Year in, year out in L.A.

The highs? There were many. But, boy, does 2012 look even better

Updated: December 30, 2011, 1:54 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPNLosAngeles.com

The seeds were sewn a little under two years ago. Pete Carroll had just left USC for the NFL. NCAA sanctions loomed. Quarterback Matt Barkley was just a freshman and could have left before things got worse.

Instead, he had a vision. Of something better than what was in front of him. Of a reality he could still create for himself and his team, but would never be given easily.

"I came to this school because I wanted to be a Trojan," Barkley said then. "And nothing about coaches leaving ...

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