Former USC coach John McKay did not like Stanford.
“Stanford was not his favorite,” said McKay’s long-time USC assistant, Dave Levy. “He felt they were a little arrogant. Stanford gave him the needle. He used to say, `I like (Stanford coach) John Ralston when we beat them. I don’t like him when we lose to them.’ ”
McKay’s ire reached in the early 1970’s when he said after a game, “I’d like to have beaten them by 2,000 points. They have no class.”
That led to a priceless cartoon above from the Stanford Daily the following year, which shows USC leading Stanford, 1,992-0, and McKay telling Pat Haden if the Trojans score on the final play, “We go for two.”
The feud with Ralston even continued when McKay went to the NFL in 1976. McKay was in his first season coaching the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ralston coached the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos won, 48-13, and McKay refused to shake hands with Ralston. McKay accused Denver of running up the score.
“I have been in the other position a lot more than that horse’s ass,” McKay said of Ralston. “I don’t like any part of him. His day is coming.”
Ralston denied running up the score: “I guess John has forgotten about some of those games when his USC teams pounded on my Stanford bunch and on other Pacific Coast Conference opponents. I can’t ever remember him taking out O.J. (Simpson) when he had us on the run.”
So the coaching feud did not start with Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh.