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Revisiting Mark Sanchez's exit from USC

Text messages from press row …

January 19, 2011|Jerry Crowe
  • Former USC Coach Pete Carroll, left, walks away while shaking Mark Sanchez's hand after the quarterback announced he would not be returning for his senior season with the Trojans.
Former USC Coach Pete Carroll, left, walks away while shaking Mark Sanchez's… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

Mark Sanchez's decision to leave USC a year early wasn't as boneheaded as Pete Carroll implied.…

It wasn't boneheaded at all.…

A relentless pass rush helped excitable Bart Scott and the New York Jets nudge headliners Peyton Manning and Tom Brady from the playoffs in consecutive weeks.…

Ben Roethlisberger could be next.…

The last time a team faced three quarterbacks in the playoffs who'd won a combined six NFL titles, the 1993 Buffalo Bills stopped Jeff Hostetler and Joe Montana before losing to Troy Aikman and the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.…

Aaron Rodgers looked as if he were playing catch with his receivers while calmly carving up the Atlanta Falcons.…

Jay Cutler, if we're lucky, will be the last NFL quarterback to make his playoff debut against a team with a losing record.…

Blake Griffin and the Clippers dug themselves so deep a hole through the first quarter of the season that scrambling back into playoff contention might be expecting too much.…

Andrew Bynum is now and always should be a starter.…

College basketball expert Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated recently suggested that UCLA might be a preseason top-five pick next fall, indicating that a return to national prominence is closer at hand for Ben Howland's Bruins basketball program than Lane Kiffin's sanctions-saddled USC football program.…

So much more was expected of the Kings.…

Teemu Selanne's next game-winning goal will be his 100th.…

Trouble always seems to find Milton Bradley.…

Or is it the other way around? …

The none-too-deep Miami Heat is 1-4 when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh sits out.…

The Gilbert Arenas trade opened a window of opportunity for ex-USC guard Nick Young of the Washington Wizards.…

Before hiring Byron Scott as their new coach last summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly targeted Larry Bird, who wisely stayed put in the Indiana Pacers' front office.…

St. Louis Cardinals fans wouldn't like it, of course, but wouldn't it be fun to chart the number of eye-popping offers Albert Pujols might command on the open market next winter? …

Through 10 seasons, Pujols has averaged 40 home runs and 123 runs batted in while batting .331.…

A list of major leaguers who hit as many as 30 home runs as rookies includes Pujols, of course, as well as a former Dodger (Mike Piazza) and a former Angel (Tim Salmon).…

In January 1975, when former UCLA centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton squared off in the NBA for the first time, Abdul-Jabbar had 50 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.…

Walton had seven, six and seven.…

Wayne Gretzky turns 50 on Wednesday.…

Reader Jeff Klein of Santa Ana wonders if Auburn's NFL-bound Cam Newton might have set a record for the fewest number of semesters spent by a Heisman Trophy winner on the campus where he won college football's most prestigious award.…

Auburn, which welcomed Newton as a JC transfer only a year ago, expects a crowd of more than 60,000 when it celebrates its BCS title Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.…

UCLA, with or without Norm Chow, is a 150-1 shot to win next year's BCS title, according to odds posted at Bodog.com.…

The favorite is Oklahoma.…

If a proposed new NASCAR point system had been in place last year, Kevin Harvick would have won his first Sprint Cup Series title and Jimmie Johnson would have finished third.…

About 8% of sports fans have a blood-alcohol level above the legal driving limit when exiting stadiums after football and baseball games, according to a report in the journal Alcoholism.…

If that's true, when Dodger Stadium is filled to its 56,000-seat capacity, nearly 4,500 fans file out drunk afterward.…

North Carolina basketball fans mocked Clemson on Tuesday by chanting, "You can't win here," a bit of an understatement considering that the Tigers are 0-55 at Chapel Hill.…

Venus Williams says the latest of her eye-catching tennis outfits was inspired by "Alice in Wonderland." …

One thing's for sure: They get curiouser and curiouser.

jerome.crowe@latimes.com

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