USC Morning Buzz: Is The Pac-12 Really That Tough?

USC is in the midst of a three-game stretch where it plays the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 teams in the current Associated Press Top 25 poll. And no one else plays Oregon, Arizona and UCLA twice.

But let’s look at a couple other facts: The Pac-12 is ranked No. 6 in conference RPI, which is last among the major conferences. So don’t assume the Pac-12 is tough, other than the top 3 teams. And USC’s non-conference strength of schedule is 163, thanks to Andy Enfield’s forgettable schedule. So while USC’s 21-6 is above pre-season expectations, it also is not completely surprising, given the data.

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Matt Corral To Long Beach Poly

The rumors were true. Quarterback Matt Corral has enrolled at Long Beach Poly, according to coach Antonio Pierce. Since Corral is moving from Ventura, he should be eligible at Poly. Of course, he could probably stay in Ventura and still be eligible at Poly. Just joking!

Now here would an interesting aside. Corral said when he left, “I did not get expelled nor did I punch anyone. I ran into problems at a school that is biased towards money.”

That is important because if you do not leave a school in good standing because of some violation of the rules, you might not be eligible under CIF rules.

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Some Tough NFL Analysis

There are some pretty interesting profiles of all the NFL’s combine participants at NFL.com. It’s not the usual fluff but lists strengths and weaknesses for each player. Here’s what it said about USC offensive tackle Zach Banner:

“Weight concerns are a huge issue. Has seen weight balloon to 385 pounds. Pass pro is a major concern. Could be too big and bulky to handle NFL edge talent. Lacks athleticism and quickness to recover when beaten. Slower than desired out of stance. Has to open early and lunge to protect the edge in pass pro. Rarely flat-footed at punch, relying on girth over technique. Takes wide route to his target with punch. Doesn’t mirror well enough to keep defender from escaping from side door once engaged. Lack of bend and high center of gravity could make move to guard a challenge. Has had issues with penalties during time as starter at USC.”

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USC Bracket Projections

USC has dropped all the way down to a No. 10 seed in Joe Lunardi’s NCAA Tournament projection for ESPN. The Trojans are a No. 9 seed in USA Today, which means a dreaded second-round matchup with a No. 1 seed in the second round.

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Is There A Point To 8th-Grade Offers?

Everyone remembers the Baby Quarterback (David Sills), who offered at a tender age and then committed to USC. He was subsequently dropped by Steve Sarkisian. But what about Nathan Tilford? He was the wide receiver-turned-tailback who USC offered in the eighth grade back in 2013. Three weeks ago, he signed with Arizona. So what was the point of that eighth-grade offer again?

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USC And President’s Day

Los Angeles Daily News Negatives/UCLA Library

In honor of President’s Day, here’s Franklin D. Roosevelt visiting USC on Oct. 1, 1935. Roosevelt made a short stop during his motorcade through the city on his first visit to Los Angeles as president. After the stop he traveled to the Coliseum to give a speech.

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Former QB Mitch Mustain Says Lane Kiffin “Disinterested” At USC

Former USC quarterback Mitch Mustain spoke to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel about Lane Kiffin. Mustain said Kiffin seemed “wholly disinterested” in being USC coach.

“There was nothing unique about what he did,” Mustain said. “It just seemed to us, there was no effort for it. It was almost as if he was wholly disinterested in being the head coach. You can tell he enjoys the play-calling. He enjoys working with the offense and making that run. He was very good at it. As for the whole thing, it seemed that maybe it just wasn’t really where he wanted to be.” Full story here

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