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So far, so good for Trojans

first_img Muse: Three-peat has become such a cheap word, or non-word. But the reality is that no college team has ever done it, and the Trojans, after planting Hawaii on Saturday, seem capable, so we’re going to have to deal with it all season. It isn’t enough to just note that USC is trying to do something that hasn’t been done in the modern era of football. There are 10 instances of teams winning back-to-back national titles using just the writers, coaches and the fault-ridden BCS as our guide and asterisks need to be applied to a few of them. :Today’s push-em-back, push-em-back, waaaaaay-back edition of The Sporting Muse: News: USC completes first leg of, well, you know. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Three of the two-timers did so in the ’40s, before there were two polls, long schedules and automatic bowl games, so while Minnesota (1940-41), Army (1944-45) and Notre Dame (1946-47) earned their crowns, their tasks weren’t as onerous as that of USC. Minnesota won 16 games in its two-title run; USC won 13 games just last season. Two of the back-to-back champs benefited from the timing of polls and titles. Texas won coaches polls in 1969 and 1970, but lost its 1970 after-the-fact Cotton Bowl game to Notre Dame. Alabama claimed two straight writer’s titles in 1964 and 1965, but they lost their 1964 season bowl game to Texas. The times were different then, but it seems a bit presumptuous in today’s world for a team to claim a title when it lost its last game of the season. Or didn’t play a traditional last game. Both times Oklahoma won consecutive titles (1955-56, 1974-75), the Sooners sat out the bowls in one of those seasons (1956, 1974). The above leaves us with Alabama (1978-79), which won the writers poll in 1978 despite losing to USC that season (the Trojans got the coaches nod), Nebraska (1970-71), who shared the ’70 title with Texas, and the Cornhuskers again with consensus titles in 1994-95. So Nebraska’s two wins under Tom Osborne is the closest thing we have to a pure repeat. They went 25-0, didn’t share anything and beat all-comers. USC, of course, can go them one better if they finish 2005 the way everyone anticipates. center_img News: Trojans vamp for a week. Muse: It’s difficult to predict which game on USC’s schedule is the most dangerous, but oddsmakers would undoubtedly circle the Notre Dame game at South Bend in October. The Pac-10 already has some poor notices a week into the season. Oregon struggled, Arizona State got beat, Washington was caught late by Air Force and Cal lost its starting quarterback, probably for the season. Please do not embarrass yourself and mention UCLA. The Irish beat Pitt on Saturday in new coach Charlie Weis’ first game yeah, but who among us couldn’t beat Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt at something? and they will be looking to change the outcome of the last three meetings, which were all won by USC by 31 points, turning the leprechaun red in embarrassment. Last year USC scored the last 38 points of the game. In 2003, the 45 points the Trojans dropped was the most allowed by the Irish at home in more than four decades. In 2002, USC compiled 610 yards, the most a Notre Dame has ever allowed. Plus, Notre Dame has been involved in the end of a lot of three-peat dreams. Alabama actually went 11-0 in 1966 but the title went to Notre Dame despite the Irish tying Michigan State, 10-10. Oklahoma had its 47-game winning streak and shot at a third title ended when Notre Dame beat the Sooners, 7-0, in November of 1957. Army went 9-0-1 in 1946, the tie coming in a 0-0 game against the Irish, who got the final poll and title nod. Then there’s this: In 1948, Notre Dame was seeking its three-peat, only to be tied by USC in December and seeing Michigan get the crown. Fate has its target. News: Trojans do not have a 100-yard rusher in win over Hawaii. Muse: When you have two backs as good as Reggie Bush and LenDale White, it’s hard to get each of them enough carries to crack the magic number. The fact Matt Leinart is so efficient he completed 75 percent of his throws Saturday for 332 yards only makes the number-seeking more competitive. As long as the Trojans concentrates on just two key numbers one (as in No. 1) and three (straight titles) it won’t be an issue. News: UCLA stomps San Diego State. Muse: Nice win. But who doesn’t beat the Aztecs? San Diego State doesn’t get enough recognition as one of Division I’s biggest underachievers. They’re still 0-for-UCLA. Last winning season? In 1998, and they were 7-5. That was also their last bowl appearance, a loss. Last time they won eight games? More than a decade ago, in 1995. Last time they won more than eight games? Well, they were still in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (nee Big West), in 1977. Oh, and they’re NEVER won a Division I bowl game, either (0 for 3). San Diego State never should have moved on from the PCAA. If it had stuck around, the conference eventually would have become Division I (as it did) and it would have had a stronger foundation. The Aztecs went from best team in a conference to D-I road kill that sanitation still hasn’t picked up from the freeway. News: Bruins proud of their win. Muse: Hold all tickets. The Bruins now play four straight home games (with a bye in-between) and they’re not going to be favored in all of them. They face Rice and its spread attack next week, then host Oklahoma, which will still be cranky from its upset loss to TCU. That’s followed by Washington and Cal. If the Bruins are 4-1, then we can talk. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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