The USC Trojans Have Just Had Their Brains Splattered All Over the End Table

Oh, what it would be like to be a USC kid. When you dreamed of them once, they had Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, the guy who took ballroom dancing as the only course of his senior year. You had the allure of Pasadena, the nearby lights of Hollywood, and the best view (of anything) of anyone in the United States, provided the pollution hadn’t swallowed your house whole.

But now, the USC Trojans are in a funk. Oh, granted, it’s not a big funk. It’s not real funk. It’s like when a bank goes belly-up, but their CEO is still fishing for beluga whale in the Caymans. The fact is, they’re still USC, and life is still good.

But, after Bush lost his Heisman and Leinart lost his mind, the Trojans have never had that swagger that led them to two straight National Championships. Did Vince Young really crush their souls that much? Did Bush’s Heisman mean that much to them? Have the ghosts of Polamalu and Carson Palmer given way to the painfully mediocre careers of Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez?

(Wait, isn’t Mark Sanchez good? No, seriously, didn’t he take the Jets to two straight AFC Championships? Yea, he did, right? Oh, but you say he sucks? And, I’m just supposed to believe you? Okay. Fair enough.)

After a loss to that dickish school called Stanford – where kids call themselves California Ivy League and folks like Seth Cohen experiment with marijuana – USC finds themself out of contention for a No. 1 or 2 ranking at any point in the foreseeable future. Unless, of course, everyone in front of them were to lose.

Matt Barkley sees himself without a Heisman Trophy, and perhaps without a first overall selection to the Minnesota Vikings.

Oh, okay. Now that loss makes sense. He didn’t want to win, did he?