USC Football Preview
There is no question that the 2006 USC Trojans suffered college football's most stinging regular season defeat with that 13-9 loss to cross town archrival UCLA back on December second but the setback really wound up serving as a major wake up call for Southern California.
Consider that USC trounced mighty Michigan 32-18 in last year's Rose Bowl. It's the fourth time in the past five years that the Troy Boys won a bowl game. That immediately lit the spark for the season straight ahead as it allowed the Pac-10 power a positive springboard for 2007 plus it gave the Trojans a major confidence boost.
Now, 2007 is a sky's the limit season for USC and it's quarterback John David Booty. Last year he threw for 3,310 yards and 29 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. Booty is right there at the top of the list for Heisman Trophy contenders this season even though the team is replacing its top two pass catchers in wide receivers Dwayne Jarrett (69 receptions for 978 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2006) and Steve Smith (71 catches for 1,083 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2006).
If the names Patrick turner and Vidal Hazelton don't ring a bell, they will soon enough when they are both on the receiving end of a slew of Booty strikes. Don't forget that the Trojans may have the country's best overall recruit in running back Joe McKnight who is ready to shake, rattle and roll behind a brilliant offensive line.
Offensive tackle Sam Baker is this year's Joe Thomas (Wisconsin) and he's got lots of help along the blocking wall. Just consider that the Trojans offensive line might just be the best in all of college football with Matt Spanos slated to start at center after a great spring camp and folks we haven't even talked about the USC defense yet.
The Southern Cal stop unit held seven opponents to 14 or fewer points last year. The only senior starter lost from that squad was talented linebacker Dallas Sartz and some believe sophomore LB Brian Cushing already is better than Sartz ever was at that particular position.
Pac 10 Conference championship odds posted at Bodog.com have USC listed at 1/3 odds to win the 2007 Pac 10 Championship. That means if USC was able to win the 2007 Pac 10 title every $300 bet would only pay out $100.
Keep in mind that the University of Southern California sports the best secondary in the land and it'll only get better with the return of safety Josh Pinkard who missed the entire 2006 season after he tore up his right knee in last year's season opening 50-14 wipeout win at Arkansas. Safeties Taylor Mays and Kevin Ellison already are cream of the crop players and the USC corners are top shelf material too.
In terms of this year's schedule, there are non-conference games at Nebraska and also at Notre Dame. Don't sweat it as USC simply has too much ammo for these two 'Name' teams. There is no doubt that a high octane USC crew can and will win in Lincoln and South Bend this fall. Note that USC has won its last seven consecutive non-conference road games dating back to 2002.
The Trojans will definitely be circling their game against UCLA as this USC squad guns for major revenge and don't be shocked if Carroll's club gets on another point spread roll. In the past few years the Trojans have experienced a seven game against the spread winning streak (2002), a nine game against the spread winning streak (2003 and last year USC covered four in a row against the spread before that fateful game against UCLA.
You have to consider the USC Trojans as one of the favorites to go all the way in 2007. Oddsmakers at Bodog.com have made the USC Trojans 1/3 odds of winning the 2007 BCS Bowl Championship Series National Title. With that high risk to bettors, you know the guys who set the lines like USC as well.
by: Anthony White - theSpread.com - Email Us
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