BREAKING NEWS - KEITH RIVERS IS STAYING IN SCHOOL. NO, NOT THE RECEIVER, THE LINEBACKER. NO, NOT THE WHITE GUY OR THE GUY WITH ANGER ISSUES...For all those who have inquired over the past several hours, let me put all speculation to rest. I am indeed planning to order the spicy green curry from the corner Thai place for my late lunch. I just strongly believe that this is the best solution for me and my appetite, if not my lower GI tract. I do not plan to have any salad rolls at this time, 'cause they don't put mint in them and that ain't right. I'd like to thank the guys at the corner Thai place, especially for ignoring California's minimum wage statute and making my curry both tasty and a real bargain.
I guess USC football is big enough that anyone can call a presser to announce anything. Did anyone really think a linebacker who played pretty well this year and had a very nice Rose Bowl was worthy of a press conference over his draft status? Brian Cushing has man-boobs, and it can totally be explained without any reference to chemicals - News at 10! C.J. Gable's doing pretty well in freshman English - stop the presses! The one legitimate Trojan presser saw Dwayne Jarrett cry the tears of the just, which made us like him for exactly ten minutes. That feeling will be gone after his first inane end-zone celebration in an NFL pre-season game.
Tis the season for attrition and renewal. Let's focus on the former and see which starters our '07 opponents are losing. But before we do, one word of caution - KEITH RIVERS IS STAYING AT USC. I, for one, despair to even carry on with this post.....but carry on we must.
Tennessee - (WR Robert Meachem (early), WR Jayson Swain, LT Arron Sears, LG David Ligon, DT Turk McBride, DT Matt McGlothlin, MLB Marvin Mitchell, CB Antwan Stewart, CB Jonathan Wade)
Wow - the Vols lose both starting wideouts, both starting DTs both starting CBs, and the left side of their OL. And they'll just replace them with bigger, faster cyborg versions.
Colorado State - (RB Nnamdi Ohaeri, FB Tristan Walker, FL Dustin Osborn, LT Clint Oldenburg, RT Josh Day, SLB Luke Adkins)
CSU loses some skill people, and their best O-lineman in Oldenburg, but return 10 starters on defense. Should be much improved from 4-8.
Louisiana Tech - (TE Anthony James, C Jacob Peeler, WR Jonathan Holland, WR Eric Newman, DB Dez Abrams, FS Anthony Moss)
Tech loses their top two receivers and a couple of DBs. We'll figure out how important that is a little later in '07.
Arizona - (WR Syndric Steptoe, SS Michael Johnson)
Antoine Cason announced yesterday he was returning. If the Cats aren't a bowl team next year, they will run Stoops out of town with good reason.
Oregon - (G Palauni Ma Sun, C Enoka Lucas, TE Dante Rosario, WR Jordan Kent (leaving early for some reason), DE Darius Sanders, DT Matt Toeaina, LB Blair Phillips, LB Brent Haberly, FS J.D. Nelson)
Ducks lose their best O-lineman in Lucas, and lots off their front six. That may be a blessing in disguise, because their front six stunk on ice this year.
Washington (LG Stanley Daniels, RG Clay Walker, RB Kenny James, FB Mark Palaita, WR Sonny Shackelford, LB Tahj Bomar, LB Scott White, CB Dashon Goldson, SS C.J. Wallace)
The Huskies lose some important performers on D (White, Goldson, Wallace) but their fans are assuming this will be mitigated by improved offensive production. We're skeptical.
Oregon State (LT Adam Koets, TE Joe Newton, QB Matt Moore, FL Ruben Jackson, DE Joe Lemma, DT Ben Siegert, SS Sabby Piscitelli)
Koets is a very good lineman, and Piscitelli was fun to watch. They need a new QB, which is never a sure thing.
UCLA (C Robert Chai, WR Junior Taylor, DE Justin Hickman)
Does it matter if you return everyone from an underachieving team with an automaton for a head coach? We'll find out next year in Westwood.
Arizona State (TE Zach Miller (early), DE Kyle Caldwell, LB Beau Manutai, LB Derron Ware, DB Keno Walter-White, SS Zach Catanese)
The Devils lose two of their best defenders (Caldwell, Catanese), and their biggest weapon in TE Miller.
Washington State - (LG Sean O'Connor, RT Charles Harris, TE Cody Boyd, WR Jason Hill (finally), RB Chris Jordan, DE MKristo Bruce, LB Scott Davis, LB Steve Dildine, CB Tyron Brackenridge, SS Eric Frampton, CB Don Turner)
Coogs lose a ton, including three of their four best players (Hill, Bruce and Frampton). Looks like a rebuilding year, unless WSU scores big in juco recruiting.
USC - (WR Dwayne Jarrett, C Ryan Kalil, RT Kyle Williams, FL Steve Smith, LB Dallas Sartz, LB Oscar Lua)
The Trojans lose both playmakers - and no matter what their apologists will tell you, it's hardly automatic that Turner and Hazelton will step in and replicate that level of performance. Kalil is a bigger loss than people realize. Their D looks scary good, though.
Stanford - (OG Josiah Vinson, OG Jon Cochran, LB Michael Okwo, SS Trevor Hooper, CB Brandon Harrison)
Interesting - Stanford has already purged its seniors from its official website. Makes sense, I guess - no one has ever wanted to turn the page more than Captain Comeback. The Furdies lose a couple of good defenders, and two starters off the worst OL in conference history.