When first checking the Trojans 2007 football schedule, the same thing popped into my mind that probably crossed many of yours’. Ummm…there’s some sort of mistake here. It says USC is opening against Idaho. Not Arkansas or Auburn or Virginia Tech or Penn State but…Idaho? What conference are they in? Are they even a division I-A team? Did Pete Carroll get drunk before deciding the schedule? Wait…am I drunk now?
We’re now two days before kick-off and the schedule still stands and I am still drunk. The USC Trojans are set to host the Idaho Vandals at the coliseum in front of a national television audience. On paper it appears to be one of the most miss-matched games of the college football season: USC is a 45 point favorite. And man to man, USC’s got to have an average of some four inches and 40 pounds above Idaho. But somehow despite the thrashing that will be delivered come Saturday, despite the bruises and aches and icings that await the Vandal players on Saturday night, Idaho coach Akey knows the Vandals will come out on top. This single game, no matter what the outcome, will be the best thing to happen to the Vandals since…well…ever.
After a successful 2003 season, USC Linebackers coach Nick Holt left the Trojans to take up a head-coaching job. His new team, the Idaho Vandals, was in desperate need of a tune-up. They needed help; something to pull them out of there usual slump…something to pull them out of WAC and national obscurity. So Holt went to his friend Pete Carroll and proposed the match-up; a game he very well knew the Vandals would most likely lose.
But winning was never the point. Holt wanted to put Moscow, Idaho on the college football map.
(Yes I said Moscow…apparently they still think mother Russia won the cold-war up there). He knew Pete Carroll’s Trojans would still be a national powerhouse. He knew this game would draw a lot more than the 20,000 typically in Idaho attendance. Pete Carroll, of course, agreed.
Carroll had always like Holt, he liked his coaching style and wanted to help him any way possible. In fact Carroll liked him so much in 2006 he offered Holt his job back – with a big raise and a promotion. So after just two seasons with the Vandals (5-18 under Holt), Nick Holt skipped Moscow to rejoin the top ranked Trojans.
Now the Idaho players that Holt recruited are on the other side of the line. It’s like a Kung-Fu movie premise gone horribly awry:
Once abandoned by the man sworn to protect them, the Idaho Vandals will again meet their former master…this time on the greatest battle field in college football.
Although there’s no way in hell the Vandal underdogs will triumph over the Trojans in this Saturday’s story-line, at least no one is going to say “IdaWHO?” anymore. From Saturday forth they’ll be a national name. Instead of Ida-who people will be saying:
“Yeah…Idaho. I remember them. Man they got their ass handed to them by the Trojans!”