Outside of Jacksonville Jaguars fans, who was happiest about Urban Meyer becoming the team’s coach Thursday?
Obviously, there is USC president Carol Folt, who no longer needs to see angry fans tweet her to hire Meyer. Right behind for a similar reason is USC athletic director Mike Bohn, who I heard wanted Meyer at one point until Folt said no.
Where does that leave the USC dreamers who can’t stand the thought of Clay Helton running the program for three more years?
- The frontrunner to replace him has to be Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, provided no one else hires Fickell before USC gets off its butt and decides to make a move on Helton.
- I pushed Iowa State coach Matt Campbell a year ago and he is hotter today. He also has a $6 million buyout, which could turn off USC.
- Since Bohn had his minion leak last year that Dave Aranda was nearly hired as defensive coordinator, he would probably be a candidate for USC. The problem is Baylor went 2-7 last season and Aranda’s reserved demeanor might be a better fit in Waco than Los Angeles.
- USC made an unsuccessful run at Bob Stoops last year and might test his resolve again. He would be a marquee hire.
- How about Ed Orgeron? He makes too much money and is too big for USC at the moment. But if LSU doesn’t turn things around, he might be in trouble. And Bohn knows the fans will be happy if he comes back.
- Is it possible that USC ends up settling for an assistant coach? That’s the history of the program. If Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy somehow does not get an NFL job this offseason, he might be ready to jump to be a big college job and is from Southern California.
- Former USC defensive line coach Chris Wilson, who has a similar job at Colorado, is a candidate to become the Buffaloes’ new defensive coordinator.
- Remember all the hype and hype videos USC produced when it created BLVD Studios with J1S?
Well, Andrew Clifford Stewart, the Head of Digital Production, has resigned to pursue a “new career.”
- USC is ranked No. 8 by Bleacher Report and No. 9 by ESPN in their way-too-early Top 25 polls for next season. I find that hard to imagine unless the schedule is easier than expected.
And now for some history:
- You want to know how things have changed at USC?
In 1960, All-American Mike McKeever suffered a head injury against Stanford that led to emergency brain surgery for a blood clot at Cedars of Lebanon hospital.
When USC president Norman Topping learned of the surgery, he contacted athletic director Jess Hill and sports information director Don Simonian and dispatched them to the hospital to comfort the family and handle any media duties. Hill and Simonian spent the night at the hospital with McKeever’s family.
Do you think if a similar situation happened today, the school president would even become involved?
- Bob Kolf, a key figure in USC basketball in the 1950’s, died last month at age 91. He was a player and an influential coach.
Kolf was co-captain of the 1951 team that went 21-6 and won the Pacific Coast Conference Southern Division. He also played a season on the football and baseball teams.
His father, Bob Sr., was a legend at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he coached seven sports over a 45-year span (1923-67).
But Bob Jr. really made his mark at USC as an assistant coach to Forrest Twogood and freshman coach from 1957-61.
“He overshadowed Twogood,” said a friend of both men. “Everybody liked Bob. Twogie wasn’t that outgoing.”
Around 1961, a group of players had enough of Twogood and went to see athletic director Jess Hill. They wanted Twogood to be fired and Kolf to become the coach.
But this was an era when a player revolt could not be tolerated and Hill sided with Twogood, even though it probably was a smarter move to promote Kolf. So in 1961, Kolf resigned and entered private business.
Twogood remained the coach and as I’ve written before hurt the program with his awful record of recruiting African-American players.
- Last week, I wrote about kicker Sam Tsagalakis, who beat Stanford with his field goal in 1953. After he graduated, Tsagalakis got a job in the athletic dept., as an academic affairs counselor.
The inside joke was no one knew what Tsagalakis was supposed to do. He had a cubby hole with a desk and chair in the Student Union.
But co-workers would sometimes give him money to place bets at Santa Anita, where he might find himself during the week.
- And finally, here’s a story about Tommy Lasorda. One year, there was a formal dinner at Dodger Stadium headlined by Lasorda and a lot of major-league players.
Lasorda saw long-time major-leaguer Jim Fregosi across the room and yelled, “Hey, Jimmy, you could have never hit my curveball.”
Fregosi yelled back, “You’re right Tommy, I never played in the minor leagues.”