As we get closer to the start of the 2008 season, and Georgia fans start playing “what if?” and “can they do it?” games in our heads, it’s worth contemplating not only the Dawgs’ schedule (certainly formidable, but not without its breaks), but also what other schools – and, perhaps more importantly, how many other schools – will be in the mix to play in the BCS title game.
With that in mind, take a look at something posted today at Sunday Morning Quarterback in his early peek at Southern Cal (not the Song Girl in the bikini):
Not to overstate the point, but USC has played 30 games against ranked teams since 2002 and it’s record (26-4) is not the most impressive point of the portfolio. That would be the average margin of victory in those games, which is just shy of 19 points. Six straight BCS bowls is one thing; five blowouts is something else…
Ahem. That’s not too shabby. (Georgia’s record over that same time is a respectable, but not spectacular, 18-11.) It’s fair to say the Trojans know what they must do to have a shot.
On top of that, USC’s schedule this season is quite solid, with no games against 1-AA opponents. In fact, USC doesn’t play a school not in a BCS conference in 2008. I’m hard pressed to think of another national title contender in recent memory that can make a similar claim. That should make for a good deal of credibility with human voters and computers when it comes time to start with the BCS calculations.
Still, it’s worth remembering that these guys have spit the bit in each of the last two years, with inexplicable losses to feeble conference opponents that kept them out of the big game. So never say never. But realistically, at this admittedly early vantage point, if the Trojans can get past Ohio State and Arizona State, which figure to be their two biggest matchups of the season, you have to like their chances to get to Miami.