Normally most folks associate moving day with boxes, tape and a U-Haul. It's a little different when you move a website. A quick update of the DNS server and within minutes USCFootball.com is parked at its new home, Scout.com.
As the publisher of USCFootball.com and newest member of Scout, I wanted introduce myself, tell you about our site and our plans are going forward.
I started covering USC football in 1996. Back then I was a fulltime electrical engineer designing computer chips for military satellites. In my downtime I used my computer at work to write columns and design my website on something called GeoCities. I purchased the USCFootball.com domain name soon after in 1997 and put up the very first Trojan football message board on the internet where users could post their own comments.
The site grew quickly and in 2001 I signed on to be a part of the Rivals.com network. Again we saw rapid growth, this time with some help from Pete Carroll taking over a flailing team. In 2004 I decided to make a career change, leaving the engineering world to publish USCFootball.com fulltime. While my parents were extremely concerned over this major decision, I took the plunge and I have never looked back.
Over the years USCFootball.com has become the market leader covering Trojan football. With hard work and good personnel decisions we have dominated the market with content and thrived on The Peristyle, the most popular USC football message board on the planet.
Now, 13 years after joining Rivals, USCFootball.com has made another major move, joining the Scout.com network.
Many of you have asked me numerous questions over the past couple of months. I have been unable to answer most of these questions because of legal reasons with my contract. So now I will try to answer some of those questions here:
Why move to Scout?
First and foremost, I wanted to be part of a network with a strong West Coast presence and Scout is head and shoulders above the competition in the Pac-12. Having strong sites around USCFootball.com at major programs like UCLA, Washington, Stanford, Oregon, etc. makes our coverage of the conference and recruiting in the West exponentially better.
And speaking of West Coast recruiting, it doesn't get any better than Greg Biggins and Brandon Huffman. In fact, when recruiting stories break in the West, it is more often than not done by Biggins, Huffman or our very own Gerard Martinez.
Scout also provides great basketball recruiting, an area we’ve always wanted to expand on the site. Scout basketball recruiting analyst Josh Gershon not only lives a block away from me [literally], but he is as dialed in as anyone to the USC basketball program.
I was also impressed by the future vision that Scout.com presented to me. Major investments by Scout in technology, marketing, infrastructure and site acquisitions told me all I needed to know about where this company is going.
What does USCFootball.com bring to Scout?
Many of you are SCPlaybook.com subscribers and have enjoyed the wonderful content Lindsey Thiry and the Scout team have provided over the past couple of years.
If you are unfamiliar with USCFootball.com, here’s what we’re all about:
First, the site revolves around The Peristyle or “The P” as long-time members affectionately call it. The information exchanged there is second to none, and while the sheer size of that message board and the number of posters can make it challenging to moderate, we feel this move over to Scout will reign it in and keep the focus on information exchange and conversations between Trojan fans. Also our entire staff is actively engaged and available on The Peristyle to answer any team or recruiting questions you have.
Second, we do our very best to bring you a wide range of content on the front page. The focus is always on written team and recruiting content, but we also supplement that with plenty of multimedia options and unique features. We were one of the first sports websites to incorporate digital video and we continue to produce high quality video highlights, interviews and features on the site. Over the last 6 years we have produced a free weekly podcast that has been widely popular and we plan to expand that podcast here at Scout. Past podcast guests include Steve Sarkisian, Lane Kiffin, Colin Cowherd, Bruce Feldman, Marcus Allen and plenty more. We also produce large photo galleries by professional photographers from games, practices, offseason workouts and recruiting events. And special features like the War Room, Target Lists, Spring and Fall Camp Central pages and Scholarship Distribution Chart will continue here as well.
Why did Scout want USCFootball.com?
Scout.com Vice-President of Content Development/Group Publisher-Sports Joel Cox on the signing of USCFootball.com:
"I'm delighted that Ryan Abraham and USCFootball.com has decided to make the move to Scout.com," Cox said. "For nearly a decade, Scout has prided itself on our Pac-12 coverage, and the Pac-12 sites that are a part of our network. Historically, there has been only a couple markets where we believed we could improve to a market leading position. USC was one of those markets, and we were committed to bringing the best team aboard. Now that we've done that, we are looking forward to providing USC fans and the leading USC site with the deepest and most experienced football and basketball recruiting teams on the West Coast."
What can we expect going forward?
Our goal is to make this transition as seamless as possible for everyone. National recruiting analyst Gerard Martinez and senior writer Dan Weber have already got their feet wet here at Scout, but as you know today is my first day. I have a big learning curve ahead of me and with fall camp in full swing, I am sure I will experience a few bumps in the road. So please bear with me, I will get up to speed as quickly as humanly possible (where my engineering background comes in handy).
We understand that for many of you the site looks different, navigation is different and the message boards are different. We also understand that all of those things are in the process of undergoing major improvements by Scout. So we ask that you please bear with us during this transition and I promise that I will do everything in my power to help each and every one of you to make your USCFootball.com experience a good one.