Talking Points: What USC's loss means
Monday, September 17, 2012
What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
The fallout of USC's loss to Stanford … First reaction is that USC, at least in the here and now, is fortunate that when the Pac-12 fathers aligned the two divisions back in 2010, Stanford got put in the North and USC in the South. A loss to a division opponent means you're essentially two games behind that team, because the winner head-to-head owns the two-team tiebreaker.
Is anybody else in the Pac-12 South — UCLA, Arizona, Utah, Arizona State — good enough to head off USC's bid for the title in that division? If (not), then it isn't out of the question that the Trojans could climb back into the national-title race by winning out. There are a lot of bullets yet to be fired.
Still, you wonder if USC is capable of that kind of run — even if it's been overrated. What the Stanford-USC game proved is it's more than a two-team league.
It's at least three.
You can't tell me the NFL didn't think this might happen.
The league had to remove a replacement official from the New Orleans-Carolina game on Sunday because it was discovered the replacement official is a Saints fan.
The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before kickoff to bring in an alternate for side judge Brian Stropolo.
"He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan," league spokesman Michael Signora said.
According to media reports, the league received several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.
Stropolo's Facebook page has since been taken down.
Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.
For more Talking Points, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/talkpoints360