My Monday Morning Beef…

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Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

I consider both cities at home. I’ve lived in both for over 20 years apiece. Clark, San Bernadino, and Los Angeles are like one big county to me. I have more I-15 miles than a stripper from Rancho Cucamonga. It’s no joke. What I cannot find amongst the smog, traffic, and tumbleweeds between South Central and Sam Boyd is some good college football.  I got beef with that.

I’ve accepted it. USC and UNLV are both a long way away from competing for titles.

Alright. Now that that’s out of the way…

I said this last year at the Coliseum when the two teams played each other to open the season. The Rebels gave USC a tough game, at least tougher than anybody expected. They looked good. They were just as big and fast as USC. That was surprising to me. Having been in that stadium for so many Saturday thrills, that was saying something about both programs. I remember them dawgs on the sidelines in the early 2000s. Nobody was coming there and leaving with a win. A close game was disrespectful.

On this particular day, UNLV looked more like them dawgs. The Trojans celebrated the ugly win, and it didn’t seem to matter to them how bad they looked. At that point, I accepted that the Trojans needed to hit the reset button and that Coach Sanchez and UNLV were moving positively after hitting theirs a couple of years prior.

It was time to trust the process. The Rebels had a great facility, stadium, and a better recruiting class coming. I remember saying to myself, next season they should contend in the Mountain West. By the time they get to the new stadium, they should be pretty good. Saturday and Sunday football at Allegiant Stadium sounds like a hell of a way to spend a weekend if you ask me.

WTF happened? 🤷🏾‍♂️

USC is a mash unit. The Trojans have some excellent players. Most of them are hurt. Both teams are playing with backup QBs, so I know I have to keep the facts top of mind. At the beginning of the season, this Trojan team was capable of winning the Pac 12. Trojan fans don’t care about winning the Pac 12. Fast forward to Saturday. USC didn’t have enough healthy running backs available to mount any resemblance of a balanced attack.

Not enough running backs??? At USC??? How is that possible?

Starters are hurt. It’s next-man-up time. So where is the next man up? The short answer would be playing for another school. A lot of kids that would be Trojans are Ducks, Tigers, and Houndstooth Hatters. Why are they going way over there? When you want to see the effects of losing in recruiting, look at your depth as well as other teams’. SoCal Ballers are balling elsewhere. Backups at USC should be draft prospects. How many Trojan starters made the jump last year?

The rebirth of cool…

For years I’ve worked with a college placement program called National College Resources founded by Dr. Theresa Price. This endeavor has afforded me a lot of time with young adults. There’s a “cool factor” with young people. They gauge that “cool” by a different meter. Young athletes care less about tradition and more about what you can bring to their table. USC wants a seat at that table, right?

Well Saban, Dabo, Coach O, and those types have already sat and had big meals. I like Clay Helton for everything but his ability to eat big meals at those tables. I think he gets hors d’oeuvres. USC needs roast beef and mashed potatoes. We need a second helping of everything and we need dessert. At the moment we ain’t getting it.

UNLV Football perplexes me.

I’m pretty new to following the program, but I’ve watched the process closely for the last two seasons. The question in Las Vegas is Sanchez or no Sanchez, and I’m just not sure that’s the question we should be asking. UNLV has some talent but not at every level. There isn’t much depth, and I don’t know that we’ve seen the leader at the QB position that we believe can be a long-term administrator of a new culture.

To find those guys and convince them to come to UNLV, coming to UNLV has to be “cool.” That’s bigger than Tony Sanchez. The shortest route to the promised land is winning. Winning is cool. That puts us in a chicken-before-the-egg situation. Gotta have players to win though, and in 2019 you gotta be “cool” to get players.

Oregon is cool.

Is it sweet new Nike uniforms every week? Is it the campus? The city? The weight room? The PNW? What do they have that we don’t? What part of their presentation to parents and student-athletes in Los Angeles or Las Vegas is scoring where we go three and out?  This is the big question. Homegrown talent should DESIRE the hometown university as the first option, period. Kids who play ball in Las Vegas should dream of playing football for UNLV. I can see it coming. Call me optimistic. I do have a little advice to the Rebels…

Purge Los Angeles.

The Trojans know what they need to do. I fully expect them to do it. Number one, they have a money printing press with a Trojan logo on it. Make it rain. Get an umbrella after their bowl game this year. In the case of the Rebels, The route is a little bit different. Hey Reb, take I-15 South. I’ve been through NYS with my kid, and I’ve run the high school circuit with The Franchise. There is a lot of talent in Las Vegas. There aren’t a lot of people comparatively speaking. Fewer people equals fewer athletes. On the contrary, there are too many people in Los Angeles and too much talent.

Go and get them.

Las Vegas is a hell of a backdrop right now. UNLV can get cool really fast. It’s all about the presentation. Get to kids early and often. Cali hasn’t fared too well in their recruitment, from what I can see. I don’t see any National Championships in the last decade, and the proof is in the pudding. The pipeline can be had. The Rebels have to be cool to the cool kids. Where are the cool kids?

On social media…

I’ll talk more about this in the coming weeks. Yesterday the Trojans and the Rebels lost by a combined 50 points. Following a lot of them on The Gram, you would know it. I got beef with that.

 

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HOLLA.