I imagine the kids in Corvalis had a pretty good time last night. I mean, upsetting the #1 team in the land is always nice, especially when that team is already starting to be tabbed as the best team ever (after two games, maybe a bit premature). Absolutely incredible game. It wasn’t a fluke thing either with a bunch of wacky turnovers or gimmicky plays. Oregon State just came out and took it to USC, running straight at their vaunted front 7 with a 5-6, 180 pound true freshman RB who managed just north of 180 yards on the ground. I was particularly impressed with the way Oregon State protected their QB. USC’s pass rush was basically nullified all night. USC showed spurts of being the dominant team that they should be but it just wasn’t consistent enough. I will say that I thought of Munson last night for a brief moment when Oregon State missed that late extra point. At the time it looked meaningless, but years of listening to the most pessimistic announcer of all time (and the biggest homer…the beauty of Munson) meant that in the back of my head I thought: “wow, that could be huge”…I could just hear Munson saying that.
What does this loss mean? Sure, other than angering the people football betting, it’s WAY too early to be thinking about our spot in the title game but just as a general college football fan I think it’s important to consider the ramifications. USC had BY FAR the easiest route to the title game. That helped them considering they had already risen to #1, a spot traditionally difficult to lose as the season progresses. The problem with that easy schedule was that once you lose a game, it becomes that much harder to get back in. The computers were never going to love USC, especially if Ohio State starts slipping, which its looking more and more like they will. Now they’re in a quandary of hoping that Notre Dame starts winning a lot (easy given their even weaker schedule) because the lumps the Pac 10 took this season in OOC play are really going to hurt their chances.
As for how it impacts our game, I think if nothing else it reinforces the fact that you can’t let up on aynone. Oregon State had already lost to Stanford (yes, the same team that beat USC last year, like a west coast Duke) and got absolutely destroyed by Penn State 45-14. Knowing that, I think it’s pretty safe to say we need to focus on every game we play, starting with the #8 team in the country. Win this one and we likely get back our #1 spot.