Ten for Thursday: Who’s No. 1?
1) Who’s No. 1? That’s the question asked by Lane Kiffin, when the new enforcer explained to his team that wearing certain jersey numbers is a privilege and not a right. T.J. Bryant and De’Von Flournoy have been temporarily stripped of the No. 1, which appears to be more of a motivational message than a punishment. No.1 was worn for two years by Mike Williams, which is apparently where Kiffin has set the bar, since he made mention of that name. Scott Wolf, the often criticized USC beat writer for the L.A. Daily news, stated that another USC star also wore that number, but again—he was wrong. Seeing that Wolf is also a voter in the AP poll, this may be the first time in years that he thought anything or anyone from USC was No. 1.
2) The End. The world will end in 2012, and we’ll prepare for it by ending all celebrations in 2011. In one of the most ridiculous decisions, the NCAA has announced a rule change that will stiffen the penalty for touchdown celebrations. Starting in ’11, that penalty will result in a 15 yard penalty from the spot of the foul, taking the six points off the board. With the implementation of this silly rule, I would suggest hope “taunting and celebration” will also be redefined. Can you imagine a team having a score wiped off the board for THIS?
3) Thunder. Former Trojan Lendale White finally signed his tender. He’s made it no secret that he wants to be dealt to another city where his playing time would increase. Signing the tender now allows the Titans to seek a trade partner, but I doubt he’ll be going anywhere.
4) Lightning. Reggie Bush was ordered to give a sworn deposition in a San Diego court. It’s the first opportunity to hear his side while under oath, and of course, the NCAA would love to have that tape. Bush had reportedly spoken with the NCAA investigators before they officially met with USC in February. My guess is that they will compare statements in search of inconsistencies. Bush’s accuser claims to have receipts and recordings to prove an agreement and monetary exchanges between himself and the Bush family. As far as I’m concerned, he can have all the evidence to show that Bush was accepting improper benefits, but unless he also provides evidence of a link between those improprieties and knowledge by USC, I could care less about this case.
5) Fossils. Pete Carroll has openly announced that the Universities of Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State have better football facilities than USC. If there’s one thing Pete should have learned while in Southern California, it’s that we don’t want to hear that Texas is better at anything.—ANYTHING!
6) Perseverance. Congratulations to Mike Williams and Ryan Powdrell. The former Trojans signed contracts with the Seattle Seahawks, reuniting them with their former coach.
7) Congratulations 2. Dallas Sartz has been hired to coach linebackers at UC Davis.
8. Congratulations 3. Linebacker Malcolm Smith has been added to the Lott Trophy watch list.
9) Neighborhood Watch. Although it is an honor to be placed on preseason award watch lists, Aaron Corp stands as a reminder of how premature they may be in talent assessment. Corp was placed on the Davey O’Brien watch list last summer. He went on to start just one game.
10) Message to Ben Roethlisberger: “No” means—NO!