USC-ASU Expected To Be Sellout

The USC-Arizona State game is expected to be a sellout. Who would predict that a month ago? A sellout creates a whole different atmosphere at Sun Devil Stadium.

That wouldn’t really matter before USC lost to Notre Dame. But that game was so bad, every little factor seems to matter more now.

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USC Gets Basketball Commitment

No, really, USC did get a basketball commitment. Elijah Weaver, a 6-4 four-star shooting guard from Oldsmar, Fla., committed today. He is ranked No. 35 in the nation by Rivals.com.

With USC under a federal investigation, verbal commitments are shakier than ever, obviously.

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Player Spotlight: Dan Ficca

Defensive tackle Dan Ficca was an All-American at USC but it’s unlikely you heard of him if you weren’t around from 1958-60. One reason is Ficca was a UPI second-team All-American and USC only officially recognizes first-team All-Americans.

So ponder this: You can make second team on a prestigious team (UPI) and not be an official All-American. But you can be first team on a joke team (College Sports Madness) and get a plaque at the McKay Center. Makes sense.

Ficca was from Atlas, Penn., and I believe recruited by Al Davis, an assistant at USC before he became Raiders owner.

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USC-Notre Dame Video


The game was a disaster but the Notre Dame band always makes it worth it to travel to South Bend. By the way, the time slot options for the USC-Arizona game, in order of selection by the networks, are 7:45 p.m. PT on ESPN, 12:30 p.m. PT on FOX and 7 p.m. PT on FS1. The other Pac-12 games on Nov. 4 from which the networks will choose are Oregon at Washington and Stanford at Washington State.

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A Season Of Disappointment

Photo published for After playoff elimination, USC points toward other remaining goals

From Day 1, I’ve written that anything less than a College Football Playoff appearance means this season is a disappointment. When USC was 4-1 and 5-1 this season, Clay Helton said the Trojans were having a better season than last year, when they started 1-3.

But USC also finished last season ranked No. 3 in the nation. So any ranking worse than that is also a sign the Trojans are having an inferior season.

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Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Clay Helton said Notre Dame ran some new schemes against the Trojans that helped them run the ball better. He also said there were more instances of players getting beaten physically than assignment errors and credited Irish QB Brandon Wimbush for the defense’s problems.

Helton said cornerback Iman Marshall had an MRI on his knee today. I’ve heard he will be out 3-4 weeks, which could mean the regular season.

I asked Helton if college football pundits overestimated USC by picking them as a top-four team.

“I’ve always thought it’s not my job to worry about anybody else’s opinion,” Helton said.

One opinion who does matter is athletic director Lynn Swann. Helton said he and Swann meet every Monday to go over the previous game.

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The Latest Line

USC opened as a 3.5-point favorite over Arizona State. Remember, USC is 1-7 against the spread this season. Also, I hear cornerback Iman Marshall could be out 3-4 weeks with an injury.

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