Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its 15 modern-era finalists for the Class of 2019 on Thursday, and among the esteemed group of gridiron stars were a trio of Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers.,Former LSU offensive line standouts Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae and Louisiana native Ed Reed made the list of modern-era finalists.,Joining that trio is Louisiana native and former LSU great Johnny Robinson as this year’s senior finalist.,The other modern-era finalists include Kansas City and Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce, Indianapolis and Arizona running back Edgerrin James, Denver safety Steve Atwater, Washington and Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, New England cornerback Ty Law, Tampa Bay and Denver safety John Lynch, Jacksonville offensive tackle Tony Boselli, Seattle and Minnesota offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour, St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell and Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders coach Tom Flores.,Robinson, a Delhi native who was an All-State tennis, baseball and football player at University Lab School in Baton Rouge (his father Dub Robinson coached the LSU tennis team), played on LSU’s 1958 national championship football team, played his entire pro career for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, winning championships in 1962, 1966 and 1969.

• OU is making its 20th consecutive bowl bid, by far the longest streak in school history (the previous record was eight from through the 1982 seasons under Barry Switzer).,• This marks the fourth straight season Oklahoma has won at least seven consecutive games heading into its bowl contest (seven in 2015, nine in 2016, eight in 2017 and seven this year).,• Only one OU team (51.1 in 2008) averaged more points per game for a season than this year's squad is averaging (49.5).,• Oklahoma has rushed for at least 300 yards and passed for at least 300 in a game a school-record five times this year (the previous record was two times in 2012), including in four of the last six contests.,• Brooks has carried the rushing load for OU over the last four games, running 71 times for 546 yards (7.7 per rush) and six touchdowns.