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  1. #1
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    College Football Mayhem!

    THAT was an interesting weekend!

    As we enter the middle of championship month, the wheat is beginning to separate from the chaff. November is when every team's strengths and weaknesses are exposed because all of your competitors now have 7 or 8 games from which to gameplan. If you've got a weakness, everyone knows about it by now. So you'd better be improving!

    Let's discuss who's got a legitimate shot at the Big Game and what you think their chances are:

    1) OSU
    The best team, period. Troy Smith is VY Part Deux. He might not be as big and strong, but he's a playmaker and very, very mobile. I hate him. Surprising defense. One game left for all the marbles.

    2) UM
    Will Carr choke again? Awesome defense, very good but somewhat inconsistent offense. This Saturday will tell us If it's true that "defense wins championships." One game, do or die.

    3) USC
    You again? Finally looking like the Trojans of yore, they are still not Championship caliber...yet. If Troy played OSU tomorrow, they would get stomped. However, if they keep improving each week and somehow survive Cal, Notre Dame, and UCLA in consecutive weeks, I don't think anyone could argue they don't belong in the Big Game. This includes Florida and Rutgers (assuming they win out).

    4) Florida
    Two blocked field goals away from even being in this discussion. Platooning quarterbacks is never a good idea, even two as talented as Leak and Tebow. They are overrated and getting worse, IMO. There's another loss coming for the Gators, likely from the Hogs but it could be sooner.

    5) Notre Dame
    Can someone please get Weis a tissue! No really, the man must have a voracious addiction to coke because I've never seen anybody with that much snot flowing at all times. Thanks for bringing that to us in HD, NBC! *Disclaimer* I hate Notre Dame. Despite their sometimes brilliant offense, I really don't think they'll get past 'SC at The Coliseum. ND's shaky secondary is going to get lit up by Smith and Jarrett.

    6) Rutgers
    Did you see what they did to Louiville?!? 53 yards in the second half. 53!!! Ridiculous, swarming defense that flies to the ball. An offense anchored by an extremely talented back. Are they undefeated because they are that good or because their schedule is that bad? Do they deserve a shot? Hmmm...

    I believe OSU and UM are better than everyone else. Yes the Big Ten isn't that tough a division, but going undeated ain't easy. The question becomes, is this Saturday the real national chapionship game? Whoever losses won't make it to Glendale, even if the game is decided by 3 points after 5 OT's. The 'puters just won't let it happen. Who do you think is going to make it and why?

    Discuss.
    Last edited by topspeed; 11-13-2006 at 11:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Rutgers still has a major test against West Va. in Morgantown on Dec. 2. I think WVA wil knock'em out of the picture. I would love for a Big East team to go undefeated after all the defections to the ACC, but I don't think an undefeated Rutgers would be selected for the championship game even though the computers rank them high.

    Forgive me but I don't want to see USC play in another title game. OTOH, I want USC to beat ND. I wish USC and Arkansas could play a "do-over" at this point in the season. I think you would see a different outcome. If FL and Ark win out and play in the SEC championship game, that drubbing by USC on Ark will be the game that keeps Ark from playing for the title - assuming Ark wins the SEC title. USC would likely have the points edge over FL as well.

    The real brain teaser is whether the loser of the Mich/OSU game could climb back to #2. There's still a lot of football left. USC could stumble, Ark plays LSU and FL, FL plays FSU and Ark, ND should get knocked out by USC. Rematches in title games aren't that appealing. The human voters might not let it happen, but if other things fall into place it's a possibility.

    My pick: OSU vs. USC
    My back-up pick: OSU vs. Florida
    My preference: OSU vs. Arkansas
    My nightmare: OSU vs. Michigan II

    As you can see, I'm picking OSU over Michigan.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    Forgive me but I don't want to see USC play in another title game. OTOH, I want USC to beat ND. I wish USC and Arkansas could play a "do-over" at this point in the season. I think you would see a different outcome.
    You're not alone in not wanting to see 'SC play in Glendale. Blogs at various sites are decidedly anti-Trojan. My friend and fellow alum was commenting today about how nasty some of the fans are towards our beloved Troy and couldn't understand why. I simply told him that it's human nature to favor change. Remember how everyone started hating Jordan's Bulls in the middle of their 6 championships? How 'bout those Cowboys in the early '90's? People simply prefer new blood...and most of those people are in the SEC .

    As for 'SC losing to the Hogs, I respectfully disagree. I've seen Arkansas play and yes, they are better. However, most of the arguments I see center on the fact that McFadden was injured and their quarterback in that game doesn't even play the position anymore. OK. Fine. You know what's interesting? The last time I checked, the current defensive line-up is still the same Arkansas defense that allowed 'SC to come to Reynolds and drop 50 on them. 50!!! This, while our All American receiver Jarrett was nursing a bad hamstring. In the last two games, 'SC has slaughtered the Hogs 120-31. Carroll has Nutt's number, there's just no way around that.

    The real brain teaser is whether the loser of the Mich/OSU game could climb back to #2. There's still a lot of football left. USC could stumble, Ark plays LSU and FL, FL plays FSU and Ark, ND should get knocked out by USC. Rematches in title games aren't that appealing. The human voters might not let it happen, but if other things fall into place it's a possibility.

    My pick: OSU vs. USC
    My back-up pick: OSU vs. Florida
    My preference: OSU vs. Arkansas
    My nightmare: OSU vs. Michigan II

    As you can see, I'm picking OSU over Michigan.
    I sincerely doubt you'll see an rematch in the title game. None of the Harris poll voters want to see it, and from what I've read, the coaches aren't keen on the idea either. You get one shot, winner take all. That said, who knows what the computers will do (see 2004 where OU loses their league championship but hangs onto their BCS ranking, despite 'SC's #1 ranking in both polls)

    I think OSU is going to win as well. Not just over Michigan, I'm talking the whole enchilada. Whoever meets them in Glendale is going to get thumped, including 'SC. I simply don't see any chinks in their armor.

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    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    You're not alone in not wanting to see 'SC play in Glendale. Blogs at various sites are decidedly anti-Trojan. My friend and fellow alum was commenting today about how nasty some of the fans are towards our beloved Troy and couldn't understand why. I simply told him that it's human nature to favor change. Remember how everyone started hating Jordan's Bulls in the middle of their 6 championships? How 'bout those Cowboys in the early '90's? People simply prefer new blood...and most of those people are in the SEC .
    As for 'SC losing to the Hogs, I respectfully disagree. I've seen Arkansas play and yes, they are better. However, most of the arguments I see center on the fact that McFadden was injured and their quarterback in that game doesn't even play the position anymore. OK. Fine. You know what's interesting? The last time I checked, the current defensive line-up is still the same Arkansas defense that allowed 'SC to come to Reynolds and drop 50 on them. 50!!! This, while our All American receiver Jarrett was nursing a bad hamstring. In the last two games, 'SC has slaughtered the Hogs 120-31. Carroll has Nutt's number, there's just no way around that.
    I'm just towin' the SEC line, but this part of the country will get to see a little more of 'SC starting this weekend.

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    Kam
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    i know he said he's staying put, and he prolly will, but i hope miami can lure schiano back into the family and have him take over for coker. the guy is not just a great recruiter, but THIS is the kind of defense he had in miami back in the day. he took over the same idea that schnellenberger started up at miami with the smaller guys who moved fast. you can't block what you can't touch. that louisville o-line was (i think) on average 3-4inches taller and 40-50lbs heavier, and yet were dominated by the rutger's d-line.
    i hope rutgers goes undefeated, but that wvu running attack is something fierce. which might help out rutgers in that giving schiano time to prepare against a decidedly one-sided offense, when the man is a great defensive minded coach... well... look how bobby petrino did.


    go 'canes.
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    Kam
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed


    5) Notre Dame
    Can someone please get Weis a tissue! No really, the man must have a voracious addiction to coke because I've never seen anybody with that much snot flowing at all times. Thanks for bringing that to us in HD, NBC! *Disclaimer* I hate Notre Dame. Despite their sometimes brilliant offense, I really don't think they'll get past 'SC at The Coliseum. ND's shaky secondary is going to get lit up by Smith and Jarrett.

    6) Rutgers
    Did you see what they did to Louiville?!? 53 yards in the second half. 53!!! Ridiculous, swarming defense that flies to the ball. An offense anchored by an extremely talented back. Are they undefeated because they are that good or because their schedule is that bad? Do they deserve a shot? Hmmm...

    Discuss.
    i saw one bowl prediction pitting ND against Rutgers. that'd be nice to have the high mighty touchdown-Jesus team get stomped by a bunch of upstarts from jersey.

    oh, and while i'm not a big OSU fan (for obvious reasons) it would be pretty cool to have them beat michigan and play in the title game for no other reason than college football history, and have one team play against the #2 team in 3 games in the season. Once against #2 away, once against #2 at home, and once against #2 at a neutral site. That's pretty darn impressive.
    /create

  7. #7
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Tennessee SUCKED. I have been this depressed since SEC title game in 2001.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kam
    oh, and while i'm not a big OSU fan (for obvious reasons) it would be pretty cool to have them beat michigan and play in the title game for no other reason than college football history, and have one team play against the #2 team in 3 games in the season. Once against #2 away, once against #2 at home, and once against #2 at a neutral site. That's pretty darn impressive.
    Huh, I never thought of that. That would be pretty cool now that you mention it.

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    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    OUCH!!!! That stung...a little. Still, 'SC fans are holding onto their hotel rooms in Glendale insisting that the UCLA game didn't really count.

    Not with a Booty.

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    Lordy, what a mess...

    I have not seen Troy play that bad in the Carroll era, even his first year when we went 6-6. No discipline (how many false starts did we have?!?), uninspired play calling, and yes, Booty. I'm putting it on the record right now: We won't win a championship with Booty at the helm. His stats are fine, but he can't make the play when we've gotta have it. I'm not just saying he's a choker in comparison to Leinart, because just about every college QB in history pales in comparison to Leinart. No, I'm saying he's a choker just like his brother's! It's in the genes, friends. Oh, we'll win games with JDB, just not the big one.

    One other thing, a completely deflated USC is going to get its a$$ handed to them by a very pissed off Michigan team in the Rose. Watch.

    As bad as the 'SC loss was, what that loss did to the BCS is far worse. Good googly moogly, how do you straighten this out? Does Florida deserve to be in the title game? Sure, why not. Nobody wants to see a rematch anyway. It's not fair to OSU. OTOH, how did Florida become that much better than Michigan after a 10 point win over the Hogs, a score pumped by that late cheap TD?

    Ugh, there is no way to settle this without a playoff. Personally, I think Michigan is a far better team than Florida but I loath the idea of a rematch. That said, I'm still standing by my original post in proclaiming I don't think it really is going to matter. Short of OSU suffering from 52 days of rust, the Buckeyes are going destroy all comers, the Gators are simply the next in line.

  11. #11
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Interesting season to say the least. Almost makes the BCS Championship game unnecessary. Ohio State is the only major undefeated team this year. Why have the "extra" game when there's no controversy over who's #1? Ha! The controversy this season is over who's #2. Who cares, when we know who #1 is? Mich. will finish with its coveted #2 ranking if it beats USC and OSU beats FL. Be careful what you wish for.

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    Meh. Why should I care if Michigan gets the number 2 spot? Been there. Done that. Trust me, it didn't make me feel any better after last year's Rose Bowl.

    You're a Tide fan, right Dean? So tell me, how does a school go from praising it's 10-2 coach to firing him after one 6-6 season? That firing made almost as much sense as Nebraska giving Solich the boot.

  13. #13
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Meh. Why should I care if Michigan gets the number 2 spot? Been there. Done that. Trust me, it didn't make me feel any better after last year's Rose Bowl.

    You're a Tide fan, right Dean? So tell me, how does a school go from praising it's 10-2 coach to firing him after one 6-6 season? That firing made almost as much sense as Nebraska giving Solich the boot.
    Duh, I don't know. I could go either way on the decision to fire. His overall record (26-23) was unacceptable. His record against Bama's biggest rivals was unacceptable. His team's lack of discipline was unacceptable. (I've never seen Alabama teammates get after each other during a game until this year. That's what I observed. The rumours are much worse.) His offense's red zone performance was too predictable and thus pitiful. Why he didn't send the other field goal kicker into the Ark. game I'll never know or understand. His play calling with an ineffective running game was highly questionable. He was given a few days to evaluate after the season and he decided to continue calling his own plays. I think most were looking for him to fire his offensive coordinator and turn over the play-calling to a new hot-shot coordinator. Shula decided to do neither. I think his decision to maintain the status quo sealed his fate - that, and he's not Bear Bryant.

    OTOH, his #1 quarterback going into the Spring (who eventually left) got beat out by Wilson, a sophomore. Of course Wilson took over for Alabama poster boy Brodie Croyle. Wilson played valiantly, but he's not ready to carry a team on his shoulders, especially with an offensive line that never got it together consistently. Ken Darby was supposed to carry the team offensively and he had a terrible season. Like last year with Tyrone Prothro, Bama suffered injuries to its biggest playmakers - receivers DJ Hall and Keith Brown and Darby started the season banged up. Shula has recruited some top-notch skill players. He had a flock of running backs who were either redshirted or sat out the year due to injury. When healthy, Hall and Brown are dangerous receivers and both make big plays. Most SEC prognosticators had Bama going 8-4 or 7-5 this season. Shula didn't fall too short of those predictions. The Miss St. loss was overblown. Kinda like the UCLA/USC game. Miss St. played inspired ball for their coach who was dissed by Bama in favor of Shula. Also, Bama has two Mississippi high school Mr. Football players on its team and one of them had to open his mouth with bulletin board material during the week of the Miss St game. The team had great senior leadership last year which had a lot to do with their 10-2 record and after going through the hardest period of sanctions, that team probably peaked too soon. Shula really needed another year with a full allotment of scholarships. Finally, I'm just not comfortable with Mal Moore as AD. He hired Mike DuBose who was never more than a linebackers coach. Moore either stirred up things behind the scenes that caused Fran*#@e to run off to Tex A&M or Moore was duped by Fran. Then he hired Price whose style didn't fit Alabama football. Should Price have been forgiven for going to that dive of a topless bar in P'Cola? Was Price set up by those questionable dancers (and the football powers that be) who claimed they went to Price's hotel with him? I'm not sure on either of those. The diversity-in-coaching folks are watching Bama closely after basically giving Moore a pass on passing up Sly Croom last time. Moore is in over his head this time.

    My preference for new coach at Alabama: Rich Rodriguez. He already has recruting inroads in south Alabama. Pat White won a state championship and played for another at Daphne High School and he's got a couple of commitments from the same area for next season. But Coach Rod is at his Alma Mater and I couldn't really blame him if he decides to stay. The shame of it all is the investment that the University and alumni have made in the athletic facilities within the last 2 years. The facilities and fan base are there for a nice, long, cozy relationship with a coach, but Bama's recent history with sanctions and coaches could scare off the best candidates.

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    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    VOLS!!!!!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Lordy, what a mess...

    I have not seen Troy play that bad in the Carroll era, even his first year when we went 6-6. No discipline (how many false starts did we have?!?), uninspired play calling, and yes, Booty. I'm putting it on the record right now: We won't win a championship with Booty at the helm. His stats are fine, but he can't make the play when we've gotta have it. I'm not just saying he's a choker in comparison to Leinart, because just about every college QB in history pales in comparison to Leinart. No, I'm saying he's a choker just like his brother's! It's in the genes, friends. Oh, we'll win games with JDB, just not the big one.
    Speedy, ole buddy -- you've shown me the courtesy of not piling on the last couple of years, so I'll at least try to return the favor!

    I guess one man's mess is another one's bliss. Count me as equally shocked as you. I pretty much thought that my Bruins would have to play a perfect game to beat SC, yet they didn't and still came out ahead in the end.

    I think the key to the game was simply that we had DeWayne Walker calling the defenses. Can't underestimate the value of having Carroll's former assistant head coach, who used to practice against Chow's offense every week and knew Carroll and Kiffin's tendencies, on our sideline with two weeks to prepare. And for all the run Walker's getting for having the Bruin defense ready to play, I'm surprised that Kiffin and Carroll did not break tendency on offense. (How many times are they going to run that blast play on 4th down?)

    The biggest surprise to me was the SC O-line. They did not seem prepared for the speed on the Bruin defense, and that's what caused the false starts (I read that one lineman was responsible for three of them). And I don't think they gave Booty enough time to get comfortable. As far as Booty goes, he seems streaky from what I've seen. If he gets rattled, he'll disappear for stretches at a time. But, I give plenty of credit to the Bruin defense, they controlled the game for the most part.

    The SC defense played well enough to win. They looked good and did their job most of the game. By next year, they may be good enough to win a championship, Booty or not. Our QB Pat Cowan will never be an All-American (and may not even start our bowl game), but he made just enough plays with his feet and his heart.

    Now we're onto the EMERALD BOWL! Not exactly where I wanted my Bruins at the end of the year, but a match-up with Florida State at AT&T Park in San Francisco is about as good I should expect for a 7-5 season.

    Next year though, is shaping up as a breakthrough year for Bruin football. We lose only two starters, and will (knock on wood) have a healthy Ben Olson at QB for the whole year. Given that SC has a lot of underclassmen returning as well, hopefully this sets up a rivalry showdown with high stakes for both teams next year.

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    One other thing, a completely deflated USC is going to get its a$$ handed to them by a very pissed off Michigan team in the Rose. Watch.
    Well, I think this might well be Carroll's biggest coaching challenge. If they can pull off a win in the Rose Bowl, I would count that as his best coaching job yet. Michigan got jobbed by the BCS, and they'll look for some payback. But, SC still has the personnel to get the job done. Like you though, I question whether they'll be able to get up for that game and face down a very motivated Michigan team that clearly is the second-best team in the country.

    But (and I'm not saying this in jest), you do have basketball season to look forward to! As much as I hate to see this, the Trojan hoopsters are playing better than expected without Gabe Pruitt (who comes back in January, assuming that he's squared away academically), and are well set up to make some noise over the next few years when blue chippers O.J. Mayo and Brandon Jennings suit up. Last year's most painful moment for me was not the SC beatdown in football, but rather that last minute loss in our last ever basketball game at the Sports Arena!

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    As bad as the 'SC loss was, what that loss did to the BCS is far worse. Good googly moogly, how do you straighten this out? Does Florida deserve to be in the title game? Sure, why not. Nobody wants to see a rematch anyway. It's not fair to OSU. OTOH, how did Florida become that much better than Michigan after a 10 point win over the Hogs, a score pumped by that late cheap TD?

    Ugh, there is no way to settle this without a playoff. Personally, I think Michigan is a far better team than Florida but I loath the idea of a rematch. That said, I'm still standing by my original post in proclaiming I don't think it really is going to matter. Short of OSU suffering from 52 days of rust, the Buckeyes are going destroy all comers, the Gators are simply the next in line.
    I think the BCS has turned college football's post-season into the worst of both worlds. It's not a bona fide playoff where the best teams square off against one another, and at the same time it has totally devalued the traditional bowl games. I think it's disgraceful that under the BCS, the Rose Bowl has been turned into a consolation prize. USC v. Michigan is a great traditional Pac-10/Big-10 matchup, yet both teams are bitterly disappointed about having to play in Pasadena on New Year's Day. That's just wrong.

    I say, either go back to the traditional bowl setup without all the accompanying BS about matching up #1 v. #2, or go to a real playoff. The NCAA basketball tournament IMO is the greatest spectacle in sports, second only to maybe the Super Bowl; and a big part of the Final Four's appeal is that the #1 and #2 teams rarely make it to the finals -- upsets and thrilling finishes are the norm. A football tournament with 16 or 8 teams can easily generate the same kind of excitement, and become a huge event.
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    Hey Wooch!

    Glad to see you posting, which isn't often these days. Baby blues already?

    The UCLA defense was ferocious. Those two DE's, Harris and whatzhisname, blew right by our preseason All American guard. The thing that upset me the most was our complete inability to adjust to the pass rush. Put in a max protect, do something!

    Ugh, it was awful. Props to the Gutty Little Bruins. They beat us, fair and square.

    As for our B-Ball team, most people speculate OJ will be here for one year basically auditioning for the NBA. They're probably right. From what I've read, this kid is another freak of nature like LeBron. The '07 squad could be a "One and Done" affair, so we'll see.

    On a side note, we got our Rose Bowl Tix. At least we'll make a little coin selling them on e-bay or whatever. There is no way I'm going to that game. Sad to say, but I have no faith in our QB.

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    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Hey Wooch!

    Glad to see you posting, which isn't often these days. Baby blues already?

    The UCLA defense was ferocious. Those two DE's, Harris and whatzhisname, blew right by our preseason All American guard. The thing that upset me the most was our complete inability to adjust to the pass rush. Put in a max protect, do something!

    Ugh, it was awful. Props to the Gutty Little Bruins. They beat us, fair and square.
    No baby blues from my end! Just keeping very busy (and lately, the pace of the board has dropped off quite a bit, so not as much to respond to). The wife is starting to feel somewhat normal again, and if all goes well, we'll find out boy or girl on Monday!

    The two Bruin defensive ends are Bruce Davis and Justin Hickman -- pretty typical of the guys that Dorrell has been recruiting. Undersized and underrated coming out of high school, but relentless and very fast. Sad part for SC fans is that Hickman's dad was an all-conference O-lineman for the Trojans, yet here's the son making first-team AA for the Bruins.

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    As for our B-Ball team, most people speculate OJ will be here for one year basically auditioning for the NBA. They're probably right. From what I've read, this kid is another freak of nature like LeBron. The '07 squad could be a "One and Done" affair, so we'll see.
    Mayo very well might be one and done, but the PG coming in for 2008 is Brandon Jennings who might be the better all-around team player. Next year looks pretty loaded for SC if Pruitt and Young decide to come back.

    The Bruin hoopsters are sitting at #1 right now, but they've got some weaknesses inside that hopefully won't get exposed by #6 Texas A&M tomorrow in the Wooden Classic (SC plays the second half of that doubleheader against George Washington). But next year, if no one defects for the NBA after this season, Coach Howland will have probably the most loaded Bruin team since the Wooden era with center Kevin Love (most of the lists have either Love or Mayo as the #1 HS player nationally) coming in and the entire team from this year coming back. With Mayo and Jefferson coming in across town, it could really heat up the rivalry on the basketball side.

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    On a side note, we got our Rose Bowl Tix. At least we'll make a little coin selling them on e-bay or whatever. There is no way I'm going to that game. Sad to say, but I have no faith in our QB.
    Like I said, I hate to see the Rose Bowl reduced to a consolation game! I mean, how much demand there is for Rose Bowl tickets, since it seems that neither team wants to be there?

    At least you got only one more year with Booty!
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