Conference Shake Up Possibilites and More USC Football News

Dec 5, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; A view of the Big 12 logo on a touchdown pylon during the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Longhorns at McLane Stadium. The Longhorns defeat the Bears 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; A view of the Big 12 logo on a touchdown pylon during the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Longhorns at McLane Stadium. The Longhorns defeat the Bears 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Big 12 explores expansion possibilities, suggestions that UCLA or USC could jump ship from the Pac-12 should be dismissed. Plus USC football news from the web.

Can’t get enough USC football and basketball news? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Word… Rick Neuheisal is one of the most entertaining voices in college football today. As good of a media pundit as he is, however, he’s not immune from saying some pretty absurd things.

This time, his suggestion that UCLA should be interested in joining the Big 12 expansion gamble is particularly perplexing.

Bruins Nation grabbed the text of his suggestion on his Sirius XM radio show:

"I wouldn’t be surprised to see UCLA say, “You know what? This deal with this USC thing? We’re gonna go and be our own guy, rather than always tied to the school here in Los Angeles.” It wouldn’t shock me at all. I don’t have any inside information. I’m just saying from outside looking in. UCLA just left Adidas for cash. They went to Under Armour. Right? If there were a reason to do it…If all of a sudden…and you take Los Angeles and put it into the Big 12 market where Texas and football are king, it would have a huge impact."

Doing what Neuheisal suggests would be defeatism in its worst form. It would be trading one big brother for another. The enemy the Bruins know for an enemy they don’t.

UCLA moving to the Big 12 would certainly change the landscape of college football, but it wouldn’t change the Bruins’ place in that landscape relative to USC. It would just put them in the shadow of the Trojans and the Longhorns.

Of course, the question of Big 12 expansion could be posed to USC as well.

Just as the Pac-12 tried to lure Texas and Oklahoma to the expanded conference, the Big 12 could make a run at the Trojans and Bruins, citing the disappointing revenues of the Pac-12 Network.

As tempting as monetary gain might be, there’s too many reasons for the Pac-12 to stick together to entertain the idea that the conference could be cannibalized by the Big 12.

The Pac-12 as it exists today looks the way it does because of the California schools. USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal banded together to demand yearly contests against each other when the conference was split into two divisions. They got what they wanted.

More from Reign of Troy

In order to get USC or UCLA, all four California schools would have to be included in the deal.

And getting all four to buy into a split from the Pac-12 seems far-fetched.

Culturally, there’s something different about the Pac-12 — it values a more holistic approach, touting success in the whole array of NCAA sports as well as top-tier academics.

Larry Scott was ridiculed for taking several minutes to mention football during his address at Pac-12 Media Days, taking the time to discuss Olympic sports before the money-maker. But that wasn’t Scott being tone-deaf, he was simply reflecting the desired values of the conference.

Those values mattered enough to Pac-12 administrators that they appointed a commissioner with a background in tennis, not football or basketball, in the first place.

The Big 12 would have to do more than offer money to convince the California schools to sign up. They’ve have to convince USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal to abandon the identity they’ve built for themselves as the “Conference of Champions.”

That’s not going to happen.

And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…

  1. “How USC’s Isaiah Langley Suspension Compares to Alabama” (Reign of Troy)As soon as Langley’s suspension was announced, comparisons between Clay Helton and Nick Saban’s handling of situations involving player arrests were made. The right and wrong of it is more complicated than that though.
  2. “What Isaiah Langley’s Suspension Means for USC” (Reign of Troy)On the football side of things, Langley’s suspension will require the use of other players like Jonathan Lockett, Ajene Harris and Jack Jones. Given Clancy Pendergast’s track record though, rotation might be at a minimum in such a big game anyways.
  3. “Ranking the Pac-12’s 2016 Football Uniforms” (Athlon Sports)Kyle Kensing ranks USC’s jerseys as the best in the Pac-12 this season, with subtle but solid changes to the iconic look.
  4. “Ranking the top 50 impact players entering 2016” (CBS Sports)JuJu Smith-Schuster ranks No. 17 and Adoree’ Jackson No. 14 as impact players for the coming season.
  5. “The 10 best offensive lines in college football” (Fox Sports)Bruce Feldman’s ranking of the Top 10 offensive line units in the country features USC at No. 7.
  6. “Brown in competition at LG” ( Paskwietz details the battle between Chris Brown and Damien Mama as well as the overall progress of the offensive line under Neil Callaway.
  7. “USC 2016 is different . . . Here’s why” ( Weber argues that numbers and buy in means USC’s 2016 team is different from past, often disappointing squads.
  8. “Pick Six: Pivotal players to watch in the Pac-12” (Campus Insiders)Max Browne appears among Ralph Russo’s players to watch this season. Assuming he wins the starting job, he’ll have to shine right away with a tough first career start against Alabama.
  9. “Predictions: Where 247Sports Composite 5-stars are headed” (247 Sports)Steve Wiltfong predicts the landing spots for some major recruits, including Joseph Lewis and Stephen Carr to USC. The Trojans are predicted to miss out on Najee Harris, Dylan Moses, Alex Leatherwood, Darnay Holmes, Marvin Wilson and others though.
  10. “Pac-12 football student-section ticket prices: Who pays the most?” (Scout)Who pays the highest premium for student tickets in the Pac-12? Oregon, by some margin. USC is the second-most expensive, but closer to the pack than the Ducks.

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