If USC needs anything, it’s a receiver. Right? Right? Colorado wide receiver KD Nixon announced today he is transferring to USC. Nixon (5-8, 190) ranked 19th in Colorado history in career catches (99) and receiving yards (1,221). He also had 758 yards on kickoff returns. Nixon caught 15 passes for 132 yards and no touchdowns this season, which consisted of only four games because of … Continue reading USC Adds Colorado Transfer Receiver
USC safety Isaiah Pola-Mao announced he will return in 2021. This is a rare bit of good news when it comes to players deciding to return. Pola-Mao is not the impact player Talanoga Hufanga was but he is solid and provides leadership. USC doesn’t offer much at linebacker and lost its best defensive tackle (Marlon Tuipulotu) so getting a starting safety back is a boost. Continue reading Isaiah Pola-Mao Will Return In 2021
USC coach Clay Helton’s forte is firing assistant coaches. But the addition of offensive line coach Clay McGuire adds the finishing touch to an unmistakable characteristic of the present USC coaching staff. There are now 10 coaches with ties to Texas. Helton went to high school in Texas. Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell grew up, played and coached in Texas. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando coached at … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
If you want to promote the USC football program, it would be nice to say it won a Rose Bowl or went to the College Football Playoff. You might settle for beating Notre Dame, since Clay Helton has a 1-4 record against the Irish. But this is what got promoted today: Social-media interactions. I get that this is geared toward recruits. But it also shows … Continue reading This Just About Sums Up USC Football
USC was supposed to play Stanford at 2 p.m. but it was postponed because of a “suspected COVID-related issue within (the USC) program.” USC’s game with Cal on Saturday is still possible but no decision has been made at this time. This is the second time a USC-Stanford game was postponed this season. Continue reading USC-Stanford Basketball Postponed
It got lost in the shuffle but I thought it was weird Tuesday night that a White House statement said a student involved in the Varsity Blues scandal was attending USC and had a 3.9 grade-point average. Was USC that crass to allow a student admitted under shady circumstances to remain in school? I wouldn’t put it past USC but still . . . But … Continue reading Plot Thickens In USC Pardon Scandal
By the time his contract expires next year, Larry Scott will have been paid about $50 million by the Pac-12 Conference. Talk about stealing. That doesn’t include the private jet that would fly him to a small Bay Area airport near his house on Saturday nights. He would often leave games at halftime so he could fly home earlier. Or the $7 million in rent … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: The Pac-12’s $50 Million Mistake
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is on his way out, according to Sports Business Daily. The Pac-12 CEO’s made the decision tonight and Scott’s last day will be June 30. A national search for a successor will begin immediately. Here is the official conference statement: SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 20, 2021) – The Pac-12 Conference announced today that following ongoing discussions between its governing executive committee, its presidents and … Continue reading Larry Scott Stepping Down
In 1961, John McKay a spring game between the Trojans and an NFL team composed of former USC players. Jon Arnett told me he decided not to play and serve as a coach because he thought he might get hurt. He was right. Hal Bedsole, who is in the College Football Hall of Fame, told me he played quarterback for one play and got crunched … Continue reading USC Picture Of The Day
There are rumors LSU cornerback Elias Ricks might enter the transfer portal. If the former Mater Dei star leaves, USC will be considered a strong candidate to land Ricks. The Seattle Times named USC defensive backs coach Donte Williams as one of eight possible candidates for the defensive coordinator job at Washington. I realize USC does not believe in transparency but there needs to be … Continue reading USC Notes: The Rumor Mill
How happy is new USC offensive line coach Clay McGuire? Here is how happy: Texas State was 2-10 in 2020. Texas State was 3-9 in 2019. Texas Tech was 5-7 in 2018. Washington State was 9-4 in 2017. The Cougars were 8-5 in 2016. And 9-4 in 2015 and 2014. Washington State was 6-7 in 2013 and 3-9 in 2012. Some questions: Why didn’t Mike … Continue reading Morning Buzz: At Least USC Will Have A Happy Coach
USC has hired Clay McGuire of Texas State as its new offensive line coach. I’m sure he is a competent coach but it kind of makes you see again how things are different at USC vs. Alabama or frankly even Notre Dame. McGuire is an Air Raid expert so that’s good. But as I’ve said before, how successful did his teams run the ball? Does … Continue reading USC Hires Clay McGuire As Offensive Line Coach
It’s great that USC is 11 -3 overall. But it is extremely frustrating to watch USC fail to get off even an average shot at the end of tonight’s game with Oregon State. A loss is nothing to be ashamed of. But it’s the fact that over the past eight seasons, USC has had many games where it could not get off a good shot … Continue reading Thanks, Enfield!
Every time USC hires someone, like a strength coach or a recruiting analyst, I get told how Mike Bohn is adding another piece to the puzzle and building a better program. But here is the problem: This is a job for Bohn and his minions. So they can live with a 5-1 season where USC looks awful vs. Arizona, and barely beats unimpressive UCLA and … Continue reading USC Fans Don’t Want To Hear About Baby Steps
Clay McGuire, a Mike Leach and Air Raid veteran, is a top candidate to get hired at USC, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. McGuire spent six seasons at Washington State and four at Texas Tech with Leach. More importantly, he was at Texas Tech and Washington State with Harrell. Now, McGuire certainly knows how to coach pass protection for the Air Raid. But how effectively … Continue reading USC Looking At Another Air Raid Line Coach
Did you see Ed Orgeron wants to hire former USC defensive lineman Ryan Nielsen as LSU defensive coordinator? Nielsen is the New Orleans Saints’ defensive line coach. The Saints, apparently, are balking. Now this should not be a surprise to InsideUSC readers with long memories. Because a year ago, I wrote USC wanted to interview Nielsen for the defensive coordinator’s job but was denied permission … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Will LSU Do What USC Could Not?
Some excerpts from the 1956 USC yearbook on Jon Arnett: “As a sophomore, he led the team in scoring, rushing, pass completion percentage, punt returns, pass interceptions and had a 44.4 yard per punt average for the year. “This last year, as a junior, he scored 108 points and was second in the nation in this category. He led the team in scoring, rushing, total … Continue reading Remembering Some Jon Arnett Accomplishments
Wayna Morris, a former Tennessee offensive lineman who had USC in his final three transfer choices, committed to Oklahoma. The former five-star recruit was envisioned as a left tackle at USC. But did his decision get impacted by having to block in the Air Raid offense? Former USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. is expected to be traded or released after an outburst where he reportedly … Continue reading Notes: USC Transfer Target Offensive Lineman Chooses Oklahoma
Delegation “Coach Bohn, you got the strength coach. Coach Graham, you got O-line. Coach Donte, you lasso the recruits. Me? I’ll monitor the burgers over here in my BLVD apron.” Markese Stepp The tailback joined a team (Nebraska) that rushed 59 percent of its offensive plays last season. Carson Palmer The Heisman Trophy winner made the College Football Hall of Fame. I predict Chris Claiborne … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Winners And Losers Of The Week
Jon Arnett, one of the best tailbacks in USC history, died Sunday morning. He was 85. Arnett was an All-American in 1955 and known to fans as “Jaguar” Jon Arnett. He was the No. 2 pick in the 1957 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. Arnett was a true South Los Angeles native: He went to 42nd Street Elementary School; Audubon Middle School, Manual … Continue reading USC Legend Jon Arnett Passes Away
It feels like new strength coach Robert Stiner will report to Mike Bohn instead of Clay Helton. Why else would Stiner leave Notre Dame and come to USC? Yes, he got a promotion but what if Helton gets fired? Stiner had to get some assurance from his former Cincinnati boss that he would retain his job even if there was a coaching change. That’s unusual … Continue reading USC Sunday Buzz: New Strength Coach Comes With Safety Net
I wrote earlier in the week USC would hire Notre Dame assistant director of football strength and conditioning coach Robert Stiner if it made an acceptable offer. That offer came through and the hire became official today. Stiner’s official title at USC is Director of Football Sports Performance. I said in the headline he was a former Cincinnati assistant strength coach because that is the relevant information. … Continue reading As Expected, USC Hires Ex-Cincy Strength Coach
Former USC swim coach Dave Salo has defended ex-Trojan swimmer Klete Keller, who was arrested and charged with three counts following the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. If convicted of violent entry, disorderly conduct and obstructing law enforcement, Keller could face up to 15½ years in prison. “He stands out as a 6-foot-6 guy in a USA jacket,” Salo told the Washington Post. “But … Continue reading Saturday Buzz: USC Swim Coach Defends Klete Keller
Has the Sports Arena ever looked crisper or cleaner? This is a 1961 picture from a USC-Cal game. And here is the outside circa 1961-62. I wrote about USC assistant coach/freshman coach Bob Kolf this morning in my Friday column. Here he is coaching a game in 1961. Continue reading USC Pictures Of The Day
Outside of Jacksonville Jaguars fans, who was happiest about Urban Meyer becoming the team’s coach Thursday? Obviously, there is USC president Carol Folt, who no longer needs to see angry fans tweet her to hire Meyer. Right behind for a similar reason is USC athletic director Mike Bohn, who I heard wanted Meyer at one point until Folt said no. Where does that leave the … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
This graphic is objectively true, although there seems to be confusion when it says USC won six Heismans but shows seven. The problem is all of this tradition only reminds us all that the current state of the program is not acceptable. USC’s history is a great recruiting tool. But it needs to start creating more history. Offensive lineman Saia Mapakaitolo, who decommited from USC … Continue reading It’s Time For USC To Create History
If nothing else, this will put a huge dent in the “Hire Urban Meyer” tweets by USC fans. Continue reading Urban Meyer To Jaguars?
We have completed our second interview with Robert Saleh for our head coaching vacancy. 📰 https://t.co/EsIBvGyMw4 pic.twitter.com/mwUOoViGOi — New York Jets (@nyjets) January 13, 2021 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js I am starting off this morning with this announcement from the New York Jets. It has nothing to do with USC but it does show refreshing transparency as the NFL team admitted it interviewed someone a second time. Meanwhile, … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Getting Answers At USC Can Be A Real Chore
What exactly does Clay Helton do? Graham Harrell is looking for an offensive line coach. Mike Bohn is looking for a strength coach. Last year, Bohn hired Todd Orlando and then Orlando hired most of the assistant coaches. I hear Donte Williams was hired via Bohn and his staff, not Helton. Williams is now the main recruiter. Again, what does Helton do for the nearly … Continue reading What Does Clay Helton Do?
Former USC swimmer Klete Keller was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in the Capitol building and impeding law enforcement after video emerged of him in the Rotunda during last week’s riot. Keller, 38, was a Pac-10 and NCAA champion at USC. He won a relay gold medals at the 2004 Olympics and 2008 Olympics. Continue reading Klete Keller Charged In Capitol Riot
Clay Helton’s search for a strength coach could be over, especially since he might not be in charge of it. I got a text from a contact at Notre Dame on Tuesday night with this detail about USC’s search for a strength coach. Helton has interviewed Robert Stiner, who is assistant director of football strength and conditioning at Notre Dame. Who does Helton know at Notre Dame? Well, … Continue reading Morning Buzz: USC Zeros In On Strength Coach
Steve Sarkisian met Bevo. Life is good. Here’s a tip for Texas fans: Don’t speak to him in Armenian. When Sarkisian was an assistant coach at USC, former USC All-American Marlin McKeever wanted to impress him, so he learned an Armenian greeting. McKeever went up to Sarkisian and offered the greeting. Sarkisian stood there confused, unable to understand what McKeever said. A disappointed McKeever walked … Continue reading Pete Carroll And Steve Sarkisian In News
USC is 33/1 to win the national title next year according to BetOnline. That’s generous given how many players have left USC and the fact the Trojans have the ninth-best odds. Full odds are at the bottom: The Alabama-Ohio State game drew 18.7 million viewers. The previous low for a BCS or CFP title game was 21.4 million for the USC-Oklahoma game in 2004. Former … Continue reading USC Notes: Championship Odds Are Generous
Former USC tailback Markese Stepp has announced he will transfer to Nebraska. Stepp probably noticed Nebraska ran nearly 60 percent of the time in its offense. Maybe more importantly, Stepp will be the most experienced tailback on the Nebraska roster. Stepp had 100 carries for 505 yards and six touchdowns in his USC career. Continue reading Markese Stepp To Nebraska
USC was ranked No. 21 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday night, exactly where the Trojans were ranked in the previous poll. So ducking a bowl game did not benefit USC, at least from a poll position. How funny was it to think of USC playing Alabama to start the season after watching the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State? I joked … Continue reading Morning Buzz: Here’s One Way Alabama Outdoes USC
It’s over. Alabama just too good. Ohio State still in it, for now, 38-24. OK, this is the Alabama dynasty at work. Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith time. It’s 35-17!!! Ohio State is not bending but stalled in the red zone and got a field goal. It’s 21-17. I should have predicted a higher score. Mac Jones didn’t mope after his turnover. He … Continue reading College Football Playoff Title Game Forum
Former USC QB Carson Palmer was one of 11 players selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. It was a pretty easy choice given Palmer won the Heisman Trophy. Other USC players on the ballot who did not make it were linebacker Jack Del Rio and offensive lineman Jeff Bregel. This is where I like to point out some inconsistencies: Del Rio … Continue reading Time To Point Out Hall Of Fame Inconsistencies
WINNERS Real football programs While USC fans wonder why the football programs putters along behind spin and hype, two real teams (Alabama, Ohio State) will actually play for the national title. Steve Sarkisian He gets more than $34 million from Texas to become a head coach for the first time since he was fired by USC. He and Lane Kiffin must text high-fives to each … Continue reading USC Morning Buzz: Winners And Losers Of The Week
Clay Helton has offered the offensive line coaching position to Arkansas offensive line coach Brad Davis, according to Football Scoop. He was previously at Missouri and Florida. But here is the key: He was at North Texas in 2016, so he knows Graham Harrell. Interestingly, here’s a critique from his performance at Arkansas this season. “This past season, some of his key linemen didn’t develop … Continue reading Clay Helton Tries To Hire Graham Harrell Contact For O-Line
USC beat Arizona State, 73-64, to record its first road sweep over the Arizona schools since 1985. That was also the last year the Trojans won the Pac-12 (then Pac-10). Meanwhile, former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder tweeted this about his son, USC special teams coach, Sean Snyder. Congratulations to USC and Sean Snyder on your #1 national special teams ranking by Football Outsider by … Continue reading USC Night Notes: Big Sweep And . . . Special Teams Honor?
In case you missed it, Clay Helton did an interview with the L.A. Times. He tap-danced as usual and didn’t take accountability. And he offered this whopper: “I actually see this program trending upward, if you look at it correctly.” If you look at it correctly? That’s a trademark comment of a delusional person. The rest of you are not seeing things clearly. He can … Continue reading Clay Helton Remains Delusional, Part 306
Graham Harrell apparently interviewed with Boise State on Wednesday. Now that Boise hired Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, does this mean Harrell is back for another year at USC? Well, there is still a potential path for him to the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles have an opening for an offensive coordinator and Harrell interviewed last year. Would Eagles coach Doug Pederson call Harrell again? Philadelphia … Continue reading Saturday Buzz: Could Graham Harrell Still Be An NFL Candidate?
Marcus Freeman of Cincinnati was the hot defensive coordinator this offseason with offers from job offers from Notre Dame and LSU. Freeman chose Notre Dame, which announced it this afternoon. This affects USC in two ways: Does Luke Fickell become a less effective coach without Freeman? We will find out next season. Would Freeman follow Fickell to USC? He supposedly turned down LSU to remain … Continue reading A Coaching Hire That Could Impact USC
Wasn’t it interesting that USC fired offensive line coach Tim Drevno and strength coach Aaron Ausmus two days before Christmas and apparently never had an intention of mentioning it? Worse was Clay Helton telling Ausmus he did a great job and firing him three days later. Helton loves to fire coaches but when does the culture change? The players don’t respect him or particularly like … Continue reading If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column
USC shot 58.5 percent from the field, including 57 percent on 3-pointers tonight in an 87=73 victory over Arizona at McKale Center. Isaiah White led USC with 22 points while Evan Mobley added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Azuolas Tubelis had 31 points for Arizona. Continue reading USC Beats Arizona In Tucson