Sometime in between the flyover from the
Air Force out of Langley, Va., and Keary Colbert’s second
touchdown for Southern Cal., I realized I was witnessing something
special.

Kate Green

Right before my eyes was the miracle of birth: the conception of
a dynasty.

It was almost fitting that John Williams, composer of the
“Imperial March” from “Star Wars” (which is
also associated with the evil empire known as the New York
Yankees), was the Grand Marshal for the Trojans’ breakout
party. In fact, if anyone can take the Trojans’ “War
Chant” and turn it into a grand concerto masterpiece of an
opus, it’s Williams. Not to say that Duh-daaaa …
da-da-da-da-da-da-da duh-daaaa isn’t musical genius at work,
but it becomes more annoying long before it strikes fear and hatred
into opponents.

Luckily for Southern Cal., the melodic portion of this dynasty
is its biggest concern.

Its team next year is stacked, successful … and young,
which is formulaic of the beginnings of a dynasty.

Colbert leaves, but that hardly puts a chink into quarterback
Matt Leinart’s arsenal. Sophomore running back Hershel Dennis
(661 yards in 2003) and freshman backs LenDale White (754) and
Reggie Bush (521) are all back next year.

Then there’s that Mike Williams kid, who would have been
the best receiver in college football had it not been for the other
sophomore sensation known to Mel Kiper and the rest of the
salivating NFL scouts as Larry Fitzgerald. While his down-field
blocking is not to the level of a Roy Williams out of Texas, Mike
is still the biggest playmaker west of Pittsburgh.

Steve Smith, a freshman this season who was the No. 1 high
school wideout in 2002 according to many publications, will most
likely take up the No. 2 spot in the receiving core. His 17
receptions for 319 yards and two touchdowns during limited playing
time would seem to prove he’s at least earned a chance to
make his mark in 2004.

The defense loses cornerback Will Poole, but returns its top
three sack leaders. After watching the Rose Bowl, the Trojans
proved they don’t need big playmakers in the secondary as
long as the quarterback is being pressured into bad throws or is
set down nicely on the turf.

Head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Norm Chow are
perfect examples of coaches you love to hate (e.g. Joe Torre) and
are great personalities — Chow is rarely ever seen, and
Carroll looks as if he could sit on a cactus and be comfortable.
Aside from their personalities, it’s their coaching that
makes them tops in the game. Carroll, a former head coach for the
New England Patriots and New York Jets, is one of the most
underrated defensive coaches in the nation, if only because he
plays in a conference that gives up points and gives up a lot of
them. He proved against Michigan, that when push came to shove he
would have not the most physical defense, but the most prepared
defense. As for Chow, his offensive schemes will haunt defensive
coordinators for years to come.

So this begs the question of why this team will be any different
than Miami (Fla.) of the previous two years or Florida State of the
mid-1990s.

Well, for one, those two teams weren’t dynasties. A couple
years hardly marks a dynasty. In fact, there aren’t many
teams that would qualify under the definition of dominating for
close to a decade or more.

The Hurricanes of the 1980s were close, as were the Sooners of
the ’50s, but the only school that has had a true long period
of supremacy was Alabama in the ’60s and ’70s.

That’s what makes this Southern Cal. era so important. In
a time when parity in college football is running as rampant as it
is in the NFL (ahem, Northwestern’s constant revivals, then
falls from grace), one dominant team is needed. And with so much
youth in important positions, the Trojans can reload a year or two
in advance instead of the year of their success. Seniors that leave
will have experienced juniors or sophomores ready to step in. Then
if a freshman can step up, it’s an added bonus.

The importance of a dynasty should not be lost on sports fans.
As parity sets in pro football — general fans get bored if
their team cannot be in postseason contention (especially following
a Super Bowl season). Baseball fans everywhere unite in rooting
against the Yankees (unless you’re one of those heartless,
gutless, &*^%$$%, %^$%^&@ pieces of $%^& who roots for
the pinstrips).

So, root for Southern Cal. Wish them nothing but success over
the next decade. Before you know it, the War Chant will be haunting
you in your dreams, Carroll’s smugness will inspire violent
loathing within you and college football will unite yearly in
hoping that any team can knock off the mighty Trojans. Baseball
beware.

— Kyle O’Neill refuses to listen to any national
championship debate until Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the
Miami of Ohio Redhawks are brought into discussion. He can be
reached at
“mailto:kylero@umich.edu”>kylero@umich.edu.

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