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O/NSO : More preseason rankings and stuff edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC

The Obvious: The Trojans are ranked No. 11 in Lindy’s preseason college football magazine.

The Not So Obvious: For those keeping score, the Trojans were previously ranked No. 6 by Athlon and The Sporting News. FYI, Oregon was picked No. 4 in the country by Lindy’s, which is rather interesting considering they have no tested quarterback unless you figure they are relying on touted Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams.

The Obvious: The cover of Athlon’s Pac-12 preseason football magazine has Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler and UCLA linebacker Myles Jack on its cover.

The Not So Obvious: Lindy’s College Football, which will arrive on newsstands June 2, has a regional cover of Kessler, Jack, and Cal quarterback Jared Goff.

 The Obvious: In his Top-Four Poll, ESPN analyst Danny Kanell selected the Trojans as his preseason No. 3 in the country.

The Not So Obvious: Kanell told viewers, “This is going to be a trendy pick you’re going to see a lot of people picking coming out of the Pac-12. Last year it was UCLA, this year it’ll be USC. Cody Kessler probably one of the quietest years for a quarterback when he had 39 touchdowns and only five interceptions.” Are you sold on Kanell’s rationale?

The Obvious: Pete Carroll was recently inducted into the USC Hall of Fame after a brilliant career with the Trojans.

The Not So Obvious: Despite his obvious greatness, Carroll will also be remembered in the pros for his Super Bowl decision to pass and not give the ball to the power Marshawn Lynch, which still draws reviews from the likes of NFL Hall of Fame coach John Madden, who has his own perspective.

The Obvious: John Madden was once the highly successful head football coach of the Oakland Raiders, a brilliant television analyst, and has a well-received video game.

The Not So Obvious: Regarding Pete Carroll’s dramatic decision in last season’s Super Bowl, Madden told The Times, “That will torment him forever. Winning one game is hard. Getting to the Super Bowl is hard. Then getting that close and losing has to be tough, because we only remember the winners of the Super Bowl. One of the biggest gaps in sports is the difference between the winning and losing teams of the Super Bowl. They don’t invite the losing team to the White House. They don’t have parades for them. They don’t throw confetti on them. Does it haunt you? Hell yes, it haunts you. I’m still haunted by some championship games.”

The Obvious: Former Trojans All-America linebacker and USC Hall of Famer Jack Del Rio is the head coach of the Oakland and possibly the new Los Angeles Raiders.

The Not So Obvious: John Madden was asked by The Times about the hiring of Del Rio for the Raiders, Madden said, “Jack Del Rio is the right coach for them. I don’t think they needed that guy that’s on the sideline with the play card up against his mouth. Those are the guys who ascend quickly. Jack’s not that guy. He understands you can help a quarterback as much by building a defense as you can by getting him a receiver. He’s going to make them legitimate. They lived on the myth that the Raiders are tough and all that for a long time, when they weren’t. Jack sees through that myth.”

The Obvious: Lane Kiffin is a former head coach of the USC Trojans and now offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Not So Obvious: In John Madden’s Times interview, was he referring to Kiffin when he said, “I don’t think they (the Raiders) needed that guy that’s on the sideline with the play card up against his mouth.” Hmmm.

The Obvious: Former Trojans linebacker Willie McGinest has been elected to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.

The Not So Obvious: Willie joins former Trojans running back legend Sam “Bam” Cunningham in the Patriots Hall of Fame.

The Obvious: Last weekend, quarterback coaching guru Steve Clarkson convened his Trendsetters Camp, which features many of the top quarterbacks around, in Coronado, California.

The Not So Obvious: Working out at Coronado High, Trojans verbal Mitch Fink and recruit Tate Martell went through some friendly competition along with some mighty fine other signal callers. The word on the street is that Martell, the class of 2017, is the Trojans to lose. The Las Vegas Bishop Gorman QB once gave a verbal to Steve Sarkisian when Sark was the head coach at Washington.

The Obvious: The Trojans are thin are the tight end position for 2015.

The Not So Obvious: And that’s what makes the strong rumor that former Florida tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe will be transferring to USC a strong possibility. That rumor becomes stronger when you consider that his younger wide receiver brother, Josh, recently committed to the Trojans.

The Obvious: And finally, Kevin Bruce is a former 1975 All-Pac 8 linebacker for the Trojans who also played on John McKay’s 1974 national champions.

The Not So Obvious: Many readers of WeAreSC know “Coach Bruce” for his outstanding evaluator work on this site after each and every Trojans game. The O/NSO would like to pass along our congratulations to Kevin on joining the firm of Mackinac Partners as a Senior Managing Director. Old No. 50, who also goes in the business world as a corporate growth executive, has both his MBA and BS in Business Administration/Finance from Troy, and he recently became a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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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