- - - - -

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Saturday, April 08, 2006

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SMQ spins the wheel for a hastily-rendered, too-soon look at a random school's prospects for the fall, sans inevitable academic and criminal suspensions, sudden tra nsfers, debilitating injuries and other miscellaneous misfortunes of the long summer

- - - - -
New era commences steeped in Carroll's ebullient Tao of Troy, plus these dudes are still, like, totally fast and junk

PAST FIVE SEASONS: 54-10 (35-5 PAC Ten) / 2005: 12-1 (8-0 PAC Ten, Champions), Lost Rose Bowl
STARTERS BACK, ROUGHLY: 11 (4 Offense, 7 Defens e)
WHAT'S CHANGED: Several hundred pounds of hardware is gone en route to the NFL, most notably from the prolific backfield that got most of the attention during the team's 34-game win streak. Most teams suffer noticeably from the departure of a Hei sman winner; the Trojans will be the first team ever to try to replace two, along with five other all-Americans. As usual after the kind of three-year run by Leinart, Bush and Co., this squad seems strictly partitioned from the awe-inspiring continuity of the past three, which really felt like the exact same team from year to year.
WHAT'S THE SAME: Pete Carroll's penchant for amassing freaky, freaky, good God freaky talent. Who, exactly, among the legions of blue chips will be the emergent s tar by November may be a question, but a string of top-ranked recruiting classes guarantees there will be an emergent star. The obvious guess: new QB John David Booty, who'll have the top three receivers from '05 back.
CRY ME A FUCKIN' RIVER, FAUNTLEROY: Onl y four starters are back on offense, but it's tough to complain when all four - receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith and linemen Sam Baker and Ryan Kalil - will be getting deserving all-America love from preseason mags, or when there are 46 caree r sta rts spread among offensive returnees officially listed as backups last year. Or when the new quarteback was a high school prodigy groomed for three years to step into the position whose previous occupants both won the Heisman Trophy.
Similarly, thou gh you can only officially count three as returning starters, there are six linebackers coming back with some starting experience, and that group doesn't even include Rey Maualauga, a freshman all-America last year. How the coaches plan to find time for him, Ke ith Rivers, Oscar Lua, Thomas Williams, Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava and, back from injury, Dallas Sartz is a major, um, problem.
IN ALL FIELDS, A LITTLE RAIN MUST FALL: SMQ will allow a tear, or at least a quick pour onto an L.A. sidewalk, for the departed running backs. This wouldn't be acceptable if Herschel Dennis - the leader, as a redshirt, of the 2003 co-mythical title team's three-headed freshman tailback monster, if you'll remember - hadn't blown out his knee, again, during the Spring, likely leaving some combination of potentially ineligible Chauncey Washington, injury-saddled Desmond Re ed and Michael Coleman or a slew of incoming freshmen headed by C.J. Gable, originally projected as a cornerback, to fill the void. We all expect one of those guys, or a couple of them together, to be the next Inevitable USC Tailback(s) of Doom, of course, but t his is less certain than if Dennis was suiting up again.
OVERLY OPTIMISTIC SPRING PRACTICE-BASED CHATTER Come on, injuries? High profile departures? What, that little loss to Texas? Eh, whatever. What-EVER, man. The Trojans do not dwell on, or deign to recognize, loss. The Trojans do not doubt their superiority. The Trojans possess "the ability to continue to show who they are and not be affected by what's going on around them, or in the past, or what they're heading into." The Trojans are zen. The Trojans are eternal champions. The Trojans are zen.
REASON(S) FOR HOPE: Well, obviously.
REASON TO BE AFRAID, VERY AFRAID: Matt Leinart, Re ggie Bus h, LenDale White, Frostee Rucker, Fred Matua, Domonique Byrd, Winston Justice, Tatui Latusi and Darnell Bing were around for a whole bunch of wins and a couple championships. Now they're not.
IF THIS TEAM WERE ANY POP CULTURAL, HISTORICAL, POLITICAL, LITERARY OR OTHERWISE NOTABLE FIGURE, IT WOULD BE... Clearly, Napoleon, rising from Elba: not altogether evil but dashing, formidable, aggressive and dangerously close to conquering the known world under a power-mad, authoritarian fist before a crushing defeat. Which makes Vince Young...who, class? If you said Lord Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington - or even the Furst von Wahlstatt, Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher, since SMQ is being so super generous - give yourself a gold star, and maybe try to get out a little more.

- - - - -
Where victory had seemed assured, now spread the cry, "La Garde recule, sauve qui peut!"

HONESTLY, WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE SCHEDULE, SMQ'S THINKING: 11-2, league championship, BCS mania, a little grumbling from Trojan fans spoiled by three straight years on the perilous wave of non-stop mythical title expectations. The departures make this definitely a mortal team again, but only barely.

Previous absurdly premature assessments:
April 3: Central Michigan...April 4: Brigham Young...April 6: Kentucky...April 7: Bowling Green

- - - - -

8:53 AM

Actually, that's about as good a preview as I could hope for, nicely done. I'd be pretty happy with 11 - 2.
Post a Comment
Powered by Blogger


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.

AWWW!! The totally nicest people, like, ever!...

How much football does he watch? Dude's got insights on -everybody-, and by everybody, I mean everybody. Throw in some of the best writing in the blogosphere, and we're talking about a daily must-read.
- Burnt Orange Nation

SMQ starts to sound more and more like the Gregg Easterbrook of our ideal memories every day - whip-smart, systematic, omnivorous in his intellectual tastes and yet unafraid of the cheap joke.
- Every Day Should Be Saturday

Sunday Morning Quarterback is one of our favorite football blogs on the internet.
- State Fans Nation

Sunday Morning Quarterback is a killer football blog if you are a college football junkie. It is run by one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical writers in the college football blogosphere...The guy is thorough and detailed and provides a level of analysis you are not going to find anywhere else .
- Bruins Nation

Just another hack writer who hasn't done one lick of research... - SOT2

...the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members ... should be given gifts.
- MGoBlog

- - - - -
e-mail Sunday Morning Quarterback at sundaymorningqb@yahoo.com

- - - - -

2006 Preview
Anatomy of an Underdog
BlogPoll: 1-10/11-25/Roundtable
The Big Ten
The Big XII
The Sun Belt

Running Departments
The Rap Sheet
July 29/Aug. 1/Aug. 9/Aug. 16/Aug.19/Aug. 25/Sept. 28/Oct. 4/Oct. 5/Oct. 18/Oct. 26/Nov. 2/Nov. 7/Nov. 8/Nov. 28/Dec. 2/Dec. 8/ Dec. 11/Dec. 18/Dec. 21/Feb. 6/Feb. 10/April 7/April 14/April 21/April 29/May 6/May 12/May 19/May 26/June 2/June 10/June 16/June 24/June 30/July 8/Aug. 4

- - - - -

News from the Big Guys
ESPN/ College Football News Wire
Sports Illustrated
CBS Sportsline
USA Today
Opinion: Columnists and bloggers
Around the Oval (Ohio State)
Badger Sports (Wisconsin)
The Blue-Gray Sky (Notre Dame)
Block U (Utah)
BoiFromTroy (Southern Cal)
Bruins Nation (UCLA)
Burnt Orange Nation (Texas)
The Corporate Headquarters of the San Antonio Gunslingers
Dave Sez (Virginia)
Dawg Sports (Georgia)
ESPN: Ivan Maisel/Pat Forde
Every Day Should Be Saturday (Florida)
FOX: Pete Fiutak
Golden Tornado (Georgia Tech)
Heisman Pundit
I'm a Realist (Georgia)
Journalism is for Rock Stars (Alabama)
Mark May Be Wrong
MDG CFB (Fresno State)
Mountain Lair (West Virginia)
MGOBlog (Michigan)
Orange::44 (Syracuse)
Paradigm Blog (Michigan)
Paul Westerdawg (Georgia)
Pitch Right (Navy)
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (Alabammer)
Section Six
Sexy Results (Virginia)
SI: Stewart Mandel/John Walters
Sporting Fools (Florida State)
Straight Bangin' (Michigan)
Texas A&M and Baseball, In No Particular Order (Texas A&M)
The 614 (Ohio State)
The House That Rock Built (Notre Dame)
The Sporting Gnomes (Clemson)
Tiger Pundit (Clemson)
We Must Ignite This Couch (West Virginia)
The Wizard of Odds

- - - - -
The Blog Poll

- - - - -

College Football Data Warehouse
College Football Research Center
College Football News
Football Commentary

Tackles For Loss
Field Goals
Kickoff Returns
Punt Returns
Rushing Offense
Passing Offense
Total Offense
Scoring Offense
Rushing Defense
Passing Defense
Total Defense
Scoring Defense
Turnover Margin

- - - - -
Past Seasons
Thursday Morning Quarterback
Sept. 29/Oct. 6/Oct. 20/Oct. 27/Nov. 3/Nov. 10/Nov. 17/Nov. 24/Dec. 1
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Oct. 2/Oct. 23/Oct. 30/Nov. 6/Nov. 13/Nov. 27
Stat Relevance Watch
Part One/Part Two/Part Three
SMQ Bowl Blitz
New Orleans/GMAC/Las Vegas/Poinsettia/Motor City

SMQ's [Hurricane-Abbreviated] 2005 Preview
Top 25 Countdown/Methodology
All-America Team