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O/NSO: Field of Dreams edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC

The Obvious: Visuals of the recently renovated Trojans practice fields have been released, and the field and the inside surroundings have been greatly enhanced, no doubt to be noticed quickly by the influx of primetime recruits that will be attending next week’s Rising Stars Camp.

The Not So Obvious: Better known as Howard Jones and Brian Kennedy Fields, both football field look now immaculate, especially BK Field. It has an artificial surface, and the lone end zone has a Coliseum size USC in gold inside a cardinal background. The powers that be should have done the same coloring and lettering with both end zones on Howard Jones Field, as well. Perhaps the end zones at Howard Jones Field might have been too tough to maintain a game-day look after the daily usage of practice.

The Obvious: The Trojans have won 11 national championship, 36 conference titles, 24 Rose Bowls wins, six Heisman Trophy recipients, and these and other impressive statistics are all in plain view inside the redone football facility.

The Not So Obvious: The Trojans have had literally dozens and dozens of All-Americans in their glorious football history. Whoever decided which real life pictures of some these players were placed on the walls did a nice job of blending both the past and present.

Residing on the walls are such former Trojans All-Americans and current NFL stars as offensive linemen Tyron Smith (Dallas), Ryan Kalil (Carolina) and Matt Kalil (Minnesota) – photo above, linebackers Brian Cushing (Texas), Rey Maualuga (Cinn.) and Clay Mathews (Green Bay), and, of course, the latest Trojans All-American, defensive tackle Leonard Williams.

The Obvious: The interlocking “SC” is used in many facets as a school logo.

The Not So Obvious: Perhaps bolder than we have seen it, the cardinal and gold interlocking “SC” is first seen by visitors entering the Trojans fabled practice field, but this “SC” has a black background to it.

The Obvious: Pete Carroll, with his trademark headset is pictured on one of the walls of the renovated fields.

The Not So Obvious: The first thing you notice about the picture of Carroll is just how young he looked when he was first guiding the Trojans.

The Obvious: There have been no bigger Notre Dame killers for the Trojans than Heisman Trophy quarterback Matt Leinart and All-American tailback Anthony Davis.

The Not So Obvious: Both Leinart and Davis also are part of the practice field picture showcase.

The Obvious: A big part of the USC heritage has been the players that have become almost legendary by their collegiate performances.

The Not So Obvious: The heritage of a number of past All-American has been recognized at Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Fields with large photographs of the likes of Junior Seau, Willie McGinest, Ricky Bell, Curtis Conway, Mike Garrett, Charlie White, and Troy Polamalu among others.

The Obvious: Most of the preseason college football magazines have the Trojans headed for the Rose Bowl to play Michigan State.

The Not So Obvious: If you think the Rose Bowl is on the decline attendance wise (chuckle), consider the Pasadena classic was the highest-attended bowl game last season, drawing 91,322 fans into its famous saucer.

The Obvious: Justin Wilcox is returning as the Trojans second-year defensive coordinator.

The Not So Obvious: Well, sometimes you can’t believe everything you read in the large volume of preseason football magazines. One new magazine on the stands, the Harris Football 2015 Preview, wrote the Trojans will be better this season with a new defensive coordinator. Say what?

The Obvious: The Trojans have received a commitment from Hawaii linebacker Jordan Iosefa.

The Not So Obvious: If you didn’t have Jordan (6-2, 216) on your recruiting list, perhaps it was because he didn’t play last season as a junior after transferring to traditional power St. Louis High. See, they do the transfer thing on the Islands, too.

The Obvious: Norm Chow, former Trojans offensive coordinator, is on the hot seat as head coach of the University of Hawaii.

The Not So Obvious: At this week’s announcement, Jordan Iosefa said the only other offer he had at the moment was from the hometown University of Hawaii. No doubt, Norm Chow has apparently lost another Islander, and he needs local recruits badly to show creditability in his program if he plans to survive another season at UH.

The Obvious: The Trojans are well into volunteer team workouts on campus.

The Not So Obvious: It’s always encouraging to see the big numbers out there, but it would be shocking if they were considerably less, given the excitement that is being generated by the media. After all, if you can’t get fired up being a near consensus Top 10 team, what fires you up?

The Obvious: Pete Carroll is the Trojans legendary coach who is a lock to one day be in the College Football Hall of Fame.

The Not So Obvious: According to an ESPN release, “Pete Carroll won 80% of his games against teams ranked in the AP Poll, the highest for any FBS coach (min. 25 games).”

The Obvious: And finally, there is a federal probe into possible leaks into the Houston Astros database, and the Feds believe the “leaks” are traced back to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Not So Obvious: Is it conceivable that the Trojans recruiting database could possibly come under the same type of cyber attack by highly competitive opponents, both present and future? What a world, what a world.

Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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