COLUMN: USC has no drama, but tough schedule

first_imgWith the lights shining down in Arlington Saturday night as the USC football team takes the field for the first game of their season, it won’t be just any other game. Across the field, the top-ranked, defending national champions will be eyeing down the Trojans. Many are anticipating No. 20 USC to lose to Alabama. Even if the Trojans pull off an upset, it would only be the first notch in their season-long uphill battle of a schedule.Playing the Tide gives USC one of the most-anticipated first games in recent years. In the past six seasons, the Trojans opened their season against Hawaii University three times: Minnesota, Fresno State and Arkansas State. To say the Cowboy Classic is a big game would be an understatement.Despite facing off against Alabama to kickoff their season, USC has had a bit of a quiet preseason in comparison to recent program history. In contrast to recent years, the biggest news preceding the start of the season was not a player lying to the University nor was it an intoxicated, profanity-filled speech from a head coach in front of donors and board members.What everyone just wanted to know before the 2016 season was who would be named the starting quarterback: redshirt junior Max Browne or redshirt freshman Sam Darnold? The only real common denominator between this season and past seasons is that USC has a new coach at the reigns.Having a new head coach is not a new situation for the Trojans. In the last six seasons, four different men have led the team, which is only a slight indication of the turmoil USC has experienced. A fresh start is exactly what the Trojans need. This fresh start, though, comes in a tough package.Whether or not the Trojans come out on top after their matchup with the Tide, what lies ahead of them is just as daunting. It’s almost a consensus that USC has the toughest schedule in 2016.Their schedule is bookended by two huge national opponents — No. 1 Alabama and No. 10 Notre Dame — and filled in by tough Pac-12 competition, where no win is guaranteed, no matter the opponent.This tough schedule puts the Trojans in a unique position. They have the opportunity to vault themselves back in the national spotlight in a positive manner and not because of scandals and drama off the field and behind the scenes. It’s a nice break from the national headlines coming out of USC the past few season.Now, back to ’Bama. If USC manages to upset the defending champions, that in no way guarantees a trip to the College Football Playoff. Because USC has the toughest schedule in the nation this season, they’ll have to go probably at least 10-2 — maybe 9-3 — to have a shot at the playoffs.If there were ever a USC way of regaining a place as one of the top programs nationwide, doing it with the toughest schedule of the season would be that way.Jodee Storm Sullivan is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. Her column, “The Storm Report,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

PSG 3-1 Lorient: Jordan Ayew scores season’s ninth but Zlatan steals show

first_imgJordan Ayew’s contribution for Lorient continued Friday, but it was Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who got the headlines. Zlatan put his disciplinary woes aside, taking his side back to the top of Ligue 1 with a hat-trick in their 3-1 home victory over FC Lorient. Jordan got the losing side’s only goal.The son of Abedi Pele now has directly contributed to 14 goals in his 23 Ligue 1 appearances this season, made up of nine goals and five assists.As for PSG’s talisman, it will be recalled that he was banned for one match by UEFA’s Control & Disciplinary Body after being sent off during a Champions League last 16 match at Chelsea last week. And he also faces French League’s (LFP) disciplinary commission to explain derogatory remarks he made about refereeing after PSG’s loss at Girondins Bordeaux last week. However, he showed his good side as PSG moved a point clear of Olympique Lyon who play on Saturday.  After two minutes the pony-tailed Swede slotted a penalty after being up-ended by keeper Benjamin Lecomte up-ended him as he ran on to a long ball. Lecomte received a yellow card for his challenge. Ezequiel Lavezzi missed a sitter for PSG half an hour in. A cheeky backheel from Ibramovic sent him clear on the edge of the box but he pushed the ball into the side netting for one of a series of missed opportunities for the league leaders. Lorient equalised midway through the second half when Benjamin Jeannot teed up a strike for Jordan Ayew. Ayew had another shot cleared off the line a few minutes later, sparking the game into life with 15 minutes to go. Ibrahimovic then showed his prowess from the spot again in the 82nd minute after Lamine Kone’s foul on Javier Pastore. He completed his hat-trick on full time. Lyon, one point behind PSG on 58 points, are at home to Nice on Saturday while third-placed Marseille, on 54, travel to second-from-bottom RC Lens on Sunday. –last_img read more

Rijad Dedeic, Five-time Champion of BiH in Judo

first_imgRijad Dedeic, student of International Burch University, won the first place on the national judo competition in the category up to 90 kg, and thus won the title of champion of BiH in the above mentioned category.National championship for seniors was held in Trebinje on the 5th of March 2016, and Dedeic won the first place in the up to 90 kg category with 4 wins and maximum points.This is the 5th title of champion of BiH for Rijad.“I would like to thank Burch University for their support and understanding and to my coach Branislav Crnogorac without whose support I would not have achieved these results,” said Dedeic, adding that ahead of him are new challenges in the form of two European Cup that will be held in Russia (Kazan) in April.(Source: read more