...or should it be, great for business, bad for blogging.
Apologies for being off the radar the past week or so. Things are really busy at work...A lot of the time I have put into some things are now starting to pay off and my reward is having to work some longer hours for the time being.
I am not going to get to crazy with Stanford. SC wants to avenge last years shocker and there is no need to look at stats, numbers or projections. Stanford is a better team than last season but lets not get carried away. SC has the best defense in the land and they will be motivated to make amends for that last Stanford drive last season. It's in the past, simple as that.
Just a couple of quick notes on some things that I have seen in passing...
Joe McKnight - Suffice it to say McKnight has had a pretty uninspiring season.
McKnight's season has been stunted from the beginning. During training camp in August, he was one of many Trojans stricken with what players and coaches described as "jock itch." He also suffered a broken finger when a teammate accidentally slammed a door on his hand, and a hyper-extended elbow during a scrimmage.
McKnight scored his only touchdown of the season on a pass reception in the opener against Virginia, but he was forced to leave the Ohio State game in September because of a migraine. In October he suffered a toe injury while rushing for a career-best 143 yards against Arizona State.
And on and on and on...
There is no question that McKnight can be explosive but his problems securing the ball and his apparent fragility have taken away his ability to be consistent. Another thing that is troubling is that it appears that he is still having some issues in school and that has caused him to be held out of practice because of missed classes and tutoring sessions.
USC tailback Joe McKnight did not suit up for the Trojans' game against Washington on Nov. 1 because he accumulated too many negative points, which are given to athletes for missing classes or tutoring sessions.
When McKnight missed the game, a recurring problem with turf toe was listed as the official reason. But sources said he was held out because of the negative points.
Missing classes kept McKnight from finishing spring ball as well...I am not liking this pattern but there could be a silver lining...
Broderic Green - With Green transferring out it once again opens up questions about the philosophy of having so many backs on the roster, but could his transfer have been avoided?
I have not weighed in with my own opinion on Broderick Green's transfer other to say it's good for him and not-so-good for USC. I was always a proponent of using him in a specific role (like short yardage) because it would keep him engaged and prevent him from being frustrated.
In two years, Green would be an extremely valuable member of the offense. But with so little playing time, he did not want to wait any longer. This could be a haunting decision for the Trojans.
I think Wolf has a good point here. I have defended Pete Carroll's use of the rotation system in the past as long as it is working consistently. For the most part it has but the downside is that there are some unhappy backs. WIth Bradford out with a hip injury and now with Green transferring SC really doesn't have a power type running back available to play. Not that we have used it much this season or any season since LenDale white left but as I have said in the past, if these guys looked so good in practice why not get them in the game.
I don't think I am breaking any new ground here when I say that this could be this teams undoing. Is it possible that the offense being inconsistent is because they can't find a groove with all the substitutions? Like him or not Petros has said it numerous times on is broadcasts. There is no creativity in the player packages so that opposing teams won't see a pattern. In terms of pure talent SC is second to none but now the questions are how that talent is being used. Depending how the season turns out this could receive en more attention. Adam Maya has a pretty good write up on the backfield that is a must read.
Too Little Too Late...
Interesting comments from Oregon's administrator Neal Zoumboukos on the legacy of outgoing Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen.
A former assistant football coach, Zoumboukos is the special assistant to UO director of athletics Pat Kilkenny. While he told listeners he was voicing his “personal” opinions, his position on the staff and the fact he was filling in on a weekly segment on KUGN in place of Kilkenny adds weight to his statements. The comments came during the weekly “Duck Calls” which is promoted as Kilkenny discussing issues related to UO athletics as well as taking telephone calls from listeners.
Hansen is due to retire June 30, 2009 but Zoumboukos stated that the league’s leader “should have retired 15 years ago.”
Zoumboukos also said he had “little or no respect” for members of Hansen’s staff. He also charged that “nepotism” had been prevalent in hirings by the Pac-10 office and said he welcomed new leadership that will change league policies.
I sure hope he has his resume' ready..
Switching to Hoops...
USC hopes to hear about UNC transfer Alex Stepheson's eligibility ruling today.
With the basketball season starting on Saturday the OCR's USC blog has a few quick hits for the upcoming season.
That's all for now...