I spend a lot of time analyzing USC.
And I still can’t figure out what exactly is the philosophy of the football program.
Right now, the Trojans are a three-headed monster. Graham Harrell has his philosophy. Todd Orlando has his philosophy. Clay Helton, the figurehead, has his philosophy.
How do you establish a culture and discipline with Helton still in charge? He lets players do almost what they want. Meanwhile, assistant coaches do their own thing.
The best coaches at USC (Pete Carroll, John McKay) had strong personalities on the coaching staff, but at the end of the day, those fiery personalities (Ed Orgeron, Marv Goux) were extensions of the head coach and on the same page.
I don’t think you can say that now. I think some of the assistants think they have more answers than the head coach and will defy him if necessary. Imagine saying that about Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State or even Notre Dame. Whether you like it or not, you know those schools have a philosophy.
- Big week for Utah: The Utes landed former Washington linebacker Josh Calvert and former UCLA/Oklahoavma wide receiver Theo Howard.
- Former USC swimmer Katinka Hosszu became the most decorated swimmer in history at the European championships this. She was won 23 European Aquatic Championship medals.
- My first reaction when I saw USC was playing in the Wooden Legacy event at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thanksgiving weekend? I just hope USC doesn’t play Saint Joseph’s in the first round. Hopefully, Andy Enfield wouldn’t object to playing Georgetown and San Diego State but I wouldn’t bet on it.
- Women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb has to be happy with the recruits she is inheriting: Rayah Marshall scored 32 points to lead Lynwood past Sierra Canyon Thursday night while Clarice Akunwafo had 34 points and 19 rebounds for Rolling Hills Prep vs. Chaminade.
- Oregon and Ohio State have scheduled a home-and-home series in 2032-33. What is USC doing? Coach Bohn?
- No. 12-ranked USC men’s tennis suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to No. 4-ranked Texas in the NCAA quarterfinals on Thursday. Texas is 8-1 in matches this season that came down to the final singles contest.
- USC completed 14 graduation ceremonies in seven days on Thursday. It might have been the best thing USC’s done in years in terms of optics/positive publicity. I wonder if Carol Folt thinks it will be worth to stage future ceremonies at the Coliseum?
- And now for some history:
After last week’s item on Stubby’s Trojan Barrel, a reader asked me to write about Carl’s Restaurant.
Carl’s was located near Figueroa and Flower Streets, across from Julie’s. Some of you might instead remember Margarita Jones at that location.
If Julie’s was more of a place to drink and hang out, Carl’s was known for being a quality restaurant with good food, not be confused with Carl’s Jr.
Here is a picture of Carl’s in 1941.
The look of the restaurant changed in future decades.
In 1978, the Daily Trojan wrote, “Carl’s (at Figueroa and Flower Streets, just south of Exposition Boulevard) is a decent, average-priced family-style restaurant. It’s good enough to take your parents to, if necessary. The food is probably the best in the neighborhood.”
Carl’s ceased doing business in 1979.
- Remember the hoopla in 2019 when USC had a female drum major “for the first time in its over 100-year history.”
- Well look at this picture from 1948: It’s Janie Evans, billed then as the “first campus drum majorette” leading the USC College of Commerce band. The Marshall School of Business was originally known as the College of Commerce and Business Administration. And apparently had a band!
Now I’m not saying that is the USC band. But you would have thought Evans could have gotten at least a mention two years ago when USC went to every media outlet in L.A. and the nation to plug its female drum major. It is interesting how we tend to forget so much of USC’s history. All hail Evans!
- I feel like I could tell a McKeever story every week. In 1966, Marlin McKeever was playing with the Rams. One day, quarterback Roman Gabriel was driving a Chevrolet Corvair and McKeever was a passenger with this hand out the window.
Gabriel reportedly crashed into another car and McKeever told Gabriel that he lost a finger. McKeever actually went and found the finger but they were unable to save it.
- Did you know when O.J. Simpson played at USC, he wore a Rawlings helmet while his teammates wore a Riddell helmet? Simpson’s head was so big only Rawlings made one that fit him. I’ve been told the Buffalo Bills initially had to borrow a helmet from USC when they drafted Simpson because they didn’t have the proper size.
Legendary USC assistant coach Marv Goux used to seek acting jobs in the offseason. Here he is in a 1972 episode of “Columbo” playing a . . . pro football assistant coach for a team called the Los Angeles Rockets. Character actor James Gregory is playing the head coach. Goux even had a line of dialogue in the episode.
That same year Goux also did an episode of “Medical Center” and “Banacek.” He also played a coach in those episodes.