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

It’s so hard to convince people who don’t watch USC games closely how ordinary the program has become.

They see the 2-0 record, even if it is vs. the mediocre Pac-12.

They see Clay Helton is a below-average coach. But they don’t fully realize the “nothing special” roster at so many spots.

Look at the linebackers: You have some workman-line players who might be reaching their potential by being just OK. You have some underachievers.

But there is nothing to suggest there are any special players. USC’s recruiting the past couple years seems to be catching up with itself on the field, especially at places like linebacker and offensive line.

I’m not giving a pass to other positions, but linebacker and offensive line used to actually be glamour positions in the old days.

  • Go back to the beginning of the year and read some of the early articles on the new coaches. Nothing but breathless reports praising the energy, leadership and promise of the new staff.

Now tell me after two games what you have?

Todd Orlando’s been a Clancy Pendergast-clone but blitzes even more. Back in January, I wrote college coaches told me Orlando loved to blitz. But this much?

Cornerbacks coach Donte Williams hasn’t figured out how to teach Chris Steele to stop grabbing receivers (but he can recruit!).

Craig Naivar coaches two senior safeties who are supposed to be some of the best players on the team. Do you see improvement from them?

Defensive line coach Vic So’oto is supposed to be an energy guy but coaches a line that’s allowed 208 yards rushing per game.

All in all, money well spent.

Remember, Orlando defenses at Texas gradually got worse each year. That is a scary thought.

  • None of this even mentions Graham Harrell’s shortcomings.
  • If Kedon Slovis throws one fluttering pass Saturday night, what will the excuse be from the coaches? The ball slipped again? It was windy at Rice-Eccles Stadium? Slovis is a “headcase?”

Whatever the excuse, the truth will be the last reason given.

  • With the first night game, I’m going to wait until Saturday to make my USC-Utah game prediction.
  • The Pac-12 had six players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. It had 10 players picked overall. And can you name one good Pac-12 team last season? Oregon was the only one projected to be a top-eight seed in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Already, several mock drafts for 2021 have USC forward Evan Mobley projected as a top-three pick.

USC is selling T-shirts with “Southern Cal” on the front. The university must sell Southern Cal gear every year to protect its copyright of the out-of-favor phrase.

  • If you are familiar with the 1970 USC-Alabama game and the significance it is given with integrating the SEC, this article debunks some of the myths.

“There is more fiction in those 1970 USC-Alabama stories than anything,” said Lester McClain, Tennessee’s first Black player (1968-70) and the SEC’s first Black player to score a touchdown with six TD catches in 1968. “You’d think that’s when the SEC began recruiting Black athletes. I was almost out of school by 1970.”

  • USC announced a customized debit card for fans and Wells Fargo customers this week. It never ends.
  • And now for some history:

You could probably make an argument in 1953 that the track team was bigger than the football team.

There were rock stars like shot-putter Parry O’Brien, who a gold medal at the Olympics and Sim Iness , who won a gold medal in the discus. Hurdler Jack Davis won a silver medal. Dick Genther was the 1953 NCAA champ in the javelin. Ernie Shelton would win two NCAA titles in the high jump. Jim Lea was a two-time NCAA champ in the 400 meters. Sprinter Verle Sorgen was an All-American.

So when they agreed to face Arizona for the first-time ever in a dual meet, they took a chartered flight to Tucson (unheard of today for a USC track team).

There was a welcoming committee at the airport and Arizona’s sororities hosted a lunch for the team. That night, the Trojans won 14 of 15 events en route to a 101-30 victory before a large crowd.

That’s a little different than Clay Helton takes the football team into Tucson from a results standpoint.

USC then breezed to an NCAA title with 80 points. Illinois, the second-place team, scored 41.

  • On Dec. 9, 1983, actress/comedian Gilda Radner appeared at Bovard Auditorium. On Jan. 19, 1984, comedian Joan Rivers appeared at Bovard.
  • In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, USC used to provide Los Angeles Times sports columnist Braven Dyer a suite at the team hotel for road games.
  • On Sept. 23, 1977, you could go see Blondie and Devo at the Hollywood Palladium.

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

      1. Liked by 2 people

    1. Gosh 22, when you consider the bozo players who scored 95% of the 2019-20 Clown U total season points have either graduated, left for the NBA or NCAA portal. So predicting a bozo BB 2020-21 sixth place finish in the Pac-12 seems a tad optimistic.

      And, incidentally 22, that’s not factoring in Andyain’twinning’s run and gun a brick/no D tactics he’ll have to use with true freshman. I can see it now, many SUCC, missed, ill advised 50′, three point bricks.

      BTW 22, UCLA returns all the players that scored 100% of it’s points.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow wee‼️ That was enough points to win none of the games against a lowly rated Trojan squad last year, eh owns you boneheaded pissant.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ah DEVO, saw them at the Long Beach Arena on New Year’s Eve in 1979. They opened for themselves as ” Dove, the band of love “, then came X, and then Devo. Got to sleep at 2am, was up at 6 getting ready for the Rose Bowl, oh to be young again.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I woulda been ready for the Rose Bowl too, karma —-if not for the all night Punk Fashion Show…..
      #Pudly,Gt,67&MeHadToBreakUpReallyUglyFight…
      #…B/WPattySmith&CharlieBucket…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I tried to step in on that & save my buddy, Charlie —but a fledgling group of Antifa members came up behind us & began hitting us both with sticks….
        #…AfterThatIThinkStockholmSyndromeSetInW/Charlie…

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I respect Pete Carroll. And I’m glad he took over 1st pace last night. But —let’s face it —when he jumps up and down with the players at the end of the game he now kinda looks like Mister Burns from the Simpsons…..
    P. S.
    The Cardinal’s Kingsbury is a REAL coach. He wanted to be OUR real coach. But Bohn and Folt wouldn’t guarantee him a “coach in waiting” contract —so he left us….with Helton…
    #…Who’sNOTReal

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hmmm, become a head coach in the NFL or be a college assistant under a complete fucking moron who might just run my future into the ground, tough choice.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ha! [I guess that’s why Kingsbury NEVER actually spent ONE full day at Heritage Hall]…..
        #”MakeMeHeadCoachOrGoodbye&GoodLuck…”
        #[SwannHelpedOutWithHisTough$100,000Buy-OutClause]….

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Yeah, I’m wasting my time “hatin'” on the Kliffer and rooting for AZ to lose every game. Wisely chose Murray and dealt Rosen (# 10 pick in the prior draft) and is building a team around his QB.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. SLC weather for tomorrow

    7pm 37 with a 3 mph wind
    8pm 36 with a 2 mph wind
    9pm 34 with 2 mph wind
    10pm 33 with a 3 mph wind

    Humidity will be 67% for that time frame with no precipitation

    So, cold, not real dry, no precipitation and no wind and the wind chill will be nothing.

    So if Slovis throws some ducks, will it be because………
    He’s a head case ?
    Slippery ball ?
    Bad mechanics ?
    Injury ?
    Afraid of being hit ?
    He’s from Arizona ?
    He plays in California ?
    He’s got COVID ?
    All of the above ?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Only the quarter-wit could take a kid with an arm like that and screw him up. The quarter-wit is negative value added. Put him in the basement with a bag of Doritos, some dip, and a TV, and don’t let him out until all is safe. Next week – rinse and repeat.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. He looks a lot more comfortable in the pocket than last year. According to Harrell, it is (A), head case. That might be the worst of all the answers above.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Harrell has been talking like a coach who’s leaving…or would like to leave….
        #AndThat’sNotWhatAYoung&StrugglingQBNeedsToHear….

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Every hit hurts like crazy at those temps.
      At a Mile High, with about 18% less Oxygen to breathe, fatigue will set in by the 4th QTR on the Trojan sideline. Depth at DL/LB would be helpful in managing fatigue. I’m not certain So’oto and Orlando have that depth.
      Very late return to Los Angeles on Sunday. Heck, given the curfew the Trojans might have to stay overnight in SLC on Saturday. The game will finish at about Midnight in SLC.

      Larry Scott and his perennial “ambush” game.
      Lame.

      Irrespective, a good USC team should win this game vs Kyle’s rebuilding offense. “Should” is not the same as “will.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m not trying to be funny (that’s why God created Rialto): “Should” is not even the same as “it would be nice if” when it comes to a Helton coached team….
        #…AsIn”WeSHOULDBeatTheSpreadOnceInAWhileToo”

        Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a very solid Utah team. Very strong offensive line and 2 very good transfer QB’s. IF we win, we’re for real…..
      #[IfAnyOfTheirRunningBacksComeThrough,We’reFucked]…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. They don’t have even one great runner left…but they have some pretty good guys and a great o-line. If they can run the ball, we’re fucked.
        #OnTheOtherHand,IfWeCanStuffTheRun,We’reForReal

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I know this will sound nuts, but I would not put it past Clay to coach us to a loss against a JC team.

        But I will give Clay that he and the staff couldn’t have done a better job in protecting the team from COVID.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. If this turns into a scoring contest, USC should win — Utah has some problems in their backfield [and as good as their d-line is, it’s not as good as last year —we should be able to run AND pass on ’em —but we can’t make the dumb goal line mistakes that always plague Helton teams]….
        #NoWastedOpportunities…..
        #LikeTheOnesAgainstNotreDame&OhioStateInThePast…
        #[AndInBothGamesThisYear]

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Why can’t they just let the Sports Illustrated site…..die?
    #”ItWouldBeMoreDignified.”
    —–Javier Bardem from “No Country For Old Men”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Sadly Joe is no longer here to sing it. Quite a nice tribute to him since Dave Mason wrote it when he was a member of the band Traffic in 1968.

        Like

  5. Wolfman, you mention that “Whatever the excuse, the truth will be the last reason given”.
    C’mon man… Charlatan Clay is transparent as hell. He always says “to be honest with you” when telling the truth otherwise, every word is b.s.

    Liked by 1 person

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