Obvious/Not-So-Obvious (Headlines edition)

In the past couple of summer weeks Trojan fans have seen plenty of USC headlines as we approach the start of the fall camp. In the latest edition of the Obvious, Not-So-Obvious 23blast takes a look at some of the top stories. Click below for more.

The Obvious – In the past couple of summer weeks, Trojan fans have seen the arrival of All-American boy John David Booty, prayed for the recovery of quarterback Brandon Hance, scratched their heads over the "Traveler" snafu, enjoyed ESPN Classic and Fox replays of great Trojan teams, and held their breath over the arrest of offensive tackle Winston Justice.

The Not So Obvious – As the hot July weather in Southern California turns into a giddy travel agent's dream, hot summer USC football headlines are beginning to look a lot like television story lines for American Idol, ER, Animal Planet, That ‘70's show, and Dragnet.

The Obvious –John David Booty has completed his summer class, arrived for his brother's wedding, and attended the recent El Camino College workout, though he did not participate.

The Not So Obvious – While the John David Booty-to-USC story has received large globs of ink in the Los Angeles Times and more recently USA Today because of his passing on his senior season,, this is a kid that is coming into USC basically the same age as the current Trojan freshman class having been held back in 5th grade. Enough already about his leaving high school early. His body age alone is that of a graduated senior – not to mention his many successful years of playing varsity.

The Obvious - Many Trojan fans' attention have focused on the recruiting of prep stars such as linebacker Keith Rivers of Lake Mary High in Florida.

The Not So Obvious – For those who must know, Lake Mary HS is located 10 miles north of Orlando. The "Rams" reside in a city that was incorporated in 1973 and has a population of 12,359, according to the guide proved by the Chamber of Commerce. Named after the wife of a minister who settled on the northern shores of the lake, the town of Lake Mary dates back to the 19th Century . It currently has 3 of Central Florida's top-rated country clubs boasting championship courses – Heathrow, Alaqua, and Timacuan country clubs.

The Obvious – Transfer quarterback Brandon Hance was in attendance but did not participate in the Trojans' 7 on 7 at El Camino college due to the lingering effects of a form of meningitis,but is expected to be ready for camp in August.

The Not So Obvious – According to the NMA (National Meningitis Association), "College students, particularly freshmen living in dormitories, have a higher risk of getting this contagious disease. Lifestyle factors common among college students seem to be linked to the disease: crowded living situations such as dormitories, going to bars, smoking and irregular sleep habits. Freshman living in dormitories are up to six times more likely to get the disease than other people". This is not to suggest that Hance contacted his ailment at a USC dorm, but the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College Health Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend all college students be immunized.

The Obvious – ABC's Keith Jackson has mentioned many times on the air that the Trojan football program and the school in general have one of the great symbols in college with the great white horse called Traveler, who has been marketed so wonderfully both on television and in University promotions.

The Not So Obvious – So it comes during the great renaissance of Trojan football that we learn there is a split between the famed horse's owners and the school. Your killing me,Larry Smith!!!! Stop with the infighting, we've all had enough of it, so just get a horse ready. No Traveler or a reasonable facsimile at the Coliseum would be like Crosby without Hope, The Stones without Jagger, or Pooh without Piglet.

The Obvious - As Trojan fans yearn for USC football from any era, ESPN Classic and Fox Sports West have treated fans to some of the great moments in cardinal and gold football history.

The Not So Obvious – As much as Trojans fans love to watch these replays, the toughest part is finding out when they are being televised. So it is with great pride that WeAreSC.com has added Trojan televised football to our calendar. No more "Wheel of ESPN Classic and Fox Fortune". Just go to the calendar and see when the Trojan are "On the Air".

The Obvious – Sophomore offensive tackle Winston Justice is arrested in Long Beach in a prostitution sting, thus being the first real black eye for Pete Carroll's near spotless record.

The Not So Obvious – Only Justice, his family, and those deep in the Trojan football program know the truth of Justice's arrest. Pete Carroll, however, has prided the Trojan program saying over and over again he wants the program to be the benchmark that all other programs hope to be. So there will be great interest in what punishment, if any, Carroll elects to invoke. All eyes will be watching, especially the current and past Trojan players.

The Obvious – USC has just released 2002: A Season to Remember, a 60 minute highlight video of the Trojans' 11-2 season and sales are going especially well.

The Not So Obvious – Having reviewed the DVD a number of times, the highlight of the production is the pregame, halftime, and postgame lockerroom footage featuring a VERY emotion Pete Carroll and staff. There rare cameo shots of Carroll's assistants (Yes, Norm Chow does get excited behind the public curtain), and some of the player comments are intimate looks into the heart and soul of last year's stellar team.

The Obvious – The Trojans' highlight DVD should have come out shortly after the Orange Bowl victory over Iowa and not so close to the start of the coming season.

The Not So Obvious – The late arriving DVD is probably the reason the back of the DVD case does not highlight the scores of the games but does promote this season's schedule and a phone number to buy tickets. Smart move by those involved marketing this product with the ticket order number.

The Obvious – One of the symbols of competition between USC and UCLA is the advertising driven Lexus Gauntlet Trophy, given to the school that gains the most points during victorious head to head athletic competition.

The Not So Obvious – Just when you thought that USC and UCLA could not produce more athletic competition, at a recent UCLA freshman orientation session it was revealed by a Bruin councilor that there is going to be a football competition between orientation councilors from both schools. What next? Bull in the ring football chancellor drills between Steven Sample and Albert Carnesale. Mama Mia.

The Obvious – "Fight On' is one of college football's most recognizable fight songs and most Trojans know the words to sing along with Art Bartner's band.

The Not So Obvious – How many Trojan fans know that "Sons of Westwood" is the Bruins' fight song. While we should save this for UCLA week, how many Trojans know the words to thhe Bruins' song? Perhaps you would be interested in knowing that there is one line to the Bruin fight song that reads "And when they chance to see a man from USC, Ev'ry Bruin starts to roar". Well, you learn something every day.

The Obvious – Three future Trojans performed in last Friday evening 44th annual Brea Lions Orange County Prep All-Star Game at Orange Coast College.

The Not So Obvious – If you went just with just the public address announcer's recognition, the best player would have been Tustin defensive end Chris Barrett, who showed tremendous closing speed in chasing down North quarterbacks. If you had your "glasses" on Barrett's offensive tackle teammate Sam Baker, who is slated for guard at USC, you saw a real talent. The kid is a house and showed great feet and surprising agility in pass blocking, especially coming from a Tustin running program.

The Obvious – One player that Trojan fans want to know more about is massive Western defensive tackle Fili Moala, who missed much of his senior season due to injury.

The Not So Obvious – A VERY respected former high school and college coach who watched all three future Trojans during all-star practice said , "Moala will be a defensive player. This kid is a powerhouse and will be a force on the Trojan defense. As for Barrett,, I wouldn't be at all shocked if he slid down from defensive end to tackle. He is a super on defense, a speciman. As for Baker, his dad (Arena League Commissioner Dave Baker) must have had somebody give him extensive training on pass blocking since he came from a running school like Tustin."

The Obvious – Pete Carroll in two quick years has become the talk of West Coast football and has turned the Trojans into a potential national title contender.

The Not So Obvious – The same former legendary prep coach said of Carroll, "I ve known Pete for many years and will tell you the day he got hired I knew the Trojans would be back. He is exactly what USC needed. Compare him to Larry Smith, Paul Hackett, and Ted Tollner." It should be noted that this coach sent a number of players to Troy during the previous glory years.

The Obvious – During the Lou Holtz era at Notre Dame, the Irish routinely punished the Trojans by unleashing a devastating ground game built around physical offensive lines.

The Not So Obvious – It may have been a blip under the normal Trojan fan's radar, but former legendary Notre Dame line coach Joe Moore passed away recently at age 71. Moore's offensive lines gave the Trojans fits. Moore was to Holtz what Hudson Houck was to the Trojans. Among the stars Moore produced were Aaron Taylor, Tim Grunhard, Andy Heck, and Tim Ruddy. Moore also coached at Pitt and mentored Bill Fralic and Mark May. Moore will be remembered by some as the coach that won an age discrimination suit against Bob Davie and the Irish. Moore coached at ND 1988-1996.

The Obvious – The Trojans have offered Los Altos defensive end Brigham Harwell, considered one of the West Coast's finest and hailing from the same school as Shaun Cody.

The Not So Obvious – While the rumor mill continues to point to Harwell being a Bruin, it should be noted that the kid's rejecting of SC has always been the fact the Trojan have been upfront about him playing in the interior of the defensive line. Harwell wants to play defensive end or maybe even linebacker. Tough choice for a kid who hears from NFL experienced Carroll his best spot is inside. It appears that both sides are being honest with each other. Score one for honesty.

The Obvious – According to our Garry P., All-American Whitney Lewis has removed himself from the Shrine Game slated for this Saturday at Mt. San Antonio.

The Not So Obvious – It is shocking that more kids do not pull out of these all-star games with so much of their careers on the line. While most of these all-star games are for worthwhile charities, the fear of injury and freshman playing time continues to be a warning sign for these college-bound stars, especially those that are thinking NFL.

The Obvious – The Trojans open their season August 30th in a humid, Deep South barnburner opener against the highly-ranked Auburn Tigers in a stadium that seats 86,063.

The Not So Obvious - Auburn ticket manager Tim Jackson has already called USC about returning unsold Trojan tickets – something usually done the week before a game. Of the opener against the Trojans, Jackson said, "I ve been calling them (USC) a lot earlier than I used to because I can sell them. Even a Row 1 tickets, obstructed view, is getting high priority. You can really see well." According to the Miami Herald, Auburn is approaching its first home season sellout since 1985.

USCFootball.com Top Stories