1. Rick Neuheisel: Remember the full-page ad that UCLA took out in The Los Angeles Times after hiring Neuheisel, an alum, in 2007? It showed Neuheisel pointing demonstratively below the words "The Football Monopoly in Los Angeles is Officially Over."
Later some wiseacre from SoCal added, accurately I might add, the word "There" to this ad.
Finally, Neuheisel's boast may approach reality. He is, after all, the only current head coach in the Pac-10 to have won the Rose Bowl (and has done so both as a coach and a player). Last week the Bruins landed 6-foot-4, 230-pound stud Anthony Barr, an L.A. native whose dad, Tony Brooks, and uncle, Reggie Brooks, both played running back at Notre Dame.
Neuheisel's Bruins beat Lane Kiffin's Vols in Knoxville last season. And USC could be headed for NCAA penalties in the coming months. The monopoly may be over, and chasing USC for Hollywood hegemony is no longer a trivial pursuit.
And standing number 1 at the loser's corner (emphasis mine):
1. USC: In Lane Kiffin athletic director Mike Garrett hired a coach who has a history, albeit a brief one, with playing fast by the rules and talking too proud. This in the city where TMZ, the muckraking site Sports by Brooks, and a newspaper (the L.A. Times) that stockpiles Pulitzer-prize winning investigative journalists, is based.
Somewhere Shelley Smith is pining for Pete Carroll to pull a Leno.
It is only a matter of time before someone launches a "Lane Violations" site enumerating the secondary violations that Kiffin and his staff commit in their reckless quest to maintain USC's west-of-the-Rockies dominance.
Okay, we will let the Pulitzer bit about the LA Times go, but the rest of it sounds just about right. I am sure this kind of perception from other parts of the country will only intensify the chatter that is surely going on in the recruiting trail: Southern Cal is being led by the Steve Lavin of college football, who will probably have no clue how to direct that scandal ridden program through upcoming sanctions.