I am going to mix it up a little bit today...
Michael Lev at the OCR has a look at USC's game against Ohio State in September.
What they’re saying: "For quarterback Terrelle Pryor, a year of marinating as a freshman, with some spot duty here and there, turned into a one-way ticket to the barbecue of college football. Here’s the ball, kid, remember to keep an eye out for those USC linebackers. But was it worth it? Was it better to play Pryor and get him used to a group of skill-position talents, all of whom have since left for the NFL? Yes, says Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel." — Chris Sprow, ESPN.com
Lev’s look: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: IMO, USC will lose at OSU. Last year’s game wasn’t close, but the circumstances are entirely different. That game was at home, this one’s on the road. The Trojans had a bye leading into that game, this time they don’t. Pryor was a novice — even a novelty — then, now he’s the offense’s centerpiece. And he’ll have more game experience than Aaron Corp (or Matt Barkley). Of course, I’ve been wrong before, too.
I think this is going to be a very tough game for SC at The Shoe. I do think they can win but it will not be easy. Pryor is a year older and a little more experienced and while some will point to all the new faces in starting roles on defense I would be careful not give SC a chance at shutting Pryor down. tOSU has lost some talent as well. So, while this is a home game for tOSU Sc has played well on the road before with new players (Auburn anyone?).
This will definitely be a great game!
There is an interesting item in Olin Buchanan's mailbag this week...
Under the microscope
From: Mark in Pasadena, Calif.: Every season, it seems as if USC loses a game in which the Trojans are heavily favored. Why doesn't coach Pete Carroll get the same criticism for losing those games as Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel do for losing bowl games?
The obvious response is that bowls are higher in profile and more is at stake, so losses are magnified. With Oklahoma losing five of its past six bowl games – three of those with the national championship on the line – it's going to get more attention.
Similarly, Ohio State has lost its past three bowl games, including two for the national championship. Again, those are high-profile losses in high-profile games.
Those losses have led to criticism for Stoops and Tressel, but little to none from the people who really matter – administration and big-money boosters. Those two are as secure as any coaches in the country.
And the national media isn't going to blast them because if you look at it objectively and without the emotion of a fan, they deserve credit for getting their teams to BCS bowls and national championship games. While Oklahoma lost to Florida in last season's BCS championship game, there were 118 other Football Bowl Subdivision teams that weren't playing in that game.
Of late, USC has been among the teams on the outside looking in at the title game. Some could argue that Carroll should catch some heat for the Trojans' failure to reach that game. But do you really want to criticize a coach whose team has won or shared seven consecutive conference championships, who has a 34-5 record over the past three seasons and who has a three-game winning streak in BCS bowls?
Upsets are going to happen and powerful teams aren't immune. The Trojans' loss last season at Oregon State, which finished 9-4, certainly wasn't an embarrassment. Neither was the 33-31 loss in Corvallis in '06.
In fact, I'd argue the 13-9 loss to UCLA that cost USC a shot at the national championship in '06 wasn't a major shock because upsets aren't rare in rivalry games, in which strange things often happen.
USC's loss at Oregon in '07 wasn't an indictment of Carroll, either. That Oregon team probably would have won the national championship if quarterback Dennis Dixon hadn't endured a season-ending knee injury two games later.
Now, the '07 loss to Stanford remains a head-scratcher. But, again, do you blast Carroll because USC has lost five regular-season games in the past three seasons? In fact, over the past three seasons, only one coach of a major-conference team has lost fewer regular-season games.
That coach? Jim Tressel.
Well, its not like we haven't heard this before. And I am not surprised that it continues to be a topic of conversation. I think Buchanan makes a solid argument as to why Pete Carroll has not taken the heat that some want to throw his way.
USC continues to schedule pretty solid competition outside of the Pac-10. Yes, Idaho was not a stellar pick but there were some reasons outside of wanting to schedule a patsy that they made it on the schedule. Again, with no disrepect to other programs...it is easier to make it to a better bowl game when you schedule FCS teams in lieu of playing a round robin in your conference. SC had one loss last season to which turned out to be a pretty good Ore. St. team and it kept us on the outside looking in while Florida and Oklahoma played easy games that padded their record.
This could go round and round but I think Pete Carroll has been treated fairly on not making it to the title game every year with all the talent he has at his disposal.
A lot of this is out of his hands.
Here are a couple of Recruiting notes...
TigerBait.com - Ash tells all
Top DT Richard Ash picks USC as #1
Trojans and Gators vying for Powell - ESPN
USC is in the hunt, along with Florida, for DE Ronald Powell
Here is a little more on the passing of USC Volleyball player Jen-Kai Liu
In 1988 as a sophomore, Liu earned All-American first team honors while topping the NCAA champion Trojans in digs and aces. A 3-year (1988, 1990-91) letterman, he also was a member of USC's 1990 NCAA championship squad and 1991 NCAA runners-up. A knee injury forced him to redshirt in 1989, then limited him to just 4 late-season matches in 1990 and 16 matches in 1991.
Nicknamed "The Hammer" because of his hard hitting, he came to USC from Taiwan, where he was a member of that country's national team in 1986 and 1987 and its junior national team the previous 2 years. He also served in the Taiwanese army in 1985 and 1986.
Go read the whole press release...He lived a pretty full life for only having lived until age 42.
Finally, lets get this out of the way...
A spokesperson from the Nantucket Police Department said Thursday there were no criminal charges filed against USC defensive end Everson Griffen or linebacker Jordan Campbell, nor were the pair arrested, as reported elsewhere, for "breach of peace."
The pair were cited for being at loud at a July 4th party
"The charges were a civil matter -- kind of like getting a speeding ticket for making too much noise," the spokesperson said. "As far as criminal matters there are no criminal matters for any of the individuals involved in that party."
A USC spokesperson said both will write a letter of apology but no further action is expected.
There everyone feel better?
This one as well...
USC defensive back Shareece Wright will avoid jail time after pleading no contest to disturbing the peace in San Bernardino Superior Court on Thursday in an incident at a Colton party broken up by police last Labor Day weekend.
As part of a plea agreement, Wright pled no contest to disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor, his attorney Carlos L. Juarez said. Wright will be on one-year court supervised probation, fill pay a $456 fine and perform 200 hours of community service. Upon completion of the community service the charge will be reduced to a citation and eventually removed from his record, Juarez said.
This one was also much ado about nothing. Disappointing? Yes. End of the world? No. Over indulgent college kids mixed with overly aggressive cops...how did you think it was going to turn out?
Enjoy your Friday everyone! I will be back later this evening!