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USC Football Is NOT Oregon’s Equal

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Oregon and USC seem primed to be the top two schools in the Pac-12. Both have top ten recruiting classes for the 2021 recruiting cycle according to Rivals and both teams are already projected to win their respective divisions. In terms of raw talent, Oregon and USC are miles ahead of the rest of the conference. It wouldn’t come as ...

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You raise an interesting concept David but I wouldn't count USC out of the game just yet. We'll have to see how they are in the execution of their plan. We should know by game 4 of the season if we play USC or Utah in the Pac-12 championship game. I can't wait to find out. 

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Enjoyed the article and it took me back to yesteryear. Woulda coulda shoulda seems to be the phrase that pops in my head. 2005, a cheating USC leaves Oregon without a PAC10 Title. But, ....Scoreboard. I'm asking myself, 'why has USC been so dominant'? So many variables that I had to break it down to basically 2 main reasons. Coaching and Recruiting. Anybody remember statements like, USC could play competitively with the worst NFL team? I remember pundits making that argument during an ESPN segment. Absurd.

Of course that begs the question, Why was USC so good? Pete Carroll and tons of 4-5 star recruits. That's the bottom line. A more than capable coach with an above standard roster will net you W's. Just plain and simple. Of course, when you don't have that recipe, you have to get creative with your scheme. Mike Leach, Chris Petersen, Chip Kelly. But, in the end, recruits consistently win Championships. Oregon seems to be due for the next level.

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This is really a great article David in how it points to just how important a coach and the culture is to a team. Mario is not perfect, but we can all see what he has developed at Oregon and where he's leading it. Helton has yet to build a culture at USC, and now he's hung his hat on, "Air Raid".

An offense, that WSU, the most disadvantaged school in the conference used. Leach never won the North at WSU, never finished in second place, but at least their quarterback throwing 70 passes a game for 600 yards, in a loss, got the Coug's on SportsCenter. 

If Helton, at the most Advantaged school in the Pac-12 really wants to go that way, I say, "Yay!".  

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Additional Notes...

2021 Position Breakdown and which school "won" recruiting this year. (Using Rivals)


Offensive Line: Oregon

Quarterback: Oregon (USC recruited 2 quarterbacks but only one is on the field at any one time and Oregon has the best individual prospect)

Wide Receivers: Oregon

Tight Ends: Oregon (but USC is pretty close here)

Runningbacks: Oregon (both have 4-star runningbacks but Oregon has also has the wildcard of Seven McGee)

With the addition of Donte Williams to the USC staff the defensive side of the ball is a bit more of a mixed bag between the two schools.


Defensive Back: USC? (USC has 5 four-stars and Oregon has 4 four-stars, more of a numbers game here)

Linebacker: USC? (USC has 2 four-stars and Oregon has 1 four-star and 2 three-stars though Oregon has two really underrated three stars... so tie maybe?)

Defensive Line: USC (USC has Korey Foreman which wins this position... if Oregon lands JTT then this might be a tie)

USC basically straight lost the recruiting war with Oregon on offense though on defense it looks pretty close with maybe a slight edge to USC. Most importantly the USC losing the recruting battle to Oregon at receiver and tight end expose the problem with USC's desire to go Air Raid. The wild card is where are those athletes placed in terms of being the final tie breaker in some of these recruiting positions battles and I will be honest I don't know those athletes well enough to project exactly where they will be placed.

USC is going to be interesting to watch... but I do expect Oregon to be No. 1 in the conference and USC to be No. 2.

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I enjoy the way things change over time. Go back ten years in time and ask which team has a line filled with highly rated recruits and runs a fairly traditional offense. Which team has mostly 3 star linemen but good skill players & QB, and runs a "gimmicky" offense?


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All real good points even though I really don't ever read much about them because I've always disliked SC so much. Certainly hope we get JTT to help push us over the top. With Shough leaving and it is puzzling to say the least. He got way too much criticism I think and I think Mario also had his imprint in the way the offense faired so bad in the end.

Shough to me still would or could have won the starting spot. He wasn't given a ringing endorsement by Mario. I mean he didn't exactly get the spring summer or even fall for the most important position of all. With all this great recruiting we need to make sure this staff gets these players to compete their hardest to win starting jobs.

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