If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

It’s only five games into the season but I always talk about USC’s ability to deal with adversity when I judge the Trojans.

Other pundits pushed the culture change, the new assistants, the new strength coach, the discipline, etc., when discussing this season.

I was skeptical of all that and went back to wondering how USC would handle adversity with a coach who cannot lead men? Nothing I heard this week from what was going on around Howard Jones Field led me to believe the players bounced back or were ready to attack the second part of the season after the loss to Washington.

There was a discernible lack of energy this week, which does not bode well for Notre Dame. And if USC loses to Notre Dame, it will be 3-3. Can it regroup for the final six games? With Clay Helton, it’s hard to imagine.

  • Helton played into his critics’ hands during the bye week by holding light-contact practices. When Pete Carroll coached at USC, the bye week would conclude Friday morning with a full-contact “bowl game” with teams mainly composed of true freshmen and scout players. Those days are long gone.
  • With a bye week, I decided to call a source in the UCLA athletic dept. to talk a little bit about Chip Kelly.

“He can’t develop players or recruit them. It feels like it’s over this year. The assistant coaches are old and have no energy. Can they coach? No one here knows yet.

“A lot of us were giving him the benefit of the doubt until he lost to San Diego State. I mean, San Diego State. Really?

“The best thing Chip has going for him is UCLA bought out Jim Mora and Steve Alford and the donors are worn out from paying off coaches. Otherwise he would be on a very hot seat.”

  • Two of USC’s three victories (Fresno State, Stanford) are against teams that have made the biggest regressions in the S&P+ Ratings in 2019.
  • 1. Fresno State (75th after five weeks, 18.5 adjusted points per game below 2018 rating)
  • 2. Ohio (98th, down 13.9 PPG)
  • 3. Miami (Ohio) (113th, down 13.9 PPG)
  • 4. Stanford (73rd, down 13.8 PPG)
  • Did you see USC graduate Allyson Felix won her 12th medal at the track and field World Championships and all media reports said she broke Usain Bolt‘s record of 11 medals?

I admire Felix but this comparison bothers me. Felix won 4 gold medals in individual events at the World Championships along with 1 silver and 1 bronze. The other six medals were in relays, including the mixed gender relay she won a medal for this week.

By contrast, Bolt won 7 individual gold medals at the Worlds and 4 in relays.
The Olympics are worse. Felix has six gold medals but only one in an individual event. Five are in relays. Maybe she should be called the greatest relay runner in history.

  • And finally . . . below is the atmosphere at South Carolina, one of the worst teams in the SEC. You can’t tell me it’s the same going to Corvallis, Tucson, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Pullman or Tempe. Not even close. I could include the Rose Bowl let’s face it, the Coliseum isn’t that tough with the smallish crowds.

Frankly, other than Seattle and Eugene, what is a tough Pac-12 environment? South Carolina is just one of many tough environments in the SEC.

How many more games would USC lose if it played in an atmosphere like South Carolina every week?


29 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. So how does Wolfy explain UCLA 34 – Clown U 27 or, J. Kelly tramples the bozo def. for a record 289 rushing yds.

    #Oh well, just asking for Wolfy excuses, excuses, excuses, excuse.


  2. Chip was a god at Oregon not because he’s a great coach. He had NIKE donations bringing in elite talent, a first rate college and a Mighty history of Duck tradition. He has ridden on Oregon’s coattails of success to a devastating end, I’m afraid.

    But those truly were the glory days! ”Fourth and 1 on the Ducks 45…. and the Ducks are going for it!” And the whole crowd – children and women alike- does the hand motions and chants “Big Balls Chip!” because of his risk-taking abilities.

    Now we have an SEC coach that can recruit and coach em up. Did you see how we almost beat Auburn – then turned around and crushed the mighty Tree? WERE BACK!


    1. Sir,
      With all due respect, you should have beaten auburn. That would have been a signature win for your team. Beating Stanford this year should be a gimme. They are down. When you come to the Colisuem this year, then let us see what happens. I can see the ducks winning but I can also see the Trojans winning. Good luck with the rest of the season except for the SC game.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Gomer’s new line. “In my 25 years” (I guess he counts folding jock straps in the locker room and holding the Gatorade bottles on the side line as head coaching experience)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Let’s debate Wolfie’s assertion that SEC and particularly South Carolina fans create in their stadiums a better “atmosphere and environment” than the Pac-12 fans do. First of all, he is basing his opinion on that tape, and the waving of white towels appears staged and synchronized as if they were being led by cheerleaders.

    Let’s now look at some Pac-12 fans. Well, in Los Angeles most fans are laid-back at the games most of the time; it just seems to be the L.A. Way.

    But I have been to Eugene, Oregon, and most of the fans at Autzen Stadium start screaming the moment the opposing team gets the ball, and they don’t let up. And it is the worst stadium I have been in as far as security– I was alone wearing SC colors, and there was no good-natured “Hey, enemy, how ya doin” banter; these people seriously do not like SC. Even had a 20 year-old come up to challenge me to a fight.

    Oregon St seemed pretty spirited to me the one time I was there. Of course, it was an exciting game where they eked out a win. And when the fans try to jam the opposing team’s ability to hear on 3rd down plays, the P.A. plays loudly the sound of a chainsaw, which always stirs the crowd into a controlled frenzy.

    Washington was lively with its people crying out like wounded dogs, huskies, throughout the game. Now, if that’s not showing spirit for your team, what is?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Helton will 100% prove Scott is right about his “leadership” qualities if USC doesn’t go into the lion’s den next week and beat an overrated Notre Dame at home. Next week’s contest is (1) against our #1 rival [UC(Ding!]LA can’t be taken as seriously with Chip (I eat concrete) Kelly needing players’ help getting into his golf cart at UCLA practices] and (2) our entire team will be rested and healthy and ready to go. If Helton can’t pull off the win, he should be escorted off campus when he tries to get back into his office. On the other hand, IF he pulls it off, we should lay off him for awhile……

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha! Yeah, 67, on second thought….
        [I was thinking about the following yesterday: Back in the day, all baby prosecutors had to go through a 6 week training course. Each class had 24 incoming bar graduates —and each class lost 1 or 2 people along the way due to the intensity of the classes. Each time somebody dropped out, we all felt bad about losing that person. We were brothers and sisters in a competitive family and we hated to see somebody go. I CAN’T even imagine the effect it has on a team when SO MANY of their best receivers and linemen and even quarterbacks leave or announce their decommitment. Can any team survive the feeling of losing so many of their brothers over the course of the summer and fall? Shit, it’s like Doolittle telling his pilots, “I’m not going to lie to you boys, some of you aren’t coming back.” Not the pep talk you want to hear.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Nooooooo! Please! Not that!!
        [Here’s my dream scenario: Helton takes out our rivals —Notre Dame and UCLA—by surprisingly big margins —wins the South, loses the Pac 12 Championship —and is thanked for “his 25 years of service” and given a really nice gold pin]…..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. SCooter what about south Carolina? You never said anything pertaining to your sentence. What about the photo? So they stood for a third down play and yelled. SC does that as well. But I bet you south Carolina does not do that on each and every play. it is okay buddy, try and get some rest. That was a tough reach.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “And finally . . . below is the atmosphere at South Carolina, one of the worst teams in the SEC. You can’t tell me it’s the same going to Corvallis, Tucson, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Pullman or Tempe.”

    The south lives for football. In the Pac-12, football is an afterthought.

    Football will probably continue to decline in interest on the west coast, given the demographics of west coast young people having little interest in the sport.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. With every person in earshot and most of Southern California, calling for Helton’s Head on a sword (like a football-Hey Arnold) each of the last 5 years has seemed like five years each. So 25 is the “feels like” number not the actual number. If we calculated time for actually coaching in the past 5 years it would be more like 0.000005 years, because based on evidence at hand, Helton hasn’t coached football yet.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So I was thinking …(no not about whatever happened to Pudly) Just what will we have to write about if Helton finally gives way to a real coach? This entire decade has been about ragging on the football program at USC (except for a brief period when a coach allowed cookies in the program for a few weeks)
    Once we get a good coach and presumably we right the ship of Football, what will there be to do? I’ll feel like an out of work Pontiac salesman.
    It is no longer socially acceptable to fat shame the cheerleaders or even ogle them for that matter. The horse and band are off limits too. If the coach gets the potential out of his players we won’t have them to kick around anymore (think Toa Lowbouncedown)
    I am actually worried …0o0


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