Yes, It Really Did Matter Sam Darnold Did Not Start Sooner

darnold-ucla-3Here is what Kirby Hocutt, who is the chairman of the College Football Playoff committee, said today about USC:

“Obviously, Southern California’s a team that impressed the selection committee over the last eight weeks. Probably one of the most talented teams in the country. Had they not lost three early games, they probably would have been in the conversation for participation in the semifinals.”

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USC v. Penn State In Rose Bowl

sanchez-rose-bowlIt’s official: USC plays Penn State in the Rose Bowl. The game is on Jan. 2 so you can stay out late on New Year’s Eve. USC finished No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Colorado was No. 10.

UPDATED: Here’s Clay Helton’s statement: “It is a great reward for our football team after a very strong finish to the 2016 season.”

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USC Morning Buzz: Selection Sunday

Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington are the College Football Playoff teams. There is something to be said for winning a Pac-12 title but it also feels a little wrong that the Huskies played Idaho and Portland State.

USC is ranked No. 9 in the final AP Top 25 regular-season poll.

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USC 91, BYU 84

hoop-hall-laUSC defeats BYU at Staples Center to improve to 8-0 and win its first game without Bennie Boatwright. Jordan McLaughlin led USC with 24 points while Shaqquan Aaron added 19.

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Latest Bowl Talk

darnold-colorado-2Anyone who tells you they know who the Rose Bowl will take really doesn’t, especially when the College Football Playoff rankings still need to be done. It is interesting that bowl guru Jerry Palm is stubbornly hanging on to the idea that Colorado will go to the Rose Bowl, which is against many others. Maybe he’s like the guy who picked Donald Trump to win the election.

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Sammy Lee, USC’s Oldest Surviving Olympian, Dies At 96

sammylee-Olympics.jpg

Two-time Olympic gold medalist diver Sammy Lee, who was USC’s oldest surviving Olympian, died on Friday in Newport Beach from pneumonia. He was 96.

Lee was the first Asian-American to win an Olympic gold medal for the U.S., the first man to win back-to-back Olympic golds in platform diving (1948 and 1952) and the oldest diver (at age 32) to win an Olympic gold medal.  He also won a bronze medal in the springboard in the 1948 Olympics. Lee attended Occidental College and then graduated from the USC School of Medicine in 1947.  He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in the Korean War. Sammy Lee Square, at the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Normandie Ave. in Koreatown was named after him in 2010.  In 2013, the Los Angeles Unified School District named an elementary schools the Dr. Sammy Lee Medical and Health Sciences Magnet School. Funeral service information is pending.

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USC Morning Buzz: Rose Bowl For Trojans? Thorns For The Pac-12

wash-pac-12When I said the the Pac-12 title game was the JV game, I wasn’t kidding. What kind of hot mess was that post-game celebration? Fox broadcaster Rob Stone calls the game’s MVP “Tyler” Rapp instead of Taylor Rapp. At least Stone never gets the European soccer players wrong. Then Larry Scott calls Washington the “2006” champs. Hello Larry?

And there was that punt in the first half that had to be kicked again because Fox wasn’t even showing the game. The attendance was 47,118. Perhaps not bad for a Friday night game. Do you think Nick Saban is worried about facing Washington?

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