O/NSO - Rose Tidbit edition

With perhaps the most eagerly awaited national championship game since, well, last year's 2005 Orange Bowl, the 2006 BCS National Championship Rose Bowl featuring the perennially No. 1-ranked USC Trojans and the No. 2-ranked Texas Longhorns figures to smash all hyperbole records as the nation's media descends into the City of Angels.

The Obvious – With perhaps the most eagerly awaited national championship game since, well, last year's 2005 Orange Bowl, the 2006 BCS National Championship Rose Bowl featuring the perennially No. 1-ranked USC Trojans and the No. 2-ranked Texas Longhorns figures to smash all hyperbole records as the nation's media descends into the City of Angels.

The Not So Obvious – While the main story currently seems to be the unprecedented demand for a Los Angeles sports ticket for the ages – one well-known broker passing the word that this will the hardest and most expensive ticket in SoCal history - fans without tickets will still have a chance to brush elbows at various events scheduled for both teams. So, put down that morning Danish and Starbucks and allow your humble O/NSO servant to spill the BCS beans, among other cardinal and gold things, to our loyal WeAreSC subscribers before the general public takes wind.

The Obvious – The Avenue of the Stars in Century City is one street in Los Angeles that historically brings together the rich and famous, not to mention the two best college football teams in the country.

The Not So Obvious – The Trojans' team headquarters will be at the Park Hyatt.

The Obvious – The Texas will make the Century Plaza Hotel as their team headquarters.

The Not So Obvious – As one of the gimmicks to enhance the Longhorn spirit, four giant searchlights with the Longhorn logo will be beamed up into night sky on Jan 3rd from the hotel area. It's sure to grab the attention who are staying right down the street.

The Obvious – Texas figures to bring a huge following despite the fact they were in SoCal last season for their game against Michigan.

The Not So Obvious – The Longhorns are planning two parties at the Century Plaza Hotel area and are giving their fans some gifts for paying $35 for both parties. Included will be a giveaway for fans containing the Official 2006 BCS Texas Longhorn Pennant, burnt orange bead necklaces, imprinted Longhorn pom poms, cheer cards to take to the game, and the Jan. 3 edition of the Austin American-Statesmen newspaper.

The Obvious – Last year at this time, it was Trojan fans that were scrambling for airline and land packages to the BCS National Championship in Miami.

The Not So Obvious – Trojan fans can now place their concentration on tickets. Texas fans are being offered one air package that includes flight and three nights at the Westin Bonaventure for $1,340. Game ticket is not included.

The Obvious – There has been so many media requests that a number of outlets have been denied due to lack of press box space.

The Not So Obvious – The BCS Media Headquarters will be The Beverly Hilton.

The Obvious – One of the big activities for this year's Rose Bowl will be the 50th Annual Beef Bowl at Lawry's on famed La Cienega Boulevard.

The Not So Obvious – The Longhorns will do their beef ingestion at the famed restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. on December 30th while the Trojans will take to the beef and potatoes gluttony on New Year's Day at 5:00 p.m.

The Obvious – The Bowling Hall of Fame is located in Reno, Nevada.

The Not So Obvious – Both teams have been invited to participate in the Lucky Strike Bowl at, of course, Lucky Strike Bowl. No, they won't both be there at the same time, but heaven help Lucky Strike Bowl when those physical linemen attempt a 7/10 split.

The Obvious – Rose Bowl ticket packet distribution is well underway for January 4th's Battle of the Century.

The No So Obvious – The Rose Bowl is suggesting through a flyer in the packet that fans will not have a local parking space if they arrive at the Rose Bowl after 2:30 p.m. on game day. Fans will have to show their ticket to get down into the Rose Bowl parking area.

The Obvious – WeAreSC will be having its "annual" BCS National Championship Luncheon on Jan 3 at the Mijares Restaurant in Pasadena.

The Not So Obvious – If you attended last year's luncheon in Florida, you missed a lot of fun and some mighty fine food. Yes, this year's luncheon is up in Pasadena, but if you need another reason to get the little woman to sign on, tell her the both of you can ride over to Victory Park to view the Rose Parade floats. For those who wish to attend this recommended function, don't tell the boss and call 949/222-1048 or send an e-mail to garry@wearesc.com.

The Obvious –Trojan fans are still looking for that special Rose Bowl holiday gift for their favorite cardinal and gold fanatic.

The Not So Obvious – The O/NSO suggests the 2006 Rose Bowl Game official souvenir program, which is now on sale. The program features in-depth analysis of USC and Texas, as well as a complete Rose Bowl history. This is the same program that will be sold at the Rose Bowl Game. We are informed that supplies are limited, so you want to pronto call Rose Bowl Customer Service at 1-800-229-0478. Cost of the program is $10 plus the usual shipping and handling. And, yes, it will arrive Priority 1st class mail.

The Obvious – One holiday gift that many fans enjoy are those creative action figures, especially those that actually look like the celebrity.

The Not So Obvious – If you want to purchase current Trojans Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, the O/NSO would highly recommend going to a new company on the block known as J6 Customs. Their work was displayed a couple of weeks ago during the WeAreSC dinner at the Papadakis Tarverna. Legendary running back Anthony Davis was presented with a figure of himself and it was stunning. J6 Customs also does non-Trojan figures and can even do them for your family members. For more information, go to www.J6Customs.com. FYI, they are extremely well done and there is a price range for every budget.

The Obvious – Trojan fans are flooding to venues that are selling cardinal and gold Rose Bowl clothing.

The Not So Obvious – Looking for places that carry a lot of stuff? Try Chicks Sporting Goods. They have their Rose Bowl wardrobe in and it is quite extensive. We like those Matt Leinart No. 11 jerseys that have now have the official Rose Bowl patch on the shoulder. We must admit, it does look pretty cool. The cost is $55.

The Obvious – The historic USC Trojan Heisman Trophy backfield of tailback Reggie Bush and quarterback Matt Leinart has returned from the bright lights of Times Square but not after a macho prediction from Texas quarterback Vince Young, who took out his Heisman runner-up anger by predicting a win for the No. 2 Longhorns.

The Not So Obvious – The Trojans 2005 Heisman winner Reggie Bush says he was surprised by Young's comments about the No.-ranked Trojans, saying he didn't know how opponents feel like they need to " just lash out say stuff out of the ordinary." Well, Reggie, the O/NSO can give you 34-straight and seven additional Heisman Trophy reasons why teams have a bit of an anti-Trojan attitude.

The Obvious – Trojan tailback LenDale White spent some time in the Big Apple with during Reggie Bush's Heisman coronation.

The Not So Obvious – Common, you think you Mr. Lightening can do without Mr. Thunder?

The Obvious - There are more than a few in the know that believe that this will also be LenDale White's last game as a Trojan.

The Not So Obvious – On the USC Roundtable on 1540, John Jackson said it was his belief that LenDale would come back for his senior year. Our Garry P. was also hopeful that Big LenDale would come back. While we, too, hope No. 21 returns, we will go on record as saying this will be LenDale's final game pending a last minute reprieve.

The Obvious– The big debate in college football circles is whether Reggie Bush is the greatest tailback in USC history.

The Not So Obvious – Sports Illustrated's Phil Taylor had his own ranking of Tailback U. Taylor still believes O.J. Simpson is still the best runner in Trojan history when wrote " Despite his tarnished name, he remains the best combination of speed, power, and elusiveness USC has ever had."

The Obvious – 2005 Heisman winner Reggie Bush won this year's award as a junior.

The Not So Obvious – SI's Taylor ranks Bush as third best Trojan tailback behind Simpson and Marcus Allen and ahead of Mike Garrett and Charles White. Having watched all five tailbacks, what has to stand out to the O/NSO is the fact that Bush has won this thing as only a junior. The others were seniors and had that "extra year" to develop their bodies. Throw in the fact that Reggie was never "raised" in a Trojan system designed and expected to carry the ball 30 times and you have to be impressed by his accomplishments. The kid is just starting to scratch the surface as an inside runner. It would be totally unfair to say that No. 5 couldn't handle that many carries, especially if he wasn't given the chance of a McKay system.

The Obvious – Reggie Bush is the most explosive runner in the history of USC football.

The Not So Obvious – Recently, the O/NSO spent time looking at video of the 1967 junior O.J. Simpson against Notre Dame and UCLA. Simpson was nowhere as quick as Bush and Reggie gets the nod here with speed. However, Simpson did have the power, speed, and elusiveness. It would be foolish not to say that Bush is now in the same league as Simpson as juniors. However, we will likely never know what a senior Bush compared to a senior Simpson might have entailed. This figures to be the last Trojan appearance of the growing legend of Reggie Bush.

The Obvious – In this week's Time magazine, writer Sean Gregory wrote "For college-football fans, ranking the mind-blowing moves of University of Southern California (U.S.C.) running back Reggie Bush, one of the most thrilling players in history, has joined homecoming weekend as a favorite autumn pastime. Which highlight is No. 1?"

The Not So Obvious – You know you have hit the big time when Time calls you a fixture in the history of the college landscape.

The Obvious – Trojan season ticket holders were euphoric over getting a wonderful copy of this year's Notre Dame football victory.

The Not So Obvious – A number of fans weren't even sure what they got based on the outside of the large envelope. Wonder if any fans thought it was just another AOL disc being sent and tossed it. Season ticket holders received a copy of the game with a brief thank you from the USC athletic department. While most were happy with this unexpected "gift," how many would have gladly given it back in exchange for just one Rose Bowl ticket?

The Obvious – The Trojan "Victory Mail" reminded fans without Rose Bowl tickets to check Stubhub. Com for ticket needs.

The Not So Obvious – With the prices of tickets on StubHub higher than "King Kong" atop the Empire State Building, Trojan fans should have also been reminded you might need the California Lottery to pay for one of the prized ducats.

The Obvious – The Trojan have received a verbal this week from Oakland McClymond's linebacker Joshua Tatum (6-2, 220, 4.5).

The Not So Obvious – During the Trojan "revaluation" camps last spring and summer, there was no more impressive physical specimen than Tatum. Unfortunately, the buffed senior suffered an ACL injury in his second game this season. In the old days, Tatum's ACL surgery probably have cost him scholarship offers. However, with the wonders of medicine, it figures that Tatum will make it back just like Trojan starting linebacker Oscar Lua, who has gone through two of these once devastating injuries. While one would think next season would be a redshirt year for continued rehab, Tatum told Scout's Allen Wallace he was cleared to play football in April, which would be quite an achievement.

The Obvious – There is good news on the re-recruiting front as Minnesota lineman Walker Lee Ashley has finally been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse and will enroll in the spring.

The Not So Obvious – This softens the blow of premier JC defensive tackle Louis Holmes joining Gabe Long with the Arizona Wildcats. Both players verbally were committed to the Trojans at one time. Academics and "what-not" contributed to change of direction of these two talented defensive tackles. Nobody ever said that college football is really played on a level playing field.

The Obvious – This is another big recruiting weekend for the Trojans before everybody breaks for the holidays.

The Not So Obvious – One player to keep an eye on is Irvine Woodbridge lineman Alex Parsons (6-4, 260), who certainly passes the eyeball test. Parsons, whose brother plays at Kentucky, looked very tough during the Trojan evaluation camps, especially against verbal commit Zack Heberer. Parsons played out of position in high school and highlight films of him don't do him justice. He roamed as a linebacker when he would have been a dominant prep defensive lineman. Sometimes film doesn't always tell the story and we believe this is one case.

The Obvious – Senior Florida prep quarterback sensation Tim Tebow verbals to Florida.

The Not So Obvious – The Trojan coaching staff must be devastated, so help me Jimmy Clausen.

The Obvious – Mission Viejo tight end Konrad Reuland (6-6, 240) has made a verbal commitment to Notre Dame.

The Not So Obvious – The O/NSO was told during Trojan spring practice by a high-placed Mission Viejo source that the splendid athlete had UCLA well on top. Well, times changed and it appears that Reuland also wasn't going to follow the path of previous MVHS players to Trojanville. While the Diablo star has given a verbal to the Irish and it ain't over till the inks dry in February, the real loser is our friends from Westwood who apparently once had the lead. Don't worry about Troy, the recruiting machine is still finely tuned.

The Obvious – The Trojans are thinking about scheduling a non-conference game against Nick Holt's Idaho Vandals.

The Not So Obvious – No comments from Longhorn fans since your lads played the likes this season of mighty Louisiana-Lafayette and Rice.

The Obvious – Last weekend, Reggie Bush's Heisman win was front-page national news, with Gary Klein's LA Times' story making A-1 with a striking Bush photo.

The Not So Obvious – Of course there is always USA Today, which doesn't print on Saturday and Sunday. Due to those limitations, Kelly Whiteside's story was relegated to page 12 of the sports page.

The Obvious – Former Trojan quarterback Rocky Hinds is now at UNLV.

The Not So Obvious – While the O/NSO wishes Hinds the best of luck, it would have been nice to have the big, athletic quarterback working the Trojan scout team as a Vince Young impressionist.

The Obvious – The Trojans have used strong safety Darnell Bing as tailback replacement during the absence of LenDale White and Reggie Bush.

The Not So Obvious – Let's beat this one more monotonous time. If Bing played tailback as a senior, it would not shock us if the former Long Beach Poly star made All-Pac-10. If you liked some of Bing's kickoff returns, you should have seen some his runs at tailback during last spring practice. He could be the closest thing we have seen to a Ricky Bell. We also like the Eddie George comparison.

The Obvious – The Trojans were the featured winner at the LA Sports Council's Greatest Moments In Sports Award dinner at the Century Plaza Hotel this week.

The Not So Obvious – With the ceremony begin televised on Channel 9, the Trojans couldn't have asked for such "recruiting" exposure. There were a number of pre-taped Matt Leinart interviews as the 2004 Heisman winner was named sportsman of the year and was featured as a finalist for his game-winning "moment at Notre Dame." You don't think there were some "chippers" who have yet to make a college decision watching the affair?

The Obvious – While the intense buildup of the national championship game is well under way, Trojan fans everywhere have been stunned with Thursday morning's automobile accident loss of former two-time All-Pac-10 defensive tackle Darrell Russell and valued wide receiver Mike Bastianelli, who came to Troy as an undefeated high school quarterback from fabled Concord De La Salle.

The Not So Obvious – Such is the sad irony that these two members of the 1996 Rose Bowl champions would lose their lives on the ten-year anniversary of that resilient Trojan team under coach John Robinson. To their family and friends, we send our thoughts and prayers.

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