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"What's Your Deal?" Supposedly Not A Big Deal

USC is getting ready for a showdown with the team that humiliated them in the Coliseum last season. However it’s hard to tell how much that’s motivating the Trojans in preparing for the Cardinal, as they have plenty of other problems to deal with. Ted Miller reports on this.

Yes, it was. So you’d expect the Trojans to be plenty motivated for their trip to Stanford on Saturday. But the plot twist for college football fans still smelling the fumes of the once feared Trojans juggernaut is this: It probably doesn’t matter.

USC, which is coming off a second consecutive loss to Washington, is no longer the Pac-10 bully. Last year’s result in the Coliseum wasn’t a sneak attack, it was a physical mismatch and Stanford was the bully. In fact, the 16th-ranked Cardinal are coming off a loss at Oregon. It might be the mad ones looking to make a statement.

Lane Kiffin himself is downplaying the revenge factor, probably because he wasn’t here for the game to begin with.

Neither Harbaugh nor new USC coach Lane Kiffin were eager to rehash the events of last year’s game.

“I think that has all been pretty well documented — that horse been beaten pretty well I think,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think it couldn’t be any more irrelevant with what both teams are trying to accomplish in this game.”

Said Kiffin, “We’re not even going to talk about it. We have so many things we need to correct. We let a game get away from us that we should have won [Washington]. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. We’re really not worried about what happened last year.”

Both teams are coming off tough losses, so it’s understandable they wouldn’t be focused on such a benign issue. Yet you’d figure the Trojans players haven’t forgotten about the Cardinal seeming to run up the score, and they’d love to pay the favor back.