O/NSO - Headline edition

The Obvious – Medical clearance, academic eligibility and ineligibility, the debut of the first 2005 college football magazine, and another prestigious award for incoming freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez all headline the latest news in and out of the headquarters of the two-time defending national champion USC Trojans.

The Not So Obvious – Disneyland may be celebrating its 50th Anniversary, but the Trojan football off season has become somewhat of a Magic Mountain roller coaster ride as each week seems to brings a plethora of emotions and information emanating from the Trojans downtown campus.

The Obvious – Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart has been cleared to begin throwing.

The No So Obvious – Although Lefty showed signs of beginning his throwing workout by gracefully tossing a ceremonial first-pitch at a recent Dodger game, it's also good news that he has healed from a groin injury as well. It figures that the Trojan passing offense should be in high gear with Heisman Matty able to throw this summer, unlike the previous.

The Obvious – Tailback LenDale White, tight end Dominique Byrd, and defensive end Frostee Rucker are all academically eligible for the 2005 season.

The Not So Obvious – Aside from the public embarrassment of being held out of spring ball for academics and we applaud Pete Carroll for doing it, did you really think that these three wouldn't make it? All three love this game too much not to have made the academic cut, especially with next season's weekly New Year's Eve Saturdays.

The Obvious – Tailback Chauncey Washington and redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Stuart are ineligible for the 2005 season.

The Not So Obvious – Extremely disappointing but not "shocking" would be the best way to interpret the loss of Washington, who showcased NFL skills during impressive spring competition. With a history of academic challenges and already having already lost a season, it is no surprise that Washington is considering a transfer. The kid can transfer but the academic issues won't go away. The mild shocker, however, was the loss of sophomore linebacker Stuart (6-3, 235), who was less visible amongst the Trojans bevy of talent and was MIA in the final days of spring practice.

The Obvious – Receiver Whitney Lewis remains in academic limbo for the 2005 season.

The Not So Obvious – Guess we're just an old sentimentalist, but we're rooting for the kid to clear the academic hurdle. Ya, he's had his chances, but the feeling here is the kid is trying and maturing or he would already be sitting next to the other fallen academic Trojans and pursuing his "options." For Lewis, like Chauncey Washington, this is probably his last chance as a Trojan, considering the influx of receiving talent like Tennessee's Patrick Turner and the future 2006 addition of Harbor transfer Mike Bolio. Common Whitney, this is why they call it "The Old College Try."

The Obvious – Trojan fans had a burst of excitement to supercede the academic disappointments this week with the arrival of an advanced preview of Athlon's 2005 Pac-10 regional issue.

The Not So Obvious – Give Athlon credit, they got the Pac-10 edition to early bird subscribers before it actually hit the newsstand. The 192-page mag, selling for $6.99, gives a reasonable outlook for the Trojans as No.1 nationally and tops in the Pac-10. Although offensive tackle Winston Justice is listed All-Pac10 Second Team, tackle Sam Baker did made the first club along with Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Dwayne Jarrett, Darnell Bing, Justin Wyatt, annnnnnnnnnnnnd Manuel Wright. Say what, Manuel Wright? Wright, of course, is not longer with the Trojans having gone the supplemental draft route, and this is a printer's curse when the deadline for publication is so early to be first on the block.

The Obvious – In the Athlon Pac-10 magazine, there is an interview with ESPN's Lee Corso, who is quite complimentary of the Trojans and Pete Carroll.

The Not So Obvious – When asked in the Athlon interview what coach he would want his son to play for if he could sign a letter of intent today, Corso replied " Probably the way that it's going, Pete Carroll. I think he's got the right attitude. I think he's a good guy. I think he's got his life, his personal life, and his coaching life in proper prospective, I think he's a good human being. I think he enjoys having some fun. He has a lot of the things that I believe in." Corso's comments have Athlon evidence as the magazine listed nine of the first 13 incoming top Pac-10 freshmen as Trojans, headed by receiver Patrick Turner.

The Obvious – The Athlon guide includes their top 2006 high school seniors, a vastly scaled down recruiting section as compared to multiple pages in previous years.

The Not So Obvious – Among its ranked national players, Athlon includes Trojan recruits QB Tim Tebow (#3) of Florida, RB LeSean McCoy (#7) of Pennsylvania , WR Percy Harvin (#1) of Virginia, OT Sam Young (#1) Florida and Steve Schilling (# 7) of Washington, DT Corey Hobbs (#2) of Florida, LB's Marcus Sims (#13 ) of Florida and Allen Bradford (#19) of Colton, and DB's Taylor Mays (#2) of Washington and Antwine Perez (#4) of New Jersey.

The Obvious – The NCAA has now mandated that all media guides not exceed a 208-page limit, a new rule hoping to "level" the playing field when it comes to the superpowers and wannabe powers in the world of collegiate athletics.

The Not So Obvious – With the 2004 Trojan Football Media Guide at 408 pages, SID Tim Tessalone will be forced to implement the Atkins Diet for his press guide and trim 200 pages from the respected publication. With so much pertinent information in last year's Trojan guide, Tessalone and his staff will need the skill of a cardiac surgeon to effectively maintain some sort of current and historical priorities.

The Obvious - The NCAA has tried before to curtail media guides and their effects on recruiting by outlawing color photos with the exception of the front and back covers.

The Not So Obvious - Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma used to have a "section within a section" of color pictures in the middle of their guides showcasing their game day atmosphere. Indeed, it would be silly to think a recruit like LB Brian Cushing signed because of a media guide, but the initial first impression for many recruits and their families is the media guide. Despite the reduction in size, the Trojans have one clear advantage. Nobody will be able to put "Back-To-Back National Champions" on their media guide cover page.

The Obvious – According to an informative story on the new NCAA rule for press guides by the Orange County Register's Todd Harmonson, one option is the return of recruiting guides.

The Not So Obvious – Back in the 1970's, recruiting guides, which were sent to all the prime recruits, became the big rage. Slick, daring, and sometimes produced like a vacation brochure for Disney World, these publications were far more attractive and entertaining than the run of the mill football guide. However, old-time beat writers have always maintained they much preferred the pocket-sized media guide for convenience rather than the encyclopedia-heavy "books" of the current era.

The Obvious – Fresno State fans are being advised to contact the USC ticket department to secure tickets for next November's game against the Trojans at the Coliseum.

The Not So Obvious – The Fresno State legion of fans, known as The Red Wave, figure to pack the Coliseum for the Trojans' 11th game. However, for their Bulldog Stadium spring game, FSU reportedly had 2,000 fans in attendance compared to the upwards of 15,000 that watched the Trojans in the Coliseum for The Huddle.

The Obvious – WeAreSc.com's Garry Paskwietz was the featured speaker Thursday night at the Orange County All-Star Game Banquet in Brea.

The Not So Obvious – At the banquet, incoming Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez of Mission Viejo was awarded the co-Orange County Player of the Year. The other recipient? Mission Viejo lineman Chase Moline, who is headed for Westwood. After thanking the OC Sportswriters Association in front of his family and more than 300 guests in attendance at the Brea Community Center, Sanchez informed the gathering he is unable to play in the July 8 OC All-Star Game because he has enrolled in summer school at USC.

The Obvious – Incoming freshman quarterback Mark Sanchez has been the subject of numerous national awards and feature articles during his senior year.

The Not So Obvious – Add one more honor as Sanchez is on the cover of OC Family, a magazine distributed throughout Orange County businesses and local establishments. Sanchez is one of twenty Orange County seniors considered the best and brightest of the OC graduating class of 2005.

The Obvious – Trojan fans are getting their usual summer excitement over the news that the Trojans 2004 Season Highlight DVD is soon to be released.

The Not So Obvious – If there is one segment that a number of Trojan diehards would like to see in the video, it's Pete Carroll's own description of halftime at the Orange Bowl. As Oklahoma was leaving their locker room for the second half, the Trojan team, with their locker doors wide open, began chanting, " We are ready! We are Ready! We ready…for y'all!" If this segment is included in the highly anticipated DVD, it will be worth the price of the DVD unto itself.

The Obvious – The Trojans defeated Texas Tech in the 1995 Cotton Bowl 55-14.

The Not So Obvious – Fox Sports Classic is offering a commercial free telecast of the game, featuring Trojan QB Rob Johnson and WR Keyshawn Johnson leading a USC offensive extravaganza. The Trojans established Cotton Bowl records for scoring, most points in a quarter (28), and second biggest total margin in Cotton Bowl history. The two-disk set runs over two hours and sells for $29.95. Check out a trailer by clicking www.FoxSports.com.

The Obvious – The first viewing of the 2005 Football Schedule Poster, promoting the motto "Right Here, Right Now", is now available through viewing.

The Not So Obvious – The poster features a large picture of quarterback Matt Leinart surrounded by wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett, running back Reggie Bush, and linebacker Dallas Sartz. Not to stir the pot too briskly, but we're mildly surprised that receiver Steve Smith didn't make the poster, considering he did have three touchdowns in the Orange Bowl, but who's counting? Okay, All-America punter didn't Tom Malone didn't appear either. Or Pete Carroll. Or LenDale White. Or Dominique Byrd. Or Darnell Bing. Or, or, or, or, or………LOL. Okay, go to www.usctrojans.com and look down the right side of your monitor for a clicking preview.

The Obvious – As much as the players themselves, the officiating crews for 2005 and the new Pac-10 replay rule may play an important role in the Trojans chances of a Three-Pete.

The Not So Obvious – In the upcoming edition of the We Are SC, the magazine, look for a piece on one local Pac-10 official and his experience working a Trojan football game. Besides how one gets to be a Pac-10 official and his game routine, cardinal and gold fans may be surprised to learn this fella's alma mater. Who is it? Does Santa Claus tell what's in his presents? Check your mailbox or your local newsstand.

The Obvious – Many columnists have begun forecasting the 2005 Heisman Trophy race, which of course includes incumbent Matt Leinart and finalist Reggie Bush.

The Not So Obvious – On giving his appraisal of Reggie Bush, Fox Sports and CollegeFootballNews.Com's Richard Cirminiello wrote "If the Heisman championed college football's Most Entertaining or Most Dangerous player, some ballots might already be cast. Bush is college football's ultimate weapon, who can do everything, except, perhaps convince Heisman voters he's the most valuable player on his own team." Well, Bush didn't have to convince his own teammates who voted "Roadrunner Reggie" as last season's Trojan MVP.

The Obvious – The Danbury Mint model of the Coliseum has been steadily making its way to the doorsteps of hardcore Trojan fans.

The Not So Obvious – Originally expected to arrive in June, Trojan fan were pleased to receive the Coliseum model his past week. It is not a replica without some minor flaws, however. There are no Heisman jersey replica numbers on the steps of the peristyle end, just the letters spelling out Trojans. There is no temperature gauge visible on the persityle end, but maybe that's a good thing since it rarely seems to work. The press box looks a bit different, but all in all, it fits nicely around a miniature Trojan football helmet, a pair of cardinal and gold pom poms, and the two Sports Illustrated commemorative national championship Trojan books. And , no, it doesn't display the naked statues outside the peristyle end.

The Obvious – One of the more successful ventures of Trojan football is the Fantasy Football Camp for adults, which is being held June 16-18.

The Not So Obvious – The same company for the Trojan Fantasy Camp has now expanded their venture to include our friends from Westwood. The two camps have much in common with the Coliseum for Trojans and the Rose Bowl for Bruins as highlight conclusions. Former celebrity players, and, of course, "prizes" for the campers is also a common theme. The edge? It has to be the Trojan camp since it will also include members of the USC Marching Band pumping out the traditional tunes and celebs like Heisman winner RB Marcus Allen, Hall of Famer OT Anthony Munoz, and NFL veteran QB Rodney Peete. The Bruin celebs include DL Mike Lodish, RB Gaston Greene, and QB Tom Ramsey. The camps are being run during the same weekend in June, and wouldn't it be novel if the two camps played a "USC vs UCLA Game" as a Sunday finale? The site for such a game? The Coliseum, of course, like in the old days when the two rivals used to share the same home field. We'll even allow for the home jerseys for both camp teams.

The Obvious – In the couple of days, we turn the corner and march into June and the beginning of the USC skills and linemen camps and, of course, family vacations.

The Not So Obvious – Unless that vacation includes a little trip over the Pacific Ocean with a destination of late August in Hawaii, the next best thing in June is the parade college football magazines and not a moment too soon to help pass the time. Enjoy the three-day holiday weekend, Trojan fans, and let's get ready for that upcoming Trojan football skills and linemen camps, featuring a large number of out-of-state "chippers."


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