Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's time to look ahead to a stacked Pac-10 - Eugene Register-Guard
...For now, a quick preview of 2007:...


The Trojans could return eight offensive starters,
though it seems likely that wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett will head for the NFL. Still, there are a couple of standouts waiting in the wings, though one will have to replace flanker Steve Smith. Also done are two linemen, but losing four last year didn't seem to hurt too much.

On defense, there's only one senior starter in linebacker Dallas Sartz, though end Lawrence Jackson could decide he's ready for the NFL. Punter and kicker both also return. Can anyone say, favored to make it six straight titles?...
John Robinson's shoes - Detroit Free Press
Former USC coach John Robinson recalled a recruiting trip he took to Michigan on a cold winter day.

He showed up at the home of a recruit but discovered there was another coach already inside. Yes, it was Bo.

When Robinson finally got inside, Schembechler put his arm around him and told the parents Robinson that is a fine man, but he added that "you can't trust a man who wears shoes like that."

And Robinson said all during his visit, the parents and their son kept looking at his shoes. The recruit went to Michigan.

Years later, Robinson said, Bo and wife Cathy traveled to California and Robinson met him at the airport.

He said Bo was dressed for vacation, but "damned if he didn't have my shoes on!"
[Johnston] 7 reasons why Notre Dame must beat USC - MSNBC
...1. Rivalry Games. If Notre Dame loses to USC, it will be 10-2. Almost undoubtedly, that will mean a trip to the Sugar Bowl. How can that be considered a disappointing season for the Irish? Here’s how: that would mean Notre Dame lost to its two biggest rivals...

...4. Drive for Five. Notre Dame can avoid the dreaded five-game losing streak against USC, which has happened only one time (1978-82) in this rivalry...

...6. Weis Guy. The Irish lack a marquee victory in Weis’ two seasons...

...7. Last Season. Ah yes, last season. We’ve saved the best for last. What was your favorite nightmare, Irish fans? Bush running wild? Fourth-and-9? The Push?...
Trojans, Booty drawing strength from numbers - NBC Sports
...First came Palmer. Then Leinart. Now Booty.

He is, to hear the girls tell it, sooo handsome. Noelle Van Valkenburgh, who is 16 and blonde and was sporting a No. 10 cardinal-and-gold authentic Trojans jersey...said of Booty, "I was looking through the football program his freshman year, when I was in like the seventh or eighth grade, and I thought he was just the cutest person."

He is, to hear the football types tell it, a pretty darned good quarterback. And getting sooo much better -- indeed, gotten much better throughout this season.

"It's been a great journey for him in his first season," USC coach Pete Carroll said last week. "He's had a lot of great games...
[Schlabach] Trojans, Irish ready to add to storied rivalry - ESPN
...as long as Notre Dame stays competitive with the Trojans, the Irish seem assured of playing in a BCS bowl game, probably against the SEC champion in the Sugar Bowl...

...The importance of Saturday's game certainly isn't lost on Weis. Surprisingly, Weis admitted he was looking forward to the Trojans even before the Fighting Irish beat Army 41-9 on Saturday. And it was evident where his players' attention was directed. After beating the Black Knights, Quinn was shouting, "Beat SC! Beat SC!" with fans sitting in the student section at Notre Dame Stadium...

Also, COLLISION COURSE - Daily Trojan
Why we hate Notre Dame - Daily Trojan
Weis praises Southern Cal - The Observer
Men of Troy have odds on side - Chicago Tribune
Weis fully aware of Trojans' 'wow factor' - Chicago Tribune
At last, California, here we come - NBC Sports
Trip to West coast could define season - NBC Sports
Rivals also battling for recruits - Chicago Sun-Times
Simeon star Martez Wilson is scheduled to leave Friday morning for his first official college visit -- to USC. He'll attend the Notre Dame-USC game Saturday night.

The 6-4, 230-pound Wilson, a five-star prospect, has both schools on his list along with Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan. Wilson said his official visit to Notre Dame is scheduled for Dec. 1...

...The Irish and Trojans are battling over a number of top recruits. Another is Everson Griffen, a 6-4, 266-pound defensive end from Arizona. Griffen is scheduled to visit USC this weekend...

..."This weekend isn't just about this year for Notre Dame, it's about recruiting for the future," Lemming said...
Jarrett Positive - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Only one of two blows Dwayne Jarrett took on his leaping touchdown catch against Cal on Saturday was still affecting him Monday.

Landing on the ball and getting his wind knocked out briefly was no problem by the time Jarrett jogged off the field.

But the hit to the head that knocked him out for just a second was causing USC medical personnel to play it safe.

If it was a concussion, he said it was "a mild one." But enough to have him stay out of the short Monday workout...

Also, Jarrett hurt, says he'll play - LA times
Grass at N.D. not an issue to Carroll - LA Daily News
A lot of USC fans remain angry about the long grass at Notre Dame Stadium last year, especially after kick returner Desmond Reed tore knee ligaments without being touched, but coach Pete Carroll said the length of the grass was not an issue.

"I don't think it was the long grass, but the turf was kind of loose," Carroll said.

Linebacker Brian Cushing, who grew up a Notre Dame fan, said the grass surprised him when he arrived at the stadium.

"It was high and it was thick," Cushing said. "I can't imagine they play on it all yearlong like that. If we go back there next year and it's like that, then maybe they did do it on purpose."...

Also, Tireless in Scouting USC - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
USC's Reed didn't let the grass grow under his feet - LA Times
One big, golden hurdle remains in USC's path - OC Register
[Robinson] Robinson remembers the rivalry - NBC Sports
[Bozich] Give the Trojans a shot against the Buckeyes - Louisville Courier-Journal
Ohio State vs. Michigan was wonderful drama, but if you give me a vote for the national championship game, give me Ohio State-Southern California, not a rematch of Saturday's game in Columbus.

If Southern Cal closes the regular season by defeating Notre Dame and UCLA, that would give the Trojans three victories against top-12 teams in the Sagarin computer rankings and 10 victories against top-40 Sagarin teams.

I'll excuse the Trojans for their slip at Oregon State if they win the Pacific-10 in addition to non-conference victories against Arkansas, Nebraska and Notre Dame.

If USC stumbles?...

Also, [Modesti] It's a stretch - LA Daily News
[Krikorian] It's time for BCS sham to go on the lam - Long Beach Press-Telegram
USC has rebounded from loss to Oregon State - South Bend tribune
Here's what needs to happen for the Wolverines... - Detroit News
[Barnhouse] Beware of BCS' Trojan horse - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
[Mandel] Bowl Projections - CNNSI
[Jones] Ohio State vs. Mich.-Again? - ESPN

Monday, November 20, 2006

Gable latest in line of USC's star tailbacks - Sacramento Bee
...there's a reason USC has long been known as Tailback U.

From Mike Garrett to O.J. Simpson to Charles White to Marcus Allen to Reggie Bush -- Heisman Trophy-winning backs all -- the Trojans have taken a perverse pride in pounding the ball, be it student-body right, student-body left or grinding it up the middle.

C.J. Gable may not have the accolades of that celebrated Troy quintet -- yet -- but the freshman from Sylmar High, about 30 miles north of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, took major strides toward that elite company Saturday night in No. 4 USC's 23-9 defeat of No. 17 Cal.

Gable gave Sylmar more name recognition than simply being remembered as the epicenter of the devastating 1971 earthquake...

Also, Gable comes through for Trojans - Daily Breeze
Freshman seizes the moment - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Gable on the run for USC - LA Daily News
Trojans' Gable is more than able - SF Chron
[Mayo] If Southern Cal wins out, it deserves title shot - Grand Rapids Press
...the Pacific-10 Conference, which has qualified nine of its 11 teams for bowls, doesn't lack for conference depth. Just look what Arizona has done in recent weeks. If USC wins the Pac-10 with one loss and nonconference wins over Arkansas (10-1), Nebraska (8-3) and Notre Dame (10-1), how could anyone justify selecting a second-place Big Ten team over the Trojans?

Fortunately, the season doesn't end today, and the likelihood is that USC, if it can win its final two games, over Notre Dame and UCLA, will score enough style points and gain enough computer advantage to overtake Michigan and play for at least a share of the national championship for a fourth consecutive season...
Controversial nominee turns out to be defender of investor protection - Seattle Times
During more than 16 years in the House of Representatives, California Republican Christopher Cox was the quintessential conservative.

After a stint as a lawyer in the Reagan White House, Cox was elected nine times from the Republican stronghold of Orange County. After Republicans took control of the House under Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1994 elections, they chose Cox to lead the party's legislative policy-setting committee.

When President Bush picked Cox, 54, in June 2005 to replace William Donaldson as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the move set off alarms among investor advocates...
The $29 million man - Manchester Guardian
According to Will Ferrell, comedy is not science. After years of practising the dark arts of making people laugh, the only theory he's come up with is: 'There's just something funny about a guy standing on a street, yelling.'...

...they're showing clips of the upcoming jamboree. Among the worthy world cinema offerings, French fancies and gritty British life slices, the name of Will Ferrell stands out like a pork pie at a bar mitzvah. But the reverent atmosphere in the...cinema palpably lightens when Will appears on screen in the trailer to his latest film, Stranger than Fiction. He stands on a street corner, looks to the heavens and yells. The cinema erupts in giggling fits and I'm beginning to think Will's right...

...He went on to study sports journalism and broadcasting at the University of Southern California. Ferrell was the son of Lee Ferrell, a keyboardist for the Righteous Brothers...