Doc 5: Unexpected Blowouts -- No. 1 USC

(Getty Images)

Toby Gerhart Stanford USC 2009

(Getty Images)

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

We have reached May 19, which means we are officially 100 days away from the beginning of the 2014 college football season when Abilene Christian faces Georgia State on Aug. 27. To keep the college football discussion on the tip of our tongues, we’re keeping up with some themes for our weekly Doc Five.

On the heels of the NFL Draft last week we brought you the top individual seasons from players who went undrafted. This week, with Memorial Day and Memorial Day Weekend on the horizon, we’ve really begun the peak of grilling season. We’ll definitely be lighting up the grill this weekend, so that got us thinking about teams who really got lit up over the past five seasons, especially when we were expecting a great matchup or expecting an entirely different outcome.

We know that the Memorial Day connection is probably a stretch, but we’re going to run with it anyway.

Let's discuss.


No. 1 USC (vs. Stanford 2009)

Looking back, USC's blowout loss to Stanford in 2009 was a symbolic end of the Pete Carroll era at USC.

On that November night, there were no indications that Carroll's tenure at USC would be ending as soon as it did, and entering the game, USC was looking to extend crazy streaks of dominance. The Trojans had finished in the top-four of the AP poll in seven straight seasons. It had gone to a BCS bowl in those seven seasons. It had 11 wins in all of those seasons.

All those marks disappeared in a 55-21 thrashing by Stanford, which signaled its own warning shot to the future of the Pac-12 with the way they demolished USC.

With a redshirt freshman named Andrew Luck at quarterback, Stanford ran the ball 50 times for 325 yards against USC, who was hapless to stop the running attack. (Sound like a familiar refrain, Oregon?)

Luck threw for 144 yards and two touchdowns. USC's freshman QB Matt Barkley tossed three interceptions.

The Trojans were still in the game in the third quarter, however. After Joe McKnight ran for a 28-yard touchdown with over two minutes left in the third, USC trailed only 28-21.

It became a laugher after that. Stanford scored 27 fourth-quarter points to hand USC its worst home loss since a 51-0 blowout to Notre Dame in 1966.

While the game was Carroll's next-to-last loss as coach of the Trojans before he left to become the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, it was also an unexpected handoff of power in the state of California. Not only was it an outcome that few were expecting, it was a signal of bigger things too.

In the four seasons since Stanford's win, the Cardinal are 46-8 with four BCS bowl bids. Amidst NCAA sanctions, USC is 35-17 in that timeframe with no BCS appearances.

David Shaw is firmly entrenched at Stanford after taking the reigns from Jim Harbaugh while the Trojans are now trying to climb back on top with another former Carroll assistant in Steve Sarkisian. (We all know the first try with a Carroll assistant didn't work out too well.) If USC is to reclaim top billing over Stanford, will the change happen as dramatically as it did 4.5 years ago?

- - - - - - -

Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next