So here we are, closing in on a coaching staff with the defensive line guy as the final piece of the puzzle, and getting into winter workouts, finishing up on recruiting and getting gobsmacked by Bryce Dixon's car jacking arrest. Maybe it's time right now to figure out if we should get back to rooting for Trojans basketball.
*** We'll go with that last one here. It is time. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** This week is big for the Trojans in Oregon, however, against two teams they'll have to play very well against to survive. They could win both -- or lose both. Which is the story of the Pac-12 this year. Lots of balance and depth. . . Just Sayin'.
*** In fact, the Pac-12, with a national best eight teams in the RPI Top 50, 11 in the Top 60, the second-best RPI average among conferences with no team with a losing record and predictions of another tops-in-the-nation nation eight NCAA tournament teams despite just Arizona and USC among the ranked teams this week, the "any team can beat you any day" meme has never been more true. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** So the goal here has to just be ready every time you tip it off and keep getting better. If the Trojans do that, they'll be fine. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** And USC fans don't have to worry about whether people notice that there's something going on with Andy Enfield's guys right now. We say that after looking at the AP ballot of one Rick Bozich, longtime Louisville sports columnist. An Indiana guy who's been covering Kentucky and Louisville basketball for decades, he knows college basketball as well as anyone in the nation. Rick had the Trojans No. 21 -- exactly where the AP voters overall did -- and right ahead of a Kentucky team he knows well. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** Then there's this from another well-respected Indiana guy, Mike Lopresti, in of all places, The NCAA News. Really nice job talking Trojan Hoops here. The word is getting out. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** Although we have to say what seems to be getting picked up on nationally may not yet be factoring in in the Pac-12 itself where after 10 weeks of the season, not a single USC player has earned Player of the Week honors. Washington, Utah and UCLA have had two each. Arizona, Washington State, Cal and Colorado have had one each. No Trojans. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** Although there's this about the lack of P.O.W honors. It speaks to how much this Trojans bunch plays as a team with six players averaging in double figures scoring and the league's top two assist guys. Hard to pick just one sometimes. Probably a feature not a bug for these guys. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** And we'll give it to the the folks on Eastern time voting for USC since it's not always easy catching up with the Trojans playing on the little-viewed-Back-East Pac-12 Networks and tipping off late at night although Thursday's 6 p.m. (9 EST) tip at Oregon isn't bad. And they get a noon (3 p.m. EST) tip on Sunday in Corvallis. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** But that still means a five-day Wednesday-Sunday swing in Oregon for the Trojans right as the second semester gets under way and that's becoming a real flaw in the Pac-12 scheduling as the only major conference locked into the two-game road trips. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** And that's only because, unlike UCLA two weeks ago when the Bruins had a Sunday night road game at Washington State and didn't get home until Monday, they'll be able to get out of Corvallis early enough to get home on Sunday. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** The Pac-12 hoops schedule wasn't great when it was essentially a Thursday-Saturday swing once TV got here rather than the original Friday-Saturday schedule in the good old days like it is still in the Ivy League. Check out the Big Ten, Big 12 and the SEC and you see one-game trips, mostly on charters, that get kids in and out and back on campus with the least time out of class. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** Extending the schedule to Wednesday on the front end and Sunday on the back end just to provide more programming -- especially for the Pac-12 Networks -- might be worthwhile if more people could see these games. If you have the best league, or close to it, don't you have to do a better job expanding viewership? . . . Just Sayin'.
*** And now back to football and what's happening today when we say that if USC can't get Ed Orgeron or Tosh Lupoi for the D-line/recruiting spot, we're fine with Kenechi Udeze, who will be the lone connection here to the national championship Pete Carroll Era who can flash that ring when he talks. And every USC team should have that. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** But BKU can also coach and push and inspire and bring along guys that need someone doing just that. He's one tough son-of-a-gun who won't depend on his resume to get the job done if that's how it works out. Not a problem. BKU can coach. He doesn't have to tell his life story, he just has to live it. . . Just Sayin'.
*** As to Bryce, while we don't know all the facts, all we can say is how sad this latest episode is. Especially for all the people who went to bat for him in the USC sexual assault charges that aren't necessarily validated by his arrest here. But that won't matter, unfortunately, if his life, his education and his football future are all devastated by what happened Monday when it all comes out. Just so sad for all involved. . . . Just Sayin'.
*** And finally, back to the coaching staff and all the differences of opinion here. Here's what we think. We can argue all we want about resumes and big names and experience and inside hires vs. outside and all the rest of it. But no matter which side you come down on, you have no way of knowing how it's going to work. And neither do we. But we will know a lot more next fall. The Trojans open with Alabama and Stanford in two of their first three games. And then we'll have an idea. But to come down as dogmatic as some are on one side or the other just seems a bit silly right now. . . . Just Sayin'.
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