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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


College Football Takeaways: USC bottoms out in latest scandal

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat During the first half of Arizona’s 28-26 loss to USC at Arizona Stadium on October 11th.

Everything is bigger in Texas

Texas came out with a much needed victory against rival Oklahoma after a week of job speculation and teammates ripping each other apart on Twitter.

The Longhorns crushed the Sooners, rushing for over 300 yards in what has been the only game Texas showed this much intensity and desire to win.

Texas football head coach Charlie Strong needed a win more than any other coach in the country and he rallied his team to likely the most important victory of not only the season, but of Strong’s time at Texas.

This has no doubt restored faith in Strong as Texas’ head coach. As for the players, this energy needs to be carried throughout the remainder of the season if the Longhorns expect to make a bowl game.

A classic in Salt Lake

California and Utah did not fail to live up to the hype in what was likely the biggest game for both schools in recent history.

Both teams were locked in a battle that went down to the wire, as the Utes won 30-24 and moved further up the rankings. They are now the only undefeated team left in the Pac-12 Conference. Cal quarterback Jared Goff threw five interceptions but still played well enough to keep his team within striking distance late in the game.

Make no mistake; despite the loss, Cal is still firmly among the top of the Pac-12 and has all of the available power to possibly face Utah again in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. The Utes’ lead running back, Devontae Booker, who ran for a season high 222 yards against Cal, is helping show the rest of the country the Utes are a contender, not a pretender.

Changing of the guard in Pac-12

USC has traditionally dominated the Pac-12 well before it made the transition from the Pac-10.

Those days may have passed as the Trojans now sit near the bottom of the conference standings with a less than stellar record of 3-2, including beginning conference play 1-2. With so many expectations coming into the season, tough questions are now imminent.

This was supposed to be the year the Trojans returned to national relevance and competed for a playoff spot with a fantastic offense. Things looked bright with a Heisman candidate in quarterback Cody Kessler operating the offense.

USC announced Sunday head coach Steve Sarkisian would be taking a leave of absence, however, athletic director Pat Haden fired Sarkisian early Monday.

This season’s edition of USC football is starting to take the shape of Lane Kiffin’s Trojans a few years ago. Similarly, that team was ranked in the top 10 to start the season but fell way short of expectations, finishing 6-6, as Kiffin was eventually fired.

Neither Kiffin nor Sarkisian lived up to the hype. Instead, they have turned USC into the laughing stock of college football and a bitter disappointment for a conference in search of a College Football Playoff bid.

USC needs to improve because the Pac-12 needs it to be great; college football needs USC to be great.

Follow Noah Sonnet on Twitter.

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