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O/NSO: Viewing edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC

The Obvious: The USC Trojans announced a number of kickoff times recently as mandated by television and cable networks.

The Not So Obvious: And there is a rumble in the jungle regarding some of the kickoff times, courtesy of the TV schedule makers. Six of 12 regular season kickoff times are set with six more to be announced at a later preseason date or during the season. As it is, there are enough time variations and days of the week irritations to rile even the most adaptable Trojans fan.

The Obvious: It’ll be an 8 p.m. PT kickoff time for the Trojans season opener against Arkansas State on Saturday evening, Sept. 5, in the Coliseum.

The Not So Obvious: The game will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks, which is why the late (snore) start. The silver lining is that a super hot day in Los Angeles should be neutralized with the late kickoff time, and it should be pleasant in the Grand Old Lady. Better the sun goes down than bake in it. Then again, try and stay awake on the drive home, especially if there is the proverbial roadwork and detours along the way.

The Obvious: It’ll be a 5 p.m. PT kickoff time for the Trojans home game against Idaho on Saturday, Sept. 12.

The Not So Obvious: The game will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks, and if you don’t get the Pac-12 Network, there is always old school – listening to old Golden Throat Arbo. This contest could be a scorcher for the early tailgate crowd. That 8 p.m. kickoff against Arkansas State might be looked at with some melancholy depending on the Coliseum thermometer in the afternoon.

The Obvious: It’ll be a 5 p.m. PT kickoff time for the Trojans Pac-12 opener hosting Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 19, in the Coliseum.

The Not So Obvious: The game will be carried on ABC and the temperature figures to be a lot hotter on the field for this anticipated nationally televised game. If you are measure the revenge factor from the Stanford Cardinal and how they lost last season in Palo Alto, it will be 115 degrees on the gridiron temperature gauge. This one figures to be, literally and figuratively, a Coliseum barnburner.

The Obvious: It’ll be a 6 p.m. PT kickoff time for the Trojans home game against Washington on a Thursday evening on Oct. 8.

The Not So Obvious: The game will be carried nationally on ESPN, and here we go again with this Thursday evening business. The O/NSO still intensely dislikes these Thursday night games and so do most Trojans fans, but it’s to get national exposure to our friends in the East Coast who think the West Coast is a vacation destination from the real world. Show me a Trojans fans that actually likes a Thursday night game and drinks are on the house at your house and with your money.

The Obvious: It’ll be a 730 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT kickoff time for the Trojans visit to Notre Dame on Saturday evening, Oct. 17.

The Not So Obvious: The game will be carried nationally on NBC and here comes the Irish. These same kickoff times has been announced in previous seasons, and save yourself a major Chicago headache given the game time if you’re going to be there in person. Either ride a USC charter rooters bus or the train. That ride home figures to a B**** either by private or public transportation and expect to get home around 1:30 a.m. if you’re lucky. At least if you take a chartered bus or the train, you can sleep and leave the driving to somebody else. Then again, just stay home and watch it on NBC and save yourself time, money, and sleep.

The Obvious: It’ll be a 7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT kickoff time for the Trojans road game at Colorado on Friday night, Nov. 13.

The Not So Obvious: The game will be carried on ESPN 2, and apparently this game is being sponsored by National Geographic because it could be colder than a witch’s nose on Halloween, but that Friday kickoff time will seen as favorable for those Trojans fans that aren’t traveling to the game…unless you’re on an L.A. freeway during rush hour traffic. Set the record button on your cable box.

The Obvious: There are still six 2015 USC kickoff time still to be announced.

The Not So Obvious: Those unnamed kickoff times include at ASU (Sept. 26), Utah (Oct. 24 – Trojans Family Weekend), at Cal (Oct. 31), Arizona (Nov. 7 – Homecoming/Reunion Weekend), at Oregon (Nov. 21), and UCLA (Nov.28). So far, no 11 a.m. starts…so far.

The Obvious: Trojans linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, who was not enrolled for the spring semester and was not a participant in spring football, has reportedly returned to the Men of Troy and participating in weekly workouts.

The Not So Obvious: Currently enrolled in summer classes and thus eligible to participate in the current June workouts, Nwosu, who was sent home during the Holiday Bowl workouts and was sent home from San Diego because of an unspecified violation of team rules, provides depth at linebacker. To jog your memory, Uchenna is a graduate of Narbonne High in Harbor City.

The Obvious: Respected football magazine publisher Phil Steele has named his preseason All-America football team, and Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler and center Max Tuerk are on the first unit.

The Not So Obvious: In case you are wondering, the Trojans last celebrated quarterback/center combo was in 2005 when Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy and his center, Ryan Kalil, was All-Conference first team. Ryan was a 2006 All-American, but that was after the departure of Leinart.

The Obvious: Cody Kessler is a major candidate in the race for the prestigious Heisman Trophy.

The Not So Obvious: Kessler got a big vote from Phil Steele, naming Cody as the lead candidate to win the Heisman, which would give the Trojans their seventh Heisman Trophy winner. Yeah, the O/NSO hears you Reggie Bush fans.

The Obvious: Junior linebacker Su’a Cravens and sophomore corner Adoree’ Jackson made Phil Steele’s second-team All-America squad.

The Not So Obvious: No argument here, and Adoree’ also made Steele’s second-team All-Special Teams as a kick returner. For the record Steele had Oklahoma’s Alex Ross as the premier kick returner in the country.

The Obvious: And finally, somewhat lost in the television announcement kickoff times is the fact that the Pac-12 title game will now be played on a Saturday evening, Dec. 5, rather than on a Friday night.

The Not So Obvious: This is great news for Trojans fans that can’t take off work if the game was held on Friday. Either the flights up to the Bay Area with short notice won’t be cheap. For those that can’t make the trip, the title game will be televised either on ABC or ESPN (4:45 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. PT).

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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