USA Today // Rick Osentaki

Some thoughts on USC, college football and more as May moves on to summer

College football is starting to challenge the NFL as a 12-month sport in a 24/7/365 news cycle these days. We're JUST SAYIN'.

Just another weekend waiting for football to come back into our lives at the end of May with summer workouts.

But the more we experience the explosion of recruiting events and information and all the rest of college football, it looks like NFL isn’t the only place they’ve figured out how to make it a 12-month sport. We’re “just saying” on a weekend watching TV and wondering how this all plays out for USC.

But it’s not all football as much as we’d like to see it be all-USC. Which gets us to our first thought here.

*** On this weekend when ESPN is wall-to-wall softball, it makes you think that Lynn Swann’s first non-football challenge should be figuring out how to get the women’s game going somewhere, somehow on Figueroa. We’re convinced of this even more when we note that No. 1 Florida, now 56-5, opens with a lineup of a leadoff hitter from Garden Grove, a second hitter from San Dimas, the third hitter from Brea and the cleanup hitter from Rancho Cucamonga. And then here comes Alabama with a pitcher from Riverside who shuts Cal out and a top hitter with four RBI on the day from Sacramento. Softball, it should be at USC . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** Once USC gets a place to play, the only difficulty putting together a powerhouse Trojans women’s softball program would be picking the coach from the many Top-25 candidates who would love to come here. Might be the quickest route to a national title ever in any sport . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** But back to football. How can you not enjoy Jim Harbaugh’s targeting the SEC and their NCAA go-fers, the way he did USC when he was at Stanford. The guy can be kind of a punk and a bulldog clamping down onto your shin but in this case, all we can do is cheer the “Michigan man” on in his quest to do a satellite camp everywhere from the South Florida to the South Pacific . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** You think we’re exaggerating? Check out the schedule for Harbaugh and his UM assistants in June. They’re doing 39 satellite camps, 28 outside Michigan, in spots everywhere from nine in Southeastern Conference country states Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, Missouri and Texas, to four in California, one in SoCal, and all the way west, or is it east, to Hawai’I, American Samoa and Australia. And they had to beat the SEC and the NCAA to pull that off. Nice . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** That’s just another sign of how college football is evolving almost faster than we can keep up with it. Not only must USC replace Austin Thomas after his sudden return to LSU with someone to get the inside staff organized, we understand now there’s another open spot at USC after losing another recruiting analyst to an NFL team. This is tough competition after losing the football nutritionist the Eagles . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** One piece of info we’re hearing is that USC is searching for a person to oversee and coordinate the training, nutrition, strength and conditioning and medical services for athletes. If that helps USC keep from having a player like Kevon Seymour get to the NFL before he discovers he has 20-60 vision, that would be a real plus. Might have saved USC that Arizona State loss two years ago . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** Talk about putting the golden sombrero on someone. picked this up from Friday’s Rich Eisen Show on the NFL Network when UCLA coach Jim Mora said that had Josh Rosen been eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft, his freshman quarterback would have been the No. 1 pick -- overall. So now if Josh is not No. 1 in 2018, does Mora take the hit – or his QB? . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** We think about the lengths programs are going to compete here with a Big Ten twitter graphics war breaking out, also spotted by Larry Brown, after it broke out when Michigan’s Director of Football Creatives – that’s a real job -- Aaron Bills posted Friday that Rutgers was ripping off his elaborate happy birthday graphics showing prospects in Michigan colors and uniforms. Next thing teams will be trying to steal signals to the quarterback . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** So if all that helps Harbaugh’s guys get all the way up to No. 5 in the preseason ratings we’ve been seeing, good for them. Not sure we’d pick the Wolverines over USC right now but you have to pick somebody and who the heck really knows about teams that haven’t even settled on a quarterback . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** Another look at what Harbaugh has wrought in SEC Land now that they lost the battle to ban the camps. LSU is scrambling to set up camps around Louisiana, even inviting other state schools to take part. All except for Tulane, that is. Tulane is being banished by Les Miles for the crime of partnering with an out-of-state SEC school – Texas A&M – for a camp in New Orleans. Harbaugh – the gift that keeps on giving . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** Interesting take from’s Dennis Dodd on the inside story of how the Big 12 was “30 minutes from ceasing to exist” back in 2010 when the Pac-12 came a calling and at the last minute, Oklahoma said no. Had the Sooners gone on to a superconference Pac-16, that would have been it for the Big 12. And would have made us give Larry Scott a lifetime pass here -- probably. But like most everything else for Scott, it turned out to be a swing and a miss . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** Who knew there was so much running in football? Maybe this is why Cleveland will always be Cleveland. As happy as Browns head coach Hue Jackson, the former USC assistant, has been with his third-round pick, Trojan Cody Kessler, he was mighty displeased with the Browns’ No. 1 pick, WR Corey Coleman of Baylor, who showed up out of shape for the 24-man rookie camp last week. “He’s got to get in shape,” Hue told the Plain-Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot. “It’s the truth,” Coleman admitted. “We didn’t know it was going to be so much running . . . I was gassed.” Yikes . . . JUST SAYIN’.

*** Not sure if this is a list you want to be on or not. But there you are, USC fans, No. 5 on CollegeSpun’s Top 10 list of “dormant fan bases ready to erupt in 2016.” The Trojans follow, in order, No. 1 Tennessee, LSU, Texas and Penn State and are ahead of Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Miami and Arkansas. Not a bad list actually . . . JUST SAYIN’. 

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at

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