November 27th, 2012
Matt Barkley, the USC Trojans QB who decided not to enter the NFL draft and return for his senior season, will not win the Heisman Trophy this year, that much is sure. But, who will accept the Heisman bust this December?
Late in the season it appeared that Kansas State Wildcats do-everything QB Collin Klein might be the guy. However, an ugly 52-24 upset loss to Baylor on Nov. 17 leaves Klein’s possibility as a finalist looming. Mante Te’O, the Notre Dame LB, has had an amazing season (tied for the FBS lead in interceptions with seven) under a fair amount of duress. Te’O lost both his girlfriend and grandmother earlier in the season, not to mention the stress of having to face every opponent’s best shot week in and week out as the Irish finished the season unbeaten.
The front-runner, however, for college football’s top award is Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manzeil. The redshirt freshman has led the Aggies to a remarkable 10-2 record including an upset win over then top-ranked Alabama. Manziel, or “Johnny Football” as he has become known, is one of just a handful of quarterbacks who have thrown for over 3,000 yards and ran for over 1,000 in the same season. He leads the SEC in rushing with 1,181 yards and has run for 19 touchdowns.
When new head coach Kevin Sumlin took over, it appeared that the Aggies would be rebuilding while they entered the mighty SEC. After a season-opening loss to Florida, Texas A&M reeled off five straight wins and the legend of “Johnny Football” began to rise. If anyone needs validation that Manziel is deserving of the Heisman, watch the game film of the Aggies’ win over ‘Bama. Manziel was 24-of-31 passing for 253 yards, two touchdowns, and he did not throw an interception. He also rushed for 92 more yards against arguably the nation’s best defense.
Along with Klein, Te’O, and Manziel, the other finalists may be Oregon Ducks speedy RB Kenjon Barner who has rushed for 1,624 yards and 21 touchdowns, and USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, who has hauled in 112 receptions for 1,680 yards and 14 scores. This year’s winner will be announced on Saturday, December 8, live from the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.
October 28th, 2012
Halfway into the 2012 college football season, let’s take a look at some of the big surprises, some not-so-surprises, and biggest flops yet so far. After winning a national title and losing four players to the first round of the NFL Draft, Alabama was thought by many to have lost just a little too much to continue their dominance. At the midpoint of the season, the Tide is clearly the best team in the country with a bruising running game, solid QB play from A.J. McCarron, and the nation’s best defense.
Surprisingly, the Florida Gators are not far behind and are looking to make a run through the SEC East in order to take the Tide for the SEC title come December. Coach Will Muschamp, in just his second year, has brought the Gators back into the national title picture with a strong dose of RB Mike Gillislee and what may be the nation’s second-best defense. In a 44-11 blowout win over then No. 7-ranked South Carolina, it was the Florida defense and special teams that forced four turnovers. The Gators are already 5-0 in SEC play, with three of those wins coming on the road against ranked opponents.
Notre Dame (6-0) surely has surprised many sweeping Big Ten rivals Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue, then destroying Miami and beating a very good Stanford team in overtime. And the Irish did all of this with some pretty shaky quarterback play. The Irish still have two big tests remaining on their schedule (Oklahoma, USC), but could find themselves in the thick of the BCS championship picture at season’s end.
Maybe the two biggest surprises are Oregon State and Kansas State. Both are unbeaten, but the Beavers are coming off a disastrous 3-0 campaign a year ago. So far, they have beaten Wisconsin, hammered BYU and have destroyed three Pac-12 opponents. Kansas State, which has always been good under Bill Snyder, has just been phenomenal. Quarterback Collin Klein may be the nation’s best player and the Wildcats play great defense and just don’t make many mistakes. KSU still has some big games remaining, but they are another team that could find themselves in that BCS title picture should they win out.
On the other end of the college football stratosphere is Auburn. Just two years removed from a national championship, head coach Gene Chizik finds his Tigers sitting at 1-5 with one of the country’s worst offenses. Their QB play has been horrendous and the Tigers may have trouble winning another game this season.
Right beside Chizik is John L. Smith at Arkansas. The Hogs were ranked in the preseason Top Ten and after former coach Bobby Petrino’s bout with motorcycle mayhem cost him his job, Smith walked in ready to ride Petrino’s wave to an SEC title. Five weeks into the season, Arkansas stood at 1-4 losing to mid-major Louisiana-Monroe, then getting trounced at home by Alabama the following week. The Hogs are now 3-4 with consecutive wins over Auburn and Kentucky, neither of which is very good.
With the recent success of school’s like Michigan State and Wisconsin, and even Michigan’s 11-2 season a year ago, one would have thought that the Big Ten might rival the SEC for college football dominance. Not so. Michigan and Wisconsin each have two losses thus far and Michigan State sits at 4-4 going into the ninth week of the season. Northwestern has been a surprise, rattling off six straight wins to start the season, but from top to bottom, the conference is nowhere near the SEC or even the Big 12.
With another eight weeks to go, there is still plenty of football left. What remains to be seen is how the BCS title picture plays out and, who will move to the forefront in the race for the Heisman Trophy.
October 23rd, 2012
NCAA College Football Showdown Saturday did not disappoint as the weekend was full of quality match-ups, including a Top Ten battle in Gainesville. The No. 2-ranked Florida Gators proved they are worthy of their lofty BCS ranking clearly outplaying No. 7 South Carolina Gamecocks in a 44-11 victory. The Florida defense and special teams forced four Gamecock turnovers, three of which Gator QB Jeff Driskell turned into touchdown passes. Driskell, who continues to improve, threw for four touchdowns. Both Florida and SC played outstanding defense. The Gators managed just 183 total yards, becoming the first FBS team in history to score over 40 points without gaining 200 yards of total offense.
Alabama Crimsontide, ranked No. 1 in the BCS, had little trouble with Tennessee in a 44-13 win. Tide QB A.J. McCarron threw for a career-high 306 yards and four touchdowns. The vaunted ‘Bama defense gave up just 79 yards rushing to the Vols and held Tyler Bray, the highly touted Vols’ QB, to 184 yards on 13-of-27 passing and no touchdowns.
Prior to Saturday’s lineup feast, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks traveled to Arizona State and dismantled any hopes of an upset in the first 15 minutes of play en route to a 43-21 win over the Sun Devils. ASU scored on its first play, a 28-yard pass from Taylor Kelly to Kevin Ozier, to jump out to a 7-0 lead just 49 seconds into the game. The Ducks countered with a Kenjon Barner 71-yard run and two Marcus Mariota touchdown passes to take a 22-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Barner would run for two more scores and Mariota, an 86-yard run, as the Ducks built a 43-7 halftime lead.
In somewhat of a surprise, head coach Bill Snyder’s No.4 Kansas State Wildcats went to Morgantown and made it look easy against Geno Smith and West Virginia as Wildcat QB Collin Klein accounted for seven touchdowns in a 55-14 thrashing of the No. 13 Mountaineers. Klein established himself as a legitimate Heisman favorite with a career-high 323 passing yards, completing 19-of-21 passes, three touchdowns, and added 41 yards on the ground and four scores.
No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish remained unbeaten fighting off a 14-7 halftime deficit to defeat Brigham Young, 17-14. The Irish rolled up 270 yards on the ground and George Atkinson III scored on a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Running backs Theo Riddick (15 carries, 143 yards) and Cierre Wood (18-114) led the way for ND. Irish QB Tommy Rees, playing in place of the injured Everett Golson, completed six of his first seven passes, then only attempted three in the entire second half. Notre Dame’s defense limited BYU to just 66 yards on the ground.
After falling behind 12-0, No. 6 LSU scored 24 unanswered points and downed No. 18 Texas A&M, 24-19, in College Station. The Tigers started ugly but were able to gain some momentum going into the halftime break when Zach Mettenberger hit Kadron Boone with a 29-yard TD pass with 11 seconds to go to give LSU the lead for good at 14-12. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M’s dynamic freshman QB, was held to just 27 yards rushing on 17 carries and was intercepted three times. LSU RB Jeremy Hill ran for a career-high 127 yards on 18 carries and scored once.
The surprising Oregon State Beavers, ranked No. 8 in last week’s BCS poll, took care of Pac-12 opponent, Utah, 21-7. OSU forced four Utah turnovers and Beavers’ RB Storm Woods rushed for three touchdowns. Oregon State is 6-0 and off to the school’s best start in 105 years after being picked to finish last in the Pac-12 North this preseason.
Oklahoma got ready for its showdown next weekend with Notre Dame by handing Kansas a 52-7 setback. The No. 9 Sooners were hardly challenged by coach Charlie Weis’ Jayhawks. Sooner QB Landry Jones threw for three touchdowns and Penn State transfer Justin Brown returned a punt 90 yards for a TD. OU has now won three consecutive games by at least three touchdowns.
It was a record-breaking day at USC Trojans as QB Matt Barkley threw three touchdown passes in the game’s first six minutes as the Trojans, BCS No. 10, beat Colorado, 50-6. Barkley’s second TD pass, a 39-yarder to Robert Woods, broke former Trojan QB Matt Leinart’s Pac-12 career touchdown passing mark. Barkley finished the day 19-of-20 for 298 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 102 TD passes for his career.
October 17th, 2012
Seven weeks into the 2012 college football season, we finally have our first BCS rankings and, with that, it’s time to project the biggest bowl of them all…The Rose Bowl. This year’s Rose Bowl, to be played on January 1st as usual, will feature the traditional Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup. But, who will represent each conference? Sure, it may be too early to tell, but let’s take a look at the possibilities.
With Ohio State and Penn State out of the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl pictures this year due to NCAA penalties, the Leaders Division is all Wisconsin’s. Surprisingly, both the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions are unbeaten in league play so far. Take away a poor half and a kicking debacle in week two and PSU might be unbeaten on the season as are the Buckeyes.
The Wisconson Badgers have five league games remaining, the toughest of which may very well be against Ohio State and Penn State. Regardless, the bottom three in the Leaders Division will most likely have at least three losses. Even if Wisconsin ends up with three league losses, they will hold the edge on Purdue and Illinois, and should beat Indiana in week 10.
Play in the Legends Division is much tougher with the Michigan Wolverines and Nebraska Cornhuskers the favorites, although Iowa is currently 2-0 in league play. Don’t forget Northwestern, which ripped off six straight wins to start the season and Michigan State, last year’s Big Ten champ. The way it pans out in the Legends Division, though, is up to the Wolverines and the Cornhuskers. Iowa must play both and also must face Penn State and Northwestern. That doesn’t make it easy for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Michigan and Nebraska play each other in two weeks, but the ‘Huskers have Northwestern, a team they lost to last year, Michigan State, Penn State, and Iowa. Michigan will face pretty much the same road to a division title and cap off the season with the year-end rivalry game at Ohio State.
Look for superior defense and the play of Denard Robinson to propel the Wolverines to the Legends Division championship and look for them to face Wisconsin for the Big Ten title.
The interesting thing with the Pac-12 is the Oregon Ducks. Currently the BCS No. 3 team, Coach Chip Kelly’s squad is projected to be playing in the national championship game and if current No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida win out, they will play each other in the SEC championship game. The loser is likely out of the BCS title game which would pave the way for…the Oregon Ducks, should they too win out.
Oregon still has USC and Stanford remaining on the schedule along with a Thursday night trip to Tempe, AZ, to take on a rejuvenated Arizona State team that is currently 5-1. And don’t forget the Civil War. Oregon must play in-state rival Oregon State, ranked eighth in the BCS, in Corvallis on Thanksgiving weekend.
Should Oregon head to the BCS title game, that leaves USC Trojans, Stanford Cardinals, and Oregon State. Todd Graham’s Sun Devils just won’t cut it this year as they head down the stretch. Of the three remaining teams, the Trojans will have the easiest road as their test will come Nov. 3rd when they face the Ducks. Even if USC loses to Oregon, which will be looking for payback for last year’s 38-35 loss, a two-loss Trojan team wins the South Division and the right to play in the Pac-12 championship. With Oregon winning the North, it’s either the Ducks going to the BCS title game or to the Rose Bowl. If Oregon plays for all the marbles, then USC steps in and represents the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl.
Rose Bowl Projection
Look for the teams with the easiest routes to get to Pasadena and for the Ducks to be playing for a national title… Wisconsin vs. USC
October 13th, 2012
To remain in the national title hunt, the University of Southern California football squad cannot afford another slip up.
Yet to exhibit the greatness predicted by college football experts before the season, inconsistency plagued the Trojans through the first five games. USC rolled over Hawaii and California, struggled mightily at various points against Syracuse and Utah, and lost to Stanford. The Orange, Utes, and Cardinal all lack the raw talent of USC, but they managed to keep each contest unexpectedly close.
Possibly the only unit outperforming expectations, USC’s defensive line exhibited dominance over the first several games. Junior defensive end Morgan Breslin ranks among the top players nationally in sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (10.5) on a defense that yields fewer than three yards per carry. As the Trojans trudge through the high-scoring PAC 12 Conference, its opposition will likely try to beat them by way of air.
Cornerback has been a major point of concern for coach Lane Kiffin. The starters struggled so much the first few weeks, speculation surfaced that Kiffin might consider shifting wide receiver Marqise Lee to the position. Though he recently denied the possibility of moving Lee over to defense, safety Josh Shaw practiced at corner this week, confirming the staff’s lack of confidence in the secondary.
But it does appear the Trojans are trending upward in recent weeks.
In a 27-9 victory over in-state foe Cal on Sep. 22, USC was able to sack Bears’ quarterback Zach Maynard seven times. And for the first time since 2008, two running backs surpassed the 100-yard mark for the Trojans—Silas Redd racked up 158, while Curtis McNeal totaled 115.
Against Utah last week, USC dug itself out of an early hole to earn a valuable conference road win. QB Matt Barkley posted perhaps his best game of the season, completing 23 of 30 passes and three touchdowns. Equally impressive, the receiving corps displayed deep threat potential all game long as the Trojans prevailed, 38-28.
As USC plows deeper into the season, the schedule doesn’t get any easier.
With a trip to Seattle to play Washington on the horizon, as well as #2 Oregon Ducks and #7 Notre Dame coming to town in November, the Trojans have plenty of boulders in their path. Also laying in the weeds is crosstown rival UCLA, a squad foaming at the mouth to avenge last year’s 50-0 embarrassment. With one loss, a national title game appearance doesn’t appear as likely as it did prior to the season, but if the Trojans do find themselves in Miami they will most certainly have earned it.
August 2nd, 2012
Silas Redd USC Trojans
Penn State running back Silas Redd is transferring to the USC Trojans.
Redd, a junior and Penn State’s leading rusher in 2011, is the first starter from the Nittany Lions to leave in the wake of the heavy NCAA sanctions handed down last week. The NCAA is allowing Penn State players to transfer immediately and be eligible to play right away, provided they don’t practice with or play for the Nittany Lions in 2012.
The Trojans open up their 2012 season at the LA Memorial Coliseum against the Hawaii Warriors on Sept 1st. Some other notable games at home are the Oregon Ducks on Nov 3rd and Notre Dame on Nov 24.
See Matt Barkley Silas Red and the rest of the USC Trojans as they go for it all, we stock USC Tojans tickets for all home and away games as well as all bowl games.
June 25th, 2012
Although the start off of the 2012-13 college football season is about three months away, it is certainly not too early to estimate who will play for the 2013 national championship.
A sellout audience of 20,586 attended last year’s game, which was won 17-6 by North Dakota State beyond Sam Houston State. This was the very first year of the game being played on Saturday after traditionally being played on a Friday evening, including 2011 in Frisco. Eastern Washington conquered Delaware 20-19 in that game, which was the first of three scheduled championship games in Frisco.
People with direct knowledge of the selection tell that the semifinals of a proposed college football championship would rotate between the major bowls and not be linked to standard conference sites. They said Wednesday that under the strategy, a selection panel would help pick the schools involved in a four-team playoff. The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) is made up of the conferences and institutions that compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championshi. Total of 1,281 Colleges that are members of the NCAA.
While there are the absolute favorites like Alabama, Oregon, LSU, USC, Georgia and Oklahoma, there are also some teams that have the potential to amaze some people and put up with national championship. Top five surprising teams for season 2012-13 are: Kansas St, Stanford, Michigan, Arkansas and West Virginia. These teams are not the too high favorites, but if a few points go their way, there is a chance they could find them selves playing for all the marbles in the BCS National Championship next January.
The NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee has introduced that the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game will be played at midday on Saturday, Jan. 5 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The championship game will again be organised by the locally based Southland Conference, the City of Frisco and the Hunt Sports Group.
February 23rd, 2012
Pac-12 Tournament- LA, Staples Center
The Pac 12 Basketball Tournament is played at the conclusion of the Pac 12 basketball regular season pitting the teams against each other in seeded order with the winner of the single elimination tournament’s Championship Game receiving an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Since 2002 the Pac 12 Basketball Tournament has been played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament also to remain at the Staples Center despite poor attendance in the 2011 Pac 10 Championship Game.
The 2012 Pac 12 Basketball Tournament is scheduled to occur from March 7th through March 10th, 2012.
Similar to the 2011 tournament, all-session packages include both men’s and women’s basketball games. The women’s basketball first three rounds on Wednesday and Thursday will be at Galen Center on the USC Trojans campus. All men’s games and the women’s semifinals & final will be at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Staples Center is a multi-purpose sports arena located in the city’s downtown area.
With the 2012 London Olympics fast approaching, the Pac-10, which officially becomes the Pac-12 on July 1, will host two of its 14 Conference Championship events in 2011-12 at U.S. Olympic Trial venues, providing student-athletes throughout the Conference an opportunity to compete on world stage locations, it was announced today.
Hayward Field at the University of Oregon will be the site for the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships May 5-6 and 12-13, while Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, WA will host the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Men’s and Women’s Diving Championships February 22-25. The venues were approved by the Pac-10 Council.
The Pac-12 will conduct 14 Conference Championship events during the 2011-12 school year, representing 16 sports – men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, wrestling, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track and field and rowing. Pac-12 schools have won national championships in all 16 sports and in 27 of the 37 Division I sports the NCAA sponsors.
The University of Utah will host the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City March 24. No collegiate women’s gymnastics program in the country draws fans like Utah does. Aside from its 10 national championships, the Utes consistently lead the nation in attendance, including an NCAA Basketball record 14,213 fans per meet in 2010. They have averaged more than 11,000 fans per home meet for the past 21 years.
The Staples Center Address is 1111 S. Figueroa St.Los Angeles, CA 90015
October 6th, 2011
The USC Trojans were at the top of the Pac-10 for years. Now, it is safe to say that they are not the elite team that they use to be. Pete Carroll leaving the team and other off field woes have definitely hurt them in a big way.
However, these are not the only reasons why the Trojans are not dominating the Pac-12 anymore.
The competition is a lot better now then it was a couple of years ago.
With this said, the Trojans find themselves in second place in the Pac-12 South, trailing No. 22 Arizona State. However, they are only one game behind them.
This would not be that bad, if USC’s only loss did not come from the Sun Devils.
More than half the season still has to be played, but USC’s toughest games are ahead of them.
USC will have two tough road tests at Notre Dame and No. 9 Oregon. However, they lucked out by getting No. 7 Stanford at home. Not to mention, USC really lucked out by not having Stanford or Oregon in their devision.
USC will be favorites against Notre Dame and the rest of their competition, but they will be huge underdogs against Oregon and Stanford. If the Trojans can upset one of these two teams, they will be looking really good in the Pac-12 South.
That is of course if the Sun Devils lose. Arizona State controls their own destiny. They are playing great football right now and they are clearly the best team in the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils will have to face Oregon on the road in a couple of weeks.
Oregon will be the clear favorite in this game and they will most likely knock the Sun Devils into a tie for first place in the South.However, after that game, Arizona State’s schedule does not look bad at all.
In fact, their last five games of the season will be played against teams that have a total of two wins in the Pac-12.
The Trojans are not who they use to be. If they can pull off some big upsets this year, then maybe they will win the Pac-12 South. The way they are playing this season makes that unlikely though.
For the time being, the Trojans remain one game back in the Pac-12 South.
By: Trevor Lowry