<
>
Insider

These hiccups linger

LOS ANGELES -- The road to an undefeated season can be more littered than a crash-filled lap at the Daytona 500.

Obstacles, like spinning-out automobiles, are everywhere. Danger seems to lurk around each corner in college football now, especially if you're anointed No. 1 in the polls before anyone has played a game.

This is the burden that comes with all the excitement at USC as we look up and find the season suddenly only days away. The Trojans are likely to be favored to win every game on the schedule, and that means they will be expected to beat some very good teams, including Oregon not once, but possibly twice.

Lane Kiffin has never been in this position before as a head coach. He's never had the big No. 1 target on his back, and although he loves the idea of people thinking his team is talented enough to pull it off, he should be forewarned about the one major pothole Pete Carroll fell into not once, not twice, but three different times on his way to the BCS title game.

Beware of the "hiccup" game, Lane.