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

Did Joe Barry ever really want the USC defensive coordinator’s job?

He showed a lot of interest once he was notified he was not getting hired as Rams defensive coordinator. Clay Helton offered him the job earlier this week and believed he would take it.

Then the Rams bigfooted USC on Wednesday night and offered Barry a new contract. He accepted and remained in the NFL, leaving Helton stuck because he has so few coaching contacts. Where does Helton go now?

“Joe Barry was Clancy Pendergast 2.0,” said an NFL coach, who was not impressed with USC hiring Barry (pictured above in 1992).

It’s worth mentioning that USC has never had an African-American defensive coordinator, especially with Kris Richard apparently between jobs.

Helton told Pendergast four weeks ago he was firing him. And here we are back to Square One in the defensive coordinator search.

  • Wide receiver Tyler Vaughns announced Thursay night he was returning for his senior season. The truth is Vaughns was probably closer to leaving after last season. His junior season was not overwhelming and his draft stock did not increase in 2019.
  • Defensive tackle Jay Tufele also announced he would return. Why?
  • I heard the football team had a discretionary run this week. Discretionary?
  • Drake London has been sidelined from basketball because he has mononucleosis. It’s a tough transition going from football to basketball with no time off.
  • A donor sent me this email regarding Mike Bohn: “I’m sick and tired of him telling boosters and fans that we need to support the program. He needs to do his job, the team needs to perform, and the support will follow.”
  • Former USC women’s tennis coach Richard Gallien is now at Cal State L.A. It’s no surprise because the athletic director is Daryl Gross, who used to be Mike Garrett’s right-hand man at USC.
  • Former USC basketball coach Henry Bibby has been named coach of the Tijuana Zonkeys pro basketball team.
  • Ricky Bell is one of the greatest tailbacks in USC history and you can still make the case he was underappreciated.

Here is a quote from former UCLA coach Dick Vermeil on Bell in 1976 after Bell gained 136 yards in the 1975 Crosstown Rivalry:

“This is no knock (Ohio State tailback) Archie Griffin or (Cal tailback) Chuck Muncie, who also played against us, but Bell was the fastest, strongest and most durable and best running back we saw all year.

“Because USC didn’t pass well, we ganged up on Bell, gave him some tremendous shots, did everything but bury him, and he still kept coming. If we’d tackled Muncie and Griffin like that, they wouldn’t have finished the game.

“The others were outstanding but Bell is something else.”

USC tailback Ricky Bell in 1976
  • The most famous dog in USC history is obviously George Tirebiter, who used to stop classes by walking in unannounced so he could be petted.

Below is a picture from the 1975 commencement of Christina McCluggage, and her dog, Joker, who attended classes with her and received his “dog-torate.”

Commencement -- earned dog-torate, 1975
Photo courtesy USC digital library

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

  1. Archie Griffin winning two Heismans in a row was one of the biggest college football voting crimes of all time! Ridiculous….Ricky Bell was robbed! They got it wrong!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In 1975, Ricky Bell led the nation in rushing with 1,875 yards, while they awarded Archie the second of his consecutive trophies….Ricky finished 3rd in the balloting, behind Griffin and Chuck Muncie of CAL….ugh…


    2. Archie Griffin only had 1,450 yards rushing that year, Chuck Muncie, 1,460….,Ricky Bell outrushed both those dudes, BY MORE THAN 400 YARDS in 1975! 3rd? While they gave a guy his second in a row, for far less output? No way!


    3. Hard to understand how #42 was deprived of the Heisman by the voters.
      Was it the usual anti-West Coast Bias? By that time, the Big 10 was known as a weak conference. Knowing how things went back then, as the Trojans were not going to the RB, Ricky likely was likely snubbed.
      Some thought Touchdown Tony Dorsett–a JR at Pitt–was also snubbed.
      Ricky outperformed Griffen as Freshmen in the NFL. Griffen had no Pro career.

      I recall (kinda) that Sports Illustrated cover with Ricky (after the ND game?) and the title
      “for whom the Bell toils,” –a testament to his durability and McKay’s penchant for running his TB into the ground.

      Said it before….to get himself into shape Ricky strapped on combat hiking boots every day and ran wind sprints in the heavy beach sand (I think prior to his Senior season). It worked.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. What is this ‘basketball’ you speak about? Is this something I need to be concerned about?
      The only reason Bell had those yards was because Evans couldn’t complete a pass. You look at the ’75 game #3SC & #7CAL & Muncie completely outclassed Bell. Knocking the shit out of SC defenders. Watch the game & don’t try to rewrite history. Muncie was a great guy. He would crash at our basement ‘study’ room or upstairs hallway. If he missed Gigantino’s ride home then he had nowhere to sleep around campus. If he wasn’t a big F’up he’d have been even better. We had him listed initially at 5’11” & 199lbs. That lasted halfway into the season until word got out that he was a beast. Severe tractor accident on the PA farm as a child. Said he would never walk again w/o crutches. Goes & runs a 9.7. More like a 3.9 the last 40yds. I guess he showed those doctors the spirit of a man. GREAT GUY. Big F’up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, I’ve never heard anyone say anything ill about Muncie anywhere at anytime. He was a stud on the gridiron.

        Plus, he had the ultracool, thick-rimmed nerdie glasses which were WAY TOO cool well before it was cool to wear thick-rimmed nerdie glasses.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. they were both absolute studs…watch the NFL Films Missing Ring episode about the 1981 Chargers with the scenes where Hank Bauer recalls Muncie joining that team…that was my team as a kid…Muncie, when right, was as good a RB as has ever played (think they eventually listed him at 6’3 235, and he could run with their fastest receivers…while stiff arming a LB. to the ground holding the ball in his other hand like a loaf of bread a la Sweetness)…Bell was just as much a stud…those yards in ’75 were hard earned because of the total lack of a passing attack…and that was the 7-0 team that had just beaten ND then lost 4 in a row after McKay announced he was leaving…so there’s a tradeoff between the high number of carries, but also the defenses being totally stacked against him…on above re Griffin…he was a great college player, but definitely there was both some anti-left coast bias, plus the USC 4 game losing streak and Cal missing the Rose Bowl…that OSU team blew a national title opportunity getting blown out by UCLA (a really good UCLA team with Tyler, Henry, Schiarra, Tuiosasopo…coached by Vermeil) after having crushed them early in the regular season…all great players….

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Bourbon,
        Great guy, very poor habits. A lot of drugs floating around at CAL in those days. Muncie used to sleep at my fraternity when he was zoned & Gigantino couldn’t find him after practice to take him home. Muncie didn’t come to CAL to become a physician. I liked him & he was the king around campus. I think he really liked being at CAL unlike Ferragamo or Beastmode who couldn’t wait to GTFO. Thank gawd Ferragamo did. Charlie White said & I quote….”DON’T COME HERE IT’S A SHITHOLE & I’M TRANSFERRING” when Ferragamo met him At the airport. At least beast has grown up a little & has softened his rhetoric.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Vince Evans completed a 76 yard touchdown pass to Ricky Bell, to finish off Texas A&M, 20-0, in the 1975 Liberty Bowl…..that Trojan team the Rose 🌹 Bowl the previous year over Ohio State, and the following year against Michigan….


      5. The Trojan 1974 team beat the Bucknuts in that Rose Bowl to win the National Title, and finished runner up for the Natty in 1976, after punking Michigan, finishing runner up only to Pitt and Tony Dorsett…


      6. Cal and you are both crap. Get the F*ck off this site. The only reason
        USC lost was that McKay announced he was leaving for Tampa Bay.


  2. In typical Gomer fashion, he got played because he has no spine. He should have told Barry that he needed an answer in 48 hours or he was moving on 2 weeks ago. But also in typical Gomer fashion, he has no cards in his Rolodex, so he probably got on his knees and begged, and begged, and begged and then begged some more.

    So USC has no DC and no one on the horizon. The OC is looking around, no special teams coach unless Nansen moves there, and if a new DC is ever hired, he may can all the defensive coaches and then have to replace them with his guys, if any are still available and if coach Folt will allow that, or keep the shit that is already there, what a total shit show.

    Petros is dead on when he said Bohn is walking around town like a flaccid dick. The guy is a fucking hand puppet who didn’t have the common sense to make sure he could hire who he wanted and if he did get the OK and then Folt pulled it back, he’s a spineless jerkoff for not resigning on the spot and telling everyone why he was resigning.

    And Petros was also correct about Folt, as long as she’s the President, USC football will be deader than dead.

    Fail On !

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Memo to: Bobbiekrap

      Just 11 points, not like the SUCCX 32 point loss to U-Dub.

      So just after Andyain’twinning wins the next 31 straight victories over UCLA will Clownish U tie the Bruins for All-Time rivalry victories.

      Bobbiekrap did you ring the victory bell after New Jersey Institute of Tech. swept the SUCCX men’s Volleyball team 3-0? – So yuge!

      SUCCX the Houston Astro’s of Div. 1 Athletics.

      #Ding goes the Victory Bell, Joe Barry declines to accept Clownish U DC offer. Once again SUCCX recruits itself.


    2. I’m up late in Hawaii —but let’s not leave the subject of USC’s newest Athletic Director, Mister Mike Bohn, just yet. Somebody quoted Milton yesterday so I guess it’s okay to quote Ovid too:
      “There are two kinds of men –some like to fatten with ease, like sheep in the pasture. At death they go unloved to Hell and their names vanish from the land. But others, fight Titans and monsters and win noble names. Tell me, which of these two sorts of men do you wish to be?”
      I hear this was the only interview question asked by Carol Folt….and Bohn gave the right answer immediately.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. But look what happened to poor Ovid…if only we could send the Unholy Trio and their paymasters to a miserable exile on the Euxine Sea!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Moving rather slowly (by some estimates), The City Council of Rome revoked Ovid’s banishment ….in 2017.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. If only our Ovid Overload coincided with a pissed off Augustus behind the scenes, rather than a Commodus or Caracella (at least the latter left some nice baths)…

        Liked by 2 people

    3. i agree with you that Bohn needs to stand up to Folt/Caruso. Quite frankly, I think that he would have had a winnable lawsuit if he just told Folt that it was his decision to fire Clay and she would not allow it.

      If Folt/Caruso refused to let Bohn make the decision, but publicly stated that it was his decision, that is the ultimate lack of integrity.

      I hope that the firings in HH continue, until they clear out all the Clay-lovers who love to be mediocre.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. gametv — Whatever else I am, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t allow myself to be played the way Bohn has been played. In another life I was the Dean of a small law school –I was asked to fire someone and I did. Things got too hot for the individual who ordered the firing and he said I made the decision on my own. I announced I was leaving at the next assembly meeting.
        #”ThereAreRules” –Tarantino

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Answering all the above queries…
    1. Keeping TV is a huge bonus. 80 catches, 1000 yds, 10 TDs? He and Amon Ra will mentor the younger, talented WR (as likely did Pittman) and “show ’em how it’s done)
    2. Keeping Tufele is a huge bonus. Assuming Coach Chad stays, Tufele should have a good Season. Hoping he stays healthy. Hoping he goes out a winner and gets a big, fat NFL contract.*
    3. Reviewing his pro record, I was not impressed by Barry’s “record.”
    I take his Rams contract as a positive move for us.
    4. I’ve liked Kris Rich since his name was mentioned. I’d love to see what he could do with our young, athletic DBs (INCLUDING CHRIS STEELE, and I S-T) in a pass-happy conference. I predict a great year for Drake Jackson and the pass rush….which means some INT’s for our DB’s with Kris Rich at the helm!
    5. And the photo of the comely co-ed? She was 40 years ahead of the times. My guess is that thousands of undergrads bring their therapy pets to class each day.

    *BTW, HC CH has sent his Seniors off on a losing note 4 of 5 years.
    (not including the LV Bowl victory engineered by Coach Orgeron).
    During JR1, the Trojan Seniors were sent off winners every year but 1 or 2

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Only lost last game once – 1981 season/1982 Fiesta Bowl where the team sleep walked through a beating against a far more motivated Penn State team…Marcus Allen put the ball on the ground multiple times…otherwise, all wins (Rose Bowl, Astro Blue Bonnet Bowl, Rose Bowl, Rose Bowl, Notre Dame…above Fiesta Bowl loss…then Notre Dame)…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, gov.
        I recall watching that Fiesta Bowl game–too broke to make the trip to Phoenix as a Sophomore. Lucky I stayed home. Was it Todd Blackledge at QB for the KNitting Lions?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes…team that won national championship next season…Blackledge and Curt Warner…and a bunch of mean ass LBs (with names as I recall like D’amico, Parlavecchio, and Pryts)…that was the year where #1 teams (including USC) kept losing…I believe Penn State was one late in the season (Jim Kelly and Howard Schnellenberger Hurricanes warming up for greater things to come)…then got beat by Marino and Pitt who went on to win the Sugar Bowl over Herschel and the Dawgs…that ’81 USC team was one of those ‘the JRob1 years were great but could have been greater” teams…they were breaking in new young QBs (Mazur and Salisbury) and the D was young…but the losses were all avoidable (#1 ranked leading ‘Zona 10-0 at home…fumbles in the rain in Seattle)…but still a great team with some highlights (wins over OU, ND, and UCLA)…great memories…


  4. USC is being used as a stalking horse for potential candidates. It is always better to negotiate from a position of strength and when someone else wants you, you become more desireable.

    So SC keeps getting jilted. The core reason? Clay Helton. He is a weak coach who people only work for if they cant get a job elsewhere, or are using it as a launching pad for something else.

    The only solution is to fire Clay.

    Liked by 1 person

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