A Tough Season Gets Tougher

USC led Washington, 9-1, in the second inning last night. But this is college baseball and the Huskies came back to win, 11-10. It’s been that kind of season for the Trojans (20-33, 7-21).

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USC Morning Buzz: ESPN Hires Chip Kelly As Studio Analyst

Unable to get another NFL job, Chip Kelly’s signed a multi-year contract with ESPN as a studio analyst, “predominantly working college football pre-games, halftimes and studio wraps each Saturday on ESPN2.”

This is the logical landing place for Kelly, who will undoubtedly become a candidate for any big college jobs that open in the next year and until he takes another job. Despite USC’s Rose Bowl win, I’ve heard Kelly’s name in coaching circles as a potential USC candidate again, if that day ever arrives.

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North Carolina’s Creative Defense Against NCAA

North Carolina is trying to dispute charges of academic fraud when it goes before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

“The fundamental issue in our case is that the NCAA by-laws cover athletics matters, not how academics are managed,” North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Thursday.

So the NCAA has no jurisdiction? Remember when USC was accused of being uncooperative and it hurt their case? Will the NCAA back down against North Carolina? It doesn’t really seem interested anymore in giving stiff penalties since the USC case? And maybe North Carolina believes that too.

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Sightings

USC assistant coach Tyson Helton is at the Long Beach Poly spring football game today. Helton can obviously watch quarterback Matt Corral, the former Oaks Christian QB who already committed to USC. But he can also see five-star wide receiver Jalen Hall, who played at Hawkins last season. Looks like the Poly pipeline will be reinstalled.

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Conference Of Champions

It might be nice to watch some of these teams play too, if the Pac-12 Network were available on DirecTV, etc. And maybe it’s a tribute to the conference that it continues to dominate in all sports as we see a projected $12 million less for each Pac-12 school over the next seven years compared to their SEC and Big Ten counterparts. That’s $84 million less per school in total.

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USC’s Basketball Rankings Are Strong This Week

USC is making a big impression in the post-NBA draft declaration polls: The Big Lead has USC ranked No. 5. Yes, who doesn’t always follow the Big Lead’s rankings? But so does Fox. And USC is No. 8 per FanRag (another great title for a site); CBS has USC No. 9 and Yahoo has USC No. 9.

USC is considered a national power. So where are the marquee opponents on the schedule? If not now, when? Right now, UC Santa Barbara and North Dakota State are on the home schedule. USC plays Arizona only once next season, so Andy Enfield knows one less loss is on the schedule. Can he add Michigan State, Duke or Kansas? Will it matter to the USC homers? Probably not.

Enfield seems to still think he is at Florida Gulf Coast.

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