First, Cougs landed a couple of impact JC’s for next year at the early signing period for JC’s. A BIG WR (as in 6-6 big) named Finas Rabb, who has only played football for a couple of years but can jump out of the gym and has soft hands. Might be a nice jump-ball candidate for those goal-line fades? The other guy they got is a rising TE prospect named Jason Price, who really is coming on strong. 6-4, 256, catches everything, reportedly a great blocker from Texas. He was overlooked coming out of high school as he was only 210 and not fast enough to play WR, but has put on 40 LBS and suddenly was on the radar for a lot of teams. Chose the Cougs over Oklahoma among others.
With WR still up in the air in regards to Hill and guys like Harvey, Prator and Troy B. leaving via graduation, both kids could be in for some serious PT next year. They will be competing this spring so we’ll see if they live up to the hype.
Finally, I disagree with Michael, at least to an extent, on 1991 UW. Yes, they had some very dominating performances in that unbeaten year. But, don’t forget, they also had some very close calls that year. Cal was at the 10 yard line in the final seconds before losing 24-17. USC fought them hard in the LA Coliseum before Beno Bryant broke a long one to win 14-3 in a game that was a lot closer than the final score. I know, UW had speed, speed, speed on D and a scary push up the middle. They manhandled Michigan (a VERY overrated Michigan BTW) in a way that was something to behold. I remember walking out of Husky Stadium after the Apple Cup actually feeling good that we led for a brief moment in that game, and we ONLY lost 56-21! No, UW was very, very good, and one of the most complete Pac-10 teams we’ve ever seen. But, could they have stopped USC of 2005?
I think ’91 UW PROBABLY could have beaten ’05 USC, but if they played 10 times, I think USC would win at least 6 of those 10. Still, it would have been extremely close. For as complete as UW was that year, they really didn’t have the explosiveness on offense that they would need to stay with USC’s offense. I mean Mario Bailey and Orlando McKay were good WR’s, but they aren’t even close to what USC can throw at you. The UW running game had Beno Bryant and a few others, but it wasn’t close to what USC has with Bush and White. Billy DUMB at QB was above average, but he wasn’t a great passer by any stretch. He got the job done and took care of the ball, but in a shoot-out that would be likely with USC, I wouldn’t put my money on him. Brunell barely played until later in the year, and he was pretty much a non-factor.
I know USC this year has had some close calls, like at ASU, and the Fresno State game, and SC’s ’05 D just isn’t that great. But oh, that offense. 580 YPG and 50 PPG?? Are you serious?? I don’t think ANY defense could fully shut them down. Huge and fast with the WR’s on the outside, lightning and thunder in the backfield, a QB with about 10 seconds to throw every play with an o-line among the greatest in Pac-10 history?? It would have been fun to watch just USC’s O vs. the ’91 UW D scrimmage all day (I also would have loved to watch 1994 WSU’s D vs. this year’s USC O, just to see if we could have slowed them down, but I fear that USC would have beaten us deep with those WR’s leaping over Torey Hunter and company. Leinart really is amazing in that offense too, just about perfect.)
Now for the computer-geek in me. I’m curious enough that I’m going to simulate 1991 UW vs. 2005 USC tomorrow morning on the xbox. EA’s NCAA game has classic teams, including 1991 UW. I’ll have them play on a neutral field with perfect weather, and just let the CPU play the CPU.
And just for kicks, I’ll also match up ’91 UW vs. ’04 USC. For what it’s worth, and I don’t think you’ll get many arguments, but I believe ’04 USC is the greatest Pac-10 team in the modern age – offense, defense, special teams, nobody can match what they brought to the table. You look at the talent from that team that will be in the NFL over a 2-year period, from Patterson and Cody up front, Lofa at MLB, and then this year will be ALL THAT OFFENSE in the NFL?? Amazing. But, we’ll let the CPU settle it on the field!
AND, finally, I also am curious to see how those great Miami teams from 01 and 02 would match up with 91 UW and 04 USC. Those Miami teams, in sheer number of players put into the NFL, now that was some sick talent too.