If you would have told me five years ago that the 2004 and the 2005 Heisman Trophy winners from USC would be a fledgling backup quarterback (Matt Leinart) and a free agent running back who no one seems to really want (Reggie Bush) I would have called you a liar, a drunkard, a fool, and a moron. Yet, as the 2011 NFL football season finally beckons us we've resigned Leinart and Bush as mere afterthoughts. To take it one step further, their best wideout (Dwyane Jarrett) is on no one's NFL roster, USC's all-time leading touchdown scorer (LenDale White) has played for three different teams and is 4th on the Broncos depth chart behind...a blank space. Even the head man Pete Carroll had to get the hell up outta dodge and high tail it to the Pacific Northwest before the mudslide hit.
Maybe these Trojans need another "push" in their life.
This is what happens when you're randomly googling stuff. I came across the Youtube clip for the 2005 game between Notre Dame and USC on a Saturday night in South Bend, Indiana. It was arguably one the best games I can ever remember watching, and anytime you watched the Pete Carroll led Trojans from 2003-2006 you always felt that USC would ultimately pull it out. This game would be no different.
Notre Dame came out in those cold ass Irish green uniforms, and USC stepped out in their classic cardinal and gold and the game just had a feel to it. To be fair, I don't think anyone gave Notre Dame a chance. The fat man Charlie Weis just replaced Tyrone Willingham at the helm, and the other golden boy quarterback Brady Quinn began putting his own stamp on the season by consistently finding Ed McCaffery Jr. in Jeff Samardzija down the field. Add in the best safety duo in college football in Tom Zbikowski and Chinedum Ndukwe and Notre Dame was ready for the scrap.
The back and forth culminated into one final drive for Southern Cal. The deep bomb from Leinart to Jarrett. The QB bootleg from Leinart with him getting mollywhopped and fumbling out the endzone. The no-huddle by Leinart and QB sneaking, and Mr. 619 Reggie Bush effectively YUUUUUUULE'n on Leinart to get him across the goal line. Only USC could pull off a victory in such a fashion. Only Notre Dame could lose so brutally in front of millions (and millions) of Fighting Irish fans. It was an iconic moment in college football history.
Ultimately both teams were not the masters of their fate. Notre Dame would go on to fall against Ohio State in the '06 Fiesta Bowl, and USC would be the loser in arguably the greatest national championship game of all-time versus Texas. Yet on one Sunday night, two teams I actually really dislike had me captivated in a truly magical way. Its a feeling I'm looking forward to experiencing real soon...
...college football is officially back in 39 days. Can't wait.