Just throwing some things out there as they come to mind this morning.
Here is the Animated Drive Chart for yesterday’s game
Too small? Check out the FULL SCREEN VERSION.
While it was a fantastic win for USC it is hard not to wonder what could have been had the organizers of the Rose Bowl saw past the traditional Pac-10 Big 10 match-up and given us the game we all wanted to see in USC vs. Georgia. The Rose Bowl had first pick when they lost Ohio State to the Title game and they took the safe route. I have always kind of just shrugged my shoulders and said it's out of my hands but it is clear to me that Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen's fingerprints were all over this one. These old guys will never get it and the Pac-10 will continue to suffer because of their ineptness.
Georgia absolutely throttled Hawaii, as they did not deserve to be in this game. Disappointing to say the least.
I got a kick out of seeing Rich Neuheisel in the stands at the Rose Bowl checking out the competition. I would have done the same thing if I were in his shoes. It's a smart move seeing what you are going up against. Of course he was quick to explain how got his tickets and to make sure everyone who was listening that he made some mistakes and that he plans on playing by the rules this time.
I find it interesting that some are worried about what RN will bring to the table at ucla. I say it's a good hire for the betterment of the rivalry, but RN is going to have to prove that he has reformed his ways not just by his results but also by his actions, as he has only been successful when he was breaking the rules. I always got a kick when the clowns from across town called Pete Carroll Pomp Pom, ucla fans will understand when it is thrown back their way when Slick Rick is the doing the same thing on the ucla sidelines. We will have to come up with a nickname that will return the favor in kind.
Of course the play on the field was all that really mattered as SC set the tone on the first series against Illinois. The Defense was swarming to the ball and Juice Williams never knew what hit him. Illinois got a few good plays off like a couple of Mendenhall's runs and the TD catch to Benn but their success was erratic as the defense for the most part bottled them up. Illinois is still a very young team and it showed but the have the talent to be a force in the Big 10.
Joe McKnight finally showed us the complete package, as he was effective on kick returns, rushing the ball and as a receiver. We knew he was special but now everyone has seen what he can do. I will have on the actual game later today.
Of course the big rumor is that LB Coach Ken Norton might leave USC to become the DC at ucla, his alma mater. Hard to know if this is legit but it wouldn't surprise me if
Slick Rick was floating this out there in order to attempt to get into SC's head. Slick Rick loves to play head games and this might be one of them. He is playing the same game by "attempting" to go after Norm Chow. There is still no proof that KN is leaving just as there is still no proof that Walker is going to UW, its all speculation at this point. The next 72 ours should be interesting though. This is all a part of the game so we need to stay focused on OUR mission.
If KN goes he goes, there isn't much we can do about it. If KN is getting a chance at something bigger we should wish him luck, say thank you for your loyal service and move on. I won't like it anymore than anyone else but we need to accept that it is inevitable that he would leave, whether it is to ucla or anywhere else.
That it is to his alma mater does sting a bit but it is really no different than Holland or Moody leaving and spilling their guts to their new programs, its just ucla and they have a long way to go before they get to our level. It is hard to say if or even how may of our recruits he would take but it is important to remember hat PC has lost top assistants before only to be replaced by very capable replacements and I have no doubt he will treat this situation the very am way. Pete Carroll has been the one constant on this incredible ride we are on so lets continue to trust in his ability to face these challenges and come up with a positive outcome. This is the sort of challenge he lives for.
I was a little disappointed with the number of unsportsmanlike penalties SC had called against them yesterday. I can understand about some of these guys being seniors and trying to enjoy their game but it could have been costly and there just isn't a place for it in such an important game. That undisciplined type of play will come back to bite if PC doesn't send a message early when spring ball starts, I though Doug Flutie was terrible in his halftime analysis when he didn't know that Garrett Green was a former QB on that bit of trickeration SC pulled out of its hat. Come on Dougie do a little research.
I will have more on yesterdays won later today, now that the season is over its time to focus on recruiting and with all the uncertainty across town it could be a bit volatile on the recruiting trail...let the games begin!