USC Morning Buzz: Can Culture Change Without Real Change?

Make sure to sign up for the new USC newsletter here, where I have detailed coaching friction and the weird culture of the program this week.

Speaking of the odd culture, a coach told me one reason there was no significant change last season despite the massive coaching overhaul is that no matter what happens, the players still know they can get their way with Clay Helton.

“You can only do so much when (Helton) wants to be Father Flanagan to the players,” a coach said. “That makes it hard to institute real change.”

Maybe that is why USC played down to the level of its opponents. Only the homers (and some media) cling to stats to say things were different when USC was lucky to beat Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA.

  • Meanwhile, look at this USC schedule from 1954. Four night games was a record!

And look at the non-conference schedule: Pitt, Northwestern, TCU and Notre Dame.

27 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Can Culture Change Without Real Change?

    1. Trump attorney Bruce Castor doing his impression of Michael Gaurino Esquire…







      1. Poor Bruce is doing his best — but it’s not enough to stir memories of me (or any other bar certified attorney).
        P. S.
        Check my posts. They contain the correct spelling of my name.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Night games were not scheduled much in the late fifties and early sixties because the coliseum lights were poor at best. I remember my parents saying the quarterback had traded his football helmet for that of a coal miner.
    When TV became a big player, the lightning had to improve in order for the cameras to see the action. In the seventies there was an energy crisis which moved all games back to the afternoon and caused some afternoon games to be broadcast on taped delays.
    Currently you can get a sunburn from the stadium lights if you get too close, and they will vaporize any moth with a wingspan of less than four inches. The “save the little moth coalition” plans protests for every night game next season. I intend to join, my sign will read, “fire Helton not little moths.”

    Liked by 2 people

    They got to go ’cause of B10 and PCC stupid rule no repeat 2yrs in a row rule.
    ucla were undefeated PCC CHAMPS, SC was 2nd in PCC at 6-1. Those night games were popular the weather was pretty warm in Sept and early Oct. I went to all of them, the lights were fine for me, but I was 11 yrs old. Jim Contratto a left handed q/b was a good one. Aramis Dandoy and Jon Arnett had good years. the best by far PCC team was ucla in mid ’50 yrs,oddly they never won a Rose Bowl…Duffy Daugherty’s Mich St. beat them twice ’54 and ’56

    Liked by 1 person

    1. UCLA, Tommy Prothro and Gary Beban got even with Duffy. Big time. And all us Los Angeles fans were rooting for them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I, too, attended those night games in 1954 and, like Tim, I was 11 yrs old. Strange thing about memories and the ability to visualize specific moments. For example, I remember the Friday night 20 – 7 loss to TCU when Ron Clinkscale scored a 67 yd TD on a Quarterback sneak. And, of course, there was that 27 point 4th Quarter when UCLA’s Jim Decker intercepted a pass on his 8yd line and went all the way to turn a tight 7 – 0 game into a rout as the Bruins ran off 27 points in a 34 -0 win. But, kids roll with the losses and SC fans recover quickly. I’ve specific memories of attending SC games as far back as 1952.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. that ’52 team is still my favorite, never forget SC stopping Cameron on the interception as they were close to a ucla TD and SC return went for about 80 yards, the resulting TD at the end of the game to win 14-12 and got ’53 RoseBowl invite and beat Wisconsin 7-0…my first ever Rose Bowl game, TD pass Rudy Bukich to Al Carmichael. I rewatch that game every few months.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen enough to know what this team is & who they are — good enough to get to the Elite Eight. I’m just hoping that the last week’s recognition and hype doesn’t interfere with their focus…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I stand corrected.. Wish we played games like that now then or during the 90’s we played Penn St a few times and went Oklahoma. We weren’t very good but those were the games that at least college football respected USC for continuing to play.


  3. the culture for USC’s football team should be one thing and that is, dominate. Dominate in the coaching staff, players, play, and competition. Coaching staff will want to dominate and destroy the other coaches. Play is just dominating on the line of scrimamge, tackling, stopping the other team, and dswtroying their will. Competiton is everyday and every play. Yhe head coach has the complete respect from its players and assistant coaches. The president and AD will keep an objective idea and plan for the team, coaches, staduime, operations, and fans. The way it is handled right now, it makes the three stooges seem like top notch business executives.

    Liked by 2 people

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