Archive for the ‘USC football’ Category

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Updated: Lane Kiffin New USC Head Coach

January 12, 2010

It’s Official!  Lane Kiffin is USC’s new head coach and he’ll bring Dad Monte and former USC assistant Ed Orgeron with him.

As reported by USC Rips It

There will be a press conference from USC’s Heritage Hall at 4pm on Wednesday.

UPDATE:

NORM CHOW IS COMING BACK TO USC! OMFG!!!!!!!

Did USC just lose Pete Carroll but rebound with the BEST coaching staff in the BCS? It sure looks like it! This is EXCITING!!! (And I never thought I’d say that after losing Pete Carroll.)

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End of an Era: Pete Carroll & USC 2001-2009

January 11, 2010

Football Fiends,

All weekend the rumors have been flying around the Internet and ESPN. Beloved USC Coach Pete Carroll – in talks with the Seattle Seahawks? Say it isn’t so Pete! But alas, it is so.  Carroll officially handed in his resignation at USC on Sunday evening.

All week I will do a retrospective of the Pete Carroll years here on Gridiron Goddess. Most Trojan fans look at his era as having two distinct periods 2001-2005 and 2006-2009.

Carroll brought glory back to the USC football program. After mediocre runs by Ted Tollner and Larry Smith and the second coming of John Robinson, USC football found itself in the dark period known as the Hackett years. Paul Hackett was disastrous for USC football.

When Pete Carroll came in, he turned it around. He exuded the boundless energy and enthusiasm of a teenager. He embraced USC’s traditions and customs and forged a few of his own. Open practices, famous alumni stopping by for pep talks,  his infamous pranks – Carroll embodied everything we love about USC for nine years.

He will be missed. All weekend my Trojan friends and I have been in mourning. How can you replace Pete? You can’t. You just move forward. You remember what it was like when you had the perfect coach for your team. We’re incredibly grateful for the run we had with Carroll at the helm.

In his nine seasons at USC, Carroll went 97-19, winning two national championships,  coaching three Heisman Trophy winners, playing in seven consecutive BCS Bowls and winning seven Pac-10 titles. He’s sent a crazy impressive 53 Trojans to the NFL over eight seasons. Expect 10 or more to join those ranks this year as well.

The entire USC family owes Coach Carroll a debt of gratitude. Never has it been more fun and more exciting and more spirited and more USC than in the Pete Carroll years.  He leaves a gaping hole where his giant personality and huge heart resided. Heritage Hall will be quieter without Pete. Sure, we’ll get a new coach and we’ll be a great team again. USC is still USC with or without Pete Carroll.

But it will never be the same.

Pete Carroll and the University of Southern California were a perfect match for each other. The kind of kismet that happens once in a lifetime.

Next up: A look at Pete’s  introduction to USC and his 2001-2002 Trojan football teams.

-Your Gridion Godddess

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USC vs Stanford: Rumors of the demise of the dynasty are greatly exagerrated

November 16, 2009

Hello Football Fiends!

Did you know Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh is a giant flaming stinking pile of isht? You didn’t? Well now you do and trust me, I’ll remind you again and again.  Look, I give the guy all the credit in the world for the coaching job he’s done at Stanford over the past three seasons. Stanford is a difficult program to get to succeed what with the school’s pesky academic requirements and yet Harbaugh took a 1-11 team and three seasons later had them pull off back to back upsets of top ten ranked teams. Impressive. However, the man needs a giant personality transplant. What a nasty piece of work he is. He seems to have a giant chip on his shoulder where USC football and Pete Carroll are concerned. Well his shit talking, rudeness, and mocking will be tolerated no longer. The USC Mafia will call him out and He. Will. Pay.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s address all these ridiculous “The Fall of Troy: The Dynasty is Dead” statements the press has been screaming from their pulpits. People. Let’s get real. USC has the talent, it has the depth, it has Pete Carroll. After seven years at the top of the Pac-10 pile, and with coaching attrition the likes of which no other major collegiate program has (a whole post dedicated to that will go up this week) Pete Carroll’s Trojans were due a rebuilding year.

Three losses is not the end of the freaking world folks. Nor is it the end of the elite status of USC football. Let’s take a look at what Pete Carroll has accomplished in his years at USC:

2001: 6-6-0 (5-3-0 Pac-10) Loss in the Las Vegas Bowl to the University of Utah,  Not Ranked

2002: 11-2 (7-1 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champs, Finished the season #4, Carson Palmer Heisman, Beat Iowa in the Orange Bowl, lost to Kansas State and Washington State

2003: 12-1 (7-1 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, AP National Champions, Beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, finished season ranked #1 AP  #2 BCS, only loss was to Cal by 3 in triple overtime

2004: 13-0 (8-0 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, AP and BCS National Champions, Matt Leinart Heisman, Beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl for the BCS Nat’l Championship, Wire to wire AP #1

2005: 12–1 (8–0 Pac 10) Pac-10 Champions, Reggie Bush Heisman, Played Texas in the Rose Bowl for National Championship and lost, end season ranked #2 Only loss of season to Texas in Nat’l Championship game

2006: 11–2 (7–2 Pac-10) Pac-1o Champions, Beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, finished season #4. Lost to Oregon State and UCLA

2007: 11–2 (7–2 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, Beat Illinois in the Rose Bowl, finished season ranked #2 in the Coaches Poll, #3 in the AP Lost to Stanford and Oregon

2008: 12–1 (8–1 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, Beat Penn State in the Rose Bowl, finished season ranked  #2 in the Coaches Poll and #3 in the AP, Lost to Oregon State

Folks, those are some pretty consistent numbers. So we have three losses so far this season, so what. Consider the case of the University of Florida football program.  Urban Meyer took over the Gator football program at the start of the 2005 season. They went 9-3. The following year, in 2006, Florida won the SEC and the BCS National Championship game.

Then 2007 rolled around and the Gators lost 4 games. They lost to  Auburn, LSU, Georgia and Michigan (in the Capital One Bowl) and ended the season ranked #13.  Tim Tebow won his Heisman that year.  Did anyone cry “end of an era” “The dynasty is over” back then? Hell no. In fact, for years after the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Seminoles started dropping off the national radar, they were also still given the benefit of the doubt. Words like rebuilding and phrases like “a down year” were bandied about. The media stressed the rich recruiting in the state of Florida and stated that the Gators (or Hurricanes or ‘Noles depending on the year) would be back.

So why not cut USC some of that same slack folks? We’ve got a true freshman at QB who has a bad habit of throwing balls into coverage. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator who has shown some of the worst play calling in FBS division football. Our defense is…bizarrely slow and out of position most of the time. We’ve got discipline and chemistry problems. Sometimes those things take a season to work out. Sure, that hasn’t really happened in the Pete Carroll era of USC Football yet–but let’s face it, all those John David Booty led teams, while successful, didn’t really set the world on fire. Matt Barkley will mature and with that maturity he will become a stronger player and USC will rise to the top of the Pac-10 and BCS once again.

And you know what? It’s just one season. So stop rubbing your hands together in glee celebrating USC’s fall from grace. While many streaks do die this year (seven straight Pac-10 championships, seven straight BCS bowls, seven straight 11 win seasons, etc), this is no cause for true alarm. Pete Carroll and the Men of Troy will work the kinks out.

And when they do, boy, I wouldn’t want to be Jim Harbaugh or the Stanford Cardinal. The complete lack of class they showed on Saturday will be paid back to them. You can’t keep USC down for long, especially not with Big Balls Pete at the helm.

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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Well that was depressing…

November 14, 2009

And I am sure, Football Fiends, that I will have a whole fucking lot to say about tonight’s loss to Stanford tomorrow. Right now, well, Jim Harbaugh is an ASS. Going for 2 point conversion when up by 27? Way to show good sportsmanship Asshole.

See? This is why I need a little distance from tonight’s debacle before I can write about it.

We’re 4-3 in the Pac-10. Gah!

Am going to go watch bad romantic comedies now. Then I can convince myself the tears are for the shmaltzy movie, not my beloved Trojans’ third loss of the season.

(Reports of the Dynasty being over are greatly exagerrated. More on that later. But hello, Florida lost 3 games in 2005 and no one crowed about the crumbling of their program. )

OK really, I need to not think about this right now.

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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USC v Stanford: Keys to the Game

November 13, 2009

So yeah USC v Stanford.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to this game. In fact, I dread it.

I am about as big a Trojan fan as they come. My car’s license plates are LOVSCFB (Love SC football). I passionately USC+v+Stanford+OWttMaEjzDOlrooted for my team throughout the dark days known as the 1990s. I plotted ways to take Paul Hackett out. Anything to help my Trojans. So it pains me to say this, but: We very well could lose this game.  I would not be surprised if we do.

We’ve been riddled with injuries. We have no true team leadership. We’ve played six of our nine games on the road. We’ve played five ranked opponents.  We now come home to the Coliseum to face Stanford. And we’re beaten up. And the rose colored glasses have been ripped from the eyes of both fans and players alike.

We face Stanford, who has handed USC its last three losses in the Coliseum and is coming off a big win over Oregon.  However, we have one big fat advantage going into this game:  Some of the key injuries that have hampered the Trojans all season are healing.  The biggest advantage for the Trojans is the return of the powerful and dynamic fullback Stanley Havili. Havili gives the offense a big boost in firepower and playmaking. Tight end Anthony McCoy is expected to play this weekend. Linebacker Malcolm Smith and defensive end Everson Griffin return and look to restore some of the power to their Trojan team that was lacking last week against ASU.

WR Damian Williams is still doubtful for Saturday, which could present an issue for this young offense. Center Kristofer O’Dowd is still out.  USC is starting true freshman Devon Kennard at strongside linebacker. You can’t underestimate the loss of Williams, as he’s been the most consistent play maker for Matt Barkley. The biggest evidence of chemistry on this Trojan team is between Barkley and Williams.

The Trojans are not lacking in talent or depth. They never are. But where this 2009 team differs from other Trojan teams of the Pete Carroll era is in discipline and chemistry. Last week at ASU the Trojans had 9 penalties for 98 yards. That’s inexcusable. Where is the leadership on this team?  Surely the revolving door on the coaching staff can’t help (and will be addressed in a future post).  QB Matt Barkley is 19 years old.  Basically, Trojan fans are spoiled and this is a rebuilding year that has been nearly a decade in the making.

On Twitter last night, a friend asked me if Carroll has hit the end of his prime. I don’t believe he has. He’s only been at USC since 2001. I believe the true problem lies in the new coaching staff.  Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is an NFL guy and has sucked calling plays for the Trojans. It makes one wonder if he’s reviewed the tapes from 2001-2008. Because this 2009 offense is not a Trojan offense. Rocky Seto, the defensive coordinator, has some truly odd schemes going this year. Odd and ineffective.

I said last week that this Trojan team bore an eerie resemblance to the Paul Hackett teams of a decade ago. And for any Trojan fan that lived through that dark era in history, it was enough to make you sick. But this isn’t a Paul Hackett coached team. It’s a Pete Carroll team. We don’t call him Big Balls Pete for nothing.

Can we win this game? Of Course We Can. The only thing beating the Trojans right now is themselves. The penalties, the lack of chemistry and discipline, the anemic play calling, the injuries.  We have the talent.  We’re just lacking in experience.

I predict it will be a close one in the Coliseum on Saturday. It’s Homecoming for USC, and I really don’t see this team dropping a game at home especially on Homecoming. Look for another ugly win by the Trojans.

Follow me on Twitter @GridironGoddess

(This post was originally posted to Buster Sports)

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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College Football Picks Week 5: Who will go down this weekend

October 1, 2009

Week 5 Final: 11-6

Week 4 Final:11-5

Week 3 Final: 14-2

Week 2 Final: 11 – 4

Week 1 Final: 10 – 4

Hey Football Fiends!

My money is on Miami beating Oklahoma. Of course I don’t really EXPECT the ‘Canes to beat the Sooners, but I sure HOPE they do!

BYU over Utah State

Pitt over Louisville

South Florida over Syracuse

Florida State over BC

Bama over Kentucky

Ole Miss over Vandy

Notre Dame over Washington

LSU over UGA

Oklahoma over Miami

ASU over Oregon State

UCLA over Stanford

USC over Cal

Tennessee over Auburn

Michigan over Michigan State

Penn State over Illinois

GA Tech over Mississippi State

Wake Forest over NC State

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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Stafon Johnson Update: 10pm

September 28, 2009

USCRipsit.com is reporting that as of 9pm tonight USC RB Stafon Johnson is still in surgery for the neck/throat injury he sustained this morning during his weight training. Johnson was working at the bench press when the injury occurred.

ETA: @BrandonJHancock (10pm) Latest word… Stafon in Surgery to reconstruct vocal cords.

ETA 2: From the LA Times

USC running back Stafon Johnson is still in surgery at California Hospital Medical Center near downtown. His condition was “critical but stable” as of about 7:20 tonight, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Friends and family of Johnson have gathered at the hospital, waiting for him to return from surgery which began about five hours ago.

Johnson was injured this morning while lifting weights at the school.

The senior from Dorsey High was just starting a set of bench press lifts when he apparently lost control of the bar and it landed on his neck. He was reportedly spitting up blood and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where surgery began sometime around 2 p.m., according to family friend John Eatman, a former high school teammate.

Eatman was among about a dozen friends and family members gathered in hospital waiting room this evening. “Right now we don’t know anything,” Eatman said. “We’re just hoping he’s all right.”

Johnson’s mother, Kim Mallory, was at the hospital but declined comment through a family spokesperson.

ETA 3:  10:30pm RT @BrandonJHancock Stafon out of surgery now. My thoughts and prayers with #13 and Family.

ETA 4: 11:07pm According to ABC7: Stafon Johnson expected to make full recovery and though he will be out all of THIS season, his prognosis says Stafon should be back in the Cardinal & Gold #13 next season.

Please keep Stafon and his family in your prayers.

FIGHT ON!

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USC RB Stafon Johnson injured in weight lifting accident

September 28, 2009

469562Football Fiends –

I hate reporting this kind of stuff but a USC player needs your prayers. Standout RB Stafon Johnson suffered a serious injury today in the weight room. He needs your prayers. This isn’t about football. This is about the Trojan Family. This is about life. This is about a young man making a full recovery.

From ESPN:

Tailback Stafon Johnson was rushed to the hospital after dropping a weight on his throat in the weight room.The injury caused Johnson to start coughing up blood…He was subsequently rushed to the hospital.

That is all there is right now. When I hear more I will update this story.

Please send your thoughts and prayers his way!

UPDATE: This is from USCRipsIt.

Tailback Stafon Johnson suffered a throat injury while weightlifting Monday morning and is undergoing surgery this afternoon.

Johnson, a senior from Compton, was bench-pressing with a spotter in Heritage Hall’s weight room when the bar slipped out of his right hand and fell at an angle onto his throat. USC’s athletic trainers and emergency personnel rushed to the scene, and Johnson was taken to a local hospital, where he’s currently undergoing surgery on his throat.

“It was an unfortunate accident and Stafon is getting great care right now,” Coach Pete Carroll said. “We don’t have a lot of information at this point and we’ll keep everyone updated, but our thoughts and prayers are with Stafon.”

Head strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle, who was within 10 feet of the incident, said he was shocked something like this could happen.

“I’ve seen players have the bar slip and fall onto their chest, but never in my 25 years of coaching have I heard of someone dropping a bar on their throat,” Carlisle said. “We’re fortunate he was being spotted.”

The bench press is commonly regarded as one of the safest exercises in the weight room, especially with a spotter, Carlisle said. An assistant strength and conditioning coach was spotting Johnson this morning.

Johnson’s recovery time from surgery is unknown at this time.

UPDATE 2check out this post from an ENT Surgeon  (Ear Nose and Throat) from WeAreSC.com

Guys-
I’m board certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and also in Facial Plastic Surgery. I’ve seen dozens of these type of injuries over the years. First of all, we should be grateful he is alive and that apparently there are no neurologic problems (stroke, spinal cord injury). He faces potentially a very long road ahead. Bleeding indicates a break in the laryngeal or tracheal mucosa, and generally this is due to fracture of the cartilages. In young people, the cartilage isn’t calcified and it gives quite alot. But it can break. Emergent surgery of this nature is usually due to one of two things- impending airway compromise (due to an expanding hematoma- collection of blood, collapse of airway, or even laryngeal nerve injury, or laryngeal-tracheal separation). In that case they will do a tracheostomy, probably with the patient 100% awake (these are not fun for the surgeon or the patient- I did three last month).

The other reason for surgery is to perform laryngofissure. The neck is opened up, and the broken laryngeal cartilage (if fractured) is repaired with sutures and titanium microplates. Rarely do you know the injury ahead of time, as these patients are in extremis, and a CT scan is risky (loosing an airway and trach’ing a patient in the CT scanner is extremely unpleasant).

Thanks to USCRipsIt, WeAreSC and The Conquest Chronicles

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College Football Picks – Week 5: USC will win but take Wazzou and the points

September 24, 2009

Week 4 Final:11-5

Week 3 Final: 14-2

Week 2 Final: 11 – 4

Week 1 Final: 10 – 4

Hey Football Fiends-

It’s that time of the week again and this Trojan alum finds herself in a familiar place. Unsure of which USC football team is going to show up to play Saturday night in the Coliseum. USC is a 46.5 favorite over Washington State and as past years have shown – this isn’t a great place to be in. That said, Matt Barkely is starting and USC will win the game. I just don’t think our offense has gelled enough to beat that point spread.

USC over Washington State

Mizzou over Nevada

Ohio State over Illinois

Wisconsin over Michigan State

LSU over Mississippi State

Alabama over Arkansas

Florida over Kentucky

UGA over ASU  (I think the Sundevils have a real shot here and I hope they do win! I just, hmmm, am not sure.)

Cal over Oregon

Florida State over South Florida

GA Tech over UNC

U of Miami over VA Tech

Notre Dame over Purdue

Penn State over Iowa

Oregon State over Arizona

Utah over Louisville

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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Initial Thoughts on the USC Loss: Superstitions at work

September 19, 2009

Football Fiends-

I just don’t have it in me right now to do anything but spew unintelligible expletives towards Aaron Corp and Pete Carroll and question play calling and keep reasserting that this team needs Taylor Mays and Matt Barkley healthy and Joe McDroppersonKnight needs to stop coughing up the ball and really? Right now? We’re looking at two or three losses by the end of the season and our seven year reign at the top of the Pac-10 will come to an end. (Wow how’s that for a run-on sentence?)

See? No perspective, just emotion. I do have to say though, for the record, a loss is a lot easier to take when you’re dating a fellow Trojan. At least I know my guy is not going to be gloating.

So for now, let’s talk superstitions.

As you know I entered the Hershey’s Biggest Fan Contest and I am one of this week’s top 5 finalists. My video is called USC’s Lucky Charm. I look like total crap in it, but WHATEVER. I wanted to get it uploaded by the deadline, not spend time doing my hair. Please go vote for me as I could realllllly use the $1,000 prize.  As some of you know, I’ve been unemployed for 2 years. SO I REALLY NEED THE MONEY. Voting closes at 11:59pm Eastern time on Monday, September 21st.

In my video I talk about MY superstition. If I don’t watch USC in real time (no Tivo, no watching 5 or 10 or 30 minutes behind, no missing it) we lose.  I watched this one. In real time.

However, my superstitions must directly align with the successful execution of my friend Oakley’s USC football superstitions as well or all is null and void and USC loses. You can laugh as hard as you want, it IS funny. But its also a pattern that she and I have seen play out over YEARS of friendship. (What is it now Oakz? A DECADE?!)

So obviously I have to be watching the game.

But also I cannot watch it WITH OAKLEY. Not in the same room, not on the same couch not even in the same bar. Something about the combination of our combined crazy USC Loyalty sets things all wrong. Also, Oakz has found our team has more success if she is, well, let’s just say sans an undergarment.

Also:

(from Oakley’s blog)

AHHA Texas

And from Twitter earlier:

brandon UW

OakmonsterUW

So yeah. Not only did USC’s offense look anemic and impotent and pathetic;  not only did the defense sorely miss Taylor Mays; but Oakley’s superstitions and my superstitions did not line up.

Oh and I just got off the phone with my boyfriend, who is in Chicago this weekend and missed the game. He takes responsibility for his part in our loss by not viewing the game as well.

So there you go football fiends. This is how we console ourselves. We look for any silly reason we can to explain why our supposedly elite team keeps losing these games in which they are highly favored.

Right now, well I think a good nap is in order. Maybe I can forget for an hour what just transpired in Seattle.

Also? Jake Locker is a hell of an impressive QB. One wonders what the Huskies’ 2008 season would have been if he had not gotten injured.

One more thing – Pete Carroll just lost to two of his former Assistant Coaches.  Steve Sarkisian is UW’s new head coach.  Nick Holt is UW’s Defensive Coordinator. It makes one think, doesn’t it?

Oh and BTW, my prediction for the rest of our season? USC will lose two of the following three games: Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame.

ETA: Oakley admits it (via Twitter)

oakzadmitsit

FBblame

Is it too late to call this year a rebuilding year?

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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