Obvious/Not So Obvious - Buccaneer edition

While Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson was the Super Bowl MVP, it was USC's Keyshawn Johnson who led Tampa Bay with 6 receptions for 69 yards, while the Trojans' Brian Kelly paced the vaunted Buccaneer defense with eight tackles, five which were of the solo variety.

The Obvious - As though anything associated with USC football comes out looking super, the Tampa Bay "Trojaneers", er, Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 as former Trojans Keyshawn Johnson and Brian Kelley were instrumental in bringing the "McKay" management team the city's first Super Bowl championship.

The Not So Obvious - While Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson was the Super Bowl MVP, it was USC's Keyshawn Johnson who led Tampa Bay with 6 receptions for 69 yards, while the Trojans' Brian Kelly paced the vaunted Buccaneer defense with eight tackles, five which were of the solo variety.

The Obvious - It was quite apparent on the victory stand after the game that Tampa Bay general manager "Richie " McKay, son of legendary USC and Tampa Bay coach John McKay, that his father's tough Tampa Bay beginnings had been vindicated by his youngest
son.

The Not So Obvious - Richie McKay, once a ball boy for the Trojans, actually gave up a law career to join the Tampa Bay organization in 1992. Upon presenting the idea to his father, the "Silver Fox" told his son not to do it, but the next day had a change of mind and gave his son his blessing.

The Obvious - Usually a highlight of the Super Bowl is the pre-game introductions of the players out of the tunnel. However, ABC pre-taped the players with their own introductions and Keyshawn Johnson did his Trojans proud by saying he was from "The University of Southern California", as the late John McKay almost always referred to USC.

The Not So Obvious - While Brian Kelly showed class and said he was from "USC", many of the players on both teams showed no class by announcing they were from places like "The School of Hard Knocks". What a great thing for young players in high school and junor high to see. Raider defensive end Reagan Upshaw, who attended California, said he was from "Pittsburgh High", showing little class or respect for the Bears. It was embarassing to watch and totally uncool nor funny. Do something NFL!

The Obvious - After the game Keyshawn Johnson said, "I've got a Super Bowl ring. That's like my education from USC. Nobody can take that away. No matter what you say, nobody can take that away."

The Not So Obvious - Earlier in Super Bowl week, Johnson spent some time with Trojan running back recruit Reggie Bush and told the future Trojan tailback why go away to places like Arizona or Texas because nobody will remember you, but if you go to USC everybody will remember you and you will be set for life after football.

The Obvious - Reggie Bush was a reporter for NFLHS.com and gave his impressions of the Super Bowl and Media Day and had his picture taken with Marcus Allen and Keyshawn Johnson.

The Not So Obvious - Bush took the opportunity to meet some of the Trojan stars in the game, as well as Marcus Allen. Bush said, "Since I am going to USC, I wanted to talk to some of the former Trojans. Keyshawn Johnson was real cool. Before today, I had a little bit of a different perception of him because people think of him as selfish. But he was really nice and laid back. He wasn't stuck up at all. Meeting these USC guys is just icing on the cake for me. It really surprised me how these superstars really seemed to care about my future."

The Obvious - Tickets for the Super Bowl were at face value prices of $400 and $500. The base price for a San Diego Chargers' game is $118.

The Not So Obvious - Seeing that the Orange Bowl ticket was $85 for Trojan fans, which event gave you more bang for your buck? Of course, that is a rhetorical question. Even the UCLA and Notre Dame games were bargains compared to the NFL prices.

The Obvious - It was quite a Super Bowl weekend for former Trojans led by Marcus Allen's election to the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Not So Obvious - With Allen's election, USC is now tied at 10 with Notre Dame for the most players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The last USC players to be elected were tackle Anthony Munoz and safety Ronnie Lott in 2000.

The Obvious - Lynn Swann got heavy exposure with his sideline and post-game ceremony reports on the ABC Super Bowl telecast.

The Not So Obvious - It was also maximum exposure for former Trojan quarterback Sean Salisbury, who did commentary in San Diego for both ESPN television and radio.

The Obvious - On Super Sunday, the 40th annual Parade Magazine All-American High School Football Team was released with three Trojan verbals, tailback Reggie Bush, tackle Drew Radovich, and linebacker Thomas Willilams named to the roster.

The Not So Obvious - Bush was named the number one running back in the country (Yes, he is that good), and his San Diego Helix coach, Gordon Wood said of Bush, " He's a Marshall Faulk type of player. He can catch, block, and run - and he does them all well."

The Obvious - Drew Radovich Of Mission Viejo and Thomas Williams of Vacaville were highly recruited nationally, and the Trojan staff is extremely excited about their verbals.

The Not So Obvious - Radovich was ranked the nation's 4th best lineman and Williams the 7th best linebacker. For the record, Parade named Illinois-bound Martin O'Donnell (6-5, 290) of Downers Grove, Illinois, the nation's top lineman and Tallahassee, Florida's Ernie Sims the top linebacker.

The Obvious -Six Parade All-Americans are in the NFL Hall of Fame.

The Not So Obvious - Two of those are Trojans - Munoz and Lott. Munoz was a 1975 AA out of Chaffey Ontario, and Lott was a 1976 AA out of Rialto Eisenhower.

The Obvious - One Parade All-American to slip away from the Trojans this past Super Bowl weekend was Concord De La Salle tailback Maurice Drew, ranked the country's 5th best back who pledged to UCLA.

The Not So Obvious - Trojan fans should, however, cool their depression over the loss of this great prep running back. This kid, who earlier said his recruiting trip to USC was "paradice", simply followed running back coach Eric Bienemey from Colorado to UCLA, which Drew said earlier was "too preppie". If you SC fans need some medication, just watch some video of Reggie Bush, Lendale White, and Chauncey Washington and you should feel better in seconds. This is still the nation's best running back class.

The Obvious - Many recruiting fans see the Parade All-America Team as the defining moment of player rankings and the end-all for eventual team recruiting rankings.

The Not So Obvious - You might want to know that this season's Heisman Trophy quarterback left Santa Margarita High School NOT as a Parade All-America selection. Yep, Carson Palmer never made the magazines exclusive team. For that matter, neither did All-American Troy Polamalu nor frosh sensation Mike Williams.

The Obvious - Last season's Trojans' Parade All-Americans were tackle Winston Justice and Darnell Bing, who is now enrolled at SC.

The Not So Obvious - It's hard to believe, but freshman tailback sensation Hershel Dennis never made the team. There were nine Parade All-Americans on this year's fourth-ranked USC Trojans.

The Obvious - The USC marketing department has taken some heat over the years in their presentation and marketing of Trojan football, seemingly allowing the heritage to sell itself.

The Not So Obvious - Seizing the new opportunity, an e-mail went out with a photo of Mike Williams announcing immediate season ticket renewals are now being taken. Here's hoping that the Trojan marketing department will go for the kill as UCLA did successfully when the Trojans were having their problems.

The Obvious - The Trojans look like they will go right down to Letter of Intent Day for Saginaw, Michigan, linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

The Not So Obvious - Should this 3rd ranked Parade All-America linebacker verbal to the Trojans, he would be the first Michigan star to come west since former USC All-American linebacker Dennis Johnson, who hailed from Flint Northwestern. Johnson was a member of the 1978 national champions and was a USC captain in 1979.

The Obvious - The Trojans are more than knocking on the door with Louisiana defensive tackle Ryan Watson of River Ridge John Curtis. Watson has gotten defensive line coach Ed Orgeron salivating at the thought of the kid signing a Trojan Letter of Intent.

The Not So Obvious - With word that Watson's highly regarded defensive tackle teammate Carnell Stewart is going to make a last minute USC visit, Trojan fans should keep a close eye on this unfolding recruiting story. Stewart (6-6, 295) is the cousin of pro quarterback Cordell Stewart. Also, in regards to Watson, remember his family DID come on his USC recruiting visit and that is generally a "must" these days to secure an out-of-state commitment.

The Obvious - The Trojans are still awaiting word from Taft Parade All-American receiver Steve Smith, ranked as the nation's best, who must be suffering from a severe case of recruiting stress. One gets the impression that these are tough times at the Smith residence.

The Not So Obvious - If the Trojans were to get only two more commitments, it is the feeling here it will be Smith and Watson. Woodley is getting pressure from his mom to stay home, which is understandable, but the family does say that LaMarr is his own man. There is always the theory that if a kid is leaving the local area, he'll wait to signing day to avoid pressure and harassment from the local community.

The Obvious - When Ohio State played Miami, the Buckeyes started five Parade All-Americans and Miami 13.

The Not So Obvious - The Trojans played six Parade All-Americans against Iowa.

The Obvious - It seems that there is a pluthora of recruiting rankings, especially as we hit stride to next week's signing date.

The Not So Obvious - For what its worth, ESPN's Tom Lemmings lists his top five as (1) USC (2) Oklahoma (3) Miami (4) Texas (5) Michigan.

The Obvious - There are been rumors that Pete Carroll is getting an extension of his USC contract, especially with all the recent NFL rumors that Carroll has smartly put to rest.

The Not So Obvious - In a recent interview in the Boston Globe, Carroll said of his Trojan experience, "I have control of the football program. In New England, I didn't have any control. It makes a big difference, and anyone who's been a head coach in the NFL can tell you that. But I'm loving this (USC). I feel very comfortable here."

The Obvious - So next week's signing day is coming fast, and it could really put the recruiting icing on an unforgetable Trojan football season cake. USC fans will be glued to their internet next Wednesday looking for the final " recruiting election" returns.

The Not So Obvious - Considering the incredible good fortune that seems to be a Midas touch in everything the USC football program touches these days, Trojan fans may also want to buy their next lottery ticket at Heritage Hall. Things are that good.


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