After I wrote about the 1975 Liberty Bowl yesterday, I received a call from a member of that USC team.
USC was ranked No. 3 and undefeated but went into a tailspin and lost 4 straight games after John McKay announced he was going to Tampa Bay.
“McKay announced the Friday before we got on the bus to leave for Cal that he was leaving to go to Tampa. That’s all anybody talked about even in the locker room before the game.
“The coaches were more worried about their jobs and they coached like it.
“After (McKay) made that announcement he checked out.”
USC lost to Cal, 28-14, which had star QB Joe Roth and tailback Chuck Muncie. The Trojans then lost three games by a total of seven points to Stanford, Washington and UCLA.
“We had a bowl practice and McKay wasn’t there and the ball boys said he was asleep in his office,” the player said. “We said (forget) it and didn’t listen to him after that. Even when he was at practice, he wasn’t there. We played for ourselves.”
USC defeated Texas A&M, 20-0, in the Liberty Bowl.