This isn't the 1990s. A win over the Arizona State Sun Devils is not enough to assuage today's USC Trojans fans.
They've had too much success over the past decade (whether any of it actually counts is an entirely different matter) to be placated by easy conference wins.
Even if the win did constitute a step toward a possible Pac-12 title.
That's right. For all the heat that Lane Kiffin has taken, his Trojans are only one win over rival UCLA away from clinching a spot in the Pac-12 title game, presumably against the Oregon Ducks.
But that's of little comfort to Kiffin right now. His job has been placed squarely in the crosshairs as his once title-destined team is limping to the finish.
Additionally, Kiffin has brought shame upon the school, although not all of it can be pinned on him. The deflated balls used in the Trojans' 62-51 loss to the Ducks probably had nothing to do with him.
But it's also an indication of a lack of control. Do you think someone would be able to do that in a program ran by Nick Saban?
Regardless, the three-loss Trojans have been an embarrassment on the field as well.
Plenty of teams have struggled to slow down Oregon. However, 730 yards and 62 points is entirely too much for a ranked team.
Still, while there is little shame to losing to the Ducks or the Stanford Cardinal, the Arizona Wildcats loss indicated that you really can't go home. I wonder if Lane ever daydreams about having never left Tennessee.
Those types of losses can only be wiped out by large wins.
Which leads to the final point: Kiffin has a lot of work left to do. The Trojans need to win the next two (UCLA and Notre Dame) and at least put up a great fight in the Pac-12 title game.
Yet, any loss, even a close one to Oregon, could be the end.
If it isn't already.