USC produced posters featuring quarterback Matt Barkley, above, defensive back T.J. McDonald and receiver Robert Woods. Granted, the Trojans are ineligible for bowl play because of NCAA sanctions, but this program has never been one to duck a challenge. Consider that since the NCAA adopted the divisional setup in 1978, USC is one of three four teams to have never played a Division I-AA opponent. (Can you name the other two? three? Answer at bottom.) The Trojans, in fact, have played only 13 regular season games against non-BCS conference opponents in the last 15 years. This season's nonconference opponents are Minnesota, Syracuse and Notre Dame.
Click the images to enlarge. Thanks to Craig and Tim.
Answer: UCLA, and Notre Dame and Washington. The Huskies, however, fall off the list in Week 1 because they play Eastern Washington.
A lot of people were surprised by the NCAA's decision to reinstate Auburn quarterback Cam Newton without penalty after a pay-for-play scheme involving his father Cecil, but few were as surprised as USC athletic director Pat Haden.
Haden took over a program in August that was handed some of the harshest NCAA sanctions in history after the parents of Reggie Bush were ruled to have accepted extra benefits from agents and would-be sports marketers.
Who is Teague Egan? He's the USC student and registered NFL agent who gave freshman tailback Dillon Baxter a ride across campus in his custom golf cart two weeks ago that resulted in Baxter being suspended for the Trojans' game against Oregon State.
Although the NFLPA doesn't certify anyone as an agent unless they have undergraduate and advance degrees and Egan doesn't graduate until May, he asked for and was given a waiver based on his experience as a negotiator. He officially became an agent on Oct. 1, which has created quite the problem for USC, already on heightened alert after NCAA sanctions for improper benefits by an agent to the parents of Reggie Bush.
Egan contends he has been friends with several USC players long before he became an agent and he told T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times that his goal is to sign four to six Trojans for the upcoming NFL draft, possibly as early as Sunday.
"Like [NFL agent] Drew Rosenhaus who represented every Miami kid after going to school at Miami, I intend to represent every USC kid," he said.
Notre Dame had 12 men on the field for two of its last three plays against USC on Saturday night at the L.A. Coliseum. Click the image to enlarge. The officiating crew missed both calls. It would not have mattered because the Fighting Irish were merely running out the clock to secure their 20-16 victory. Thanks to John Walters of FanHouse.