In May 2008 I put a question on the message board asking, "Could the best Ohio St. team ever beat the 2008 Trojans? The thread got over 120 responses and over 13,000 views.
I stated in the thread that USC should not be worried about Ohio State, and I hoped USC could rest it's starters in the 3rd and 4th quarter of the Ohio State game, so they would be ready for the real OSU, Oregon State, a team that I was worried about.
Here's one response from a Buckeye fan:
A Buckeye fan: "It's going to be a great game that will/could go either way, a 50/50 game. You're over confidence and not giving us a chance is comical and shows just how absolutely pathetic your CFB knowledge is.
‘The best OSU team ever will not be enough' could very well be the dumbest thing ever written on a college football message board."
I just thought I'd better warn you before you decide to continue to read Oldtimer's Take every week about how pathetic my knowledge of college football is. What you read could be the dumbest thing ever written on a college football website.
For the next five weeks, I'm going to give you my take on summer conditioning and summer workouts. I will try to answer some questions you may have about who will be the starters? And how the true freshmen are doing?
But most of all, I'm going to describe the competition and cooperation that takes place as USC prepares with summer workouts and conditioning.
Since the 2009 Rose Bowl USC has been preparing for the upcoming season. USC has to prepare and practice well to play well. Summer conditioning and summer workouts are part of the Trojans' preparation.
USC will be back working out after July 4th, and you can already see certain players taking leadership roles and working with the new freshmen that are in summer school.
The first thing the true freshmen have to learn is how to work. The older players teach and show them right away that, "it's time to work." It's a pull and not a push, but you can already see players like LG Jeff Byers, WDE Everson Griffen, SS Josh Pinkard and C Kristofer O'Dowd working with the freshmen.
Kevin Carden shared with me yesterday, "DT Chritian Tupou is showing Hebron Fangupo how to get lined up and what his assignments are. SS Josh Pinkard and FS Taylor Mays are helping Jawanza Starling and TJ McDonald." Kevin said, "Mays is the perfect player to mentor McDonald because they are similar types of athletes."
Learning to work means, being on time, being prepared, and being there through the finish of conditioning and workouts. Everson Griffen was one of the hardest workers in the spring, and he's now out there in workouts helping true freshmen like DE James Boyd. These freshmen have to be ready because when practice starts on August 8th, Pete Carroll will put them right at the front of the line.
How would you have liked to be Kristofer O'Dowd and have your first pop quiz be blocking Sedrick Ellis? That is what freshmen OT Kevin Graf and C John Martinez will face. Both the offensive linemen and defensive linemen will be helping Graf and Martinez get ready for that quiz. I can't tell you how many times I saw DE Lawrence Jackson working with a young offensive lineman after practice.
I'm going to describe how the new freshmen look. I was looking at some pictures of the incoming freshmen yesterday and DT Hebron Fangupo looks like somebody's dad out there. LB Jarvis Jones looks like he's ready for the pro bowl. Give that man #55!
My first day at spring practice this year Taylor Mays, Tyron Smith (who looks like he's already in the pro football hall of fame) and David Ausberry were working out in front of me. You just shake your head and say, "what planet are these guys from?"
How would you like to get both of your arms dislocated trying to jam David Ausberry at the line of scrimmage? Guys like Allen Bradford and Tyrone Smith look like the adult sponsors out on a practice field full of boys.
I want to see DE James Boyd throwing the ball around or watch Joe McKnight and Allen Bradford playing defense. I was watching McKnight on film play corner yesterday and he was awesome.
Joe McKnight was picked as the biggest underachiever in the Pac 10 recently by Sporting News magazine. Quite a statement about a kid that averaged 7.4 yards a carry. McKnight has missed a lot of preparation and practice and it holds him back. McKnight has missed the last two spring practices with academic problems and injuries.
I'll try to give you my take too on which freshmen I think will be able to help USC this year. Kevin Graf, Jarvis Jones, Devon Kennard, T.J. McDonald and Patrick Hall are high on my list right now. Frankie Telfort, McDonald and Hall should be great on special teams. Byron Moore is a big-time playmaker and will find the field.
So be looking forward to the Oldtimer's Take on the competition and cooperation that's ahead. With the depth and talent that is out there preparing at USC it could be that the best Ohio State team ever couldn't beat the 2009 USC Trojans.
Senior Taylor Mays will provide plenty of leadership for the incoming freshmen.
Oldtimer's Take is a regular feature that will run every Monday on SCPlaybook.com