Back to the big time

LOS ANGELES -- During the height of the Pete Carroll era, there was so much energy, enthusiasm, and attention paid the USC Trojans, it's almost as if the Men of Troy had become the college version of "America's team."

With unprecedented regular sellouts in the mammoth Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Hollywood celebs like Henry Winkler, Will Ferrell and Snoop Dog on the sidelines, and a fan base that seemed to stretch beyond the city limits of L.A. to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the Trojans reached a popularity level that seemed to extend well into the stratosphere.

Not that the Trojans didn't have their detractors during the Carroll era, but the electricity emanating from the storied Coliseum was so magical that even down-the-freeway Disneyland was envious.