The Obvious and Not So Obvious

The Trojans' bowl "fate" may be decided by something called an ankle-foot orthosis. This is the brace that Washington State Cougar quarterback Jason Gesser will wear to try and compete against UCLA. The brace was constructed from a mold of Gesser's foot and ankle and gives Gesser almost full range on front to back flexion, but his side-to-side mobility still gives him the most difficulty.

The Obvious - The fifth-ranked USC Trojans and their exhilarated legions will gather shortly around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday to view Washington State battle UCLA at the Rose Bowl to decide the Trojans' Pasadena New Year's fate, not to mention a possible USC outright Pac-10 championship.

The Not So Obvious - The Trojans' "fate" may be decided by something called an ankel-foot orthosis. This is the brace that Washington State Cougar quarterback Jason Gesser will wear to try and compete against UCLA. The brace was constructed from a mold of Gesser's foot and ankle and gives Gesser almost full range on front to back flexion, but his side-to-side mobility still gives him the most difficulty.

The Obvious - With a Bruins' win, the Trojans would not have to sweat out their bowl destination. Bruins win and the Trojans go to Pasadenaon Jan.1.

The Not So Obvious - Should the Trojans go to the Rose Bowl, their opponent may not be the Iowa Hawkeyes from the Big 10. The Orange Bowl, which might play money hardball, could select the Hawkeyes because of their mass following, and this would leave the Rose Bowl to select the winner of the Oklahoma- Colorado Big 12 championship game. In the BCS selection order, the Orange Bowl picks first followed by the Rose Bowl. USC versus Oklahoma sounds a lot better than USC versus Colorado, especially at $125 a pop.

The Obvious - The Trojans mailed out their multi-purpose bowl applications this past week which includes the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Holiday Bowls.

The Not So Obvious - The Washington State Cougars told their student population that they will have 2,000 tickets alloted to them should the Cougs beat the Bruins on Saturday.

The Obvious - If the Trojans play in the Sugar Bowl, their opponent figures to be either Georgia or Arkansas.

The Not So Obvious - Should the opponent turn out to be Arkansas, it should be noted that the Trojans have a home-and-home series with the Razorbacks in 2005 (Coliseum) and 2006 (Arkansas).

The Obvious - The Trojans received a commit from Alexandria, Virginia running back Tony Hunt from movie-famed T.C. Williams High School.

The Not So Obvious - This could have turned out to be a big recruiting battle between USC and Penn State. Hunt's coach is former Trojan linebacker great Riki Gray (Ellison). The athletic director at T.C. Williams is Alykan Johnson, the brother of Penn State running backs coach Larry Johnson, whose son is the Heisman running back candidate for the Nittany Lions.

The Obvious - The Trojans' recruiting fate of prep quarterback Chris Leak from Charlotte, North Carolina may rest in the decision made by Norm Chow.

The Not So Obvious - Leak's decision, with his father's guidance, could be made much easier if the highly- respected Trojans' offensive coordinator would just decline all future interviews and say he is not going to Utah or any other destination. Utah's athletic director Hill has said he would like to make a decision on the Utah job by Christmas.

The Obvious - A number of future Trojans will be performing in the US Army All-American High School Bowl Jan. 5th in San Antonio.

The Not So Obvious - One of those stars in the game will be Trojan recruit Chris Leak, who has said he will announce his college choice during the game. The all-star game will be on ESPN2 at 4:00 p.m.

The Obvious - The Trojans hope that their fans will travel to any of the possible bowl destinations across the United States.

The Not So Obvious - The ticket applications for the Rose and Holiday Bowls state that season ticket holders can order only as many tickets as they have season seats. However, the Sugar and Orange Bowls have no maximum ticket purchase.

The Obvious - USC hopes that Trojan fans will use the internet to purchase bowl tickets.

The Not So Obvious - Did anybody notice that there is a $25 handling fee? Gee, news to everybody that it takes $25 to send some tickets to your house? Of course, you do have the option of will-call at the bowl site, but the $25 is not dismissed.

The Obvious - The Trojans have received a commit from San Diego Vista star Salo Faraimo, a two-way running back and linebacker blue-chipper.

The Not So Obvious - According to a respected Orange County prep coach who lives in the north area of San Diego, "This kid is awesome. I have seen him a number of times, and this kid really could be the second coming of Troy Polamalu. It is almost scary that they are about the same size and have the same instincts. A tremendous player."

The Obvious - Should Washington State beat UCLA, the Trojans will be forced to wait until Sunday afternoon to find out their final destination.

The Not So Obvious - For the Trojan fan on the outside and having to wait for the announcement, the ESPN College Gameday Selection Show will be on at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. This is when the official announcement is made on where USC is headed if it is not the Rose Bowl.

The Obvious - The BCS is just one giant domino effect and the outcome of the WSU-UCLA could effect as many as 13 bowl games.

The Not So Obvious - So apparently Trojans fans have come to the conclusion it would be best to root against Washington State as opposed to rooting for UCLA.

The Obvious - The Trojans received a "public" commit from Mission Viejo tackle Drew Radovich after the Notre Dame win.

The Not So Obvious - A coach on the Mission Viejo staff commented during the Notre Dame game, "Drew is playing his best football yet, and he finishing his blocks better than he ever has. Against Canyon Country, he was just a man among boys."

The Obvious - Carson Palmer continues to pick up award after award for his wonderful season.

The Not So Obvious - A thrill for Palmer was the phone call from Green Bay Packer legend Bart Starr to inform Carson that he had won the prestigious Unitas Award. Palmer will go to Louisville on Dec. 13th to receive the award.

The Obvious - The Ting brothers, the two recruits that commited to the Trojans during the summer, are rumored to be investigating Stanford and may have to be re-recruited by the Trojans.

The Not So Obvious - This is a reminder to all Trojan fans that nothing is set in stone until the signings in February.

The Obvious - The Trojans lost a possible recruit when Orange Coast College offensive lineman Keola Loo commited to Washington State over USC.

The Not So Obvious - Loo's Orange Coast College head coach Mike Taylor and his daughter were guests of the Trojans at the USC-Notre Dame game. Taylor played for Dee Andros at Oregon State.

The Obvious - The Trojans had quite a run of commitments this past week and the best may still be yet to come in regards to receiver Steve Smith, and the future out-of-state blue-chippers that will visit Troy in the coming weeks.

The Not So Obvious - Minnesota line recruit Ryan Harris commited to Notre Dame, despite having been on his official visit to SC for the Notre Dame game. Poor Ryan was said to be not thrilled with his Trojan visit, especially in the Trojans' lockerroom after the game. Guess we all now know why he was so uncomfortable. Quite a punishment for the Irish-bound Harris having to watch the Trojans smash his Irish and then have to watch the Trojans celebrate in their victorious Coliseum lockerroom.

The Obvious - The Trojans get a commit from lineman Chris Barrett from Tustin High School.

The Not So Obvious - Although Barrett's official announcement was one of the worst kept secrets of the "silent" USC commits, it was refreshing to hear Barrett comment that he didn't want to "use" the other schools and hurt some other player's ride just to take a few "free" trips. Classy move by the kid, which says volumes about his character.

The Obvious - JC running back Alvin Marshall was a player that the Trojans w Top Stories