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Friday, August 1, 2008
USC shines as Pac-10's 'clutch team past'

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

What's clutch? Winning, over and over, through the ages.

That's USC. Or as Pete Carroll would say: "Win Forever."

It certainly feels like that for the rest of the college football world, especially the Pac-10, which has looked up at the Trojans in the conference standings for six consecutive seasons.

Sure, USC took a turn in the doldrums during the '80s and '90s -- heck the '50s weren't so grand either. Sure, the program's lost a number of notable games -- anyone see a 41-point favorite lose at home before?

Sure, many talented USC teams didn't live up to their promise.

But many did.

The record speaks for itself.  The Trojans:

History? It's not just one great coach; it's four: Howard Jones, John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll.

Clutch teams also produce clutch performers: Seven Heisman Trophy winners.

Recall quarterback Matt Leinart willing the Trojans to victory at Notre Dame in 2005. Or Charles White taking over the 1980 Rose Bowl.

And it's not just the Heisman winners. It's Rodney Peete leading the Trojans to a victory over No. 6 UCLA, despite suffering from the measles. It's Anthony Davis' 11 career touchdowns vs. Notre Dame.

USC is easily the Pac-10's Godfather of Clutch and arguably one of college football's "most clutch" programs of all time.