Can we talk some Holiday Bowl?

Trojans get a chance to get their game on for the Holiday Bowl . . . We're 'Just Sayin' ' here . . . Can they reprise the approach a year ago in Las Vegas and use it as a springboard to 2015?

Can we talk?

As we await some weekend football work for what seems to be an energized Trojans team, USC fans look ahead to closing out the 2014 season with a rousing kickoff to the 2015 season in San Diego with a first-ever trip to the Holiday Bowl.

Sounds like the right scenario. Although we thought that a year ago and then that smashing Las Vegas moment came and went. But it didn't exactly work out that way.

We're "Just Sayin' ": Let's get it right next time around.

*** Next year at this time when ESPN, for example, does its quick-hit look at the bowl game USC is going to, the hope here has to be it doesn't list the main focus for the Trojans will be to get back on the right side after "a disappointing season." We've had enough of those . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And next bowl season we can only hope the Trojans pair themselves up against a top historic national program although, unlike Nebraska this time around, not one coming off another of ESPN's "disappointing" seasons, so disappointing that the 9-3 Huskers are no longer coached by the same guy, Bo Pelini, who started the season in Lincoln . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But let's talk about San Diego. Not a lot of hoopla and all sorts of activities for the teams and fans here as the game comes so close to Christmas. For USC fans, we'd recommend a couple of things, the holiday season willing. On Christmas Eve, how about heading down to the world famous San Diego Zoo where the teams will spend up to four hours that day. Get your favorite Trojan's autograph here much the way USC fans did at Disneyland before Rose Bowls last decade. They also go to Seaworld for the same thing Christmas Day but we won't make that one . . . Just Sayin'.

*** There's also the big balloon parade in downtown San Diego Friday, Dec. 26, at 3 p.m. And if the "largest balloon parade in the world" doesn't get you there, how about the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals (weiner dog races) you can cath then as well . . . Just Sayin'.

*** What we're looking forward to is the brunch that day for both teams on the USS Essex amphibious assault class vessel at the San Diego Naval Base. That should be a highlight . . . Just Sayin'.

*** For USC, a game start at 5 PT gets the Trojans into prime time on a Saturday night on ESPN when no one else is playing. That has to be a good thing going forward if the Trojans show up and play the way they did in Las Vegas . . . Just Sayin'.

*** The impact that could have on recruiting -- a young team on its way up to the elite levels again with plenty of openings for immediate playing time if you're good enough -- cannot be overstated . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Speaking of going forward, we can only hope that after next season, a top Pac-12 pundit like the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner will not be giving USC coaching a grade of D-plus, tied for ninth and 10th in the league with Stanford's David Shaw. That's not nearly good enough for a coaching job some observers (ESPN's David Pollack and Colin Cowherd) think is the best in the country. If not the best, it's certainly in the discussion and deserves coaching commensurate with one of the very best jobs anywhere . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Although to be honest here, one of only two coaches ranked below Steve Sarkisian, Oregon State's Mike Riley, parlayed his D grade this season against his overall career into the Nebraska job so there's that. It's not all about one grade for one season . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But it better be about getting better here and learning from what went wrong and making it right beginning this December -- and so far, so good. Sark is saying the right things and doing the right things . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But that was after the Notre Dame game and before a bowl opponent had been named and it was just straight football without the need for those worrisome in-game calls . . . Just Sayin'.

*** The good news here is that Sark, and USC, have had recent success against Nebraska. Nothing better than a positive attitude going in. And with no more games to save the roster for, maybe there will be a "pedal to the medal" attitude that seems to fit these Trojans best . . . Just Sayin'

*** After all, look again at Las Vegas where a USC team with just 44 originally recruited scholarship players in uniform went all out to bury Fresno State despite just six practices the three weeks going into the game . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Never forget -- and Sark hasn't -- this has been a team that loves to ball, will give its all and do anything asked of it as it's shown time and again. Just give it the chance . . . Just Sayin'.

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