Back to answering reader questions.
Q: carlosb said:
Do you notice any new pressure building or continuing that could ever possibly force or inspire Pat or Max to rethink, visiting the NCAA yet again to appeal those sanctions. Most especially since precedent is so obvious and that the NCAA has all of a sudden mentioned their awareness of precedent in their latest actions. Lessening the USC sanctions also gives the NCAA more wiggle room when addressing Miami, Oregon and now PSU.
A: It’s an interesting thought but my conversations with Pat Haden and Max Nikias always lead me to believe USC wants to serve its penalty and move on. Considering the way USC is thriving despite probation, I think that makes it even less likely. It might turn out that the 15-scholarship limit does have some real effect in the next couple years but I don’t see any move to appeal at the moment.
Q: Troy said:
I’ve noticed that this year, recruits are committing much earlier than in the past. Usually, they wait till January. What do you think the are the reasons why recruits are committing earlier than usual? I know verbal commits have little weight till the LOI is signed, but if SC’s class remains soli d(I question LaRue’s commitment because of his upcoming official visits), this is one heck of the class. Also, I’ve noticed that in the past decade or so, SC usually averages 18-19 recruits, with the exception of several classes that exceeded 20. I don’t think the penalties will be as harsh as everyone thinks, but I do know next year’s cap of 15 scholarships will have a pinch to the program. What do you think? Thanks.
A: I’ve noticed recruits committing earlier too and it seems like last year there were more decommitments. Lane Kiffin said he doesn’t mind taking early commitments when so many premier players are the ones making decisions. In USC’s case, I think recruits are deciding so early because they are being told by the coaching staff to commit in order to make sure they have a scholarship.
Of course, if a really, really, really good recruit out there wanted to switch from a commitment to another school and go to USC, I’m sure the coaches would find a way to get them a scholarship. I also believe 1-2 of USC’s current commits will not end up at USC. I don’t think USC’s hurt much by the limitations by signing 18 players but you do see some holes right now (running back, defensive tackle) where having more scholarships definitely would have helped.
Q: scidiot said:
How many ESPN Game Day appearances do you think SC gets in this year. Oregon @ SC seems to be a given. If SC is undefeated will a return visit happen in the same month when Notre Dame visits?
A: Two sounds correct. You might even get three if someone surprises, such as Stanford or Washington.