confidence soaring but we will never know the outcome of a game played with no injury as that's life in sports.

Congrats to the USC Trojan Football Program. They did what many felt was impossible given the amount of dirt that needed to be cleared out of the way to make way for the new culture to align itself and then become itself. Lincoln Riley has done just that and this team is playing on New Year's Day (2) at the Cotton Bowl. Period. 11-2. Done. What a year it was and what a program this has become.!


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