Opener Is Opportunity for First-Year QBs and More USC Football News

Sep 26, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Max Browne (4) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Max Browne (4) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The winner of USC vs. Alabama will have the chance to join the ranks of first year quarterbacks who have led their teams to the title game. Plus our daily round up of USC football news from around 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… On Wednesday, Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports listed ten first year starting quarterbacks who could play for a national title.

Lassan noted that eight of the last ten teams to make the title game had a first-year starter at quarterback, calling into question the idea that having an experienced signal caller matters towards reaching postseason success.

First, one gripe: Lassan credited 16 quarterbacks with playing in the national championship game or reaching the playoffs in their first season in the BCS era. Matt Leinart isn’t included in that number for 2003, even though USC claimed the AP national championship that year — he didn’t play in the title game itself. Still, he’s one of those players who got off to a quick start without experience.

Alabama’s Cooper Bateman, Blake Barnett and David Cornwell checked in at No. 1. Considering the Tide are defending national champions, that’s a safe bet.

More from Reign of Troy

USC’s Max Browne and Sam Darnold didn’t make the list, which makes sense considering the Trojans formidable schedule and question marks in key positions.

Still, there’s something to be said about the result of the AdvoCare Classic and first-year quarterbacks vaulting towards a championship game.

Nick Saban’s squad is already a favorite to get back to the College Football Playoff, but a win for either Browne or Darnold in their first career start could be the springboard for USC to announce their return to the national conversation.

That’s exactly what Leinart and the Trojans did in 2003 when they blanked Auburn at Jordan-Hare.

The quarterback will have stepped up on the biggest stage, Clay Helton will have legitimized his coaching ability by notching a win against one of the great coaches in the history of the game and the Trojans would instantly be considered a contender as a result.

And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…

  1. “How good will USC’s secondary be?” ( it turns out, Chris Hawkins played all last season with a hole the size of a dime in his ankle, then missed spring camp thanks to the surgery that fixed the problem. Now he’s gearing up for fall camp and praising the secondary for their experience and leadership.
  2. “Top 20 ‘Freaks’ in college football for 2016” (Fox Sports)Bruce Feldman’s annual list includes Adoree’ Jackson, who could be a star in any sport, just ask him.
  3. “Colin Cowherd Negatively Recruits on Trojans’ Behalf” (Reign of Troy)On his radio show, Colin Cowherd defended so-called negative recruiting by negatively recruiting versus the Pac-12 on USC’s behalf.
  4. “USC Football: Open Fall Camp Practice Schedule For 2016” (Reign of Troy)USC released their Fall Camp practice dates, spanning from Aug. 4 through Aug. 19 and including two dates at the Coliseum. All practices are open to the public.
  5. “WeAreSC mailbag (7-28 edition)” ( Paskwietz talks Osa Masina’s progress (not quite there yet), slow recruiting (this staff can close), and Quinton Powell’s role when Cameron Smith comes back (potential starter or back up to Michael Hutchings). And more, of course.
  6. “Malik Dorton, USC d-line putting in summer work” ( Dorton talks about how new defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze is hammering the fundamentals this offseason and the void of leadership up front that needs filling.
  7.  “Three Trojans Named to 2016 Poly Player of Year Watch List” (Reign of Troy)JuJu Smith-Schuster, Toa Lobendahn and Damien Mama were named to the 2016 watch list for the Polynesian Player of the Year Award. Smith-Schuster and Su’a Cravens were finalists last year.
  8. “Rankings USC’s 2016 opponents Nos. 1-6” (FightOn247)Who are the Top 6 opponents on USC’s 2016 schedule? Alabama, Stanford, Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington and UCLA, as judged by Chris Trevino.
  9. “Top 25 College Football Non-Conference Games of 2016” (Athlon Sports)USC’s season opener against Alabama is ranked No. 6 on Bryan Fischer’s list of the top non-conference games on the 2016 schedule. Ohio State at Oklahoma ranks No. 1 while UCLA vs. Texas A&M is No. 3.
  10. “Top 12 Pac-12 Non-Conference Games of 2016” (Athlon Sports)USC’s season opener against Alabama topped Kyle Kensing’s list of top non-conference games in the Pac-12 this year. The annual rivalry match up versus Notre Dame placed No. 4.

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