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

Let’s talk numbers for a minute, with this ill-advised social media entry.

Who the hell came up with this selection of numbers?

No. 55 is obviously the crown jewel. But where is No. 42 (Pat Cannamela, C.R. Roberts, Ricky Bell, Ronnie Lott)? For better or worse, where is No. 32 (Jim Sears, O.J. Simpson)? What about No. 33 (Marcus Allen)?

I doubt the person who posted those numbers even knows who some of the guys I mentioned are? But they saw Carson Palmer and Mike Williams and Reggie Bush.

  • Back in February I wrote that former USC assistant coach Tony Bland was volunteering at a local high school (St. Bernard). But a Southern California high school had a different view: “On paper, he’s the assistant coach, but he’s really the head coach.”
  • And now for some history:

Here’s one of the wildest weekends in the Crosstown Rivalry.

In 1966, No. 8-ranked UCLA defeated No. 7-ranked USC, 14-7. Back then, the Rose Bowl representative was selected by the conference, which was the AAUW. The conference members were not obligated to select the conference champion.

USC had a 4-1 conference record while UCLA was 3-1. The conference members met in San Francisco on Monday morning after the Bruins’ victory and voted USC into the Rose Bowl.

“The conference championship was the big factor in the decision,” John McKay said. “We’re just tickled to death we got the vote.”

When the announcement was made at noon, UCLA students were attending a rally in Pauley Pavilion. USC students immediately gathered at Tommy Trojan to celebrate as classes were canceled for the rest of the day.

USC students mob at Tommy Trojan following announcement the Trojans would go to the Rose Bowl.

After the rally, USC students drove over to UCLA and started a huge egg fight that involved 200 students and required eight LAPD units and UCLA campus security to break it up.

UCLA students then shut down the 405 freeway. They were reportedly looking for the USC students.

UCLA students block traffic on the 405 freeway

The selection of USC in 1966 was a reversal for the Trojans. USC lost out to Washington in a 1963 vote and to Oregon State in controversial 1964 vote after the Trojans defeated Notre Dame, 20-17, in a game they trailed 17-0.

Unfortunately for USC, getting into the Rose Bowl was the last bit of good news for the season. USC lost to No. 1-ranked Notre Dame, 51-0, the following week and then lost to No. 7-ranked Purdue, 14-13, in the Rose Bowl.

  • John McKay did not like Stanford coach John Ralston and once called him a “horse’s ass” in 1976 after the Denver Broncos defeated Tampa Bay, 48-13.

But the feud went back to the early 1960’s. After McKay improved to 3-0 vs. Ralston in 1965, he said, ““I shouldn’t say this. But I’m going to. When you win the game, the other team ought to shut up. You should always be gracious in victory or defeat.

“In three years against Stanford we’ve given them two touchdowns, but all we have read, heard and been told is that we’ve been fortunate to win.”

  • Maybe the worst day of the year for USC students was when registration was held in the P.E. Building with long lines in the hot gyms.

As the picture below from 1962 shows, health exams were required of new students and might require a shot.

  • Phil Woolpert was the basketball coach at the University of San Francisco when it won NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956 with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones. At the time, he was the youngest coach to win an NCAA title and had a 60-game winning streak at USF.

In 1955, Woolpert’s Dons defeated USC, 58-42, as Russell had 24 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in only 25 minutes of action.

Why do I mention Woolpert? Because he went to Manual Arts High School, which is practically across the street from USC. Do you think USC’s basketball legacy would be different if Woolpert were its coach instead of Forrest Twogood? Do you think Woolpert would have wanted the USC job?

Of course, the 1955-56 USF team had four African-American players. USC didn’t have any until 1959. So Woolpert probably would have turned USC down.

Just another example of the tortured history of USC basketball.

  • Last week, I wrote about Pat Mills, the QB who started the 1965 season-opener but wasn’t even in school in 1966. Mills did not letter at USC but attended Santa Monica High School. That might make it easier for some to remember.
  • A 1966 USC-UCLA baseball game was televised by Channel 11 (KTTV) with Tom Kelly announcing. Sounds like it was available to a few more homes than the Pac-12 Network.
  • Concert time: Frank Zappa performed at Bovard Auditorium in 1970.

Remember later today I will have the USC column supplement in the newsletter.

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

  1. “ I shouldn’t say this. But I’m going to. When you win the game, the other team ought to shut up. You should always be gracious in victory or defeat.”

    I wonder who I posted this for? Hmmm, mud?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. McKay himself, looking into the future, actually meant those words for Owns at the time he said them. [I know this sounds impossible, but it’s true —it has to do with the 4th dimension].
      Special Historical Notes:
      -“Male” bruin fans protested USC’s selection to the Rose Bowl by parading around the 405 in bras and slips — the incident is said to have marked the official beginning of transgenderism.
      -The “shot” that Scott refers to was not an experimental, highly dangerous vaccine — it was just a “happy shot” consisting of “happy chemicals to give students special energy.”
      -Frank Zappa told the L. A. Weekly that I was a “toy lawyer who practiced toy law” when I prosecuted Jello Biafra & The Dead Kennedys. It was the proudest moment of my young life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Btw, although I never saw Zappa and the Mothers, I got a chance to see Tim Weinberg at UCI and enjoyed his music very much… he was the warmup band for George Carlin,, who was funny as hell.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Dear Pisley, you male(?) POS, I agree with you, especially when a highly rated bozo BB team is humiliated/defeated in the NCAA tournament Elite Eight by 19 points on national TV.

      UCLA, on the other hand, won it’s Elite Eight game to advance to the Final Four.

      #It’s been 24,445 + days since the last time a bozo BB team made to the FF and still OOOOOOOOstinkingferever

      #SUCC FB: Tough as wet noodles.


      1. But you lost to the same team you cackling fool.

        Let me see….0-4, 0-4, 0-4



  2. Over the last 3 seasons Clay Helton has coached USC to an 18-13 record.

    As for recruiting, these are the rankings going back to 2015…

    2015 – #1
    2016 – #10
    2017 – #6
    2018 – #3
    2019 – #18
    2020 – #71

    Of the last 5 NFL Drafts USC is averaging 3 players drafted per year.

    That’s how well this 3rd rate at best, fraud of a head coach Clay Helton is coaching up Trojan football players.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Again, the truth hurts.

      Evidently, recruit class ratings are over-weighted to by the ratings given to QB’s, and USC has had a wealth of 5* QB recruits. So maybe USC scores are deceptively over-hyped.

      Irrespective, the product on the field is not consistent with the recruiting haul.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I forgive Helton’s defeats at the hands of Ohio State, Alabama and Notre Dame. It’s hard to defend Helton’s losses to Washington State, Cal, UCLA and mediocre Texas and Oregon teams.
        #Helton:”WeWereGoodButNotGreat” (Score–Iowa49,USC24)

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Our avg of .8737 would rank in the mid 20’s, but while others had full classes, we were only taking 12.

        And before I hear that’s still too low. I know.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. USC Recruiting Ranking and number of players signed/commits

        2020 – #71 with 12 commits
        2019 – #18 with 26 commits
        2018 – #3 with 19 commits
        2017 – #6 with 23 commits
        2016 – #10 with 20 commits
        2015 – #1 with 26 commits
        2014 – #10 with 20 commits
        2013 – #13 with 12 commits

        Helton’s knob polisher pudly trying to make it sound like USC has only been getting 12 commits per class for years…the little lying weasel. pudly always trying to make excuses for his daddy Clay.


    1. As I noted above, the bru-boys weren’t actually intent on shutting down a freeway —they were initiating an important movement.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The Jersey picture was on Facebook where I, among other boomers lurk. The question was which of these numbers is most legendary ?
    I wrote 55 was earned while in recent memory I could only name one player for each of the other numbers.
    I don’t think it was ill advised, but it wasn’t a great post.
    I remember the days when the Rose Bowl was a voted on, my parents would wait to hear the news before buying tickets. They were really unhappy a couple of times because of a “no repeat rule.”
    I guess McKay helped me form my opinion of Stanford. I just don’t like people at Stanford. Being a band person helped solidify my opinion. Their band is an embarrassment they are the antithesis of how a band should react or represent the school. They have thrown white powder into Traveler’s face, pissed on the field and generally sound like crap while making left wing political statements.
    If you compare the Ucla band to the Stanford band you see what I mean. The Ucla band looks and acts like a Big 10 era marching band. They have a solid unified sound and make the alumni proud to see them once a decade in the Rose Parade. The Stanford band would spill more urine than the Budweiser Clydesdales in the Rose Parade. (I know about the Clydesdale mess first hand because as an Eagle Scout I carried a banner behind those beer making machines in the Rose Parade)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Remember when Keith Jackson would elaborate on how the Stanford “band” was not allowed to be televised on TV during halftimes?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I want Keith back. He’s been “gone” for a while —– but he’d still be better than the guys on the Pac 12 Network.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Michael, great prank on Helton, tell him Kieth wants to interview him. Pick Helton up in a limo and take him out to the cemetery where Kieth resides, after planting a mock headstone with Helton’s name on it. Have two chairs,one with a TV monitor showing a computer generated Kieth asking embarrassing questions- classical prank and you can pull it off Me has faith in you. The


  4. Keyshawn Johnson, #3.
    When Key enrolled at USC, we had been on a long downward spiral and it just wasn’t much fun to watch the Trojans (out here in CO). The guy was electrifying. Dominant.
    No one could cover him. You just waited for him to break open, and then…to the house.

    Great Trojan.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I just heard Todd Orlando’s “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.” What a great omen for Trojan football. #TheWholeDamnBusWasCheering…..

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Lost in the chatter:
    (more or less…)
    Haven’t had a #20 in 60 years.
    Haven’t had a #32 in 50 years.
    Havent had a #33 in 40 years.
    Haven’t had a #12 in 40 years.
    etc, etc, etc.

    Problem with winning so many darn Heismans is that you end up losing so many jersey numbers. I guess it’s the price of success?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Scooter,

    let me ask you a question in regards to numbers, where do you put the importance on the numbers of 83, 71, 77, 28, 12, 20? The numbers belong to Batman Woods, Brad Budde, Munoz, Charles White, Garrett. I think these numbers are equally important as the ones in the photos. I am sure there are other numbers that are equally important. This hype with 55 is way over hyped. A lber with that talent of Seau is needed and who ever wears it has to earn it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.