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Insider

Competition wide open in USC backfield

USC defensive end Lawrence Jackson makes the extraordinary comment with such nonchalance that it nearly doesn't register.

He's talking about the USC dynasty reloading -- not rebuilding -- after nearly winning an unprecedented third consecutive national title, and he is intimating future days of woe for all who doubt the Trojans.

"It was the same a few years ago when we won the Orange Bowl with Carson Palmer," Jackson said. "Then it was: 'How do you replace a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback?' Now it's: 'How do you replace two Heisman Trophy winners?'"