|USC Legends News|
Gimino: USC dynasty far from over
The Heisman campaign for quarterback John David Booty never got started.
The defense isn't coming up with turnovers.
And the Trojans just lost to a 40-point underdog.
With a 24-23 loss to Stanford ranking as the biggest point-spread upset in college football history, mighty USC is facing its severest case of anxiety since Pete Carroll started his tenure with a 2-5 record in 2001.
As a point of reference, Arizona, with first-year coach John Mackovic, was 3-4 on the same date.
"You might think that this is just going to drive me into the dirt and I'm not going to able to bounce back," Carroll said after the 2-5 start. "But being an optimist, I keep looking for the things that are going to help us down the road."
You can pinpoint the date. It started five years ago this week with a 30-28 victory over Cal on Oct. 12, 2002.
From that date until last Saturday, USC won an unprecedented five consecutive Pac-10 titles, three Heisman trophies and two national titles, coming within one crazy-legged play from Texas quarterback Vince Young of a third.
USC went 60-4 in that span.
This, however, probably was inevitable:
What a great time for Arizona to play at USC, huh?
Shoot, the season's not over.
"We expect to recover like we always do, bounce back and put things back in perspective," Carroll said.
Perspective: USC is ranked seventh in the USA Today coaches poll and in the Harris Interactive poll. Combined, they make up two-thirds of the Bowl Championship Series formula.
The Trojans can certainly climb back to the top in what has already been a wild season of upsets.
This isn't to say USC is a flawless team.
John David Booty has been intercepted six times in the past two games and might miss the Arizona game because of a fractured finger that looked worse Tuesday than it did on game day, Carroll said.
The offensive line was rocked when guard Chilo Rachal and center Kristofer O'Dowd, a Salpointe Catholic graduate, were injured on the same play against Washington two games ago.
Long story short: 10 starters, and several key reserves, have missed at least one game with injury. A few are out for the season.
The difference between USC and everyone else is that, despite the worst injury situation in the Pac-10, it still has seven of the nation's top 45 senior NFL prospects, according to NFLdraftscout.com.
So not even a loss to a 40-point underdog - or a turnover margin that ranks 106th out of 119 teams - is going to drive Pete Carroll into the dirt.
OTHER USC FOOTBALL NEWS
USC FOOTBALL NEWS