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Who Wins?
Ohio State 10 24.39%
Southern California 31 75.61%
Voters: 41. Sorry, you cannot vote on this poll (Boxden members only)

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Props Slaps
 5 years ago '10        #1001
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Oh and Bouncer is actually a student, I'm the kid that grew up across the street.
 5 years ago '10        #1002
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Welcome back to the War Room. I'll begin the session with the ground rules so everyone knows what we are doing here. Everything that is reported in the War Room must stay in the War Room and can be talked about in The Peristyle. Sometimes the info is sensitive enough that it simply does not need to be passed on beyond the doors of this thread.

This is a special feature for subscribers only. The reason why it is posted on the premium board is because it's the only way to ensure that the info stays exclusive to Trojan fans. This will only work if everyone helps make it work and so far we haven't had any problems.

USC fall camp starts Monday, officially kicking off the 2012 football season. In the War Room this week we explain the math behind the scholarship sanctions the Trojans will be dealing with for the next three years.

Let's get down to it…

A great day on hold?

Last weekend, USC had Penn State running back Silas Redd on campus while entertaining phones calls from recruits wanting to commit. One commitment, that from Houston (Texas) four-star defensive end Torrodney Prevot, stuck and went public Sunday. With limited scholarship offers, it now appears that if others are to commit publicly to USC, it may have to follow a de-commitment from the 2013 class.

On the record, all of USC's 18 commitments are solid verbals. However, behind the scenes, there are rumblings that not everyone will hold true to their pledge. Santa Monica (Calif.) four-star wide receiver Sebastian LaRue frequently comes up in those conversations. Sources say LaRue wants to play wide out as a true freshman, and doing that at USC will be an uphill battle. His confidence is waning along with his commitment. Schools like Texas A&M, UCLA, Florida and Cal are continuing to pitch early playing time.

On the Board

With defensive end Torrodney Prevot in the bag, another public commitment for USC would most likely come from a defensive back. The two big names on the board are Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) four-star safety Tahaan Goodman and Seffner (Fla.) four-star safety Leon McQuay III. Both are very, very high on USC, although getting a public commitment from either may require more work.

Goodman's mother has been adamant that he take all five of his official visits before making a verbal commitment. Goodman was supposed to meet with Lane Kiffin this week to discuss a commitment, but to our knowledge, that meeting never took place. McQuay also has family ties pulling him back from making a public pledge to SC. Sources say McQuay was ready to announce a college decision this week, but his father was against the idea. McQuay's parents are divorced, and the direction of his recruitment seems to change depending on which parent you talk to.

McQuay is basically down to USC and Vanderbilt at this point, with dad wanting to keep his son in the South. There was a chance McQuay would unofficially visit USC with his mother, but now that visit may not happen until the season starts. Beyond September his visit would be of the official variety.

Goodman is a versatile athlete that could play either safety position, or possibly even linebacker depending on how he physically develops. McQuay is a free safety who is more of a coverage defensive back than a physical presence near the line of scrimmage.

Warrior Hawkins

Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) four-star cornerback Chris Hawkins is often talked about in the War Room for his efforts in helping recruit for the 2013 class. However, Hawkins should also be noted for his toughness. Breaking his thumb at the Rising Stars Camp in June, Hawkins attended The Opening with the injury before getting his hand in a cast. In fact, he had an interception that was taken away because the play was called dead for a quarterback sack.

Hawkins has surgery on his thumb after The Opening, but against doctors orders, and his dad's, the Army All-American participated in The Gridiron Kings Passing Tournament with his hand in a cast. Under the cast, his thumb had stitches, yet he still played. Those types of intangibles cannot be measured in the rankings. Hawkins was originally expected to miss most of the season with his injury, but we hear he hopes to be on the field when the Cougars play Servite Sept. 1 in week two of the season.

Rogers feeling confident

Carson (calif.) in-coming freshman receiver Darreus Rogers is confident that he will be academically eligible this fall. This week, Rogers sent out tweets that he was looking forward to being on campus soon. Sources say that Rogers has completed the class work he was forced to retake when his secondary school grades from Carson Christian were not accepted by the NCAA Clearinghouse. However, that course works has to go through the NCAA Clearinghouse once again, which could take weeks. The good news, it appears once he is cleared by the NCAA, admissions at USC should grant enrollment shortly after. Rogers needed to raise his core GPA with three classes, so if the NCAA clears him to enroll, USC will be able to as well.

The dreaded "75"

With the Trojans ranked so high in the preseason, many forget the meat of the NCAA scholarship sanctions are just getting started. In February, the Trojans signed a recruiting class limited to just 15 players. Those are initial scholarship limitations.

This weekend USC will experience for the first time the overall scholarship sanctions, where the team can only carry 75 players on athletic aid instead of 85.

As the Trojans a.ssemble their class of 2013, three leftover rides that went unfilled in February can rollover and be used now, giving Lane Kiffin some wiggle room for this class.

But as we mentioned before, and now have reconfirmed, one of those leftover class of 2012 spots must be used on Silas Redd. Any transfer scholarship player will be an initial and overall counter for the new program. Redd arrives in the fall of 2012 and will count as one of the 15 scholarship athletes USC is allowed to sign for the class of 2012. End of story.

So that means USC now has one less scholarship to play with for the class of 2013. By our count, this class is now limited to 17, not 18, because Silas Redd takes one of those rides.

The Trojans currently have 18 verbal commitments, but there is still plenty of time for that to sort itself out. Verbal commits are not an official tally and the earliest hard numbers start to come in will be when the early enrollees sign in December.

The issue that USC is dealing with right now is the overall scholarship number of 75. The Trojans need to be under 75 scholarships at the beginning of fall camp (Monday) and they must remain under 75 scholarships throughout the football season. That is the real number coaches are dealing with right now and our sources tell us they are not only under it, but they have room to spare.

Before signing Silas Redd, our count showed USC stood at exactly 75 scholarships. With Redd, that number bounced up to 76. That count includes Will Andrew, Tony Burnett and Abe Markowitz, three former walk-ons that earned scholarships. It also includes the aforementioned Darreus Rogers, incoming freshman wide receiver who has yet to enroll.

To deal with the NCAA sanctions, here is what USC is forced to do. Ever hear of the saying from Wheel of Fortune that, "Once you buy a prize, it is yours to keep?" Yeah, they don't sell prizes any longer on that show, but that was what Pat Sajak used to tell the contestants every episode.

Same thing holds true for scholarships on the football team. Once you give a player a scholarship, it is his to keep (for a year). You can't take it away once it is granted, but you can give scholarships out anytime during the season.

So to make sure the team is under 75 scholarships, we have learned that at least two of the former walk-ons did NOT have their scholarships renewed. But at least one, and possibly both, would be issued a scholarship for 2012 when the dust settles and the coaches have a better understanding of what the roster looks like with all of the new players enrolled.

Classes do not start until August 27 and by that time, or soon after, USC should know where Darreus Rogers and the rest of the new players stand.

It is an unfortunate situation for those former (and now current) walk-on players, but USC's hands are essentially tied because of the NCAA sanctions. On the positive side, until school starts all players (scholarship and walk-ons) are pretty much on the same page with room and board taken care of in the dorms for fall camp.

Of course when school starts then the story changes. Those players will have to go back onto non athletic aid and try to pay the $50-60 thousand tuition on their own.

Our guess is that if Rogers makes it in, one walk-on will not be reissued his scholarship. If Rogers has to go the JC route for a year or greyshirts, all three walk-ons will play this season on scholarship.

Stars . . . in stripes?

Too bad the Pac-12 football officiating folks didn't have the open session for the media again this year. We'd have liked to find out whether the impending NFL officials strike/lockout is going to have any impact. And that was just our first question.


So we thought we'd try to find out. Here's what we've learned. The NFL will not raid any of the FBS leagues or teams for officials, just FCS and below. So no Pac-12 guys to replace. But . . .

There may be some benefits from NFL football guys not going back who can work for the Pac-12 in various advisory capacities, we hear. On the field, we also hear that after dropping a dozen officials before the 2011 season, the Pac-12 axed another five for 2012. So that's 17 in two years. As they say about a thousand lawyers on the floor of the ocean, it's a good start.

We also hear that at least one official from the USC-Stanford game, reportedly the one whose end-game conversation with Lane Kiffin ended up with the USC coach getting that $10,000 fine over the clock confusion might be one not to return. And even though we keep hearing they got the end-game call correct, we're also understand that every official in that game got marked down for the way it got out of control.

From someone in the know, that missed pass interference call on the tackle in the end zone of Robert Woods well before the ball got to him was the k!ller missed call in that triple-overtime USC loss. "That was the game," our insider said after the official on the play fell down after slipping on a yard marker and no one else on the crew saw it, or at least was willing to step in and do the right thing. They all did deserve to be downgraded after that.
 5 years ago '10        #1003
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Will there be a test?

For the first time since USC was sanctioned by the NCAA, the media, much like the coaches and officials, will have to know the rules. Here's the word from USC on a new policy starting next week:

"USC's Office of Athletic Compliance will conduct an NCAA rules seminar specifically for media who cover the Trojans on a regular basis. In order for representatives of such a media organization to gain access into USC's practices and/or games in 2012, at least one member of that organization MUST attend this seminar. The objective is to provide information that should be shared with all pertinent members of that organization. The 30-minute seminar will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, in the Heritage Hall Auditorium, prior to USC's first football practice of 2012. If a USC beat media organization is not represented at this seminar, it will not be credentialed to USC practices and/or games."

Not bored on these boards

OK, last week with all that went on was one of those times we enjoy perusing other fan sites just to see what they were saying. Stopped by at Penn State and couldn't stay. Too much of a downer all the way around. Throwing Silas Redd on top of their NCAA hate and the way they feel about their own president and board of trustees, not to mention Jerry Sandusky and Lane Kiffin, produced a volatile mix of emotions that produced way too much heat with too little light and no humor.

And the Notre Dame folks are all football-fired-up right now. Hope springs eternal in South Bend.

So that left the Bruins -- a surprisingly cynical, darkly humorous mix of real-world realism as some prepared to head to San Bernardino, lovely San Berdoo and the Inland Empire this weekend, for the start of fall camp. Had to stop by when we saw posts preparing people for life on the edge of the desert where fans were Google-Earthing the practice field and wondering why there were no stands and just three trees in sight as they tried to decide which would be the greatest disincentive to attend practice.

Would day after day of 100-plus temperatures would be more threatening to their health than the occasional exploding meth lab, that was the question.

And so we kept reading and saw a thread titled: "Redd to USC is official . . ." followed by this comment: "The sanctions will hurt them in 2014 . Count on it." and then in the same vein: "USC sent 6 coaches to Redd's house to recruit him . . ." followed by this response ". . . "They must be serious about football."

And then these followup posts: "Boy these sanctions to SUC are just crippling! Makes me want to hurl! . . . Really sucks to be penalized so bad that you come out of your bowl ban pre-season #1, grab a likely #1 recruiting class (at least from a star ranking), have the Heisman hopeful AND get to add to your roster a significant player in the current year with zero restrictions. Just WOW . . . SC is despicable and so is NCAA . . . Agree . . . I want to punch Barkley in the face."

The posters then turned inward with this challenge: "We will all know UCLA football is back when . . ." and got these responses: "When Kickers and Punters no longer grace the cover of our Media Guide" . . . when "our jerseys don't look like they were bought at a swap meet" . . . and finally, when "[site] Premium isn't covered with threads about SUC."

If only they knew

Returning to Penn State for a moment, one thing upsetting the fans there and causing a combative relationship with the NCAA is summed up best by this comment on just how long players would be allowed to transfer this year and next.

"I agree that the NCAA guidelines are written poorly," fan after fan hashed and rehashed the what, where and when of the "free-agency" transfer rules trying to figure them out. "You would think that an organization that supposedly values academic success would be able to put together a coherent document."

You would think. But as unhappy as Penn State fans are about the rules, poorly written as they are, here's what they need to know about the same rules two years ago that USC was hit with. Those weren't poorly written, not a bit. Of course, there was a good reason for that.

They weren't written at all. Which might help explain some of USC Coach Lane Kiffin's exasperation with them. Penn Staters are the lucky ones. As inarticulate as the NCAA may be, at least they tried to put them in writing this time.

C'mon guys, stop and think

OK, we can accept people picking LSU No. 1 and USC No. 2, as The Sporting News did this week in its preseason rankings. What we can't accept is the follow-up comment that not only do they pick LSU and USC 1-2, they go on to say they expect the two of them to play in the BCS title game in Miami and that LSU will win. Now that's where you give yourselves away as just not getting it, TSN.

If USC gets there, wherever they're ranked, if you're LSU, you probably do not want to be there. You do not want to be anywhere near there. Not a matchup the SEC wants. Not the formula for their success. Not the way they've won six straight, which first of all required that there be no USC on the other side of the field. If the Trojans are there, bye bye Bayou Bengals. Book it.
 5 years ago '04        #1004
bouncer900 
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RIP Fred Matua
 5 years ago '10        #1005
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RIP Big Fred

Thats Seau & Matua this year. No lack of motivation no trap games
 5 years ago '04        #1007
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[video - click to view]

 5 years ago '04        #1008
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Fall Camp #1: Notes

# New year, new injury policy. The coaches and players are going to be mum on injury specifics, so our reports will mostly consist of "in or out" unless Lane Kiffin elaborates on specific cases.

# Tonight, C Khaled Holmes, WR George Farmer, DE DeVante Wilson and DE Wes Horton were among the players to miss a portion of practice. Kiffin explained that Horton and Wilson suffered from cramps due to dehydration.

# Also, incoming freshman WR Darreus Rogers has yet to be cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, while CB Isiah Wiley and LB Marquis Simmons are awaiting summer school grades before practicing.

# Robert Woods participated on a limited basis as Kiffin hopes to ease him back from offseason ankle surgery.

# Silas Redd was the star of the show tonight as he got mobbed by the media hoard after his first practice at USC. The running back, who is wearing No. 25, flashed great speed.
"I am a Trojan now," Redd pronounced. "This is known as 'RB-U', so I was excited to suit up."
"I made a business decision," Redd explained coming to USC. "Academically and athletically, I felt like this is the best place to be."

# Presumed starting running back Curtis McNeal looked awfully sharp in the opening practice as well. "Curtis has grown up with his approach to the game and his approach to life," Kiffin complimented the senior. "This just pushes him a little further. We all need competition."

# "Those guys are competitors," Redd said about his fellow backs. "We are coming out here and competing for that No. 1 spot. They understand that. I understand that. There's no animosity."

# With Redd in tow, Nelson Agholor is playing wide receiver exclusively, which was always his wish, according to Kiffin. He is a tremendous athlete who stood out from the very start of practice. He is wearing No. 15.

# Defensively, J.R. Tavai is going to get the first shot at replacing injured DE Devon Kennard. He moved over from defensive tackle leaving redshirt freshman Antwaun Woods to fill the void.

# Other position news: Freshman Leonard Williams is playing defensive tackle, while Charles Burks moved to fullback.

# On the field, Matt Barkley was picked off twice. Jawanza Starling stepped in front of one and then Anthony Brown made a great play to intercept a deep ball.

# True freshman LB Jabari Ruffin made the play of the day. In his debut practice, he showed tremendous athleticism covering FB Soma Vainuku on a wheel route and knocking a pass away.



Last edited by bouncer900; 08-07-2012 at 01:22 AM..
 5 years ago '04        #1010
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George Farmer stays injured

Isiah Wiley, grade issues man???

J.R. Tavai to DE and Leonard Williams to DT
 5 years ago '04        #1011
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[video - click to view]

 5 years ago '04        #1012
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Fall Camp #2: Notes

# No reported injury news other than WR George Farmer who remains banged up. "We have seen some great flashes when he's been healthy, but unfortunately, that hasn't been that often," Lane Kiffin said about Farmer. "It's not his fault. He's trained very hard."

# The arrival of Silas Redd obscured the other big story of the summer which was Devon Kennard's injury (pictured). Already thin on the defensive line, Ed Orgeron is trying to sort out a unit with only two veteran stalwarts, DE Wes Horton and DT George Uko.

# The first move of camp was switching sophomore J.R. Tavai to defensive end and committing to freshman Leonard Williams as a defensive tackle. Williams drew praise from his teammates for showing great hustle tonight.

# "Like [Shaun] Cody, but a little bit bigger," Orgeron provided the scouting report on Williams. "Good long leverage and gets separation." He expects Williams to tip the scales at 300 lbs. eventually.

# Orgeron is hoping to make redshirt freshman DT Christian Heyward a part of the rotation, but he was hurt most of last season and needs to see how he reacts when pads go on this week.

# Meanwhile, the starting linebackers know exactly who they are, but the backups are almost entirely freshmen. The "veteran" of the group is redshirt freshman Anthony Sarao, who spent last year pretending to be Vontaze Burfict and Manti Te'o on scout team.

# Sarao on scout team: "That was fun last year having Matt Kalil trying to f!ght me because I was Vontaze, but now it is time to get focused."

# While he awaits his opportunity at linebacker, Sarao will captain the punt coverage team. "No scrubs play special teams around here," he emphasized the importance of his new role. "Starters play special teams."

# Offensively, D.J. Morgan showed off his track speed on a long cutback run. With Redd in the rotation, Morgan's role presumably shrunk, but maybe not. "He has handled [Redd's arrival] really well," said the head coach. "I'm sure D.J. hears from a lot of people that he is the odd man out, but that's not the case. It's good to see how he has responded."

# Redd, Curtis McNeal and Morgan are on the smaller side, so Soma Vainuku could see the ball in short yardage positions. Listed at 250 lbs., "He is faster than most of our tailbacks. He is a very special athlete," Kiffin said.

# For a position that supposedly lacked depth, Kiffin was complimentary of RB "Buck" Allen as well. He listed him as another example of a player making huge strides going from his first year to his second.
 5 years ago '10        #1013
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George needs to get healthy

How you injured all off season, hope he heals up before weak 1. NA might win that 3rd string job at WR.



Leonard looks light for DT this year but I trust in ED. I think he will be a stud there eventually and will work well when we play teams like O where we need those quick off the line DT's. I like Tavai at DE for run stopping purposes. I REALLY want to see Soma get some TD's & carries this season. I thought Mcneal did OK for us last year in short yard situations but Soma would be a much better choice.
 5 years ago '04        #1014
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Fall Camp #3: Notes

# The players wore shoulder pads today, which led to more physicality and intensity. As is typical of this point in camp, the defense appeared to be a step ahead of the offense.

# However, FB Soma Vainuku caused the biggest reaction by bowling over S Gerald Bowman during a run drill. He has been impressive in the first three days of camp.

# Nickell Robey is the best cornerback in the Pac-12, but he had his hands full with Marqise Lee today. The sophomore wide receiver won most of their battles when the ball was in the air.

# While Lee and Robert Woods own the top two receiving spots, De'Von Flournoy has become the surprise leader at the third position. "Flournoy right now would be way ahead because of knowledge of the game," Kiffin said.

# George Farmer wants to compete for a wideout spot, but his body won't let him at the moment. "It is frustrating, but I can't let myself get down. I have to keep pushing for it," Farmer said."

# Nelson Agholor appeared to be exhausted mid practice, but he pushed through and continues to work on the mental side of the position.

# LT Aundrey Walker is a big focus of camp. He is taking over for Matt Kalil, the top NFL draft pick among offensive linemen. "He was a mentor to me and I love him for that," Walker said of filling Kalil's shoes. "I'm not thinking about the pressure because it will just confuse me and mess with my mind. I'm just thinking about blocking."

# Walker lost 85 pounds in the offseason and now needs to gain 10-15 pounds back, which brought a smile to the big man's face. However, he is no longer the biggest man on the field with mountainous freshman OL Zach Banner checking in at 6'9", 335 lbs. "He's huge," Walker said about Banner. "He's a great kid though. He's willing to work."

# Kiffin singled out Max Tuerk as the freshman offensive lineman who is the closest to breaking the rotation.

# The head coach also named S Demetrius Wright the defensive MVP among the less heralded players. "He seems to have turned the corner," Kiffin said.

# A pair of plays of the day: Dion Bailey jumped in front of a Cody Kessler pass and took it to the house for six. On the other side, Matt Barkley floated a perfect screen pass to Curtis McNeal who traveled 55 yards down the sideline for a score.


[video - click to view]

 5 years ago '04        #1015
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Soma Vainuku
 5 years ago '04        #1016
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[pic - click to view]



Banner tho
 5 years ago '04        #1017
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Fall Camp #4: Notes

# Thursday's practice ran shorter than the previous three due to tomorrow's scrimmage scheduled for 12:30pm at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

# The team wore shoulder pads again today. Like yesterday, practice featured immense physicality.

# DE Morgan Breslin's performance thus far in fall camp has impressed Kiffin. According to Kiffin, Breslin has improved greatly since the spring and will be an a.sset to the defensive line.

# WR Robert Woods is continuing to regain his stride. "This is the best he has looked since last year," Kiffin said. "It is good to see him push a little more and run five or six plays in a row."

#LB Hayes Pullard will be learning middle linebacker in anticipation if Lamar Dawson is sidelined with an injury this season. "We are all trying to learn every position," Pullard said. "Dion [Bailey] is trying to learn my position and I am trying to learn middle linebacker. We are trying to prepare for specific offenses." Kiffin stated that preparing Pullard now for a potential transition to middle linebacker will benefit the team later in the season.

# The Trojan defense is gaining confidence in its defensive scheme. "We are comfortable with the defense," said safety T.J. McDonald. "We have started to ask questions and pick apart the brains of our coaches.That's the only way you get better and that's exactly what we're doing."




[video - click to view]

 5 years ago '04        #1018
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Woods just needs to get his speed back to what it was during his freshman year

glad to hear the db's stepped it up..... Marvin Sanders gonna have our boys ready


Last edited by bouncer900; 08-10-2012 at 12:59 AM..
 5 years ago '10        #1020
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USCFootball.com War Room Post - August 10th, 2012 Reply

Welcome back to the War Room. I'll begin the session with the ground rules so everyone knows what we are doing here. Everything that is reported in the War Room must stay in the War Room and can be talked about in The Peristyle. Sometimes the info is sensitive enough that it simply does not need to be passed on beyond the doors of this thread.

This is a special feature for subscribers only. The reason why it is posted on the premium board is because it's the only way to ensure that the info stays exclusive to Trojan fans. This will only work if everyone helps make it work and so far we haven't had any problems.

Trojan fall camp is underway and this week in the War Room we share the inside scoop from Howard Jones Field and the John McKay Center and discuss recruiting with the latest scholarship numbers.

Let's get down to it…

Numbers game in play Saturday

If, and we say if, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) four-star safety Tahaan Goodman does make it down to USC Saturday, it will put the Trojans scholarship numbers to the test. With the Trojans currently at 18 commitments for the 2013 class, there continues to be whispers of hidden scholarship spots in the grassy knoll overlooking the John McKay Center.

Sources in the know deny being able take more than 18 players in the 2013 class. The catch, as we have explained before, is initial counters. Although some of USC's transfers (Junior College players included) have been able to fudge on which class they initially counted towards when they enrolled, all had to count toward a specific class. Academic casualties and medical hardships make room on the 75 man roster, but not the NCAA limit on class sizes.

Interpreting compliance rules, USC may actually only be able to take 17 players in the 2013 class if Carson (Calif.) incoming freshman Darreus Rogers qualifies academically. The odds of that happening seem to be increasing each week. Rogers was down at USC twice this week watching practice and going over his transcripts with USC admissions.

A source close to Goodman says he wants to commit to USC. But can USC take another commitment without also having a de-commitment? The same source was cautiously optimistic, while noting Rogers' academic standing would impact the 2013 class directly.

"We know having a bigger class than what a school can sign leads to negative recruiting. If USC has 19 commits, and can only explain room for 17 scholarships, it will give way to rumors of commits getting cut on signing day. That has a way of undermining solid commitments. Thus, a commitment by Goodman would almost have to mean USC has figured out a super duper loophole to sign 19 players in 2013.

A little off the top

We updated the Scholarship Distribution Chart this week. If you read all the way through you will notice we list 76 players on scholarship, while the team is allowed only 75.

Unlike the initial scholarship numbers, there is certainly more wiggle room with the overall numbers for Lane Kiffin to play with. One source close to the program told us the team was "well under" the limit heading into fall camp.

As we explained in the War Room last week, our sources say that at least two of the former walk-ons did not have their scholarships renewed. a.ssuming that number is two, that puts USC at 74 overall counters.

Darreus Rogers is not in school and since he was not on campus and receiving aid, he is not a counter yet either. He will only become a counter once he reports and receives aid. That puts the number at 73.

Both Isiah Wiley and Marquis Simmons have been absent from fall camp and Lane Kiffin explained it was due to academics. While Kiffin said publically both are waiting on grades and it could take one to two weeks, we are hearing something a little different.

A recruiting source told us that Wiley is not expected to become academically eligible.

Either way, both Wiley and Simmons have not reported so that brings the overall number down to 71.

Once everything settles down and the staff knows for sure about Rogers, Simmons and Wiley, expect the former walk-ons to be granted scholarships once again. And if there is room, guys like Kyle Negrete could get a welcome surprise and receive a scholarship as well.

Bowl Eligible?

Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) four-star corner and USC commit Chris Hawkins unofficially visited USC Tuesday. Hawkins toured the new facilities and watched the Trojans practice. Hawkins also met with the coaching staff, who talked about maybe trying to get him on the team before January. Hawkins will graduate from Rancho Cucamonga High School Dec. 15, so he would be available to join the team before a January bowl. Of course, Hawkins would not yet be officially enrolled at USC, which raises questions as to whether he could actually practice with the team. At the very most, he may only be able to be in meetings and travel with the team.

Hawkins is one of six committed prospects with plans to enroll early at USC. Quarterback Max Browne, defensive lineman Kyle Fitts, safety Su'a Cravens, running back Justin Davis and running back Ty Isaac are all looking to be on campus in January. Winter recess begins at USC Dec. 20 for the 2012 academic calendar and classes begin Jan. 14, 2013.

Man up, oh Great Scott

Not a lot more to say about Jim Mora's dopey negative comments about USC and "murders" near campus. Of course, he was talking about USC and taking a stupid, thoughtless shot now that he and his players have had to open practice sitting out in garbage cans full of ice in San Bernardino. Good call, there, Jim.

Now say something nice about your campus where you can't even conduct fall camp.

But we also wonder now that we know what Mora thinks of the place he calls "downtown," how he'll ever be able to recruit players from anywhere but the fancy suburbs to come to a Westwood enclave where they can be surrounded by a better class of people.

But what we want to see now is that someone in Walnut Creek has clued the reprimanding one, Larry Scott, that it's time to act again. If Mora doesn't deserve both the league reprimand Matt Barkley received a year ago for calling out Vontaze Burfict as well as the same $10,000 fine Scott thought was appropriate for Lane Kiffin after the Stanford game, then he proves what so many think about the Pac-12's antipathy for USC.

C'mon Larry, man up. You can do it. You can't allow idiots like Mora to call out entire campuses and communities in your league. Mora's cutting-edge stupidity must be stopped. Let loose-lipped Mora call out his own coaches in public if he wants. Everyone else should be off-limits. And two murdered USC grad students from China should not be props in Mora's pathetic recruiting pitch.

USA TODAY, USC doesn't believe you - and neither do we

Taking a page from the NCAA's book and making it up as they go along, USA TODAY can't possibly believe that what they did Thursday in violating their own rules for the Coaches' Poll by making Lane Kiffin's vote public was about their being keepers of the poll's integrity. They did it to out Kiffin.

There was no integrity in the duplicitous dealings of USA TODAY. They gave themselves a scoop. And some pub. And maybe a few extra hits. And they took a fan-site shot at everybody's favorite college football target -- Lane Kiffin. Bet they think they're cool.

But they come off looking like the integrity-free, ethics-diminished bunch they are in an overreach matched only by their obvious conflict of interest. And Lane, of all the players in this, comes off looking better than anyone else in this mess.

How so, you ask. Well, this is how. USA TODAY obviously made up a convenient rationale to violate the agreement they had with the coaches: "When a voter volunteers false or misleading information about his vote in public, then USA TODAY Sports, in its oversight role as administrator of the poll, will set the record straight to protect the poll's integrity."

People with no integrity talking about how they'll protect the poll's integrity. What a joke.

Sure, we'd have preferred when Kiffin talked about his vote the other day, he'd have said it this way and not in that short-hand way he tends to talk. Kiffin could have said when asked about his vote: "Now I'm not going to tell you who I voted for, but if I were a member of the media or another coach, I WOULD NOT VOTE FOR US."

Which is essentially what he said. USA TODAY decided to play judge, jury and executioner, as well as mind-reader, to declare that as "false or misleading" when it certainly was not false. Kiffin would have had to say: "I didn't vote for USC." But he didn't say that. What he said was technically true and completely consistent with what he's said since last spring.

Then comes Grant Teaff, former Baylor head coach now the head of the American Football Coaches a.ssociation, whose members vote in the poll, who comes off like the typical good old boy as he kicks some young whippersnapper back into line. He sent Kiffin a letter, eh? But he had to run to USA TODAY before the guy he sent the letter to got it. And he couldn't bother to call Kiffin on the phone or send an email to him. Talk about a terrible administrator. More like a no-class jerk. What do you bet if it was Mack Brown's vote, he'd have heard from Grant?

Having Fun

Earlier in the summer we started to notice more positive press for Lane Kiffin from some members of the national media. While this vote controversy is likely going to be a setback, the season Kiffin is poised to put together should get things going in the right direction again.

USC is going to be in the spotlight like it was back in 2005 and more and more people are going to see what Lane Kiffin is really like.

Take Thursday at practice for example. Near the end of the workout, following four long days of grinding on the field and the last two days in extreme heat, Kiffin called an audible. Well, he actually let Matt Barkley call one.

It was in the final minutes of the team drill and walk-on quarterback John Manoogian was under center. A nice gesture to a guy who put in so many hours for the program and even came back for graduate school to help the team. Manoogian completed a pass under pressure to the left sideline and Kiffin raised his arms above his head like the team just scored a touchdown in the Rose Bowl.

He was happy for Manoogian, but also for the play caller on that drive, Matt Barkley. While Manoogian took the snaps, Kiffin allowed Barkley to call the plays. Sure it was a little bit of fun at the end of practice, but it also helped Barkley see the play from a different prospective and helped with his development.

It will take time, but the more the nation sees this side of Lane Kiffin the quicker that perception will change.

Gone but not forgotten

If you happened to be around Heritage Hall of the new McKay Center Thursday, you noticed a pretty significant police presence -- and not just the normal private security staff for practice. No, we're talking USC Public Safety people in SUV's and those chariot-looking deals as well as the LAPD.

As we headed to the parking lot on the walk past the new Brittingham Field outside McKay last night, a pair of the USC officers had stopped a young man and it looked like they were checking out what he was carrying. Because over night Wednesday, someone managed to get into the still-under-construction, still not completely sealed-off and secure McKay Center and stole some laptops.

Not sure the exact scope of the losses. They might still be doing the inventory. One description had it as "a few laptops," another that it was "bad." And both might be true. Losing one laptop could put a big hurt on anyone's day -- or night. We're hearing they do have video, do have a shot of the culprit they may circulate if they don't catch him right away. And yes, the way electronics are these days, he might not want to turn them on if he doesn't want to let someone know where they are.

But it doesn't look like anything more than a crime of opportunity, not aimed at the football program. Just the kind of thing that happens on a big urban college campus. Especially in a building not fully finished where people are moving in and construction is still going on.

Like a bad penny, this guy keeps turning up

CBSSportsline NFL columnist Mike Freeman adds a bit of detail to the recent column he wrote about how the league has told coaches and players not to talk about replacement officials brought in to replace the striking/locked-out officials. Tweets Freeman as to an example of why the NFL wants no talking about the new hires, he offers this: "USC-Stanford game in 2010. Late in the game, USC ahead. Close game. Official, now a replacement ref, forgot to start the clock . . . Called it one of the worst officiated games they had ever seen."
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