Rankman Week 3: USC Looking for New AD After Swann Resigns
Last week at this time USC had big questions at quarterback but was seemingly secure at Athletic Director. This week the future at quarterback looks bright but the AD is gone. “Great day to be a Trojan,” a USC-connected person NOT named Petros Papadakis privately tweeted Tuesday. Things change quickly in the fast-paced world of college athletics. If only UCLA Chip Kelly’s team played with this kind of tempo…For USC fans, the mood swing from Saturday to Tuesday could not have been more power boosting. Freshman Kedon Slovis, subbing for the ACL-ed JT Daniels, scorched Stanford for 377 yards and three touchdowns in an ego-boosting 45-20 win over Stanford. The Trojans suddenly looked as refurbished as the L.A. Coliseum and the afterglow extended into Tuesday with the news Lynn Swann was resigning as AD, likely under the threat of being fired by new president Carol Folt. With quarterback and AD now being seemingly solved, anxious Trojan followers now turn to Clay Helton, spared by Swann despite going 5-7 last season. Now the hard part. Fans wanting Helton out to make room for Urban Meyer may be stuck with a pretty good team. USC is 2-0 with a shiny new quarterback and top-10 talent. This is always the dilemma for the regime changers. Do you root against your school in the short run for the good of the long run? Ah, that’s the rub. If president Folt is indeed cleaning a dirty house, as is her perfect right and duty, then nice-guy Helton may have to go into the recycle bin. Folt gave Helton the old “record will dictate” rally bump, which would have been curtains for Clay last season. The next four weeks will be fascinating as USC navigates an AD search as the football team navigates at BYU, Utah, at Washington and at Notre Dame. Forget what you hear from outsiders about USC being a “dumpster fire” not worthy of consideration. That wail is coming from fans that don’t want to lose their AD and the coach he might bring with him. Don’t you see? There are department heads and head coaches out there itching to rescue USC from the fire. Watch closely. If Folt is really interested in bringing in a big fish like Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops, she might be wise to induce an AD connected to one of those coaches. Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione, one of the best AD’s in the business, hired Stoops off Steve Spurrier’s staff at Florida. Stoops is sitting on the sidelines pretending he is going to coach the Dallas franchise of the new XFL. Castiglione, for what it’s worth, is speaking at the Pasadena Quarterbacks Club on Friday in advance Oklahoma playing UCLA on Saturday. Might USC send an advanced scout? Who cares if Castiglione (Sooner fans tell me) would never leave Norman for people-clogged California? If you want Stoops, USC, talk to Castiglione. My guess is that Stoops would only consider a return to college for a “legacy” program. USC certainly qualifies, finishing fifth this week in ESPN’s rating of the top football programs in college football history. If you’re looking at Urban Meyer, well, then consider current Boston College AD Martin Jarmond, who came to Chestnut Hill from Ohio State. Are we sure that Carol Folt is aware of any of these connections? No. We have consistently seen smart people in college athletics do the dumbest things, for the dumbest reasons, leading to disastrous results and huge buyout expenditures. College football can make you crazy like that. One report has USC leaning to Villanova AD Mark Jackson, a former Trojan department insider and throw-back to the Pete Carroll era. So much for the clean slate. Really?
1: Michigan (2-0): Deja Boo. Highest ranked team in ESPN 150 vote was 1997 squad at No. 43. Nebraska 1997 finished No. 24. (1)
2: LSU (2-0): Tigers complain room temperature in Texas locker room was hotter than a 19th-century Bourbon Street brothel. (6)
3: Clemson (3-0): Wonders if there are better divisions out there after blasting two SEC West teams, 68-26, in last two meetings. (2)
4: Alabama (3-0): We The People also tired of seeing you play early games against New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Carolina. (3)
5: Oklahoma (2-0): In this week's Rose Bowl battle of rental cars, Oklahoma is Hurts and UCLA is clearly Rent-A-Wreck. (4)
6: Georgia (2-0): Dawgs host Ark State this week before holy-ghost Sept. 21 showdown versus South Bend Leprechauns. (5)
7: Notre Dame (1-0): “Rudy” sedated but resting comfortably after Irish finish No. 2 behind Alabama in ESPN all-time program survey. (7)
8: Ohio State (2-0): Bloodied but not broken, school returns to U.S. Patent Office seeking proprietary use of “slinky-like” toy called the “Sloopy.” (8)
9: Florida (2-0): “You’re sipping too much bourbon if you think we’re losing two straight years to Kentucky.” (10).
10: Auburn (2-0): Friends urge Tuberville to reconsider senate run after 2004 Auburn team polls No. 57 on ESPN 150 list. (NR) (11)
11: Central Florida (2-0): Researchers believe this may be the first time UCF has been favored over Stanford in anything. (12)
12: Utah (2-0): Neither 2004/2008 teams cracked ESPN 150 but state of Utah ranked No. 8 for infrastructure by U.S. News & World Report. (14)
13: Texas (1-1): Texas swears it had the locker room AC turned all the way down to “Baton Rouge in the summer." (9)
14: Oregon (1-1): Assembly bill to “make people forget about Auburn by scoring 77 versus Nevada” dies in sub-committee. (NR)
15: Memphis (2-0) After win over Ole Miss young boy walked into Sun Records and recorded “That’s all right, Rebels.” **(**15)
16: Wisconsin (2-0): Panel that oversaw US women 13-nil over Thailand looking into Badgers over two opponents 110-0.
Next Four Out
California: Only tough thing about beating UW at 1:22 a.m. on Sunday morning was finding enough Uber drivers.
Maryland: NCAA asks Terps playbook to kindly “pee into this cup” after scoring 63 points against Syracuse.
Penn State: Would really be “the Pitts” if 100th meeting versus Panthers this weekend is the last.
USC: Kedon Slovis is the best medical-sounding precision surgeon I’ve seen since true frosh Sloan Kettering.
Next Four Never
UCLA: Last week was smallest Rose Bowl crowd recorded since Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods/Starland Vocal Band concert.
Rutgers: School’s 48th shutout loss last week to Iowa still leaves it well short of Walter Johnson’s record of 110.
Tennessee: Knoxville says it cannot handle all the incoming two-year missionary requests from Church of Latter-Game Miracles.
Miami: Just like Dolphins, several players have called their agents to get out of a terrible football situation in South Florida.