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
Al Martinez | Martinez learns how to laugh and how to cry as he observes, and later becomes, one of those people with tubes up their noses and oxygen canisters slung over their shoulders.
Don Shirley | Plans for the Ford Theatre in Cahuenga Pass could turn into "the most important new theater/dance-specific venue in LA since the construction of LATC three decades ago."
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed.
Jenny Burman | Caleb returned to Ayla unconditionally.
Bill Boyarsky
In an audacious move to bypass the county supervisors, Latino leaders, public policy reformers and civil libertarians are backing state legislation that would give a judge the power to expand the five-member board.
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
Looking north from the second tunnel on Kanan Road....