I often write about the over-representation of coaches connected to Texas on the USC coaching staff. There are currently 11 coaches with Texas ties.
But here’s another trend I find troubling for the coaching staff:
USC coach Clay Helton is a former quarterback. Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell is a former quarterback. Running backs coach Mike Jinks is a former quarterback. Offensive line coach Clay McGuire is a former quarterback. Tight ends coach Seth Doege is a former quarterback. Even safeties coach Craig Naivar is a former quarterback.
No wonder USC doesn’t care if it can run the ball!
How healthy is it to have a bunch of Texas guys who used to play QB running the program? It’s Game of Clones.
- I wrote in Thursday’s newsletter that USC does not develop many players. Here is a stat from West Coast College Football sent from a reader.
- From 2012-19. USC signed 32 recruits ranked in the Top 50. Washington signed zero.
- From 2015-19, USC had eight players selected in the Top 50 of the NFL Draft. Washington had 12.
- Here are the run-ins for USC and UCLA basketball: The Trojans play at Utah; host Stanford and travel to UCLA on March 6. The Bruins play at Colorado; at Oregon and host USC. So who wins a tiebreaker? If USC beats UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, it sweeps the series and wins a tiebreaker.
- How does USC lose six straight times to Colorado?
- Andy Enfield was originally a shooting coach but USC is the worst free-throw shooting team in the Pac-12 at 65 percent. Every other team in the Pac-12 is shooting at least 68 percent and 10 teams are above 70 percent.
- I hear USC tried to hire a member of the Washington athletic dept. this week but was rebuffed. The churn continues.
- And now for some history:
- USC linebacker Mike Haluchak was nicknamed “Crazy Horse” by assistant coach Phil Krueger because he ran around practices like an untamed horse but often missed tackles. Then he made his first start on Oct. 22, 1968 vs. Washington.
Haluchak had 18 tackles against the Huskies and received the game ball as USC won, 14-7, at the Coliseum. He lost 10 pounds during the game from all the running around and hitting.
“I was pretty tired and pretty surprised after the game,” Haluchak said after getting the game ball.
Haluchak became an assistant coach for eight NFL teams, including the Rams (2000-02) and Raiders (2009-10).
- Back in the 1960’s, a huge cut-out photo of Tommy Trojan greeted students entering the Trojan Grill, which was in the basement of the Student Union. But then he was stolen by a group of Stanford fans in a rivalry stunt in 1966. A new 6-foot-high cut-out of Tommy returned to the Grill in 1969.
- Here is what the grill looked like circa 1960 when the McKeever twins were students.
- The USC-Stanford rivalry was intense in the late 1960’s-early 1970’s. For a detailed recap of how much John McKay disliked Stanford, check here.
- Here’s one of the weirdest Tommy Trojan references I ever came across. In 1963, Dean Torrence of the successful rock duo “Jan and Dean” was a USC student during the height of his fame. Per this site, Torrence met his friend, Barry Keenan, at Tommy Trojan, where Kennan told him about his plan to kidnap Frank Sinatra Jr.
Keenan borrowed at least $500 in seed money from Torrence, who contended later he did not really believe Keenan would kidnap Sinatra Jr. But Keenan was serious. Read more about the kidnapping here.
- The actor, Andy Devine, used to attend USC swim meets because his son, Dennis, was a member of the swim team. Devine’s other son, Tad, did not go to USC but married a student who worked as secretary for the USC athletic dept.
- On Nov. 13, 1969, the “Daniel Boone” TV show starred Fess Parker, who got his master’s degree in theater history from USC and featured Cynthia Watson in a small part. Watson was the 1968 “Helen of Troy” at USC. The show’s producer was Barney Rosenzweig, who was a male cheerleader at USC.
If you signed up for my USC newsletter, you will receive a Friday column supplement this afternoon.