Admit it: the Southeastern Conference's dominance in college football is getting just a bit out of hand.
As if it weren't bad enough that an SEC team has won a BCS title each of the past six years, last year's national championship game featured two teams from the SEC.
It's almost like college football needs some sort of intervention, and what better place to have one than sunny Los Angeles?
It makes perfect sense that college football's next national championship should go west.
In the immortal words of Randy Newman, “I Love L.A.”
That's right. The Trojans are my pick to snap the SEC's dominance and win it all this year.
Not to take anything away from the SEC and its caliber of play, but it's hard for me to believe that there isn't one other college football program in the country that can match the consistency or the intensity of SEC programs.
USC had one of the most dominant college football programs in the early part of the 21st century.
An NCAA investigation and subsequent sanctions relegated the Trojans to the witness protection program of college football. Better not to be seen or heard from again. Sure, USC won nine games in 2009 and eight games in 2010, but the program was nothing more than a spoiler alert on the schedule. It was not the feared giant that it had once been during its heyday.
Well, the sleeping giant is awake, and that's bad news for the rest of college football.
“We're two years removed from what was handed down as people saying ‘SC is over,' and being a preseason No. 1 team two years later is extremely exciting for our university and for our fans,” USC head coach Lane Kiffin said during the Pac-12's annual football media days.
If every blockbuster needs a star, quarterback Matt Barkley is USC's.
Barkley passed up the glamor and glitz of the NFL to return to school and help his team resolve some unfinished business.
“I think that phrase ‘unfinished business' has to do with finishing at a top level and finishing at what we're capable of as a team,” Barkley said.
We know what Barkley is capable of doing.
Last season, he completed close to 70 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards and a school-record 39 touchdowns. His strong finish down the stretch earned him a sixth-place spot on the Heisman Trophy ballot and made him an early pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award.
Joining Barkley is an all-star cast of players, including receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, who combined for 2,435 yards and 27 total touchdowns; running back Curtis McNeil; and defensive specialists Hayes Pullard and T.J. McDonald. Throw in former Penn State running back Silas Redd and you have the makings of a pretty good team.
A team capable of winning it all in January.