National Draft Day came and gusted away this past Saturday. It took everything within me to not cancel my entire day and loiter around Buffalo Wild Wings - dressing up like Albus Dumbledore as I bagged myself a Frodo, forced Obi-Wan Kenobi into everyone's innocent first-round projections and redefined "fantasy" sports for all of eternity.
I'm in two fantasy football leagues this season, as my physicians recommended I start cutting back. The Italian Trojan commissions one of them, which is stressful enough without the counterbalancing complacency as defending champion. The other one employs IDP, or Individual Defensive Players...yeah, all of this seemed exceedingly easier and more fun back in college.
The NCAA is waiting for their cut of the Jerry Sandusky settlements before they begin funding society's inferior interest in fantasy college football. I've always claimed that USC, although, is the nation's representative amateurish-professional hybrid, so the transition should be seamless.
With all of the injuries and indecision throughout the depth chart, the Trojans clearly need someone like me to arise from alumni retirement and walk on with 2013's incoming freshmen. Of course, I'd rather Lane Kiffin finally prioritize winning the Pac-12 South over my own personal fourth down conversion rate, so I'll stick to ESPN mini games and profiling from afar...
It's a shame that Cody Kessler or Max Wittek (and I've been leaning towards the former since I've been referring to the latter as Aaron Corp ever since the Sun Bowl) could not claim or be respectfully awarded the starting gig by camp's conclusion. So long as this retooled and promising offensive line holds up beyond the hurdle of September, there are enough weapons to survive occasionally spotty play-calling, but for who?
Even in the offenses with the luxury of a pocket passer AND an option runner in their quarterback-by-committee, it is difficult to anticipate which one will ultimately shine from week to week. We've witnessed just recently in South Carolina how neither Connor Shaw nor Stephen Garcia were able to assert themselves as the consistent No. 1 choice.
Two quarterbacks always equals zero quarterbacks. Pending X-rays on Mark Sanchez' facial hair and Matt Leinart's regrets as he suits up for Buffalo, the free agent pool is now scarce. I trust that Kessler eventually secures the job and posts adequate numbers, but until then, both he and Wittek are further buried in the conference's dirt clod under the likes of Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, and Keith Price.
Silas Redd appeared prime to become a sleeping stud this year, as the sole veteran in a backfield allegedly handed more of the reins in the Trojans' scheme. However, Redd has been one of many Snooping around the infirmary (and whatever else), and while Kiffin prefers to only utilize two running backs predominantly, one would also assume he'd prefer only one quarterback.
That being said, if someone is to emerge from the crowded stables a la Curtis McNeal in 2011, it will be freshman Justin Davis. If Redd is held out of action on Thursday, then the Spirit of Troy will be hailing their latest four-year starter after all.
Breaking News: Marqise Lee's shoulders are day-to-day after being diagnosed with shouldering the burden of potato chips, Heisman hearsay, chocolate chips, a disoriented offense on the hot seat, and poker chips..and other chips.
Until further legitimate notice, the incumbent Biletnikoff winner is as much of a fantasy lock as Colloportus. The only sliver of history working against him is his own, as he burst onto the scene two campaigns ago to upstage Robert Woods. Through garnering less attention, Nelson Agholor is supposed to ascend as the next USC receiver phenomenon according to such logic.
Then again, it all boils down to the quarterback, and because we are left without one at the moment, am I really expected to trust the gaudy scrimmage stats of Agholor or Darreus Rogers, or any of the banged up tight ends?
Colloportus is the Locking Spell from Harry Potter. I was giving you the opportunity to tackle me by yourself like a seven-year-old who forgets which end zone to run towards and therefore remains frozen.
Defense and Special Teams
The steadily unkept secret that is our defense is the strength of this team and will soon join Stanford as one of the finest in the Pac-12 and quite possibly the NCAA. This bold prediction is excruciatingly obnoxious and rests heavily upon tweaked tackling technique, maintained focus and bounce-back ability after one mediocre showing, and the universal issue of health that President Obama incidentally may care about.
Make no mistake, though: Morgan Breslin and company will collapse the opposing pocket, safeties Dion Bailey and Su'a Cravens will shore up the secondary, and this unit is an ice cream truck away from bulldozing the center of every field.
As for the kickers...well, we're playing Hawaii. In fact, go ahead and insert every Trojan possible into your lineups this week, or else Expect some Patron...um...to sack my liver.