As I continue to try and process the ACC news, thought I'd give a quick run-down of the SU/USC on-campus, game day experience.
Getting there and back: We opted to take LA's world-renowned mass transit. World renowned in that it's generally considered some of the worst mass transit in the country. And in that sense, it didn't totally disappoint! LA Metro Rail is actually surprisingly efficient; I recommend it. Unfortunately, our route required transferring to LA Metro (bus), which is not only at the mercy of LA traffic, but also runs rather infrequently at night. We waited for over an hour after the game for our bus. In retrospect, our group of five probably should've just driven there.
Tailgating: So um, why the F doesn't Syracuse do it like USC does? Their campus was wall-to-wall filled with folks tailgating. It was simply incredible. And while the tailgates weren't crazily extravagant - no whole suckling pigs being roasted or fancy lounges set-up to watch the other games or naked greased song girls wrestling in pools filled with merlot - but still, thousands of crimson-clad folks drinking and grilling out in the open. Lots of scattered orange faithful interspersed and one rather large and drunk pocket that I was part of, seemingly in the center of it all. It was simply put, the most fun I've had before a game, ever.
The Coliseum: It's a pretty cool, classic stadium. No luxury boxes, nothing too fancy, but there doesn't appear to be any really bad seats in the house. We were row 73, behind one of the end zones and had an excellent view. Plus, any time you can take piss at a stadium and not have to go in a trough it's a bonus.
The Game: I was actually pleased for the most part with the way we played. USC was clearly a bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic team and yet, our offense moved the ball against them pretty well. Nassib was remarkably efficient. Our defense was clearly over-matched, but played alright. I will say this: if we're ever going to win a game against a good team in a hostile road environment, we simply can't afford the silly mistakes: the late hits and personal fouls and off-sides that extended USC drives, the 30 yard punts and 40 yard pooch punts. Those kind of silly mistakes, that we could've easily avoided, coupled with too many blown assignments and the inability of our offense inside the USC 35 were just too much to overcome. But if it hadn't been for an untimely Nassib fumble, I think we would've actually covered the spread and that's a moral victory to me.
The Environment: I always thought USC fans were huge douche-bags, but I walked away from the game impressed by their fan base. By in large, they were pretty classy. Aside from a little razzing, no one gave us much grief, either before or after the game - one guy even complimented my "Caution, 2-3 zone ahead" shirt. Their fans seemed knowledgeable, passionate, respectful, and were having a good time. The Cuse fans were so spread out, mixed in with USC fans, it was hard for us to really get a lot of cheers going, but I was impressed that so many Cuse fans stayed till the bitter end... and were rewarded by hearing the ref refer to USC as South Carolina twice and then leave his mic on while he told the guys, "no bullshit" in the final minute. Good times.