Friday, January 12, 2007

San Pedro says goodbye to Danelo - LA Times
...Streets throughout part of the city were blocked off to handle traffic and a crowd of about 2,000 mourners that spilled out of Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church today to remember USC's 21-year-old kicker who died last week.

"Mario was [San] Pedro and I think everybody recognizes that," USC Coach Pete Carroll said after the Mass, which lasted about two hours. "We're so saddened by this but also we celebrate today a wonderful kid's life and all the special spirit that he brought to all of us."...

Also, Thousands mourn USC kicker - OC Register
2007 CBS's All-Bowl Team - CBS Sportsline
...let's remember some of the best individual performances of the bowl season...

...WR: Dwayne Jarrett, USC: The Wolverines defense was supposed to be one of the best in the nation, but Jarrett made the secondary look foolish. He finished with 11 receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Michigan...

...LB: Brian Cushing, USC: The sophomore pressured Michigan's Chad Henne all day, recording seven tackles, four for loss, and three sacks on his way to defensive MVP honors in the Rose Bowl...

Also, The 100 Stars of the Bowl Season - College Football News
Playmakers will decide coach's fate - Florida Times-Union
Jack Del Rio keeps tapping into coaches with experience in the video-game league (Pacific-10) for his offensive coordinator. That might partially explain why dismissed Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter was a surprise hire over...Kennedy Pola.

It's only a guess as to whether Koetter...will be an upgrade over predecessors Carl Smith and Bill Musgrave, but this is a hellacious gamble on both sides.

With his job on the line next season, Del Rio entrusted a critical position to someone with no NFL experience, unprecedented among coordinators in franchise history. Koetter had a chance to take the same post at the University of Miami, yet he chose the Jaguars, where the temperature on Del Rio's seat is much hotter...
Reggie says he's ready - Lafayette Daily Advertiser
New Orleans running back Reggie Bush is no stranger when it comes to playing in prime time.

The time on the big stage started for the rookie runnig back during his college career at USC.

As a result of that big game experience, it should come as no surprise Bush isn't nervous going into arguably the biggest game in team history when the Saints play host to the Philadelphia Eagles...

..."This game is going to be just like playing for the national championship," Bush said...

Also, 25 THINGS TO PONDER - Philly Daily News
Eagles' DTs hope to Bushwhack former USC teammate - Philly Daily News
Dat's out of the bag - LA Times
[Smith] A formula for success for Bush - FoxSports
Tatupu earning respect from teammates, opponents alike - Seattle Times
...Tatupu is the guy no one could get enough of last season, and the one you probably haven't heard enough about this year. He is a middle linebacker, a position oh-so famous in Chicago with a lineage that includes Butkus and Singletary and Urlacher. In Seattle, Tatupu has ably filled a vacuum at a position that had changed once a year in Mike Holmgren's first six years as coach.

Expectations have overshadowed Tatupu's season, which has been nothing short of solid and edging toward spectacular the past three games. He had more tackles this season than as a rookie...
USC's leading tackler stays in school for 'amazing opportunity' - LA Times
USC linebacker Keith Rivers said Thursday that he would return to USC for his final season of eligibility.

A two-year starter who led the Trojans with 85 tackles this season, Rivers said he received a round-two projection from the NFL.

"I just kind of felt like with a lot of growth I could potentially be a top-10, top-15 pick instead of late first or early second," Rivers said...

...Rivers is one of 10 defensive starters who are due to return in 2007...

..."The biggest thing is what I want to do with the group of guys we have coming back," Rivers said...

Also, Rivers opts to return for his senior season - OC Register
[Hartman] Carroll plugs USC assistant for Gophers job - Minneapolis Star-Tribune
USC's Pete Carroll, who has built one of the great records in college football, was on the phone Thursday praising offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's contributions to the success of the Trojans and recommending the 31-year-old son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin for the Gophers football coaching job.

"He's a gifted coach [who] has been here from the very outset of putting this program together," said Carroll, the former Vikings defensive backs coach...

...Lane Kiffin, who attended Bloomington Jefferson when his dad was an assistant coach with the Vikings, is one of several candidates who is expected to be interviewed in Dallas today for the Gophers job.

"Lane has been integrally involved in everything that we've done...
[Krikorian] Sly Carroll wise to keep lofty L.A. status - Long Beach Press-Telegram
Oh, Pete Carroll, you sly fox.

The guy took a page out of super agent Scott Boras' negotiating handbook the past week and probably squeezed another million or two out of USC for himself.

Actually, I don't have the faintest idea how much Carroll inflated his salary by... can be sure he'll be earning a lot more money next season coaching the Trojans than he did the past one...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

He took the money and ran — to Tampa - LA Times
You aren't just USC's football coach, you're a crossover star who gets the red-carpet treatment all over Los Angeles. You've coached multiple Heisman Trophy winners and have filled Heritage Hall with national championship trophies.

But an NFL team from Florida beckons, and you're attracted to the challenge and money associated with coaching at the next level.

What are you going to do, John McKay?

The answer: Leave USC — and wind up regretting it for the rest of your life...
U-M, Ohio St. and ND were all frauds - Oakland [Mich.] Press
They are the Holy Trinity of college football. Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame. The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost.

We pray at their collective altar all those Saturdays in the fall.

And isn't that what college football is in the Midwest? A religion?...

...Southern Cal has shattered the myth of the Holy Trinity. Since 1970, USC is 10-2 against Michigan and Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Notre Dame has lost five straight times to USC. Four of those loses were by four touchdowns or more...
Lane Kiffin has support for U job - St Paul Pioneer-Press
Lane Kiffin was known as former Vikings assistant Monte Kiffin's son and remembered for being a great athlete while growing up in Bloomington and playing football at Jefferson High School.

Now at 31, Kiffin has a coaching résumé worthy of consideration for the head football coaching job at the University of Minnesota...

...Jefferson coach Jon Leverenz, who was Kiffin's assistant football coach in high school, said Kiffin was a student of the game as a two-time starting quarterback for Jefferson in 1993 and 1994...

Also, So, who's in play for Gophers coaching job? - Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Sarkisian waiting on Raiders - LA Times
Steve Sarkisian, USC's assistant head coach, continued to play the waiting game Wednesday.

Sarkisian interviewed to become coach of the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

"I'm just waiting to hear from them to see if they want to have further talks," said Sarkisian, who was the Raiders' quarterbacks coach in 2004. "I know they had other interviews to do, so you have to let the process take its course."...

Also, New coach will need more than X's and O's - Oakland Tribune
Fassel to interview with Raiders today - SF Chron
[Fox] Coaching Carousel could be felt in Utah! - KUTV-TV
[Painter] USC coach finally spells it out - without saying it - LA Daily News
Pete Carroll is staying at USC.

In other words, he's not leaving.

He won't become the next coach of the Miami Dolphins.

He is S-T-A-Y-I-N-G.

It's the kind of stay that might end only in retirement.

Stop waiting for Carroll to say "I'm staying at USC." He's not going to use those exact words. He's not going to shout it off the rooftop of Heritage Hall.

"Stay" is the S-word in Carroll's dictionary...
Jarrett bids sad farewell to USC - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
As he said goodbye Wednesday, Dwayne Jarrett made it clear through his sobs and tears just how hard it was for him to leave USC...

..."I thank everybody, I love everybody," Jarrett said, accompanied by his mother...and the uncle who taught him how to catch a football...

...Asked how tough the decision was, Jarrett struggled to answer.

"The most difficult part is my teammates," he said...

...he thanked family, friends, all his offensive coaches by name and his tutor, Mimi Butler, who was there to send him off.

For the highlight of his career, Jarrett went back to where he'd left off.

"Just being with my teammates," he said.

And then the tears began to flow...

Also, Jarrett is moving on, but Carroll is not going anywhere - Daily Breeze
Tearful Jarrett says he will leave early - Daily Trojan
Stop and go route - LA Daily News
NFL challenge next for Jarrett - LA Times
Jarrett will make leap to the NFL - OC Register
USC's Jarrett taking next step - New Brunswick Home News-Tribune

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bruce Matthews a finalist for Pro Hall of Fame - Houston Chronicle
When former Oilers/Titans offensive lineman Bruce Matthews found out Wednesday that he was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2007, he was almost speechless.

“To have my name mentioned with so many great players that I’ve admired for so long is almost overwhelming,” Matthews said...

...Matthews, who grew up in a football family in the Los Angeles area and played at USC, was the Oilers’ first-round pick in 1983. He played 19 seasons...and was voted to 14 consecutive Pro Bowls, tying him with former Rams defensive tackle Merlin Olsen for the most in history.

Matthews could be the last member of the Oilers and the first member of the Titans inducted into the Hall of Fame...
Mario Danelo Funeral To Be Held In San Pedro On Friday - KNBC-TV
The entire USC football team is expected at place kicker Mario Danelo's funeral on Friday.

It remains unclear exactly what happened, but the 21-year-old was found dead Saturday at the foot of an oceanfront cliff about a mile from his family home in San Pedro.

His funeral is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church at 870 Eighth St. in San Pedro...

Also, [Smith] Trojans mourn Danelo's passing - OC Register
Semester meeting somber - LA Daily News
[Modesti] Tragedy lessens the games - LA Daily News
Cliffs are alluring and deadly - LA Times
[Barnhart] Projecting next season’s Top 25 - Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s an early look at our projected Top 25 for '07:

1. Southern Cal....All-everything receiver Dwayne Jarrett will likely leave early for the NFL, but the Trojans have a ton of other talent back. So loaded is Southern Cal that John David Booty...will have to stave off Mark Sanchez just to keep his starting quarterback job. All but one starter returns on defense.

2. West Virginia...3. Oklahoma...4. Ohio State...5. Florida...6. LSU...7. Texas...8. Michigan....9. Arkansas...10. Virginia Tech...21. Notre Dame...30. UCLA, 31. Arizona State...34. Cal...40. Oregon State...

Also, [Mayo] Trojans have the horses for next season - Grans Rapids Press
[Moredich] Odds are, USC will win it all next season - Tucson Citizen
[Allen] BCS title game bound for 2007 - Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Turning to 2007, Southern Cal should start season at No. 1 - USA Today
Outlooks for the final Top 25 - USA Today
[Schlbach] Booty could return Trojans to No. 1 ranking - ESPN
[Mandel] An early look ahead - CNNSI
[Schad] Southern Cal receiver Jarrett will reportedly enter draft - ESPN
Southern California wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett has selected an agent and will announce that he is entering the NFL draft at a 2 p.m. news conference at the school's Heritage Hall on Wednesday, two sources close to the situation said Tuesday night.

The junior, a two-time All-American, had 70 catches for 1,015 yards and led the Trojans with 12 touchdowns this season.

The 6-foot-5, 210 pound receiver with a track record of acrobatic catches, is considered a first-round prospect...

Also, Jarrett is expected to turn pro - LA Times
USC aide upbeat following meeting - Contra Costa Times
Former Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed for the coaching vacancy Monday, he confirmed in a phone call Monday night. He is the first candidate known to have received an in-person interview since Art Shell got fired Thursday.

Sarkisian, 32, spent most of the day at Raiders headquarters in Alameda in a face-to-face interview with managing general partner Al Davis. He left without a job offer but filled with hope.

"It went extremely well," Sarkisian said...

Also, Former assistant back for interview - Contra Costa Times
[Dickey] Young coaches too smart for Raiders - SF Examiner
Raiders interview USC assistant - Sac Bee
Killion: Davis can't go back to same tired history - SJ Merc
Sarkisian, Kiffin drawing interest from other teams - LA Times
Chow hopes to overcome odds - Nashville Tennessean
Norm Chow has heard all the reasons why he shouldn't be hired as a head coach. The two big ones: He's 60, and he's never been a head coach in college football or the NFL.

So does that bother the Titans offensive coordinator, who on Monday interviewed with the Arizona Cardinals for their head coaching vacancy?

"No, because I haven't been a head coach, and I'm aged,'' Chow said with a chuckle during a press conference in Tempe, Ariz. "But I know who I am.

"That question has been brought up about not being a head coach and frankly the opportunities have just not been there where we've had a chance. … This opportunity presents itself to be a head coach and it is an exciting one. It is something that I would really look forward to."...

Also, Agent: Leinart can't tout Chow too much - Nashville Tennessean
Chow wants shot at top job - Nashville City Paper
Leinart pitches in as Cards interview Chow - East Valley Tribune
Chow is intriguing candidate - Arizona Republic
Bucs' bad defensive season claims its second assistant - St. Petersburg Times
...Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, whose unit's production dropped sharply in 2006, said he was informed by general manager Bruce Allen that he will not be retained for 2007. Defensive backs coach Greg Burns was dismissed Monday and replaced by former Tampa assistant Raheem Morris.

Franklin joined the Bucs last year after serving in the same capacity at Southern Cal, signing a two-year contract...
Jackson bound for Atlanta - Cincy Enquirer
The Bengals are looking for a new wide receivers coach, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh is concerned.

The team's No. 2 receiver confirmed Monday that three-year Bengals receivers coach Hue Jackson is headed to Atlanta to become Falcons offensive coordinator under Bobby Petrino.

Jackson told Houshmandzadeh about the job during phone conversations Friday and Saturday...
Carroll glimpses NFL paradise - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Pete Carroll admitted he was wrong.

In his six years at USC, Carroll had said he'd become absolutely certain no NFL team could offer him the control he has as coach of the Trojans. That, he said, is why he never sat down with anyone to talk about going back to the NFL -- until Sunday.

That's when Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga convinced Carroll to give him a chance. He'd jet in to Carroll's get-away-from-it-all vacation spot in the north of Costa Rica and make his pitch.

Huizenga made the perfect pitch, describing a job "where the head coach has the entire say; a one-voice program," Carroll called it. "I don't think there are any others like that."...

Also, [Walder] Don't bet on Carroll departing for NFL - Daily Breeze
Fin for Carroll? - LA Daily News
[Dilbeck] Fans, it's nervous time at 'SC - LA Daily News
Carroll says he's staying at USC - LA Times
Pete Carroll: Intrigued enough? - OC Register
America Ferrera Makes 'Ugly' Beautiful - ABC News
America Ferrera has made it cool to be "ugly."

The Golden Globe-nominated actress has won fans and accolades for her role in the hit ABC show "Ugly Betty." She recently told ABC News' Robin Roberts that she couldn't be happier about her Golden Globe nomination for best actress and for best show...

...While Ferrera's wrapped up in the excitement of the show, she still wants to complete her college education. She's a few classes away from getting a degree from the University of Southern California.

"My mom reminded me just the other day [that] I still owe her my diploma," she said. "I have a semester left."...
Top 20 Wired Colleges - PC Magazine
...#8 University of Southern California...

...Teaching always trumps technology. At least that's one mantra at the University of Southern California (USC), a trendsetting private university in Los Angeles that gets as much cred for its bone-crunching Trojan football team as it does for its sun-drenched campus...

With one of the world's fastest supercomputers on site (students can schedule research time and use access ports from anywhere on campus), USC would seem to deserve credit if only for raw processing power. The campus has 652 wireless access points, and 280 classrooms are outfitted with multiple webcams and microphones. The Blackboard course management system allows professors to post lecture materials and review notes online, and every student gets 200MB of online storage...