It was 2013 when Pat Haden asked fans to support USC taking control of the Coliseum. It was perfectly reasonable for USC to formulate a renovation plan and then take some time to raise money. And of course the Rams have delayed any desire to start a renovation.
But as this season at the Coliseum ended Saturday, I cannot help but note how little USC’s done to improve anything or even some minor facelifts that make things more tolerable for the fans until the actual renovation begins. USC did not hesitate to make security a priority this season, which caused longer wait times to enter the stadium. So why not a few things to make things more comfortable or modern? Like improving the Wi-Fi or replacing these old TV monitors?
This is a pet peeve of mine. But did you watch Adoree Jackson’s 52-yard touchdown reception against Notre Dame (above). It sure looks like Sam Darnold threw a backwards pass, or a lateral, which means it would officially be considered a run and not a pass. You can watch the video here to judge for yourself (at the 1:54 mark). If Jackson dropped this pass, don’t you think Notre Dame would have grabbed it and run?
Remember this is the same game where USC begged for a lateral ruling on a Notre Dame pass play that turned out to be fumble.
Why does it matter? Well, stats should be accurate. But USC also has a history of turning laterals into forward passes, which pads the stats of the quarterback.
Despite the best efforts of Keyshawn Johnson and other former USC football players turned TV analysts to push Adoree Jackson for the Heisman Trophy, Bovada announced today that its Heisman odds are “off the board” because Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is such a heavy favorite for the award.
There are reports Ed Orgeron got the LSU job by telling AD Joe Alleva he would hire Lane Kiffin and bringing a large binder full of future plans for the program. That reminded me of two things: Kiffin got hired at USC because he told Mike Garrett he would hire Orgeron and Monte Kiffin. And Pat Haden raved about the large binder Kiffin showed him with all his plans for the future. I wonder if Clay Helton has a large binder too?
Will it feel weird if USC goes to the Rose Bowl without winning the Pac-12 or even the Pac-12 South? What about Ohio State going to the College Football Playoff without making the Big Ten championship game? This is college football circa 2016.
USC fans want to play Michigan but a more likely scenario is facing Penn State or Wisconsin. A rematch of last year’s Holiday Bowl vs. Wisconsin, even with Justin Wilcox, sounds b-o-r-i-n-g. At least Penn State’s James Franklin brings a little fire.
By the way, USC’s 9-3 record looks pretty good after that 1-3 start. You know who else is 9-3? Stanford. Not bad after a 3-2 start. But that is life in the Pac-12, where six teams have losing records. USC and Stanford could both end up 10-3 with bowl victories. If only Keller Chryst had started sooner. Just kidding.
Clay Helton said he will speak to Adoree Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster in December about their futures. Helton was asked if he wants to go to the Rose Bowl: “We’ll get picked to go to a special place.”
On the ide of going to Rose Bowl without winning Pac-12 South or Pac-12 title, Helton said, “That’s the system we’re under.”
Helton was asked about Notre Dame defensive lineman Jerry Tillery kicking Aca’Cedric Ware’s head and stepping on Zach Banner’s ankle: “I think it was a poor decision by a young person.” Helton said it was not a reflection on Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Ware had x-rays and an MRI that were negative and will be observed for concussion-like symptoms. Linebacker Porter Gustin lost a tooth during the game.