Loss temporary detour in USC ascent

USC fell short against Stanford, but don't expect that trend to continue

Updated: November 1, 2011, 11:31 AM ET
By Jeremy Hogue | We Are SC
LOS ANGELES -- USC lost on Saturday in a game that many said would return USC to "elite status" if the Trojans could pull out a victory. While the Trojans -- who still need a win against a legitimate top-10 team to truly be back in the "elite" conversation -- fell, the atmosphere at the Coliseum was electric on Saturday night, and the performance by this young, gutty team made a statement that USC's return isn't very far away.

For two consecutive weeks, USC's team and its staff has risen to the occasion with tremendous preparation, game planning, and execution. Yes, USC lost, and Stanford celebrated a big win that could potentially lead it to the national championship game, a Heisman Trophy, and all that goes with that achievement. But at the end of the night, I was struck by the trajectory of the two programs on the field.