USC looks like No. 1 again

A week after Oklahoma looked like the clear No. 1, USC dominated Arizona State and took back the top spot.

Originally Published: October 11, 2004
By Trev Alberts | ESPN Insider
I felt USC would beat Arizona State last weekend, but not in a 45-7 blowout. Trojans offensive coordinator Norm Chow had a great game plan for attacking the ASU defense, and before the Sun Devils knew what happened they were down 14-0 and USC had messed up everything they wanted to do on offense.

Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart is used to playing under major scrutiny.
Arizona State was forced to become a one-dimensional passing team, and when that happens the USC defense is good enough to pin its ears back and bring pressure that makes things tough, which is exactly what happened. Shaun Cody and his mates on the defensive line got after ASU, forcing turnovers and making life difficult for quarterback Andrew Walter to do anything. Arizona State ended up with just 243 total yards.

But what happened to the Sun Devils also happened to every team except California last season, so we finally may be seeing the real USC. Arizona State, on the other hand, showed it's no Cal thanks to an inconsistent running game and a defense that has made progress but is not quite where it needs to be.

Meanwhile, Trojans running back Reggie Bush continues to make plays both running and passing, and wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett is stepping up nicely to give Matt Leinart another option on the outside.

USC re-established itself with this win and deserves the No. 1 ranking. I know people are going to get on me after saying the same thing about Oklahoma last week, but if we're not going to have a playoff in college football, then every week is treated like the postseason, and winning impressively helps.

USC did that, and the Trojans are clearly No. 1 this week.