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Front and center

LOS ANGELES -- The top-ranked USC Trojans are the center of the college football universe, and nobody is more aware of what that means than two-year starting center Khaled Holmes, a Rimington Trophy nominee and Academic All-American candidate.

Holmes, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound senior from Santa Ana, Calif., is emblematic of the ongoing state of recovery for both the Trojans' football program and its fan base, all innocents forced to pay the price because of the Reggie Bush debacle.

The Trojans' gridiron resurrection continues with Saturday afternoon's season opener against Norm Chow's Hawaii Warriors in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the anticipated electric atmosphere in one of the nation's most storied sports venues could conjure up memories of the Pete Carroll era at its zenith.