Trojans focused on Nebraska, not national rankings
Originally Published: September 15, 2006By Ted Miller | Special to ESPN.com
LSU No. 1? Sure, whatever.And, no, that was most certainly not a yawn coming from Heritage Hall, so don't try to pin disrespect on USC. Some of the Trojans even watched LSU put a hurting on Virginia Tech, a performance that still has Bengal Tigers fans and college football pundits madly effusing. They came away with a number of impressions.
For one, pizza delivery in Los Angeles takes forever on Saturday night. Oh, and LSU? "I think they looked pretty good," USC cornerback Terrell Thomas said. "But I don't know if it was Virginia Tech just wasn't that good. So it was hard to see how good they really are." What about USC coach Pete Carroll? How could he resist strapping himself into a recliner with a cold beverage and watching LSU and coach Les Miles, who trashed the Pac-10 this summer? "I was recruiting the whole weekend so I didn't see many games," Carroll said of his bye-weekend activity. Well, surely All-American defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis tuned in to see how his LSU counterpart, the apparently unblockable Glenn Dorsey, performed. "I don't really watch much football on TV, but I caught a little bit," Ellis said. "How did [Dorsey] play? I hear he's a good D-lineman. I wish him the best." Drat. No quips, dripping sarcasm or transcontinental trash talk. That's no fun. Ah, but the omnivorous maw of college football hype must be fed, and so we present this week's controversy: Should second-ranked LSU have jumped USC in the polls because it has beaten two opponents into a pulp and the Trojans have yet to do squat? And, honestly, our spicy friends on the Bayou have a point. Those were two dynamic performances compared to the Trojans' soporific 38-10 victory over against woeful Idaho and their sleep-in-late during a Week 2 bye. Therein lies the rub for USC, as it prepares to visit No. 14 Nebraska on Saturday (ABC, 8 p.m. ET). Time to wake up and manifest greatness.
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesPete Carroll and USC know what happens when you look past opponents.
You can't control the rankings, and it doesn't matter who's ranked No. 1 or No. 2 right now. The season's just started. We don't worry about rankings.