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Other upsets could help Trojans in poll

September 28, 2008|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

Well, they're not dead yet.

Far from it, apparently.

The state of USC football will be determined to a degree when the first Harris Interactive poll is released today, but the still-reeling Trojans could not have hoped for a more fortuitous weekend in college football following their debacle in Corvallis, Ore.

Fourth-ranked Florida's home loss to Mississippi on Saturday deflected some of the embarrassing national attention that had been heaped upon USC since the then-No. 1 Trojans lost to Oregon State on Thursday night.

Third-ranked Georgia's loss to eighth-ranked Alabama and ninth-ranked Wisconsin's loss to Michigan is expected to cushion the Trojans' fall in the polls.

Then there's the matter of the Trojans' next opponent.

Oregon, which visits the Coliseum next Saturday, is expected to move into the top 25 after improving to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Pacific 10 Conference with a lopsided victory over Washington State.

A win over a ranked Ducks team would help USC begin to repair its image after a 27-21 loss to a 25 1/2 -point underdog.

But USC Coach Pete Carroll is not too concerned about rankings.

"We're in a recovery mode for conference," Carroll said Friday.

USC players were off Saturday and will not practice again until Monday, but they will no doubt return with a renewed sense of hope as it relates to the national championship picture.

Carroll does not plan to spend a lot of time looking back at Oregon State.

"We won't dwell on it," he said. "We'll make the corrections and move on. The game is gone and behind us. We'll take a step ahead instead of taking a step back."


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