L.A. Is Ramping Up To A USC 12 And 0 Glow :: MAXINE
This morning, we at MAXINE, went out to get the Sunday paper. At the corner station/convenience store, there, next to a pump, was parked a black Nissan 350Z convertible with a USC inscribed vanity plate surrounded with a USC Alumni license plate frame.
We decided to strike up a conversation with the owner about the prospects of USC’s football team this season and for our money, the Trojan prospects at a 12-0 season couldn’t look any better.
On the offense, nine high school All-American running backs are lined up to vie for the vaunted SC Tailback position. Seniors Chauncey Washington, Desmond Reed, and Hershel Dennis – Sophomores C.J. Gable, Stanton Johnson, and Allen Bradford - Freshmen Joe McKnight, Brodrick Green, and Marc Taylor – all could start for any other college but choose to be here at Southern California. Combine that with the fact that returning at quarterback, John David Booty has the inside track at earning the Heisman Trophy and becomming the third USC passer in six seasons to do so.
The gentleman in the “Z” though said it best … “As good as the Offense appears to be, the Defense is even better!”
This from College Football News via Scout.com –
2007 USC Preview - Defense
By Richard Cirminiello - CollegeFootballNews.com - Posted Jul 24, 2007
What you need to know:
The Trojan offense is good. The Trojan defense is scary good.
Backed by a Who’s Who of future first-day NFL Draft choices, USC is ready to unleash the nastiest and stingiest unit of the Pete Carroll era.
Led by Sedrick Ellis at the nose, Keith Rivers at middle linebacker, and Terrell Thomas at cornerback, the Trojans boast seven players capable of making a run at All-America honors in 2007.
Yeah, a few more sacks and takeaways would be nice, but this is as close to a flawless unit that there is in the country. From front to back, they’re aggressive, experienced and fast enough to create a swarming effect on the ball carrier.
Although the Trojans will give up yards to teams playing from behind, scoring meaningful points on them in the first three quarters is going to be a year-long nightmare.
Reference At Source>>
Trust us on this … afternoon drivetime radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt will have a lot to trash once the season gets started. His jocular brand of Ohio loyalty and Big Ten Conference pride will have no boundaries once college football’s current "winningest" team takes the field rated AP pre-season Number One for an incredible third time in four years.
And this from Associated Press Via ESPN -
USC No. 1 in preseason AP poll
By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer - August 18, 2007
NEW YORK - After a season of chasing, Southern California is again the team being chased. And that's just the way coach Pete Carroll and the Trojans like it. For the third time in the past four years, USC begins the college football season No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25.
"It's exactly where we hope and expect to be," Carroll said. "It's a symbol of what we're all about."
Southern California received 62 of 65 first-place votes and 1,622 points from a panel of media members. USC easily outdistanced No. 2 LSU in the poll released Saturday. The Tigers received two first-place votes and 1,511 points. They haven't started a season ranked this high since 1959, when they were preseason No. 1.
No. 3 West Virginia received the other first-place vote. The Mountaineers have never been ranked higher in the preseason. No. 4 Texas and Michigan round out the top five, and defending champion Florida is sixth.
USC has been the country's top program since 2002, going 59-6 with two national championships and a near-miss. This season, the Trojans expect to walk away from the BCS national championship game in New Orleans with the crystal football.
"That's what we're here for. We're here to do it better than anybody has ever done it before," Carroll said. "That's the single thought. That's what drives us. If that's the case, you want to be No. 1 forever."
For the Trojans, this is the 82nd time they've been No. 1 in the poll. Only Notre Dame (95), Oklahoma (95) and Ohio State (88) have more.
Ohio State, last year's preseason No. 1 and the loser of the national title game to Florida, is No. 11 to start the 2007 season.
The Trojans are preseason No. 1 for the sixth time overall, tying Nebraska for third most. Only Oklahoma (nine) and Ohio State (seven) have been top-ranked in the preseason by AP more often.
These Trojans have another star quarterback in John David Booty [following in the Heisman Trophy footsteps of predecessors Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart].
"He's a natural-born quarterback," Carroll said. "He's got five years of experience. He's been through everything you need to be good."
Booty should have plenty of options, with about a half-dozen high school all-American running backs on the roster and a slew fast and talented receivers. But it's the defense that makes this USC team special.
The Trojans have potential All-Americans all over the field, and perhaps the nation's best linebackers in Brian Cushing, Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga.
"They're big and fast and smart and they know what they're doing and they love to play the game," Carroll said.
Up front, defensive end Lawrence Jackson and tackle Sedrick Ellis are the stars. In the secondary, Terrell Thomas is a lock-down cornerback and sophomore Taylor Mays has drawn comparisons to such great USC safeties of the past as Dennis Smith and Troy Polamalu.
How good can this defense be? Just ask Michigan, which had its vaunted offense smothered in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1.
"We have a lot of experience and tremendous speed," Carroll said. "We'll find out how good they are when we start playing."
If USC is as good as most believe, chasing down the Trojans could be too much to ask.
Reference At Source>>