USC Morning Buzz: No Depth Chart Since December

USC players during football practice at USC on Howard Jones Field, Monday, July, 31, 2017. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/via AP)

In my analysis today, I look at how USC has gone nine months without a depth chart, the longest period in at least 22 years. There was no spring depth chart and nothing appears imminent until August 27.

Excerpt: History tells us Helton does not always like to make definitive decisions anyways. Remember last year Max Browne was named the starting quarterback but Darnold still played in the Alabama game.

The weird part was Darnold barely played in the loss at Stanford, where he could have made a difference. It turned out to be Browne’s final start at USC and the Darnold legend was born.

Full story here

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  • Ken Hart

    Try to stay positive today blogger. I know that it is not in your nature. There has got to be something other than what you perceive as a negative that you could start you blog with. Don’t be such a sour puss after waking up in the morning.

    • Grammymb

      Try to stay positive today poster. I know that is not in your nature. There has got to be something other than what you perceive as a negative that you could start your comments with. Don’t be such a sour puss after waking up in the morning.

      • Ken Hart

        Hahahahaha. Annoying huh? Okay Grammy I will give it my best effort just because I like you so much.

      • Pudly76

        Are you the speech police? If people have a different point of view than your own, they’re wrong and not allowed to post?

  • Pudly76

    Doesn’t really matter. Wolf being Wolf, trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. If Marlon is more effective than Josh, he’ll get the bulk of the plays, if not then Josh might. Same at receiver, if Steve or Jalen are less than effective look to the younger kids to carry the water, happens everywhere. Remember the Bama game, they had a qb depth chart, and threw it to the wind and put in Hurts..
    I get more a feeling that Scott looks for the depth chart so he has more to question and cry about. The defensive line class might have been the best in the country this past year, and the receivers were likewise the year prior.
    Scott what’s it mean? Not having a depth chart… how does it hurt the team?

    • steveg

      Great question. I am sure the players know close to where they stand in the depth chart that isn’t published so Wolf can whine about it. I really think Wolf loves the attention he gets on here, must not get much anywhere else.

      • Pudly76

        Production counts…

    • LamontRaymond

      It’s a conspiracy of silence! Pfft….

  • Ignore_the_trolls

    Such non-news.

  • Evil Robot

    How is this any different from the past 15+ years where multiple starters were listed as “OR”? If you’ve forgotten, its one of the litany of dead horses you’ve been beating for the past 15 years.

    Here are a few blasts from the past…

    “Here is USC’s official depth chart. Warning, there are a lot of “or” at the close battles so that Lane Kiffin did not have to make any early decisions.” – Scott Wolf

    “USC released its depth chart Sunday night but it revealed little. Curtis McNeal “or” Silas Redd will start at tailback. Max Wittek “or” Cody Kessler is the No. 2 quarterback.” – Scott Wolf

    “USC released its depth chart tonight and there are still two positions without a clear-cut starter: Defensive tackle and free safety. Claude Pelon “or” Delvon Simmons will start at free safety. Gerald Bowman “or” Leon McQuay will start at safety.” – Scott Wolf

    “USC always releases an end-of-spring depth chart the day before the spring scrimmage. A spokesperson claimed Thursday that one would be released today. But Lane Kiffin said he does not want to do one.” – Scott Wolf

    “The battle for the fourth wide receiver spot became one of those “OR” decisions as Brice Butler “or” Jordan Cameron will be the fourth receiver on the depth chart.”

    That was after a two minute search. The best part is seeing how many times you posted things about the depth chart under the headline of “DEPTH CHARGE”.

    • Pudly76

      Ow! That smarts!

    • Uncle Rico

      Wolf the king of rinse and repeat. He’s never met a negative slant on a story that he doesn’t like.

      • Pudly76

        Que rico!!

      • JustOwns

        And you’re always here, the vanguard of bozo clods.

        #can’t afford a keen, “walkthrough”jersey

        • Uncle Rico

          Own’s the Queen of the I want to be a Trojan fan club.
          #please

          • JustOwns

            LOL!

            wricki, wricki, buy me a Toejam “walk through” jersey.

          • Uncle Rico

            Just prove it little OWNS. Try and stay away from the Trojan blog until start of the season. Not going to happen.
            #youhadmefighton

  • Michael Guarino

    As soon as I read this piece I thought, “oh brother, Scott is really gonna get it for writing another ‘think’ piece.” The whole idea here is to have some fun with the pluses and minuses of having depth charts—-while acknowledging it might be a problem, competition-wise, to release one this close to the first game. In other words, I’m fairly sure Scott’s not trying to ruin anybody’s day with today’s column.

    • Jack B

      It’s his pervasive whiny attitude.

      SW never met something about USC football he couldn’t complain about. Obviously that gets old for some of us around here, not for others.

      But the truth is, for purposes of the team, public depth charts absolutely aren’t necessary and can also be a negative distraction, which the coaches understand. Times have drastically changed regarding news requirements today. Amazingly, SW overlooks this completely and predictably whines on about spilt milk, Max Browne, Alabama, Stanford, et al.

      SW isn’t ruining anyone’s day, except his own. Many of us laugh about these SW depth chart complaints and how seriously he takes it.

      And Tribute To Troy turned out to be a smash hit. Tusk was awesome and so was the scholarship giveaway to LB Brent Moore, Rex’s son. All of it went right over SW’s head.

      • Pudly76

        Well earned by Brent, another MD Monarch in a long pipeline. Fight On young man.

        • Jack B

          His dad Rex was a real baller, a passionate, inspirational, tough player from El Modena, which has also sent other good players to USC, like Don Gibson.

          • Pudly76

            Elmo used to be pretty good in football. His son sounds like he’s a chip off the old block from what I’ve read this summer. Glad when someone earns the scholarship the hard way…feel good story.

      • Michael Guarino

        Got ya. Some good points, Jack. Especially most of the heartfelt stuff in the last paragraph. But I’ll say this —-if I were doing a sports blog, I’d fashion it more along the lines of Scott’s than Thuc’s. Scott’s strong suit is the fact he’s the only true polemicist in town. His stuff is never boring and he triggers thoughtful remarks from great folks like you. A pretty fair accomplishment, I’d say.

        • Jack B

          I just wish he weren’t so radically unbalanced and biased. I’m sure that’s how all of his critics feel and justifiably so.

          It’s not simply the negative coverage. It’s the constant slanted onslaught. The dude’s got USC issues obviously. Too bad he never overcame them.

          SW deserves a lot of criticism and he gets it here. I also know it’s part of his schtick. But complaining about publicized depth charts in today’s environment?

          Sometimes, he just misses the boat clear, regardless of his agenda. Makes me laugh. So predictable. You’d think he would tweak that to become a better blogger. Not happening. Never will.

        • Pudly76

          I’d say he could probably elicit the same quantity and quality responses if he framed his comments less negatively, not necessarily positive, just less negative.

          • Michael Guarino

            Scott has this shrewd 6th sense about what he needs to say to get us in the mood to comment. More nuanced pieces probably would be appreciated, but not commented on.
            Don’t you think he’s smiling 90% of the time as he’s typing this stuff out, thinking “wait till they read this!”
            When I want to read ‘fair and balanced’, I always go to your comments, Pudly!

          • Jack B

            I doubt SW’s nearly as shrewd as you think. I think it’s a lot more about how he can’t help himself. He clearly lacks a lot of perspective. You say it’s intentional. I say it’s an obvious weakness. To each his own.

            He’s not much of a writer, obviously, so I don’t see how he suddenly becomes this shrewd master. Again, to each his own.

            Without USC, SW would be stuck in the mud somewhere. I doubt people would be calling him shrewd then.

            Basically, anybody could write this blog. USC generates more daily material than the White House. Not a very tough gig.

          • Michael Guarino

            I bet you and me would’ve had a ton of fun opposing each other in court, Jack.

          • Jack B

            Hah, hah! Indeed. Both very analytical.

            It’s fun though. And much more so on a blog than I ever thought it would be. Amazing how much you can hash out just typing away!

          • Michael Guarino

            Yeah, I agree. It sounds sappy —but I’d really miss a few of you guys if you disappeared from here. [And think of all the fun we’re going to have at Owns’ expense all season]!

          • Jack B

            Poor Just Squats. He has to live over here in an SC dominated world while his bruins rub the bottom of the barrel in football. Trolls like him are just defenseless. Still, they’re impossible to feel sorry for.

          • Michael Guarino

            If you add to the fact that Rosen feels “conflicted” about football, the fact that Mora is on a “personal journey of self discovery” this year —-it’s gonna be a LONG season for Owns.

          • Jack B

            Indeed. The Chimpo has real disappointed lately.

            I think the little gutties really thought they had found the Holy Grail with the Facecupper, but it all turned bad as soon as Hundley left.

          • Michael Guarino

            ….And Hundley himself was lucky he showed up during the ‘sanctioned years’…..

          • Jack B

            Ya, we did inflict some self-harm though.

            If only we had self-sanctioned like all these other much guiltier schools have done to avoid the hammer. Discretion would have been so much the better part of valor had we realistically measured what we were up against.

            I bet we could have docked ourselves 5-7 scholies, forfeited games and forgone one bowl season, set forth a few worthless recruiting restrictions and gotten off close to that.

            Problem was, we totally stood up the the NCAA, gave them the Garret finger and that’s too dangerous and just plain wrong when they are the judge, jury and executioner.

          • Michael Guarino

            That’s the FIRST time I’ve heard anybody suggest that approach. Looking back, it seems like we could’ve saved ourselves something like half our lost scholarships by going that route. What a sorry time for USC.
            But the worm appears to have turned —[although you’re right, we HAVE to beat Stanford. A victory in that game represents way more than a “W” in the PAC 12 race —-it means we’re BACK].

          • Jack B

            That’s why I say, conversely, if STAN handles us at home, CH will have some real answering to do after the Cards humiliated us last year in Palo Alto and we couldn’t get off onsides for the life of us. We were so bad.

            Swann stepped in the Sunday following in L.A. and had a long talk with CH about Darnold and some other valuable insights he had. Swann knows a lot about football at the highest of levels. Too CH’s credit, he took the bait and the program changed course right then and there.

            Hope we’re back. I think Darnold’s gone after this season, so now is the time!

          • Michael Guarino

            My guess is that, even if we haven’t totally jelled on offense, we’ll take ’em if we don’t turn the ball over. I have a feeling we’re gonna totally stuff Stanford’s offense.

          • Pudly76

            With ya!

          • Jack B

            The have no QB and will miss McCaffrey. That said…if they beat us as teams stand now…I don’t even want to think about it!

          • Michael Guarino

            I’ve given this game a lot of thought —and I just don’t see how they can beat us with an average quarterback throwing to below average receivers. The big battle—which I think we’re gonna win— is gonna be our very good defensive line vs. their very good offensive line. (And) If they can’t spring their tailback, Bryce Love, their offense is in SERIOUS trouble.

          • gotroy22

            Lucky he redshirted and wasn’t a pinata in the 50-0 massacre.

          • Pudly76

            People talk of all the coaches we went through, yet ucla has changed the OC three times the last three years. Program is a mess and only mora deserves credit for the situation..oops, maybe Guerrero shares some with him

          • Jack B

            Guerrero’s spineless. Mora’s got way too much spine. Makes for a perfect losing bruin football combo.

            I still can’t believe Mora hired Pola to be his OC. Off the rails decision! And he paid.

          • Pudly76

            But in the end, their tied at the hip. The chimp who couldn’t recognize an offense if it cupped him in the face, and big dan, who extended him with a contract that they can’t afford to terminate..hahaha!

          • gotroy22

            Mora has discovered coeds.

          • JustOwns

            Trump: “I am not a LOON.”

          • gotroy22

            Obama’s Sons shoot 6 police Friday. You must be proud.

          • gotroy22
          • Michael Guarino

            Ha! …..A journey doesn’t get more personal than that…..

          • Pudly76

            Truth be told, I’m not sure he’s thinking half the time he pounds out one of his pieces. From his grammar to his spelling to the content itself, I’d say most would fail a fourth grade English class. He gets responses because it’s SC, not ruinville, he’s writing about.

          • Jack B

            You and I definitely speak the same language. You are right on!

          • Pudly76

            I get your positive outlook on everything. Quite refreshing, and quite frankly I find it necessary for the balance it brings. On Wolf though, we disagree, though on Bobble-head Ed, we are in lock step.

          • Jack B

            I haven’t seen Bobble Head around here much lately. Maybe he’s finally getting tired of his worn routine. It would be hard to intentionally come off like that, don’t you think?

          • Pudly76

            Definitely not easy. I actually find his creativity, both spelling and topically, most times entertaining. Not easy replicating an undereducated bumpkin, if you haven’t gone through ruinville.

          • Michael Guarino

            I tried it. It’s really hard to write like Ed.

          • Michael Guarino

            Me? You are the fricking MASTER of diplomacy, Pudly. We need you on cable news. (I especially liked the way you pulled Ed into this)…….

          • Pudly76

            I need you to talk with my wife and my coworkers. Seems they sometimes have a differing opinion.

          • Michael Guarino

            Set up a meeting in the conference room—-I’ll be there, old buddy.

          • gotroy22

            When “swolf” used to post on Wild West he was very snarky and very pro-SC.

          • gotroy22

            Isn’t that what Garry P’s blog is for?

          • Pudly76

            Don’t know, haven’t been over there. Any good?

          • gotroy22

            If you want positive that is the place to go. I’d rather hear the devils advocate take myself.

          • Pudly76

            Never said I wanted positive, accurate and unbiased would be alright. But to be honest, it’s the participants who most times drive this site, at least that’s how I see it.

        • gotroy22

          Thuc posts 3 or 4 stories a week. Who wants that?

          • Pudly76

            She could post twenty a day, it wouldn’t matter on that site. It’s a ghost town over there. What do they have to look forward to?

          • gotroy22

            Besides pain and humiliation? And then basketball with all their stars from last year in the NBA?

          • Pudly76

            Quite right, not even in bb. They’ve trivialized themselves and now have no identity except as our crosstown rivals. Their whole existence is wrapped up in the slightest chance of an upset. What losers.

          • gotroy22

            Their greatest moment was the 13-9 upset denying us another national title in 2006. Otherwise they haven’t mattered since 1967.

          • Pudly76

            I’m not sure it’s even fair to call them a mid-major!! Completely irrelevant.

          • Michael Guarino

            …Plus, they’re all boring….

          • gotroy22

            Plus the Fake News story that Rosen is returning for his senior year…

          • Michael Guarino

            Is she taking bets?

          • Pudly76

            There was a interview by BR where mora said he thought his qb was returning next year. Must be thinking it’s his only chance to beat SC, as Sam would be gone, or that his team is so bad, he’ll need to return to improve his falling draft stock.

  • gotroy22

    Meanwhile USC’s horse becomes a national story as the stupid will not stop: Los Angeles Times ✔ @latimes
    Traveler, USC’s mascot, comes under scrutiny for having a name similar to Robert E. Lee’s horse

    • Michael Guarino

      This calls for a dem leadership press conference.

      • gotroy22

        Now Harvard University professor Alice Ristroph has declared that even the eclipse is racist!

        • Michael Guarino

          I know he’s out of style, gt —-but you might want to re-read “The Disintegration of Civilizations” chapter in Toynbee’s “A Study of History.”

      • Pudly76

        Innocuous post on depth chart hits almost 100 posts. Got to give it to Trojan fans and alumn. The talking points end up all over the place, but the interest, love and respect for SC is telling.

        Impressive, no?

        • Michael Guarino

          Care to offer a guesstimate on the # of hits when Scott asks for comments after the USC/Stanford game?

    • Pudly76

      Went to grade school today its a guy named Bob Lee, maybe he should change his name too?

      • Michael Guarino

        Immediately, if not sooner.

        • Pudly76

          Right? Operative word in the story is SIMILAR. Giminey Cricket!! What’s next?

      • gotroy22

        I knew a guy named Lee Grant!

        • Michael Guarino

          Only HALF the time, gt —-for all the horror caused by her first name, she’s partially redeemed by her last name…..

    • JBKayak

      Whoa!

    • Trojan96

      Assemblymen Harper was talking about this yesterday. I first thought it was a joke, but then read the article. This is beyond stupid.

    • Grammymb

      Send an email to that dip$hit reporter and tell him what a dip$hit he is. I did but actually pointed out what an effing idiot he is.

    • 88 Straight

      Not sure you should blame the Times. It was brought up by the Black Students Association at USC. I’m not a guy that likes Confederate monuments, but this seems like a real stretch to me. Perhaps SC could utilize a zebra named Traveler. I’m not sure what effect that would have on the referees.

      • marvgoux1

        The Black Student Assembly (BSA) at USC claims the school’s equine mascot, Traveler, could have ties to racist ideology.
        BSA bases this claim on the fact that Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s favorite horse was named Traveller.

        According to the Los Angeles Times, BSA co-director Sophia Jackson asked that students not be quiet about the possible racist overtones. Rather, she would have them remember “white supremacy hits close to home.”

        • 88 Straight

          Yes, I read that. I know that you and I are not on the same side of the aisle politically, but this is a huge reach on the part of the BSA. It’s called finding an issue where none exists.

          What’s next? Since Traveler is an Arabian horse, are there links to terrorism?

          If you want an All-American solution, combined with SC ties, have Al Cowlings come out of the tunnel in a white Bronco. It’s all ridiculous.

          • marvgoux1

            What’s next is the historical re-enactment of Civil War battles is now being banned. The Battle of Manassas is now verboten.

          • 88 Straight

            You can’t spell secede without SEC. it’s a very strange part of the country to a native Angeleno. I have in-laws from the South. Very nice but very racist as well. Different world.

            Always thought that the Civil War re-enactments were silly but harmless. Banning them would be equally so. There are serious issues, but your mascot and Civil War re-enactments aren’t serious issues at all. In fact, raising stuff like that detracts from real problems.

  • Jack B

    I don’t see any reason for depth charts. Players know where they stand and should be used situationally.

    I know who will be out on field most of the time for USC, on a week-to-week basis and we don’t need no stinkin’ depth charts to figure that out.

    • peter

      You’re fired up Jack! Great.

      • Jack B

        Hey man. We’re gonna have a good team, the best since the Carroll years. Getting STAN and TEXAS at home, back-to-back, right off is awesome. That’s as long as we win of course. It’s nice to have the pressure on again with such high – and realistic – expectations.

        • peter

          The energy carried over from our run last year, recruiting, coaching ,job security and so forth builds champions. We have a program that keeps building.Carroll kept relentlessly building instilled pride ,and flat out everybody having fun playing. Helton and staff doing the same. Come Stan,we test our lines.Pass that test we will have ablity to control all games. FUN

          • Jack B

            We lose to STAN at home, which has amazingly owned us for awhile now, and we’ll all be suddenly shaking our heads. We’ve just gotta win that game.

            I think it’s the most crucial USC game in many years. Lose it, and we’re just one more loss from being out of the playoffs for sure. That would be a real solid set-back based on our current trajectory. We ready!

          • peter

            Agree completely.You have to believe we are primed and ready to handle Stan now. During PC years as much as I enjoyed offense,I loved it when our D just dominated games.We are well on way to that level.

          • Pudly76

            Pendergast was the DC last time we whipped stanfurd. He’ll have a formula again, and along with Sam, we’ve got them!

          • Pudly76

            Was stanfurd the game where Big Cat knocked out the running back?

    • Pudly76

      Adoree with a returned punt for a touchdown today!! Called back after a penalty..nice return though

  • schammer47

    Coach Helton, his Coaching Staff and his Players all gave Birth to the Legend !!! WE’RE NUMBER ONE !!!

    • JustOwns

      A 47 prognostication fueled by an over serviced cocktail of Toejam pixie dust and Boones Farm Strawberry Hill wine.

  • Pudly76

    Btw, anyone read mora’s comments on rosen returning next year..must be anticipating another short or a bad season for his qb. Why else would a first round pick come back to get beat up for free..

  • Pasadena Trojan

    No blogs about Trubute to Troy. I guess Scooter was not invited

    • Grammymb

      Salute to Troy. He writes that it is not open to the media. Well he could just sit outside the fence at Cromwell and listen. I’d even pass him some ribs through the gate. Except for two years ago nothing much happens there.

  • Trojan5

    I try to stay away from politics on this site, but this Traveler idiocy is way over the top. You really have to be looking around the corner, inside a locked door & inside a secret compartment to make this absurd Robert E Lee connection. Let’s not give this story anymore credence than it deserves. Which is none.

  • Pasadena Trojan

    The starting chart and depth chart will be set for one play on Setember 2, then things change during the season