Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Greetings from... USC!

The University of Southern California, fresh off of a season capped with a 32-18 Rose Bowl victory against the #3 Michigan Wolverines, are touted across the board as the preemptive #1 Ranked football team in all of Division I Football. Returning senior quarterback and preseason front runner for the Heisman Trophy, John David Booty leads an impressive squad that managed to retain its core components, whereas other top-level teams such as Ohio State and Notre Dame will be looking towards filling holes at the quarterback position. USC's major concern heading into 2007 is filling the void left by the departure of Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett at the reciever position. To compensate, highly touted prospect Ronald Johnson was recruited to anchor the USC reciever corps. Also of note is John Morton, the first-year receivers coach for the USC program. Morton is the only new addition to Head Coach Pete Carroll's renowned coaching staff.
The 2007 off-season was a particuarly eventful one for the Trojans. Just six days following their Rose Bowl victory over Michigan, placekicker Mario Danelo was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in San Pedro, California. Although no foul play was suspected in his death, Danelo's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times over the legal limit in California. In tribute to the fallen player, all USC Trojans will wear a #19 sticker on their helmets in honor of Danelo. Also making news in the spring of 2007 was the possible departure of Head Coach Pete Carroll, who was listed as a potential candidate for the Head Coach position with both the San Diego Chargers. Although the move was never seriously considered according to Carroll, Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh claimed to quote a member of the USC staff when he announced that Carroll would remain with USC for one more year. The announcement did not impact the recruiting class of the school - although smaller than other major football powerhouses, USC recruited the most nationally ranked top prospects than any other school in the country.


  • September 15th, at Nebraska
  • October 20th, at Notre Dame
  • November 3rd, vs. Oregon State
  • November 10th, at California
  • December 1st, vs. UCLA (UCLA defeated USC, 13-9 at the Rose Bowl in 2006, snapping USC's NCAA record for consecutive games with at least 20 points at sixty-three, as well as ending USC's bid for a National Championship).


  • RB Joe McKnight (ESPN 150 College Football Recruit Rankings - #1 Overall)
  • LB Chris Galippo (ESPN 150 College Football Recruit Rankings - #2 Overall)
  • RB Marc Tyler (ESPN 150 College Football Recruit Rankings - #3 Overall)
  • DE Everson Griffen ( Top Overall Prospect)
  • WR Ronald Johnson (Michigan - Regarded as a Top Prospect in the State)
  • OL Kristofer O'Dowd (Only Junior on the 2005 All Arizona Football Team)


  • WR Dwayne Jarrett - Declared for NFL Draft (2nd Round, Selected by the Carolina Panthers).
  • WR Steve Smith - Declared for NFL Draft (2nd Round, Selected by the New York Giants).
  • C Ryan Kalil - Declared for NFL Draft (2nd Round, Selected by the Carolina Panthers).
  • K Mario Danelo - Found dead in January of 2007 after a suspected accident (Danelo registered a blood alcohol level that was three times over the legal limit in the state of California).

The Verdict... reports that the USC Trojans have the eighth toughest schedule in college football for the upcoming 2007 Season. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated ranked their current schedule as the second toughest within their own conference, behind the Pac-10's Washington Huskies. The USC Trojans have the tools and personnel to get it done in the Pac-10 in 2007, with their place at the top of the Preseason Polls well deserved. Although John David Booty may stake his claim as the best quarterback in all of college football heading into the 2007 season, the USC Trojans have a difficult schedule ahead of them, including four of their final six games coming against potential Top 25 teams on the road: Notre Dame, Oregon, California, and Arizona State. Also during this stretch, the Trojans will return to the Coliseum to play Oregon State and UCLA in their final home game of the season. Although Pete Carroll should never be discounted when it comes to gearing his squad up for a run at the National Championship, the lack of a true go-to reciever could seriously jeopardize USC's ability to run the table, which has become a near-prerequisite to earning a national championship bid under the current system.

Prediction... The USC Trojans finish the season at 10-2, losing to Notre Dame and California, both on the road. USC earns a bid in the BCS Bowl Championship Series.

No comments: