USC Quick Thought

USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) scrambles to get off a pass against the Stanford Cardinal in the second quarter at Levi's Stadium on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

It must be noted USC’s now squandered two years with Sam Darnold at quarterback without going to the College Football Playoff.

When I lamented last year that if USC started Darnold earlier in the year, it would have beaten Stanford or Utah and gone to the College Football Playoff, everyone said to move on because the Trojans would make the CFP in 2017. They did not.

The nightmare scenario now is that Darnold goes pro and USC never reaches the CFP with him.

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  • PE2011

    “Squandered” is the wrong word. Darnold played poorly in both USC losses this year … multiple turnovers, etc.

    • LamontRaymond


    • Gabby

      He suffers from selective memory

    • Mark Melendrez

      Not to mention 3 Oliners were out vs WSU. It’s football….. Sh*t happens. Too bad the blogger doesn’t know football.

      • Gabby

        I call it low football IQ

      • timmay

        UW was more banged up than we were and they were playing with 1 star talent to begin with, so nah. It just doesn’t work.

    • peter

      Squandered is wrong.However not to “squander” the opportunity here.We now have a number of important practices before the “consolation prize ” of playing OSU.
      At this time coaches take time to practice the red shirts and others to get reps.
      I’d like to hear more about Jack Sears. How is his development ???
      We should be getting to know more about Sam’s heir should he make “wrong choice ” not return.

      • steveg

        His heir may not be Sears.

  • steveg

    Is this blogger a USC guy or just a Darnold guy. It takes a team to get to the CFP. I know if Sam comes back and they go, it will only be because of Sam and why only 1 time out of 3 chances. In the end, 1 out of three isn’t bad. Sam has to play good in every game. But then so does the defense. It takes a team.

    • Gabby

      Careful what you say about Sam. The turds on Wolf’s payroll will crucify you

  • Sylvester

    I would say that the greater part of the problem was the poor coaching and bad play calling of the staff, and Helton, that caused SC to miss the playoffs the past two years. You just can’t lay all the blame on Darnold, even though his interceptions and poor play in some games caused us to miss out. If he decides to go to the NFL, so be it. I think all of us sitting in the stands this year know that he is not NFL ready. With him jumping to the NFL, what does that say about his own integrity and commitment to other players on the team who have worked just as hard as he has, but are staying for their senior year ?

    • Gabby

      Your opinion of what is “NFL ready” differs vastly from a NFL GM……just saying

      (it’s more about upside/potential)

    • trojan_1972

      I really hope Sam stays, but I wouldn’t question his integrity or commitment if he went to the NFL. Media reports NFL GMs as saying Sam would be a top-5 pick. How many other guys on the USC team, or any team, would pass up being a top-5 NFL pick? I just don’t see it as an integrity issue. Anybody in his situation would be risking giving up an enormous amount of money by staying. The amount of insurance that he could buy against injury won’t come close to the contract he could sign. Fingers crossed he decides he wants one more year with the Trojans.

      • Gabby

        The first contract is marginal. The big money comes with the signing of the second contract,

        • trojan_1972

          Big money does indeed come with the second, though my guess is that the contract for the 5th pick could be $25 million or more. Not sure how much is guaranteed of that.

          • Gabby

            You nailed it, the CBA has limited the guaranteed contracts.

          • gotroy22

            Most people would settle for a measly $25 million instead of playing for free.

      • Cloud Shaman

        Look what happened to Matt Barkley. Go to the NFL and carry a clipboard for a year while becoming a millionaire.

        • trojan_1972

          Hoping Sam stays. My point is that I don’t see it as a lack of integrity if he decides to leave.

        • gotroy22

          Look what happened to Matt Barkley. He came back instead of being the #1 draft choice and a ruin smacked him into the ground on his shoulder and he was never the same.

          • JustOwns

            the Piglet would be a fool not to go NFL.

    • Lunderful

      Who are the notable players staying another year?

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Nothing on JuJu laying wood on that swine, Burfict?

    Another all-time great play by JuJu to rival The Stiff Arm on Dominique Hatfield. Pathetic NFL finds fault with great football.

    • Gabby

      Payback is the sweetest revenge

    • Paul Muad’dib

      I thought it was great. Karma at it’s finest.

  • 04Trojan

    My gut tells me Sam comes back. He’s got the “IT” factor, for sure. He just needs one more year to polish. Plus, and yes selfishly, it’d be fun to watch him another year.

    • Gabby


    • gotroy22

      My wallet tells me he leaves for big money.

      • steveg

        He may and it will be a heart break. For some reason I see Sam as a little indifferent towards going now. Hope I am right.

  • LamontRaymond

    You say that SC would have beaten Stanford last year with Darnold. They didn’t beat Wazzu this year with him. So how can you make that leap? And victories at the Rose, Pac-12 Title, and Cotton would be squandered? You’re a joke….

    • Gabby

      The guy is an embarrassment to the journalism profession

  • Gabby

    Hey wolf, truly pathetic!!!!…..You sit all day down in your mom’s basement on a worn out couch, eating donut after donut, ranting about the coulda, woulda, shoulda BS.

    Instead, show some respect and embrace 11-2 and a new years 6 bowl game, Try it, it’s a good feeling

    Better yet, please consider a career change. Your journalism is second rate, and brings no substantial substance to this blog

  • Jaime

    Scoopin Scooter conveniently forgets to mention that the USC Defense was #1 in the nation in sacks and finished #2 in sacks behind Clemson. Thanks Negative Nelly

    • Trojan 83

      Nightmare Scenario SW? I don’t know how a college player going pro and taking advantage of his opportunities is any fan’s nightmare unless they have no life to begin with. USC will reload as they always do and it will be fun to see what the next guy up does.

  • Gabby

    Anything coming out of wolf doesn’t surprise me. He’s been off the rails for years

    • Sas

      I’m beginning to think he may have a problem with some serious stuff because he was in the Press Box (he says) at all the games.

      Yet everyone who follows college football knows that our team won games and Darnold pretty much had average games all season.

      The next SC will be just fine.
      Mr. Blogger also doesn’t see the bigger picture that the next guy would have lots of starters coming back.

  • GT

    I bet 80-20 Sam comes back for another season. He has no true need to go early. I believe he knows that he could us another year in college. I believe he will sit down with his family and then decide to enjoy one more year of college life, and the chance for A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

    • Pudly76

      If for no other reason than to drive owns crazy

      • trojan_1972

        Would put him over the edge into even deeper chemical dependency.

  • Pudly76

    7 Trojans make all pac12 first team!!

    • trojan_1972

      Another scoop over Wolf! Not again!

    • trojan_1972

      Nice backfield – Darnold, Rojo, and Bryce Love.

    • Sas

      RoJo and Rasheem carried the weight all season, but Nwosu made his mark and USC, Helton and even Sark should be proud of his game all year and his career as a whole.

      • Pudly76

        Definitely was one of those who developed..stud, pure and simple.

        • trojan_1972

          Great year, and had a big role last Friday against Stanford.

    • trojan_1972

      Still no word from Wolf? Must be ruminating on how he can downplay 7 Trojans on the first team.

  • Jaime

    All Pac-12 1st Team QB Sam Darnold 2nd Team (a distant second) Josh Rosen. Poor WSU QB Luke Falk (all time passing yards leader in Pac 12) gets honorable mention

  • Jack B

    Darnold named first team all P12 ahead of Rosen.

    Other USC first-teamers: RoJo, Green, Nwosu, Smith, Tell, Pittman

    2nd teamers: Burnett, Lobendahn, Rector, Lopes

    HM: OL Chris Brown, RJr.; TB Stephen Carr, Fr.; DL Josh Fatu, Sr.; DB Chris Hawkins, RSr.; DB Iman Marshall, Jr.; WR Steven Mitchell Jr., RSr.; TE Tyler Petite, Jr.; DL Brandon Pili, Fr.; TB Tyler Vaughns, RFr.

  • Traveler

    Anyone else in their right mind would see that last year was pretty incredible, with the win streak leading to one of the all-time classic Trojan victories in the Rose Bowl. Anyone else would say 11-2 this season is anything BUT a failure. Anyone who’s not trolling for controversy would look at Darnold’s stats and his total of 3 losses in two seasons and say, “great job!” Anyone but SW that is…

    • steveg

      And Darnold is only in his 3rd season as a QB. 1 in high school.

  • Fred Sampson

    USC is not built for a playoff run, because they are weak across the line of scrimmage, and wouldn’t be able to run against Alabama, Clemson, or Oklahoma. Steve Sarkisian missed the mark on several lineman, and now Clay Helton is paying for his mistakes

    • steveg

      Taggert introduced as new FL St HC.

    • ItsAllAboutTheBall

      Or possibly Ohio State either…..the Key to the Cotton Bowl right here

    • Trojan96

      Fred it’s coaching not the players. Once we get rid of Callaway and force Helton to stop hiring via nepotism and get a top quality OLine coach, that line will be much better overnight.

  • gotroy22

    Poor owns, gray stool and Encinitas ruin will be heartbroken.

    • JustOwns


  • Brent4c

    A RB victory and a top 3 ranking followed by another NY 6 appearance is “squandered”? Joe many other great Trojans is SW slandering as “squandering” their career simply because hey didn’t win a NC? Seau, Keyshawn, Carrier,McGinnist…how many others?

  • Sas

    Phillip Phulmer says

    “spoke with Tee Martin on the phone extensively and said things are moving in the right direction”

    • steveg

      I hope I hope I hope. Pull the string Fulmer, make the offer.

      • Sas

        Or take little Tyson Helton. I’d like to keep Tee because in my opinion Callaway hasn’t blocked for SuperSam last year or BizzaroSam this year. One thing is sure to happen, hold that….One would think it’s almost a sure thing that Helton will have to cut loose a coach or two. And if he was smart he would hear reason and make the improvement so he can keep on coaching this program .

  • steveg

    Never forget “Roquangate”. An extreme low point for the gutties.

    • Sas

      Don’t worry buddy. As long as one of us is here they will always hear the legend of “Roquangate”. It’s gonna put an unwanted spotlight on Mora and Ulbrich during the Playoffs every time Roquan Smith’s name is called.


  • David Keeling

    Keep the heat on Scott Wolf. Maybe those who have a say in USC football might start listening.

  • Edward Mainland

    Take the money, Sam, while you can, and go to the NFL. You earned your place in Trojan history by that glorious Rose Bowl miracle, all by itself. With this USC coaching staff, you can’t get the team to national playoffs all by yourself.

  • English 101

    The “nightmare scenario” is that Eeyore (a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old grey stuffed donkey) is still covering USC for this paper.

  • Tim4sc

    Key to see what truly becomes of this program is what happens after Sam Darnold leaves. I think he’ll come back in 2018 and this coaching staff still is one learning on the job. I’ll take the results of the last 2 years over what we had between Pete Carroll and Helton’s leadership.