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

This week, I spoke to someone close to the USC recruiting staff.

“They think they are killing it in recruiting,” the source said.

So imagine his shock to see USC took a three-star offensive lineman that was projected to go to Oregon State?

“It’s unbelievable,” he said.

  • Former USC quarterback JT Daniels has signed a deal with marketing agency ESM.
  • USC swimmers Marlene Kahler (Austria) and Victor Johansson (Sweden) will compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb has hired Nneka Enemkpali as her final assistant coach. Enemkpali was an assistant at UNLV and UC Santa Barbara.

And now for some history:

  • USC defensive backfield coach Charlie Hall used to keep a letter tacked to the wall in his office in 1963.

It was addressed to John McKay and dated Jan. 2, 1963, the day, of course, after the No. 1-ranked Trojans’ 42-37 Rose Bowl victory over No. 2-ranked Wisconsin. The message is short and direct: “Dear John: For the benefit of the ‘SC fans who suffered slight coronaries yesterday, myself included, please fire your defensive backfield coach immediately!!!!! (Signed) A Loyal Trojan.”

With 14:54 left in the game, the Trojans scored to go up 42–14. But Ron Vander Kelen led a furious comeback as Wisconson scored 23 unanswered points. Some USC players are still angry about the tight score and perception the Trojans nearly blew it.

When he entered the locker room, a USC official who had not seen the end of the game asked McKay what happened? McKay shoved the official and said, “Get out of my way.”

When the team entered the locker room, McKay was livid.

“He chewed us out for 45 minutes,” said wide receiver Hal Bedsole, who was the game MVP. “You would have thought we lost the game.”

USC QB Pete Beathard (12) tries to make a goal-line tackle in 1963 Rose Bowl. Players went two-ways in those days. No. 19 is All-American WR Hal Bedsole.
ROSE BOWL 1953 GAME S09703.jpg
Here is a color photo from the 1953 Rose Bowl between USC and Wisconsin. Were the Badgers kneeling so fans in the first few rows could actually see the field?
  • When USC played at Ohio State in 1964, scalpers demanded $10 a ticket and got it as 82,000 packed The No. 2-ranked Buckeyes defeated the Trojans, 17-0, but tailback Mike Garrett gained some fans in Columbus.

Garrett gave his two game tickets to a local boy who wrote him and said he wanted to attend the contest. Garrett didn’t know the boy but gave him the tickets.

  • Here’s another example of how big/bitter the USC-Stanford rivalry was during the McKay-John Ralston era:

“This game means more to us than any game all season, including the Big Game (vs. Cal),” Ralston said before playing USC in 1966. At least Ralston cared. Can you imagine Clay Helton maing a comment like that today?

Stanford lost to USC, 21-7.

USC started the 1966 season with a 6-0 record, then lost 4 of its final 5 games.

In 1965, you could eat a New York steak dinner for as little as $2.50.

Students probably preferred Woody’s Smogasburger 28th and Figueroa.

  • Finally, here is the concert of the week on campus in April, 1969.

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

    1. “They think they are killing it in recruiting,” the source said.

      Clay Helton owns the two worst, lowest ranked Trojan football recruiting classes since 2000.

      Helton’s 2020 class ranked #78 and 2019 ranked #18.

      Even during the sanction years USC was able to recruit itself, never finishing lower than ranked 15th.

      How much of a shit coach do you have to be to end up with the #78 ranked clas with won/loss records of 8-5 and 5-7 after being afforded multiple top 10 and a couple of top 5 recruiting classes?

      USC recruits itself…Clay Helton shits the bed.


      1. Flashback Friday…Headline courtesy SB Nation



        And that game was at the Coliseum.

        Neither Kessler or Wittek were worth a shit. Those two girls tried to outplay each other with regard to who could stink worse.


  1. Looking at the concert promotion at the very end of this notes column made me wonder why things are so expensive these days. Besides the fact that our money is almost Monopoly money, everyone wants a piece. You buy a ticket for the event, a seat premium charge, a broker fee, a security deposit and an excessive charge, charge. Now a concert at a crowded baseball stadium is costing $225.00 but inflation isn’t that much.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. tommyd — Woody’s! Definitely remember the one in El Segundo! The original charbroiled hamburgers! [It saddens me to say their chocolate malts were just chocolate ice cream, though]…..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scottie, there is a full-length book to be put together from your Friday columns. Awesome material, as usual. Worth the price of admission alone (if you charged) about the letter to McKay about the secondary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 67 —McKay, like Pete Carroll, was a perfectionist. He wanted the BIG blowout score to hold —same as Pete when he got pissed as Oklahoma scored their meaningless TD in the BCS Championship Game, changing the score from 55 -12 to 55-19. Somehow 55-19 just wasn’t good enough.
      [Now if Helton had coached that Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, he’d say, “21 points in the 4th quarter — that’s to be expected. We were lucky to be far ahead when Wisconsin started firing on all cylinders!”]…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hope Scott is working on that book, 67. It would actually be a history of Los Angeles (50’s to 90’s) seen through the eyes of a Trojan.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Was your source close to the defensive staff? Maybe the defensive staff thinks they are killing it and maybe they know they have an inside track on some other top talent. Seems to me that the recruiting of the defense and skill positions on offense is very different from the o-line.

    Although SC has now dropped to the 20’s in terms of ranking, just a couple high 4 star commits could pop them right back up to the top 10. But anything less than top 3 would be a failure for SC with a top head coach and staff. So top 10 is only a “success” for this staff.

    What I dont understand is why they took a 3 star o-line athlete’s commitment now. It sends a bad message. They should be pulling in more 4 star athletes on defense and in the offense skill positions, so that they sell the idea that SC is where top athletes want to play – maybe that convinces a 4 star o-line prospect to commit. Taking a 3 star o-line player simply reinforces the concerns about o-line talent and tells me that they dont believe they will get the 4 stars.

    All 3 star prospects are not the same. I think Ty Kana is underrated. Devin Brown was very underrated. But this o-line commit doesnt seem to be underrated, he is a project. And we dont need projects, we need some talent that can push the o-line play to a higher level.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We need to face facts: Under Helton, the O-Line is now officially “a project.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. USC should’ve fired Clay Helton after he nearly blew that big lead against Penn State. Compare McKay to Hugs & Kisses Helton💋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Due to the optics, we couldn’t have fired him then. But how ’bout the following year after the Cotton Bowl, Charles?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A contract EXTENSION for a coach absolutely humiliated by Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State is worth an investigation.


      2. There is no way Clay should have been able to remain after the Holiday Bowl, 49-25 loss, and Slovis almost had his arm torn off.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And… it wasn’t just the loss…. it was the WAY we lost…. Poor Fink had to come in for Slovis with practically no reps during bowl practice….then Clay praised the fans who booed him….. and topped things off by saying that our 49-21 loss indicated “we were good but not great”…..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael: Woody’s had a Swiss Burger that was awesome. You could also make a custom fabulous ice cream desert with all the extras laid out on a long table. Woody’s should have made it big time in California, but for some reason they went under. Foster Freeze also had fabulous cherry slushes, and I think some of them are still around.

    I have mixed feeling about this upcoming season. I always want the Trojan to win, but this year I am more motivated to see them get rid of Helton after this season, and if we win it won’t happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In my dreams USC, in spite of Helton, wins the National Championship [on the backs of Slovis and Ingram and Drake]….immediately thereafter Helton gets called to Bohn’s Office expecting a new contract but, instead, gets beaten up by hired goons and driven in a golf cart, naked & jobless, to Palos Verdes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. P. S.
        I forgot about the all -you- can- eat sundae table…..diced peanuts, jimmies, chocolate sauce, etc…….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “In my dreams USC, in spite of Helton, wins the National Championship [on the backs of Slovis and Ingram and Drake]….”

        National Championship for what, toenail painting?



        AHA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Just dreaming about She-don Slovis winning a national championship is pure stupidity at its finest.



  6. Michael: Hope your dreams come true- USC winning a national championship in football, and then firing Helton after. This seems a bit contradictive, but that would be fantastic. Anything is possible at USC .
    Love your outlook on this- hope it all happens.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I thought about this more and if you ignore the recruits by Vic and Donte, you have a really terrible class. The other coaches have delivered nothing but 3star athletes.

    Seems that with Clay as HC, we have to have stellar, young coaches that appeal to the recruits. I guess that GH does appeal to QBs too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol Folt “Drop Dead USC Football” tweet of the day:

    “Congrats to our Women of Troy on this incredible achievement! #FightOn”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “They think they are killing it in recruiting”? Then why are they just rated 22nd in the nation behind Rutgers, Boston College, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Baylor and others?



    USC has hired fomer LA City Prosecutor Marcia Clark as a Vice President. She will report directly to President Carol Folt. Now we have two witches to deal with. Good thing OJ is now far removed from USC.

    What’s next………


    1. Marcia is someone who dropped the ball harder than Charles White in the Rose Bowl play (that we scored in spite of his leaving the ball on the 2 yard line. After giving OJ his freedom, she watched a real lawyer break the law and hold a second murder trial. Unbelievably the found not guilty of murder was found liable for murder. All in the name of “everyone knows he did it.”
      Anyway Marcia would be great for USC doncha know


  11. April fools sometimes comes late.! Perhaps, the news report will get some hits on Carol’s Folt’s twitter page which is pretty boring.

    Carol Folt and Marcia Clark together would = Mass destruction at USC.


  12. “It’s hard to force someone to do something just for the money. But when it’s the heart that drives them, the are ready to do anything.”

    Toughness & tradition personified…


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