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FishDuck Article

Believe it, Duck Fans: USC Is for Real

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On 2/8/2022 at 6:20 AM, Haywarduck said:

My skepticism comes from one statistic which both Riley and Lanning will have to address if each program is to rise to the championship level. Oregon ranked 111th and USC ranked 126th in penalties yardage last season. Georgia ranked #21 while playing big boy football. Riley's team ranked 77th.

 

Interestingly Alabama ranked pretty high last season and lost the title to Georgia which had a more disciplined program. I think this will be an interesting stat to watch to see if Riley can gain control of a program that has had a pretty high talent level for many years. The problem has been the discipline and execution of plays. It has also been developing a team of players rather than just a group of amazing players. This is going to be job one of Riley at sc. It twill also be an important job for Lanning. Who will turn these programs around first. 

Thanks. Very solid points to consider!

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On 2/8/2022 at 6:57 AM, fred flintstone said:

USC is improving.......but.......to date during the Riley era they have yet to land a lineman on either front that would be considered elite. Next year all this talk of their dominance is nonsense. They will be substantially improved and probably will not be losing to the likes of Oregon State much. 

 

Right, and the PAc-12 is full of "Oregon State" like teams, so I would expect them to at the very least reverse the 4-8 and go 8-4 based on coaching competance alone. That's why I didn't say they were going to win it in 2022, but I feel they have a very strong shot in 2023 and for sure in 2024. 

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The Ducks vs USC ticket will definitely be more difficult to get for those w/o season tickets. That may be a negative to some Duck fans. 
 

 If they are on our schedule it usually means late October in Eugene. Autzen with USC in town. What could be better?
 

How about a defense that keeps their band from playing that obnoxious song. GO DUCKS !!!!!

 

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One little obstacle in the USC game plan is the Los Angeles life style, we will see how the players handle that. Big difference in LA from Norman. Good football is more than talent. A person can sure get into "things" in a big city like LA. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:09 AM, geoquack said:

Riley is the most overhyped coach in the history of college football.  He was a big fish in the small pond called the Southwest Conference.  0-3 in playoff games.  If not for the LA media market and the AD's goofball introductory press conference remarks, this would just be another hire.

 

Ok, well, last I checked the Pac-12 isn't exactly the SEC, so if he can have success in the "small pond" Big 12 he can have success in the small pond Pac-12.

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:26 AM, DuckPhan19 said:

Yes the Ducks are working feverishly to compete with an SC team firing on all cylinders. But “not so fast” on the conclusion that SC is running on all cylinders just bc of its HC hire. There are other cylinders that are misfiring and in need of a tuneup and possibly an overhaul. 
 

Let’s see how the test drive goes this fall.

 

In the article I was implying that they will be firing on all cylinders in the near future, probably within two years, but not at the moent they are not, but I expect at least 8 wins next year. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:41 AM, Just Ducky said:

Hate to keep beating the same drum but USC is going to be a tough out. Careful what you wish for. The Trojans will only make Oregon’s path harder to achieve. Oregon winning a natty is the goal. 

 

Exactly, and what you just said is the message I'm trying to convey here, this isn't going to be the same mediocre USC we've seen since Caroll left, we have to arm ourselves with the expectatiion that USC is going to be really good, and not be surprised when it happens. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:42 AM, LB48 said:

I can’t help but think how we would have responded if Riley had been hired as the new Duck coach. 

Funny, thanks saying this because I almost added a paragraph addressing this very thought. Many of the same fans who are playing down his importance as USC would have the exact opposite reaction if he was in Eugene. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:55 AM, 30Duck said:

My argument would be that for now, what's good for the conference is good for Oregon. USC being good again doesn't mean that Oregon can't be good, or great, at the same time. In fact, I think it helps both. We may not like it, but while Alabama wins the titles, the SEC is full of good teams, and only play an 8 game schedule.

 

The Pac-12 of course plays 9, making it even more important that the schedule be competitive. It's hard enough for Oregon to get consideration for the Playoff without it looking like their schedule is full of cupcakes. Oregon will benefit greatly if they win the North and face 10-2, 11-1 USC, in the championship game. 

Agree, on one hand it does suck that we will have a good USC to have to compete with, but it does make things more exciting. I think George has it in the cards to go to 8 conference games. And really, the conference championship game is a playoff game, so bring it.   

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On 2/8/2022 at 7:59 AM, Log Haulin said:

The crowning of the King is what leaves a bad taste.  The Emperor's record at Okie was exceptional. But an honest look and you can punch holes in his success.  Will $C be really good again? For sure. Have they earned the crown yet? 

 Nobody is being crowned here. I wrote this for the sake of awareness.  Don't underestimate the enemy. USC has been a sleeping giant and we know what they are capable of when they have the right coach in place. I've just seen so many people being dismissive of them, sure, Riley could suck at USC, but I wouldn't make that bet. 

 

And sure, you can poke holes in his success, but if he can win the Big 12 and make the CFP, there's no reason to think he can't do the same in the Pac-12. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:11 AM, Tandaian said:

Having a stronger conference in the eyes outside of the conference matters.  Everybody mentions SEC being the toughest conference and send the most kids to the NFL.  I'd say B1G TEN is next in line and for the last few years Big 12 is next. 

 

If USC, Utah and Oregon can be consistent top 15 teams, that helps with the eye test.  Maybe, Pac 12 would no longer be left out if they had a conference loss.

 

Having a strong USC and Utah does make it harder for Oregon to continually win the Pac 12, but it helps the conference not look like a 1 team conference.

 Agree, and while it does blow on one hand having to play a very good USC, it does make life more exciting. And, that undefeated UW in 2016, there were some serious doubts if they were going to make the CFP based on their weak schedule, so definitely benefits the schedule strength. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:18 AM, Kurt Rambis said:

I think USC under Riley will be much tougher than a lot of folks on here do.  Not necessarily next year, because there are still a lot of holes in the talent there - but soon.

 

At the same time, if Oregon can't beat USC in a Pac-12 title game, why would anyone think that same Oregon team could beat Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, or any other playoff teams that year?  

 

We'll either be good enough to beat SC and then compete on a level playing field with the other playoff teams, or not good enough to beat SC, which means we also would have lost quickly (and probably badly) even if we had reached the playoffs.

 

Simple as that.

Very good point. Yes, a bad USC makes it easier to reach the CFP, but if you don't have what it takes you're gonna get soundly beaten in the CFP. That's pretty much what happend to Riley at Oklahoma, but those teams would have been good enought to win the Pac-12, which is our fist concern. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:32 AM, Drake said:

Competing for a championship requires some luck. Injuries, and schedule can dictate a lot in any given year. However, I fully believe that a strong USC is good for the PAC 12 and Oregon. Doesn’t mean they are invincible.
 

We will go head to head with USC recruiting players and on the football field. Will they win every encounter…absolutely not. 
 

If we play for a championship then we might as well beat USC along the way. 

Totally agree, it make things more scary as Ducks fans, but having a great rivalry make things very exciting. For example, As much as I like destroying UW, it is also very fun when the Huskies are competitive and the stakes are high. Same with SC. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:36 AM, Jon Joseph said:

SPOT ON!

 

3 Playoff appearances. Other Pac-12 coaches - 0 playoff appearances. A Blue Blood as so you so note Darren, has awakened. The wallet has been opened.

 

'But he coached blue bloods at Oklahoma!' Who was the man in charge who recruited these blue bloods and convinced Heisman winners to transfer to the Sooners? Lincoln Riley. Who implemented the O that led to all of the playoff appearances? Riley. In 2021, adding the recruits to the transfers from the portal, the Trojans would rank 9 in recruiting.

 

'He hasn't won a playoff game!' In 8 seasons the Pac-12 conference has won 1 such game. In the Rose Bowl Riley took UGA into 2 OTs before losing to a team that lost to Bama in OT in the champ game on a late Tua heave. 

 

Riley has brought in the top RBs from Stanford and Oregon. He has added an excellent group of WRs. His 2023 commits are all top drawer players. The SC D has a long way to go. But with the guys he has on O,  including QB Caleb Williams, and a decent OL, SC is going to put up a lot of points in 2022. SC will make a lot of noise in a down conference.

 

I agree that 10 wins for the Trojans in 2022 is doable and if he does not win the south in 2022, look out for 2023 when Utah plays in LA. CU, ASU, Arizona and UCLA (8 wins in 2021 but 0 wins against teams with a winning record) will have rosters nowhere near what Riley will bring to the field of play.  Riley is not breaking in an entirely new set of assistant coaches. Many of his guys from Oklahoma followed him to LA. 

 

With 1 hire SC is cool again. So correct you are Darren in noting that top California HS guys will no longer routinely be leaving the conference footprint for the SEC and the B1G and Clemson. And sad to say, Oregon.

 

And you know what? This could not be better for Oregon and for a conference that is on life support. This could not be better for the upcoming round of new media negotiations. The conference needs a 'player' in Los Angeles and UCLA with a stadium miles from campus and lukewarm administrative support and fan support is not the school that is going to come through in LA.

 

Thanks for the great article. Clay is gone and the 'life of Riley' is going to make a huge difference in LA.

Thank Jon, from some of your past comments in the forum I knew you were also very aware of the danger that USC now presents. And as Ducks, we have to be ready!!! 

 

I cooled my jets in saying they will win the South in 2022, but it could happen. They are going to be very dangerous offensively, and if they can get past the Utes, watch out!

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:53 AM, GODUCKS15 said:

Duck fans are giddy about Lanning who's never been an HC? I see no reason why USC won't be the fav pick to win the P12 in

 

2023. Heck I'd go as far to say that if the pieces fall right it's USC out of the south and maybe Oregon in the north this year.

 

Oregon was one game away from not making the P12 Champ game last year. 

 

Strange things always happen in the P12.

Totally. I mean, it's not like Riley went to the SEC, if the Trojans can rise up against Utah, they just might be playing in Las Vegas next December. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:58 AM, savagefund said:

You guys are almost making me excited that the PAC will rise again.

That excitement sure beats the Eeyore point of view that has reigned for much too long.

It will makes things for exciting for sure. Fun times ahead. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 9:15 AM, Drake said:

The Ducks vs USC ticket will definitely be more difficult to get for those w/o season tickets. That may be a negative to some Duck fans. 
 

 If they are on our schedule it usually means late October in Eugene. Autzen with USC in town. What could be better?
 

How about a defense that keeps their band from playing that obnoxious song. GO DUCKS !!!!!

 

Yup, having a good USC can only mean more money for all!

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On 2/8/2022 at 9:16 AM, 1Ducker1 said:

One little obstacle in the USC game plan is the Los Angeles life style, we will see how the players handle that. Big difference in LA from Norman. Good football is more than talent. A person can sure get into "things" in a big city like LA. 

True. But is can also be what draws more talent. Fingers crossed we still recruit great in SoCal. 

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USC is loading up on proven college football players from the transfer portal, including one of Oregon’s all time leading rushers, and the top rated QB who already has a win over the Ducks.

 

USC will be closely watched by the national media, which elevates the PAC.

 

USC will likely battle Utah and UCLA to represent the South in the league championship game.  The attention will elevate all three programs for future recruiting.

 

USC coaching will be competitive and possibly superior to staffs at Oregon and Utah.

 

USC football attendance will likely explode based on the prospect of a national title run in the next two years.

 

USC will get top celebrity NIL involvement to buy the best players.  
 

Go Ducks!

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On 2/8/2022 at 8:55 AM, 30Duck said:

We may not like it, but while Alabama wins the titles, the SEC is full of good teams

My rebuttal is I'd rather the Ducks be like Clemson dominating the ACC rather than a team like Ole Miss, a fun/entertaining/good team with a puncher's chance, constantly getting pushed back in place by powerful Alabama.

 

I guess what I'm trying to convey is a complete paradigm shift where we don't "need" USC to be strong/powerful because Oregon IS the dominate, flagship program. Let's be honest, every conference is top heavy and dominated by one, or two teams at the most: SEC = Bama (some might argue GA, but until this year Smart had never beat Saban) ; BIG10 = Ohio State ; BIG12 = Oklahoma ; ACC = Clemson ; P12 = "OREGON IS THE CLOSEST, BUT NO ONE HAS TAKEN OVER THE CONFERENCE YET SO THIS IS WHY I DON'T WANT A POWERFUL USC NOW . . . OR EVER".

 

I promise that Saban/Day/OK Coach/Sweeny are not thinking, "Man! I wish another team in our conference would get really good and make it harder for us to make it to the CFP. Would be good for us and the conference." IF Riley returns USC to dominance, he will not wish for a stronger Oregon. He will try to crush Oregon in recruiting and on the field every step of the way.

 

There is a power void in the P12 waiting to be filled. MC couldn't fill it with the Ducks, and now USC is as poised as ever to return to power. The College Football Playoff is the goal and the "lack of USC" was never preventing the Ducks from getting there, just head-scratching losses to the likes of Stanford, Cal, OSU, etc.

 

The only thing missing in the P12 is NOT a conference full of good teams that cannibalize each other. It's missing a team that stands above the rest (i.e. undefeated or no more than one-loss team). I want that to be UO, not USC. 

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On 2/8/2022 at 6:57 AM, fred flintstone said:

USC is improving.......but.......to date during the Riley era they have yet to land a lineman on either front that would be considered elite.

100% agree with this.

 

I also found it hilarious when one of the Duck coach said "We are not building a 7 on 7 team" when discussing recruiting day commits. That was a great dig on USC.

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Darren, you're still a Duck fan, right? 😁

 

Kidding aside, great article. I agree 💯. The USC program has too much pride to let other "lowly" teams (like Oregon, Utah) be the head of the Pac. It was only a matter of time, like you said. 

 

Good! 

 

Good for the Pac, and good for Oregon. I want USC to be at their best when we beat them. It's the catalyst we need to unsure we get the credit, and recognition needed to be considered a serious playoff contender, year in and year out. 

 

USC will beat Oregon some years, and Oregon will beat USC other years. But if both programs are at their best, along with 2-3 other strong Pac-12 teams, then perhaps the Pac-12 will repair it's once proud status as one of the best conferences in CFB. 

 

So much lies ahead. I cannot wait to see it all unfold. 

 

Go Ducks! 

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On 2/8/2022 at 9:20 AM, Haywarduck said:

My skepticism comes from one statistic which both Riley and Lanning will have to address if each program is to rise to the championship level. Oregon ranked 111th and USC ranked 126th in penalties yardage last season. Georgia ranked #21 while playing big boy football. Riley's team ranked 77th.

 

Interestingly Alabama ranked pretty high last season and lost the title to Georgia which had a more disciplined program. I think this will be an interesting stat to watch to see if Riley can gain control of a program that has had a pretty high talent level for many years. The problem has been the discipline and execution of plays. It has also been developing a team of players rather than just a group of amazing players. This is going to be job one of Riley at sc. It twill also be an important job for Lanning. Who will turn these programs around first. 

Part of this can be explained by style of play and what is accepted in different regions of the country. While hits that are dangerous have rightly been cracked down on everywhere, the SEC is one of the most lenient conferences in the country. 

 

Now this does not excuse many of the penalties that hurt the Ducks in games this past year that were undisciplined and uncalled for.

 

Yes, Oregon needs to clean up a lot, but comparisons of penalties with SEC teams is apples to oranges.

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USC being good is not a bad thing at all. I would rather have the rest of a good USC team, a good Utah team every year. I think that’s important. 

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I think there is no doubt that USC will be better. Crowning them as the kings of the PAC12 without playing a single game yet under Riley is premature. We'll see what the product on the field is. 

 

I think that it will take more than Riley coming to SC to keep some of the recruits who have gotten away.

 

There is an accepted (which is a problem to me since I don't totally buy it) truth for many that the SEC is far and away the best football conference in the country. Then the B1G is next and that all others are way down the list.

 

It's not really power 5 in many people's view points, it's power 1 little brother and 3 little sisters. 

 

This will have to be overcome before USC, Oregon or anyone else in the PAC regularly keep the best of the best west coast recruits home. I hope it happens.

 

Now to USC becoming dominant in the PAC, there one big thing standing in the way of that. OREGON! USC has squandered most of a decade and allowed another dog to grow in power and take the Alpha dog position. They have work to do to take it back.

 

Though Oregon has faltered some with coaching changes, some wise and unwise hires, I think Lanning is going to prove to be a coach that takes Oregon beyond where we have been in the past. A healthy USC may have been able to take advantage, but USC was not healthy.

 

 

 

 

Edited by OhioDuck
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