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There's many selling points for USC-Oregon, but there's no sellout

Text messages from press row …

October 28, 2010|Jerry Crowe

USC's Matt Barkley is playing as well as any quarterback in college football, top-ranked Oregon leads the nation in scoring and no team ranked higher than No. 5 has visited the Coliseum since 1992, yet Saturday's game is not sold out. …

Maybe it's the economy. …

USC was ranked No. 4 and still a national championship contender when it played Oregon a year ago. …

A Ducks-delivered drubbing at Eugene took care of that. …

Blake Griffin, full of fire and passion, might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the Clippers. …

Don't be surprised if he soon turns his opening-night numbers (20 points, 14 rebounds) into averages. …

Courtside seats at Lakers games, going for $2,700 a pop, went for $15 during Jerry Buss' first season as owner. …

That was in 1979-80, Magic Johnson's rookie season. …

Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, Western Conference finalists last spring before losing free agent Amare Stoudemire, told the Arizona Republic this week, "Obviously, it's not ideal to get close to the mountaintop and then start at sea level again." …

Friday night, they'll be staring up at the Lakers again. …

To the surprise of Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum and everyone else, AT&T Park on Wednesday was no place for an ace. …

"If Brian Wilson played for the Pittsburgh Pirates," reader Roy Reel of Culver City notes of the San Francisco Giants closer, "he would be known as ' Blackbeard.' " …

But he still would specialize in white-knuckle saves. …

Left-hander Barry Zito, left off the Giants' playoff roster, is the team's highest-paid player at $18.5 million. …

Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan and Giants Manager Bruce Bochy were teammates on the 1980 Houston Astros team that torched the Dodgers, 7-1, at Dodger Stadium in a one-game playoff for the National League West championship. …

Steve Garvey and the Dodgers had forced the deciding game by sweeping a memorable season-ending three-game series against the Astros, pinning the Game 2 loss on Ryan. …

The San Diego Chargers are struggling, but Philip Rivers is on pace to pass for more than 5,300 yards. …

Dan Marino's record, set in 1984, is 5,084. …

Former USC linebacker Jack Del Rio, mentioned as a possible replacement for Pete Carroll before Lane Kiffin was hired, is 60-59 as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and probably will miss the playoffs this season for the sixth time in eight years. …

The last time Brett Favre was not in the starting lineup, the Raiders and Rams still called Los Angeles home. …

That was in September 1992. …

"What's up with Cal?" reader Bob Brown of Thousand Oaks e-mails to ask, noting the team's wildly divergent results in recent weeks. "Are they bipolar Bears?" …

UCLA's Rahim Moore is the top defensive back in the 2011 NFL draft, according to Sporting News Today analyst Russ Lande, who calls the junior safety "an impact defender." …

Since opening day, Tony Romo and the disappointing Dallas Cowboys have gone from 9-1 picks to win the Super Bowl to 65-1 longshots, according to odds posted at bodog.com. …

Anze Kopitar and the Kings, more accustomed to the role of underdogs, have not shied from loftier expectations. …

As revealed Thursday night, former USC All-Americans Ronnie Lott and Anthony Munoz landed at Nos. 11 and 12 and ex-Los Angeles Rams great Deacon Jones at No. 15 on NFL Network's list of the league's 100 greatest players. …

Nos. 1-10 will be introduced next Thursday. …

A bronze statue of Merlin Olsen, No. 27 on the NFL Network list, was unveiled last week at Utah State, his alma mater. …

In a "60 Minutes" profile of Zenyatta airing Sunday on CBS, jockey Mike Smith says of the unbeaten mare, "In every race that I have ridden her in, I have always felt that there was another gear if I needed it." …

Zenyatta takes a 19-0 record into next week's Breeder's Cup Classic, which is expected to be her swan song. …

Barry Bonds, telling reporters covering the World Series that he would like to follow Mark McGwire into coaching: "I have a gift, and sooner or later I have to give it away." …

Is it flaxseed oil?

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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