Time will tell soon whether the aspirational expectations of this years version of the USC Football program lives up to it’s hype. For their purposes the coaches and administrative staff is steering clear of the hype for now but the media is clearly sizing up on both sides of the equation. USC Football has been here before. They know that the pressure of being a Top 10 program is always going to be there. They aspire to be under this pressure in football. Even the basketball program is starting to inch its way in to that rare air.
For coach Helton and staff this is enormous pressure on a team that is still very young across the board and is prone to the pressures of the 140 character conversations with our beloved social media. Tracking the players and their own hype is showing signs that this team and this coach realize the importance of this years teams execution. They cannot come out and flop as they did last year.
The fans are all buying in to the hype as well. We have been here before post Pete Carroll and have fallen flat on our pride all too often. This is the true test of the fans versus the bandwagon wannabe. Harsh reality of being in the PAC-12 and by no means is there the feeling of camaraderie. To USC Football credit, the fans travel better than most PAC-12 teams. But in comparison to the SEC and BIG-12 well sorry but that is the measure of true fans. This years team will now have to compete with the ghosts of the past five years and the roller coaster of having aspirational expectations of rising back up like the Phoenix they once were.
Buying in to the hype this year feels right. It truly feels different. The blue collar tone of the spring and player only practices feels different this year. Did I say that last year too? I did. But in comparing my notes last year to this years team there is far more certainty than in the past. Sam Darnold is QB-1. The defense is coming along like the “Wild Bunch” of season past. They are deep. They are focused on truly playing on the other side of the ball and if memory serves me right the Wild Bunch were breathing that rare air all season long whereby the opponent each week knew they were going to be in for the fight of their season that week. This was worth points on the board before the game even started.
The staff of the Trojans seems to be gelling as well. Consistency in this area of any program is critical to the mission of each season. None more critical than this year as all eyes are on the Trojans and the eastern dominated media is casting doubts top to bottom. This year. This team. This season will determine the continued flow of the special recruiting success that the USC Football team is seeking to ramp to new heights. The Law of Attraction is on. We are all seeing it. The LB Poly express is back alive and well stretching out to the vast Pacific Islands as well. To continue this paramount to rebuilding the tradition of USC Football dominating in the top 5 not the Top 25.
Fight On Trojans.