What coaches and players refer to as chemistry is really not chemistry at all. Chemistry is a science subject to irrefutable law. It is what it is.
That's not football. What coaches and players refer to as chemistry is really alchemy. Alchemy isn't subject to the laws of science. Alchemy takes a substance of lesser value and transforms it into something greater.
"They've got amazing athletes," Bair said. "If you had all of their talent they have on their team functioning as one unit, they'd be unstoppable."
That's where the alchemy takes place. USC didn't have that at Autzen Stadium on Saturday night. Oregon did. The Ducks won 47-20.
"We have a unit -- defensively, offensively -- we love to play with each other," Bair said. "We love to be out there on the field with each other. We feed off of each other's energy. We know if we mess up, somebody is going to be right there behind us. We don't have any fear of going out on the field together. We absolutely love being on the field together. The unity we have is absolutely unbelievable. I've never felt anything like it."
It may be unity. It may be love. It may have a little to do with blocking and tackling. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said Friday he has never had a team listen to its coaches as well as this team does. "Everything we ask them to do, they do," Kelly said.
As coaches will tell you, that trait has a value greater than gold. Alchemy may not be a strong enough word to describe what is happening at Iowa and Oregon.
Instead of a word, try a phrase: "Rose Bowl opponents."