Signing Day was less than three weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean the ridiculously early 2018 recruiting rankings are not in full bloom. USC is ranked No. 6 by Rivals after Sunday’s commitment by outside linebacker Palaie Gaoteote. The Trojans have six commitments.
The class already has a five-star commitment in quarterback Matt Corral. I would be remiss not to remind you that at one time Ricky Town was a five-star quarterback. And I’ve mentioned some poor performances by five-star QBs here. And here. By the way, Sam Darnold was only a four-star quarterback.
This makes me wish I had the Pac-12 Network. Don MacLean and Kevin O’Neill had no tolerance for LaVar Ball’s comments that his son, Lonzo, is going to be better than Steph Curry, which LaVar repeated last night.
MacLean: “If you’re talking about that your son’s better than the NBA league MVP when your son’s not even going to be the Pac-12 MVP, that takes away some of your credibility. And I’m not sure how much longer people are even going to want to interview LaVar Ball if he’s making statements this outrageous.”
O’Neill: “He wants to be in front of the camera. He was never good enough to be in front of the camera. I’m not sure his son’s going to be a great NBA player. He doesn’t have any mid-range game. The more it goes on, the more he gets exposed. LaVar should just shut up and let his kids enjoy themselves.”
Here is my analysis of last night’s game at Pauley Pavilion, which focused on the added pressure USC faces in marquee Pac-12 games because it plays an ignorable non-conference schedule.
Excerpt: USC has no doubt exceeded expectations this season. But when you go 14-0 to start the season and win 21 of your first 26 games, you need to do more than lose to UCLA by 32 at Pauley Pavilion. Full story here
And here’s another stat from the Andy Enfield era: I don’t believe USC has won a Pac-12 road game against a team with a winning record in four seasons.
Nick Saban hired Patriots assistant Brian Daboll as Alabama offensive coordinator. He was previously the offensive coordinator with the Browns, Dolphins and Chiefs. Now one could argue there’s been too many offensive coordinators at Alabama in recent years. Saban’s had three in the past six weeks alone (Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian, Daboll). But they all were experienced at calling plays.
Who is the last USC offensive coordinator that was experienced at calling plays before getting the job? Did Tee Martin? Did Clay Helton? Did Kennedy Polamalu? Did Jeremy Bates? Did Sarkisian? Did Kiffin?
Helton was offensive coordinator at Memphis, so I assume he called the plays. But that means one of the past six had playcalling experience. No, USC is not Alabama.
P.S. — It’s also true Kiffin and Sarkisian called plays as the head coach. But I’d argue that created its own set of problems and each eventually gave it up at USC.
USC goes for its fifth straight victory over UCLA tonight. That would be the longest winning streak since USC beat UCLA 42 straight times from 1932-43. But more importantly, here is a color photo from a USC-UCLA game in 1967 at the Sports Arena. The game went to overtime, where UCLA won, 40-35. And yes, that is UCLA center Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).
Long Beach Poly is being mentioned as a possible destination for former Oaks Christian QB Matt Corral. And Calabasas is the early frontrunner for Mycah Pittman. Former USC players Chris Claiborne and Marshall Jones have been coaching at Calabasas.