O/NSO - Dog Days edition

Televised kickoff times, rumors, campus celebrity viewings, and Trojan camps with different objectives are the latest news and views emanating from Heritage Hall as Pete Carroll and staff fan out across America maintaining an Indianapolis 500 breakneck May recruiting pace.

The Obvious – Televised kickoff times, rumors, campus celebrity viewings, and Trojan camps with different objectives are the latest news and views emanating from Heritage Hall as Pete Carroll and staff fan out across America maintaining an Indianapolis 500 breakneck May recruiting pace.

The Not So Obvious – With a little less than four months before kickoff, for hardcore Trojan fans and respected subscribers to this premium site, it's the little Trojan things are big things in the minds of cardinal and gold fans. Perhaps even more important than the time of a family members wedding comes the rolling announcements for Trojan kickoff times, setting the tailgate and travel discussion into a full Dr. Phil interaction. Then there is the critical discussion of which USC stars will be pictured on each home game ticket and in what particular order.

The Obvious – The BCS national championship game will be played on Wednesday, January 4, in the Rose Bowl.

The Not So Obvious – Kickoff time for the ABC televised game will be 5:00 p.m. PST. Providing that Pete Carroll's Trojans can hold up their end of the bargain, there figures to one heck of a lot of "personal necessity or sick day" absences in Southern California on Jan. 4. One lifetime Trojan season ticket holder recently told the O/NSO that he had already secured a RV rental and rental space down in the Arroyo Seco for the championship game. This same fan also made hotel reservations a year earlier at the incomparable Westin Diplomat, the Trojans' Orange Bowl team hotel, in anticipation the Trojan would make it to Miami last season.

The Obvious – Every 2005 Trojan football game will be televised either nationally or regionally.

The Not So Obvious – Although the Trojans Sept. 3rd opener game was said to be televised on ESPN or ESPN 2, when the Disney-owned network recently released its official schedule of games for 2005, the USC-Hawaii game was not yet among the listed games. The only announced Sept. 3 game currently being televised that day is the afternoon Boise State at Georgia tilt.

The Obvious – Trojan televised announced ABC games include at Oregon (4:00 pm), Washington St. (12:30 p.m.), and for UCLA (1:30 p.m.) have been set for ABC. All listed times are Pacific Standard Time. NBC wil televise the game at Notre Dame (11:30 a.m.),

The Not So Obvious – The remaining television times will be divided among the Fox Sports Network and TBS, both of whom will make their Trojan selections known in June. FSN has 12 windows in which to select while TBS has six slots. Of course, ABC is withholding some Pac-10 windows, most notably Troy's game at California on Nov. 12. Barring a collapse of the Bay Bridge, it figures to be a 12:30 p.m. start.

The Obvious – Oh, you said you've read that the Trojans game at Oregon is set for 4:00 p.m. PST on ABC.

The Not So Obvious – You may have wondered why the ABC televised USC-UO game is a 4:00 p.m. kickoff. Well, the suits from ABC New York figured they'd lead up to the early season Pac-10 eliminator by televising Notre Dame at Washington at 12:30 p.m. PST. Oh well, at least you get a first hand scouting report of two future Trojan opponents.

The Obvious – After a successful spring, Trojan sophomore tight end Fred Davis from Toledo, Ohio, is in the mix for extended playing time.

The Not So Obvious – If it's May, it's rumor time. According to Toledo Blade columnist John Harris, Davis might not be around in the fall to make any catches from Matt Leinart. Harris recently wrote "Don't you wish that former Rogers High School football standout Fred Davis would realize the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the country. Davis, who didn't play for Southern California in the Orange Bowl because he was habitually late returning to practice from trips to Toledo, caught a touchdown pass in USC's annual spring scrimmage last month. As a tight end. That's why, although Davis has been saying all the right things, don't be shocked if he finishes out the school year and seeks a transfer to a school closer to home. A school like Ohio State, which recruited him vigorously out of high school and would probably being willing to allow him to switch back to wide receiver, his preferred position." Thank you, Mr. Harris, and purchase a ticket for a ride on the Fred Davis merry-go-round if you think there is one.

The Obvious – The Trojans have had great success both on and off the field in Florida, especially in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The Not So Obvious – Fort Lauderdale has been a good luck charm for the Trojans in two Orange Bowl appearances. The city may also provide Troy with the reputed best JC defensive end in the land in Louis Holmes (6-6, 270), who prepped at Fort Lauderdale Dillard HS before enrolling at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. Pete Carroll, who recently spent time viewing Holmes in cactus country, apparently won't have to battle Holmes original senior commitment, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Obvious – In guru Scott Schrader's Scout premium recruiting story on Virginia wide receiver extrordinarie Percy Harvin, the kid not only gives top drawer respect to the Trojans ("The best players play at USC") but high praise for SC running back coach Todd McNair, the point man for the Men of Troy in the East.

The Not So Obvious – Isn't it about time that "T-Mac", the recruits just love referring to McNair in that vernacular, be given high recognition for the recruiting work he has done in the East. From incoming New Jersey linebacker recruit Brian Cushing to now Landstown High's Harvin, McNair is fast becoming a one-man recruiting wrecking ball, and it figures the former NFL running back may soon be receiving his just due in the world of recruiting pub.

The Obvious – It was no rumor that Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart threw out the ceremonial first pitch last week prior to the Dodgers game against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium.

The Not So Obvious – Leinart, who once was a promising pitcher, threw out the first pitch with his surgically repaired left arm to all-star Dodger reliever Eric Gagne. It was no coincidence that Gagne was Leinart's catcher considering that Lefty has been seen during lunch at the Galen Center training table wearing a Gagne Dodger uniform top and a blue LA baseball cap.

The Obvious – There has been much speculation about how many Trojan players and coaches read the various Internet sites related to USC football.

The No So Obvious – Recently the O/NSO was having lunch in the Galen Center when we came across wide receiver Steve Smith, he of the three scoring receptions in the Orange Bowl BCS championship. Through another fan who was thanking Smith for all the excitement he provided last year, the subject of the O/NSO was brought up, and instantaneously Smith replied, "The Obvious - We are the champions!" And no, he didn't give a Not So Obvious, but we kind of knew what he was thinking. Thanks for reading, No. 2.

The Obvious – The USC office of admissions has just mailed out a colorful brochure to all high school underclass students who have shown interest in becoming future Trojans.

The Not So Obvious – In the brochure, there is only one true football photo. It shows Trojan center Ryan Kalil about to attack the Oklahoma defensive front four in the Orange Bowl. You don't think there is a subliminal message there, do you? Come to Troy and be part of the No. 1 team in the nation. Naw.

The Obvious – USC conducts campus tours for various high schools throughout the area.

The Not So Obvious – Recently, Santa Ana Century High was on campus doing the tour thing when the school supervisors led the large group through Heritage Hall and then down into the weight room. As the group was in awe seeing various Trojan football players such as Mike Patterson and Winston Justice, there was one Trojan player whose back was to the group. Suddenly, nearly all eighty students recognized Matt Leinart. The two Century teachers felt a bit of panic not wanting to have Lefty's workout be interrupted by the adoring gathering. Quickly the students were ushered out, but a few "Centurions" managed to stay behind and approached the Heisman winner. Leinart, learning that the students were from his hometown of Santa Ana, took the time to sign a few autographs and take a couple of pictures. In fact, the Trojan QB even voiced, "Yeah, Santa Ana!"

The Obvious – Cardinal and gold fans are aware of former Trojans now head coaching in the NFL like Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio and Tennessee's Jeff Fisher.

The Not So Obvious –A number of former Trojans have continued their love for the game at the high school level. Speaking of Santa Ana Century High, Jesse Gomez, the starting long snapper on the 1996 Trojan Rose Bowl champions was recently named the Centurions' head football coach ,and, yes, he got the attention of his returning players by flashing his Rose Bowl ring.

The Obvious – All five of Athlon's national area college football covers for next season feature Matt Leinart and a player(s) from the designated regions.

The Not So Obvious – Leinart is teamed with a number of high profile 2005 stars including Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson, Tennessee's Gerald Riggs, Michigan's Chad Henne, Texas' Vince Young, and Notre Dame's Brady Quinn. Athlon's Pac-10 regional cover is Leinart holding his Heisman and Reggie Bush craddling the ADT national championship trophy.

The Obvious – The 2005 Trojan media guide figures be available in August.

The Not So Obvious – So you're Trojan SID Tim Tessalone. Do you follow the Athlon magazine lead and put Leinart and Bush on the media cover? Do you put Pete Carroll holding up the glorious silver football? A packed Coliseum? More importantly, do you break with media guide tradition and put in mug shots of the heralded incoming freshmen class that figures to grace the Coliseum turf this fall? Decisions, decisions decisions.

The Obvious – The East-West Shrine Football Game is leaving the Bay Area and taking its footballs to San Antonio to be played on Jan. 21.

The Not So Obvious – What a shame to see the nation's oldest post-season college all-star game leave its home. Nearly 100 Trojans have played in the game dating back to 1925 with the immortal Norman Anderson. Through the years, the game has featured USC stars such as Jaguar Jon Arnett, Marlin McKeever, Jack Del Rio, Tim McDonald, Johnnie Morton, and some tailback named Mike Garrett. What's next? The Golden Gate Bridge is being transported to the San Antonio Riverwalk?

The Obvious – The World Champion New England Patriots sign veteran quarterback Doug Flutie to a contract.

The Not So Obvious – Before the Matt Cassel Marching and Chowder Society does a heartbreaker, remember that Flutie is now 42-years old and a native of Massachusetts. Throw in the fact that Patriot quarterbacks Rohan Davey and Chris Redman are coming off injury and have yet to make a dent. Of course, with the talented $60 million Tom Brady at the helm, it may work to Cassel's advantage since neither Davey or Redman have done much little in their four-year and three-year careers, respectively. If Cassel can overcome two Heisman winners to actually get drafted, whose to say he doesn't stand a real shot to make the club, even if it is on the Patriots' developmental squad?

The Obvious - It appears a 12th college game is now right around the corner and expect the Pac-10 to pick up the extra contest so all conference teams can play each other.

The Not So Obvious – Yes, we could all agree a 12th game against an Ohio State, Michigan, and LSU would certainly whet the gridiron pallet, but come conference time, who wants a final Pac-10 standing with two teams tied without having an opportunity to have played during the conference season? Not I.

The Obvious – Due to popular demand, former Beatles crooner Paul McCartney has added more shows to his local fall tour including the Arrowhead Pond on Nov. 12 and the Staples Center on Nov. 30.

The Not So Obvious – For those Trojan fans looking to hook up with some ducats, you would be advised to know that Pete Carroll's boys play at California on Nov. 12. For those couch potatoes that figure to watch the game on the tube, which we're guessing here will be 12:30 p.m. on ABC, it shouldn't be a problem with the McCartney evening concert. Of course, you just know some Newport Trojan will roll the dice and attempt to hit both events. In the immortal words of Sir Paul, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"

The Obvious – WeAreSC.com is a wing of the Scout.com corporation.

The Not So Obvious – Look for some upgrades in product after the Scout convention in Las Vegas last week. Among the anticipated future services to WeAreSC.com and other Scout sites that will make subscribers smile as wide as Winston Justice's shoulders will be an increase in recruiting videos and video interviews and features.

The Obvious – Following the Trojans championship run of 2005, a number of sports related corporations began promoting products in celebration of the USC back-to-back feat.

The Not So Obvious – One of those companies is Danbury Mint, which offers a replica of the Coliseum. A number of Trojan fans ordered the popular miniature (approx.12 1/2'' long x 10'' wide) for their cardinal and gold hobby shelf and were told the Coliseum would be sent in April. However, a number of fans recently received a post card saying due to production problems, the product would be not sent till June. As of now, the original collectable ($75.00) does not have the Heisman jerseys located on the peristyle end. Interested Trojan fans can go to www.danburymintsports.com to check it out.

The Obvious –June is when the many of the best of the best prep players in the land come to campus for the Trojans skill and linemen camps, a "must" for those chippers hoping to show the USC braintrust they are deserving of an offer.

The Not So Obvious – So you thought these camps were the only evaluation and teaching camps for future Trojans? The USC Song Leader Cheer and Dance Camp is now taking applications. The camp, open for girls in grades 1-8, will held at Wilson Park in Torrence July 18-22. Directed by former USC director Lori Nelson, current coach Justine Gilman, and current USC song girls, the nationally acclaimed program will teach technique, cheer and dance, and sideline performances. And you thought the "system" was just a Trojan football thing. For more information, call 213-740-8120. Cutting Edge Cheer & Dance Techniques The Obvious – While all of the Trojan home games figure to be at or near Coliseum capacity, it is always a gesture of goodwill by having various promotional giveaways.

The Not So Obvious – It was brought up here last year that a good promotion would be replica national championship rings to a designated number of fans entering the Coliseum. Recently Cal State Fullerton, hoping to increase baseball attendance for a nationally televised game on ESPN 2, provided the first 1,000 fans in attendance with a replica of the Titans 2004 championship ring. If the Titans can do it, …………………

The Obvious – The Trojans pack a wallop at tailback in nationally acclaimed Reggie Bush and LenDale White.

The Not So Obvious – The University of Arkansas, the Trojans home opener on Sept 17th, was without No. 1 tailback De'Arrius Howard, the team's leading returning rusher, in the spring due to shoulder surgery. Speaking of the Razorbacks, they still had not found a definitive starting quarterback at the conclusion of spring ball.

The Obvious – WeAreSC is holding its annual softball picnic at Chino's Big League Dreams SportsPark on Saturday, June 4th, at 11:30 a.m.

The Not So Obvious – Hey, Sam Bam, John Jackson, and others, plus members of the Trojan Marching Band will be there to tug at your Trojan heart strings under the shadow of Fenway Park's Green Monster. Say, who needs tailgating and the regular season when there is all this fun and sun happening? Ooppss, contact Garry P. if you are planning to attend.

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