Coming up roses

USC had little trouble disposing of Illinois in the Rose Bowl, winning 49-17. While it was a great win for the Trojans, in truth it was a win over a team that probably didn't belong there. The Rose Bowl opted to go for tradition with a Big Ten/Pac-10 matchup, rather than the best game which would have been USC-Georgia. One can argue the merits of either opponent, but the result was a supremely talented USC team clobbering a rising Illinois program that wasn't ready for prime time.

Now the focus for USC is on next season. The Trojans will lose numerous members of their top defense to graduation, and possibly several others like Ray Maualuga and Brian Cushing. They will also lose some experience on the offensive line and John David Booty graduates as well. But Pete Carroll has kept this team well-stocked, and there is talent at every position. Expect an epic quarterback battle between Mark Sanchez and Mitch Mustain. Also, expect USC to stay strong on the ground next year as CJ Gable comes back from injury to compete in a crowded backfield with Joe McKnight, Stafon Johnson, Marc Tyler, and others.

USC also has a spectacularly difficult schedule next season. Their first five opponents all made bowl games this year. The Trojans open at Virginia and then play Ohio State at home. I don't know if any other program in the country would have the guts to give themselves that schedule. Then USC goes to Corvallis to play a quality Oregon State team, before going home for matchups against Oregon and Arizona State. USC finishes up with Notre Dame at home and UCLA on the road, and both of those teams figure to be improved. It should be a fascinating 2008 for the Trojans.

January 1, 2008 9:37 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Bob Timmermann | Johnson won the batting title with the Angels in 1970, but baseball did not know how to handle his mental illness.
Adrienne Crew | A new film is raising funds on Kickstarter to document the story of the Compton Cowboys, black cowboys who have been a South LA tradition since the 19th Century.
Steve Harvey | Steve Harvey's signs from all over. Check it out.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | It's still shocking to see that for some environmentalists, a love of other living beings goes hand in hand with a hatred for their fellow human beings.
Phil Wallace | With the Lakers winding down a lost season, Phil Wallace offers five ways that the team can get back on track.
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs weekly at LA Observed. Click on the photo to view bigger. Gary's archive....
Bill Boyarsky
“The time to act is now,” said the LA 2020 Commission in its report last year urging big changes for Los Angeles city government. Not so fast, said City Council President Herb Wesson, who created the commission.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
We had one final cloudburst last night in Malibu, a deluge with lightning spreading through the clouds and thunder rocketing...