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Kiffin, Neuheisel and Fowler

Chris Fowler sat down with USC head coach Lane Kiffin and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel to talk all things football, rivalry and newspaper ad proclamations.




Kiffin with SI

Here are two interviews Lane Kiffin shot yesterday with Sports Illustrated on CNNSI.com.






Kiffin's Calendar

After ringing the NASDAQ bell this morning with his fellow conference coaches and commissioner, Lane Kiffin embarks on an ESPN media marathon this afternoon.

We'll keep tabs on the coach on Facebook (USC Trojans - Official Page) and Twitter (USC_Athletics), but you can see his schedule below if you want to watch him live and in action.

(All times eastern and p.m.)

12:40 - The Herd (710 ESPN Radio and ESPNU)

1:15 - SportsCenter (live)

1:30 - ESPN.com page 2

2:10 - ESPN Rise

2:25 - ESPNU

2:40 - ESPNews

2:50 - College GameDay

3:00 - SportsNation

3:30 - College Football Live w UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel

4:10 - SportsCenter

4:25 - ESPNLA.com

4:40 - SportsCenter.com

Some of these segments are being taped for later use (i.e. College Gameday) and some are written pieces.

Coach Kiffin will be live on College Football Live for the entire show at 3:30 eastern and 12:30 pacific on ESPN.

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Lane Kiffin's Day

Today, Matt Barkley was the star of the show at ESPN, but Wednesday, he'll cede the ground to his coach, Lane Kiffin. 

Coach Kiffin started his media tour Tuesday in New York with Pac-10 conference commissioner Larry Scott and his fellow league coaches.  Scott announced that the conference will be known as the Pac-12 starting in 2011 to be mathematically correct with the additions of Colorado and Utah.

On Wednesday morning, Lane Kiffin will help ring in the stock market, which you can watch on a live stream.

Then, he'll shoot up to Bristol, where he and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel will battle it out on ESPN's College Football Live at 12:30 pm (pacific time).

We'll follow Coach for you all day on Facebook (USC Trojans - Official Page) and Twitter (USC_Athletics), so it's time for you to get connected.  You can start by clicking the "Like" button below this post.

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Barkley at ESPN

In case you missed it, here are two of the TV segments Matt Barkley and his fellow Pac-10 QBs filmed in Bristol today plus a link to Barkley and Locker on "Mike and Mike".











Larry Stewart on Bob Chandler

Below is a poignant memory of late USC and NFL star receiver Bob Chandler, penned by former Los Angeles Times sportswriter Larry Stewart.

Chandler died of cancer 15 years ago at the much-too-young age of 45.  The Bob Chandler Foundation was created to further his beliefs and principles and to serve as the memorial for those who continue to fight against cancer.

Each year, the Bob Chandler Award is presented to the USC football underclassmen who exemplifies Chandler's athletic ability, academic scholarship and character on and off the field.

Bob Chandler.pdf

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USC FlipsIt: Tuesday QOTD

Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

With the start of fall camp a mere week away, FlipsIt continues to keep the USC football team occupied (in addition to morning workouts, of course) with another set of "Questions of the Day." Today's segment gets a handful of players' answers on their favorite thing about their hometown, best place to play besides the Coliseum, most memorable community service project and what they'd ask Matt Barkley if they were interviewing him on ESPN today.






If you'd like your question answered by the players, leave it in the comment section below, on the official Facebook fan page (link below) or tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the #QOTD tag.

2010 USC Football Media Guide

The 208-page 2010 USC football media guide, the same one used by the media who cover the Trojans, is now on sale online for $20.

The book includes a season outlook, complete biographies of the coaches and players, statistics, historical records dating back to USC's first team in 1888 and much more.

Beginning the middle of next week, the media guide will also be available to purchase in person at the USC Bookstore or in the USC Sports Information Office in Heritage Hall.

As the athletic department and football team have gone through many changes recently, the guide is missing some new bios and features some out-of-date information because we had to send it to the printer by deadline.  Such is life in the fast paced world of college athletics...

You can purchase the guide by clicking here.

Here's a first look at the new cover:

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Barkley in Bristol

Matt Barkley is all over ESPN and its outlets today along with fellow Pac-10 QBs Jake Locker (Washington), Nick Foles (Arizona) and Andrew Luck (Stanford).

Here's his schedule (all times eastern):

9:00 a.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter.com

9:30 a.m. -- ESPN Digital Media

9:50 a.m. -- ESPNRise

10:10 a.m. -- ESPN podcast

10:30 a.m. -- ESPN First Take

10:50 a.m. -- ESPNU

11:30 a.m. -- ESPNews

11:40 a.m. -- ESPN.com

Noon -- ESPN Radio Scott Van Pelt Show

12:40 p.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter

1 p.m. -- ESPN College Football Live

And some pics in the studio and on the grounds...

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Gettin' Digits

The Trojan uniform is one of the most revered in college football.

USC's latest crop of young talents will look to make their new digits legendary.

Here are the new kids with their new numbers and some recent jersey history:

#8 - Markeith Ambles, WR - Dwayne Jarrett and Ronald Johnson rocked the "ocho".

#13 - Robert Woods, WR - Different positions, but Stafon Johnson left a legacy of toughness.

#14 - Demetrius Wright, DB - Can he punt like #14 Tom Malone?

#15 - Jesse Scroggins, QB

#16 - Anthony Brown, DB - He'll share the number with senior QB Mitch Mustain.

#25 - Patrick Hall, DB

#28 - Dillon Baxter, RB

#34 - D.J. Morgan, RB - Hershell Dennis donned the #34 after a standout SoCal prep career.

#35 - Hayes Pullard, LB

#37 - Nickell Robey, DB 

#39 - Dion Bailey, DB

#41 - Soma Vainuku, FB - He'll look to crack skulls like former #41 Thomas "Hitman" Williams.

#63 - Giovanni Di Poalo, OL - The number was actually vacant last season.

#82 - Randall Telfer, TE - Chris McFoy was a dependable #82 for Matt Leinart.

#85 - Kyle Prater, WR -

#86 - Xavier Grimble, TE - One-handed hero Dominique Byrd wore #86.

#89 - Christian Thomas, TE

#95 - George Uko, DT  - At 6'4", 300, Uko will stretch the #95, which went unworn in '09.

Notable Number Changes

Ronald Johnson switched from #8 to the pro-style #83.

James Boyd went from #16 to the more defensive #56.

De'Von Flournoy and T.J. Bryant were moved off the #1 spot.  Flournoy will wear #81 and Bryant will don #38.

Scroggins will hope to hang #15 next to Palmer's #3 and Sanchez's #6 in USC history.

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The New Pac-10

While the USC athletic department has undergone massive changes recently, the Pac-10 continues to evolve as well.

New commissioner Larry Scott brings a forward thinking approach and he's embraced new technology to spread the word about the conference.

Tuesday, the "new Pac-10" is officially launched on their Website, Pac-10.org.  They'll be unveiling the redesigned logo and a video. 

While they wait on Colorado and Utah to join the league in 2011, the original ten will go through Pac-10 Football Media Day at the Rose Bowl Thursday. 

The conference will be streaming all the interviews live and they're offering the fans a chance to ask the coaches questions via Twitter (@Pac10).  You can also interact with the conference on their Facebook page (facebook.com/Pac10).

Maybe you can ask about a possible new name...  I vote for "The Pac". 

Here's a list of the interview times (all pacific) and participants scheduled for Thursday:

9:35 a.m. - Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott

9:45 - Coach Paul Wulff and DE Kevin Kooyman, Washington State

10:00 - Coach Dennis Erickson and PK Thomas Weber, Arizona State

10:15 - Coach Rick Neuheisel and DB Rahim Moore, UCLA

10:30 - Coach Steve Sarkisian and LB Mason Foster, Washington

10:45 - Coach Jeff Tedford and LB Mike Mohamed, California

11:15 - Coach Lane Kiffin and QB Matt Barkley, USC

11:30 - Coach Jim Harbaugh and FB/LB Owen Marecic, Stanford

11:45 - Coach Mike Riley and RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State

Noon - Coach Mike Stoops and QB Nick Foles, Arizona

12:15 p.m. - Coach Chip Kelly and DT Brandon Bair, Oregon

12:30 - Pac-10 Video Presentation

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Trojan Links

Here is a Monday round-up of all things Troy from the past week or so:

New AD Pat Haden was the star of the week.
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Busy Barkley

USC sophomore QB Matt Barkley will go through the ESPN "car wash" on Tuesday.

The Trojan signal-caller has a busy day in Bristol ahead of him.  He'll spend four hours taping segments for a variety of shows on the worldwide leader's multiple media platforms.

Here's his schedule (all times eastern):

9:00 a.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter.com

9:30 a.m. -- ESPN Digital Media

9:50 a.m. -- ESPNRise

10:10 a.m. -- ESPN podcast

10:30 a.m. -- ESPN First Take

10:50 a.m. -- ESPNU

11:30 a.m. -- ESPNews

11:40 a.m. -- ESPN.com

Noon -- ESPN Radio Scott Van Pelt Show

12:40 p.m. -- ESPN SportsCenter

1 p.m. -- ESPN College Football Live

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Another Homecoming: Pola Returns as OC

In a week that started with the return of Pat Haden and J.K. McKay to run the athletic department and football program for which they once starred, Kennedy Pola's happy homecoming as the offensive coordinator and running backs coach is the perfect way to finish it off.

"What a great week it is for the Trojans to welcome back former greats like Pat Haden, J.K. McKay and now Kennedy Pola to help us on our quest to win another championship," said USC head football coach Lane Kiffin.

Pola, 46, coached running backs and special teams during his time as an assistant coach from 2000 to 2003.  In his final season, LenDale White set a USC freshman single season record with 13 touchdowns plus Tom Malone was the first Trojan punter to be named an All-American in the school's history.

"It's great to welcome Kennedy home," said coach Kiffin.  "This is a great opportunity and promotion for him.  He's done an outstanding job wherever he's been in college and the NFL.  The last time he was here, he helped build the foundation for the championship run of the past 9 years.  It's always great to bring another Trojan back to the family, as he's now the fifth former USC player on our staff.  He's also the seventh full-time coach on our staff with NFL coaching experience."

Since then, he's served as an assistant for three different NFL teams including a five season stint as running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, during which he oversaw the successes of Fred Taylor ('07 Pro Bowl) and Maurice Jones-Drew ('09 Pro Bowl).

Pola had been hired as the Tennessee Titans running backs coach after the '09 season, but he has chosen to sign back on with the Trojans for the 2010 campaign, which prompted a negative reaction from Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, according to the Daily Tennessean.

Coach Kiffin has spoken with coach Fisher and responded publicly about the situation.

"We reached out to Kennedy Pola yesterday to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process," Kiffin explained.  "Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today.  Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation."

Kiffin went on to describe his recent conversation with Fisher.

"I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events," Kiffin continued.  "We realize the timing of this isn't perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy."

Pola will now return to the university, where he played as a fullback and linebacker from 1982 to 1985.  He helped power the Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory over Ohio State in '85.

Pola's connections do not end there. 

Two-time All-American safety Troy Polamalu is his nephew.  And, Pola is a graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, which is the same school that fostered the offensive coordinator's new leader, QB Matt Barkley.

"Another three-striper to join the great coaching staff we already have! Stoked that Kennedy Pola is back at SC...   [The] Monarchs are representing," Barkley said via Twitter.
 
Here is the full release on the latest re-addition to the Trojan family.

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Photo Gallery: Mark Sanchez PSA

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez returned to his Trojan glory days today on the field and in the classroom.

Sanchez filmed a PSA inside the Annenberg auditorium and outside on Howard Jones Field to raise awareness about the opportunities Latino families have to send their children to universities in conjunction with financial aid plans and the MAAA (Mexican-American Alumni Association).

"The message is about staying in school, counting on your family and the MAAA," Sanchez said.

The MAAA helped Nick Sanchez, Mark's brother, while he was at USC Law School. 

"I feel so thankful to them (the MAAA) because now my brother represents me," said Sanchez, who really started to understand the power of his Mexican heritage when he saw how the fans responded to him at USC.

"I was going to college, starting to grow up and understanding the bigger picture of what was going on.  I started to understand what kind of movement this could be, what kind of help I could give to these youngsters who see me on TV and playing football and I can give them hope."

According to the MAAA, Latino families fear that their kids won't be able to go to college because the cost can be prohibitive.

"In 1992, when I got to USC and faced all of those forms and financial aid information, the MAAA had been around for 19 years, since 1973, but I never heard word one about it," said the PSA's director Edgar Pablos, who graduated from USC in '95 with a BA in Cinematic Arts and Religion.

"Incoming students and their parents have to have this information.  The MAAA was the friend I needed back then; I want to make sure that the people coming along after me know that the MAAA is here and that they have, as we say in the PSA, a big family with us at USC, right from the start," Pablos said.

The Sanchez family represents more than just football.  Mark graduated from USC's Annenberg School with a BA in Communications, while Nick earned his undergraduate degree from Yale.

Sanchez is also being covered by ESPN's "E:60" crew as part of a feature story being reported by Rachel Nichols.

Here's a look at Mark having a catch on Howard Jones Field as part of the PSA:

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Sanchez on Barkley

Former USC QB Mark Sanchez stopped by campus today to film a PSA (more on that in the next post), so we took the opportunity to get his take on another young Trojan signal-caller, Matt Barkley.

"He's got all the tools and he's got a great attitude, so I'm just really pulling for him.  I'm really excited for him and I wish him the best," Sanchez said inside the Annenberg auditorium.

Sanchez drew parallels between their experiences last year. 

"The Sanchize" burst onto the NFL scene in the "Big Apple" before turnovers plagued his midseason form.  Meanwhile, Barkley was crowned a superstar after leading USC past Ohio State on a last second drive before growing pains caught up with him at times during the conference schedule.

"Similar situation to where I am at now, you learn so much just by playing.  I was so happy for him, so proud of him because of the way he played last year, even the way he played in the bowl game, just like the way I was trying to play in the playoffs," said Sanchez, who led the New York Jets to the AFC Championship Game.

"We had very similar years last year, ups and downs.  Both of us would agree that we threw too many interceptions but that's a part of playing your first year."

Sanchez expects Barkley's experience to pay off going forward.

"It's so fun for him and I'm so happy to see him go through this with four years to start here.  He will be so well prepared for the next level."

As for his beloved Trojans, Sanchez is not jumping on any gloom and doom bandwagons.

"They'll be fine.  They'll be fine.  People need to realize it's still SC.  They've still got great players and they'll be just fine."

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Photo Gallery: Friday Weight Room

The USC football team wrapped up the week with a two hour workout, which included running a few passing drills on Cromwell field before moving into Heritage Hall for the requisite lifting session.

Players finished their workouts with push-ups, competing to see who could tally the most reps. Wide receiver Ronald Johnson took home the gold by cranking out 100 (no, that's not a typo) before deciding that he had entertained the group of teammates surrounding him long enough. Boomer Roepke and CB Taylor Ashton finished just shy of Johnson's mark with 96 and 95, respectively.

A few photos from the morning madness...

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DE Wes Horton powers through a set of push-ups with two 45-pound weights on his back.


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OT Tyron Smith balances himself on the push-up blocks, while OG Butch Lewis provides a spot.


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TB Allen Bradford shows why he's known as "AB the Monster" with some of his teammates.


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WR De'Von Flournoy cranks through a set with the help of TB Marc Tyler.



Introducing USC FlipsIt

Armed with a Flipcam and a little ambition, USCTrojans.com blog contributors Stephanie Graves and Ben Weiss scour the land of Troy and beyond to bring you a unique look at USC Athletics.

The Friday edition of Questions of the Day asks four players about their favorite current NFL-er, ice cream flavor of choice, their plans after leaving the gridiron and their funniest teammate.




If you'd like your question answered by the players, leave it in the comment section below, or tweet it to www.Twitter.com/USC_Athletics with the #QOTD tag.


Woods named California Boys Athlete of Year

The illustrious high school career of incoming USC wide receiver Robert Woods just got more celebrated.

Woods, who starred in football and track at Serra High in Gardena, has been named the 2009-10 Cal-Hi Sports State Boys Athlete of the Year.

He's the first Trojan to win that accolade since current NFL star wideout Steve Smith, who
was honored in 2002-03 out of Woodland Hills' Taft High for his football, basketball and track exploits.

Woods becomes the ninth Trojan to win the award since it was first presented in 1930-31.

Other Trojans who have been the State Boys Athlete of the Year:  Bill Sharman (football, basketball, baseball at Porterville HS) in 1943-44, Dennis Ralston (tennis at Bakersfield HS) in 1959-60, Paul Wilson (track at Downey's Warren HS) in 1964-65, Anthony Davis (football, baseball at San Fernando HS) in 1970-71, George Porter (basketball, track at Lompoc's Cabrillo HS) in 1984-85, Rob Johnson (football, basketball, baseball at El Toro HS) in 1990-91 and Chris Claiborne (football, basketball at Riverside's J.W. North HS) in 1995-96.

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Rojo Chat

Senior wideout Ronald Johnson will be stopping by the blog at 10 am Thursday.

Please feel free to post your questions in advance in the comments section for Rojo to answer.

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