Marqise Lee (Serra High School) had one of the greatest games ever by a wide receiver in NCAA history, as he broke the PAC 12 record with 345 receiving yards on 16 catches. But he could not win the game by himself, and USC was unable to overcome turnover and penalty issues. Photo by John Miller (AP)
Chances of making it to the BCS title game are out of the picture, and it does not look good for the Rose Bowl either.
Any chance of USC making it to the BCS championship game is obviously out of the window after their 39-36 loss at Arizona. And any chance of them making it to the Rose Bowl looks slim at this point. This is very disappointing because this was supposed to be USC's year.
With USC, Arizona St. and UCLA tied in the loss column in the PAC 12 South standings, USC may have to knock both of those teams off to make it to the PAC 12 championship game. They also may have to pull a major upset against No. 2 Oregon this week just to stay in the Top 25. As of right now they have dropped down to No. 18 in the AP poll.
The word for several weeks was that USC would have to win out to play for either a conference title or the national title. But looking at this team, with five turnovers and 13 penalties in the loss at Arizona, and those same issues in other games as well, it is possible for USC to lose any of their remaining games.
After Oregon, which looks like an impossible victory at this point, they have Arizona State, No. 25 UCLA, and No. 3 Notre Dame. It would be shocking if they went 0-4 over that period, but based on what this team has been this season, the chances of them going 4-0 are slim.
Looking at USC's body of work so far, they are 6-2, but they do not have one meaningful victory. They do not have any victories over ranked opponents. They have only played one ranked opponent so far this season, which they lost to, at Stanford.
It was great to see USC wide receiver Marqise Lee (Serra High School) break the PAC 12 record with 345 receiving yards, and quarterback Matt Barkley break USC's single game record with 493 yards against Arizona, but with a 28-13 third quarter lead, how about running the ball to work on the clock?
Arizona has a fast paced offense that scores a lot of points, and that was just what they did against USC. By the latter parts of the fourth quarter, the score was 39-28 in favor of Arizona. That is not a good sign for USC, who have to play Oregon's high-powered offense on Saturday. If Arizona can run up the score like that, USC fans are cringing at what Oregon might do.
With all of the talent that USC has, it is hard to believe that they may end up in the Alamo or Humanitarian Bowl. The expectations were a national championship and a Heisman Trophy for Barkley. But this team has been extremely undisciplined with the penalties and turnovers.
On paper this is a great team. In reality they are not. At some point head coach Lane Kiffin is going to take the blame for all of this. His job is far from in jeopardy, but there are a lot of USC fans that would like to see him go after squandering a season where they have a number of NFL caliber players.
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