Friday, July 27, 2007

[Maisel] Carroll's coaching propels USC to top of decade ranking - ESPN
...Mix all of that together and it's a recipe for two consecutive national championships -- and a few seconds away from a third.

USC got off to a slow start in the last 10 years. Carroll didn't arrive until December 2000, and anyone who recalls that the coaches in the previous four years were Paul Hackett and John Robinson either is a diehard Trojan or needs a hobby.

The point is that you could make the case that USC didn't dominate the decade long enough to deserve to be No. 1...

...USC has been a member of the Pac-10 in its various forms since 1922. Over the last decade, however, the Trojans have been in a league of their own.
[Buchanan] No. 1 Southern California - Yahoo Sports
...Southern California doesn't have a 1,000-yard rusher returning, and no wide receiver on the roster managed even 30 catches in 2006. But the Trojans...aren't too concerned...

...Some believe the 2007 Southern Cal defense could be the best in school history. That seems like a stretch considering the defensive units that John McKay and John Robinson put on the field in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet, there is no debate that the Trojans defense should rank among the best...

...Assistant coaches keep coming and going, but Southern California keeps winning. In fact, the Trojans have posted at least 11 victories in five of their six seasons under Carroll, who has shown he can recruit and strategize with the best of them...
No. 1 Trojans' toughest test may be Pac-10 - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
...Outside the conference, USC enjoyed double-digit wins over Southeastern Conference West champ Arkansas (50-14), Notre Dame (44-24) and Michigan (32-18) in the Rose Bowl.

"That just goes to show how good the Pac-10 is," said Arizona State senior center Mike Pollak, despite LSU coach Les Miles' recent disparaging comments about the ease of USC's conference schedule.

Having faced LSU in 2005 (a 35-31 loss), Pollak said: "I would say USC is tougher (physically) than those guys."

But how much better will USC be against an encouraged and experienced Pac-10 that returns, according to Commissioner Tom Hansen, 165 starters?...

Also, Pac-10's assignment is to go the extra mile in '07 - LA Times
[Withers] Trojans' competition limited to rhetoric - Seattle Times
2007 CFN Pac 10 Preview - College Football News
As Usual, U.S.C. Is Loaded, but Now It’s on Defense - NY Times
...The Trojans enter this season with inexperienced receivers and tailbacks around the senior quarterback John David Booty, so the team’s identity, especially early on, will come from a defense that returns 10 starters...

...The most talent-rich position may be linebacker, where U.S.C. is so deep that a backup last year, Oscar Lua, was selected by New England in the seventh round of the N.F.L. draft. This year’s linebackers include three players in contention for the Bednarik Award, which is given to the top defensive player in college football. In Phil Steele’s positional rankings in his preseason magazine, he has outside linebackers Keith Rivers and Brian Cushing ranked as the No. 1 and No. 2 outside linebackers in the country and Ray Maualuga as the third-best middle linebacker...

Also, It's unanimous: USC favored in Pac-10 - LA Times
Pac-10 coaches come not to bury the Trojans but praise them - LA Times
The greatest ever? - OC Register
USC the unanimous pick - VC Star
USC is lauded as all-time best - Sac Bee
Trojans draw universal praise - Spokane Spokesman-Review
[Forde] Harbaugh declaration delivers Pac-10 jolt - ESPN

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The mystery of the Olympic champion - Vancouver North Shore Outlook
While searching microfilmed newspapers for something else, I spotted a tiny item in The North Shore Press of Aug. 2, 1932.

It read, “When news came through from Los Angeles that Duncan MacNaughton...had carried off first honors in the high jump at the Olympic Games, congratulations...were forwarded to MacNaughton...

...He then enrolled at the University of Southern California, a fortunate choice. That’s where he met high jumper Bob Van Osdel who became a lifelong friend. And the proximity to the site of the Olympics became critical...

...After more than three hours, the competition was captured by McNaughton...when Osdel, who informally coached McNaughton at USC, suggested the Canadian concentrate on his kick. It worked...
Miles still talking Pac-10 as he prepares for SEC media day - Monroe News-Star
...LSU coach Les Miles, meanwhile, has been ridiculing the Pac-10's and USC's schedules compared to those of SEC teams. He will take the pulpit on Friday....

...Miles has said he'd love to meet USC for the BCS national title...

..."I would like nothing better than to play USC for the title," Miles said recently. "I can tell you they have a much easier road to travel. They're going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Cal-Berkley, Stanford — some real juggernauts there. They've got it good out there. I would like that path for us. The SEC provides much stiffer competition."...

Pac-10 teams, though, routinely play better non-conference opponents than the SEC...

Also, USC's seniors back to handle "unfinished business" - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Miles downplays USC comments - Baton Rouge Advocate
[Gimino] THE BATTLE FOR NO. 2 - Tucson Citizen
USC's Top 10 Athletes in Photos - CNNSI
1. Marcus Allen
2. OJ Simpson
3. Cheryl Miller
4. Matt Leinart
5. Reggie Bush
6. Stan Smith
7. Lisa Leslie
8. Carson Palmer
9. Lenny Krayzelburg
10. Mark McGwire