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

USC is about to play its final home game of the season against BYU, so naturally the biggest topic this week is the Trojans’ coaching search.

One problem is some people who write the most about this topic have ZERO sources. So they anointed Dave Aranda a few weeks ago and now are banging the drum for Matt Campbell, pretending he has just emerged.

Campbell has been a candidate since Clay Helton got fired. Not just recently. And until Aranda signs a contract extension at Baylor, he is a candidate. Same with Luke Fickell, who can get the job if he wants it.

Let’s not forget (as I wrote before), USC has also contacted Kansas City Chiefs assistant Eric Bienemy. USC was also interested in Mario Cristobal and Chris Petersen but rebuffed by both according to my sources.

I pushed Campbell for the job in 2019 but it’s not a done deal he will take it. Despite what is said on twitter.

  • Last Saturday’s USC-UCLA game was probably the worst one I’ve attended from the Trojans’ perspective since the 1986 game, which the Bruins won, 45-25.

UCLA led 31-0 at halftime and I still remember the Hail Mary play at the end of half when Karl Dorrell (!!) caught a 39-yard TD pass. UCLA led 38-0 before USC scored and the Trojans added three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. At least USC didn’t give up at the end, which seemed the case last Saturday.

  • The USC band did not even show up for Tuesday night’s basketball game vs. Dixie State at the Galen Center. A recorded version of the national anthem was played before the game.

Now you might say the band deserved an early start on Thanksgiving weekend, but I’m sure most/all of them will be present at the BYU game on Saturday night.

  • I’m tempted to give Mike Bohn the nickname “St. Mike” after reading that favorable Los Angeles Times story this week. Like I said before, I expect he will hire a good football coach. But he has also presided over the worst season since 1957 and worst attendance in memory. Doesn’t that count too?
  • The article listed some of Bohn’s upgrades to the athletic dept. One improvement I would like to see is the hiring of a professional play-by-play announcer and analyst for the radio broadcast of men’s basketball games. USC hasn’t had an analyst since Brandon Granville and doesn’t want to spend the money to hire one.
  • Former USC offensive lineman Dick Enright died this week at age 86. He had quite a coaching career, winning an L.A. City Section title at his alma mater, Gardena, in 1969; being head coach at Oregon from 1972-73 and winning a CIF-Southern Section title at Capistrano Valley in 1980.
  • When I started out as a reporter, I covered some of his games at Capistrano Valley when his quarterback was Todd Marinovich. He was an intimidating figure but had the No. 1-ranked team in Orange County around that time.
  • Enright resigned in 1987 after he was suspended for the remainder of the season and all of the 1988 season after he admitted he viewed videotape of an El Toro practice a few days before Capistrano Valley’s game against its archrival. A former El Toro player had secretly taped the practice and then shown it to Enright at his house.
  • Enright lettered at USC in 1954-55 and was a member of the team that went to the 1955 Rose Bowl. Among his teammates were Jon Arnett and Marv Goux
Dick Enright (second from left) at Capistrano Valley High School.
  • Why did USC women’s volleyball play Brown on Monday during its Pac-12 schedule? Well, it was an easy win during a disappointing season (USC has a 14-15 record). And the fact USC assistant coach Amy Pauly is engaged to Brown coach Ahen Kim might have been another reason.
  • Here’s an Art Brewster cartoon from a 1966 preseason doubleheader at Anaheim Stadium that featured the Boston Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. It was the first football game at the new stadium and USC tailback Mike Garrett was rookie with the Chiefs.

Former USC QB Pete Beathard played for the Chiefs and ex-USC star football player Jim Hardy organized and promoted the doubleheader. Hardy attempted to get an AFL team to move to Anaheim in the 1960’s.

  • And now time for a new feature: Freezing Cold Takes.

You might have wanted Clay Helton fired entering the 2019 season but not everyone realized how bad he was.


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

  1. Great history, as always – thank you Scottie.

    Regarding Matt Campbell, my main worry is his record against ranked opponents. I see him as a 9-4 kind of guy, sometimes better, every once in a while, worse. About 2 wins per year better than the Village Idiot. USC should aim higher. But perhaps this is the top of the heap given where the university is at with Folt and Bohn and Caruso et. al.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott’s trying to keep the USC traditions alive, 67 —but as time goes on there is less and less tradition and more and more Folt & Bohn to write about ….

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I don’t recognize USC anymore. And Folt has no idea of the history. You would think that the BOT would have picked a president who would honor the past and its traditions of what USC stands for. Studied up on what it means. Not Folt. She just wants to tear it down. When she is not tweeting about the change of daylight savings time.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 67 –Standing up for USC’s traditions would take way more guts than this BOT has….

        Liked by 2 people

      3. You can’t make SC a real school and keep tradition lol. Then again, all the recent scandals do feel pretty typical!


    2. You are right. However, being pollyanna at this time, I HOPE the availability of higher level athletes will change that lower win loss record. I am an Objectivist and being pollyanna is not my nature, but these times are so terrifying with the fools running SC, that I am grasping for straws.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. ARAMIS DANDOY was ‘THE’ SC tailback during those Enright yrs at SC Arnett was the soon to be…we were going to the ’55 Rose Bowl, rain and all, vs Ohio St. and Howard ‘hopalong’ Cassidy…I was sick,running a fever, and disappointed 11 yr old.
      folt ,et al seem more interested in selling anything SC incl traditions and spending the big bucks for a place she can hang out until they catch on and fire her

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Brady McCullough tweet is from the summer after the 5-7 season. The guy is a good writer, but he is an idiot in terms football analysis and judgment.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There was a love affair with helton. I have not quite analyzed it, but I have suspected he made them feel like gods. Most people like you when you tell them they are wonderful.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. …But…Helton was telling them they were wonderful….while simultaneously telling them to reach for their wallets…


  3. I can’t imagine Dave Aranda turning down the USC job to stay at Baylor, because his family is from Southern California. So until the ink is dried on a signed contract with some other candidates name, I believe it will be Aranda, or Luke Fickle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As I said yesterday I’d be overjoyed….but amazed…. if Bohn made a great hire. Helton told the press at a Georgia Southern chat session recently that he’s a nice-guy to the media “but a tough-guy coach.” Only 2 A.D.’s in the world have fallen for that crap….and one of them is Mike Bohn.
      Bohn watched Helton’s teams show off & celebrate after minor plays, commit inexplicable penalties, miss tackles and blocks —and yet bought into Helton’s talk about toughness. I can’t see anybody any good wanting to work under or be hired by him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hold your horses, Michael, you might be scaring off the few coaching candidates that are left; you don’t want left-overs do you man!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Scott: Your forgot to mention Dick Enright was also a legendary coach at Gardena High School where he coached Trojan greats FullbackCharlie Evans, and of course QB Steve Sogge. Gardena, was a super power in the LA City during those days.

    He was such a good high school at Gardena, that the University of Oregon hired him as their offensive line coach, and then promoted him to head coach which did not work out too well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Peter principle is alive and well between associate coach to head coach. A head coach must be a great manager. That is a much different skill from working with X and Os.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Matt Campbell is a mediocre, AT BEST, football coach. Of course, we will hear the excuse that it is impossible to win at Iowa State. But Luke Fickell is winning big at Cincinnati, so what is Matt Campbell’s excuse?

    Truly great coaches will find a way to win ANYWHERE they go. And then they get hired away by bigger opportunities. So if Matt Campbell were a great head coach he wouldnt be 6-5 in his sixth season, he would be 9-3 or 10-2 and would be getting stolen by a bigger program.

    Maybe Dave Clawson is one of the few remaining excellent head coaches who could become USC head coach. Maybe Kalani Sitake. Maybe Jonathan Smith is OK, not great, but OK. ( I assume Whittingham wont come)

    If not those guys, then we need to hire the best young defensive coordinator in the country. The #1 recruiter. Dan Lanning.

    If Bohn hires a mediocre head coach, rather than the #1 coordinator, then he is playing it safe and is not doing his job, which is to make USC great. You cant become great under a coach that is satisfied with mediocrity. I heard that Matt Campbell went off on a rant about his goal was not to win but to build people of great character, etc. A sign of a real loser, just like Clay Helton. When you fail at winning, you claim that it wasnt your goal to win. Havent we heard that song once too many times? Building great character is about integrity and integrity is fundamentally about honesty. Coaches like Aranda build great character AND they win. Enough said about Matt Campbell. Please dont hire the next Clay Helton.

    Hire Dan Lanning.

    BTW, I was pumping Aranda as our top candidate before everyone jumped on that ship. As other good options fall away, Lanning is the best option. He will be great. Yes, it is a little bit of a risk, but we are Trojans, we take risks to get results. No risk, no reward.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One problem: Carol Folt’s goal is not to win either…..but to “walk the path” …
      —Bob Dylan

      Liked by 1 person

  6. One more thought. Bohn and Sosna need to act fast. As the number of head coaching positions opens up and the number of good candidates shrinks, other ADs will start to consider the top coordinators for their openings. So Lanning is going to start getting consideration.

    We dont want to be late to this game and lose out again. I think if Bohn had offered Aranda the job in Week 4, we might have snatched him away and had a great head coach who could partially save the season and would be headed into a really great recruiting close to the year. Building a really great staff. We could have fired GH already.

    But instead, they delayed.

    It is time to act.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh, it must be the dog days of sports with SC out of any running, SC basketball just getting warmed up, and SC running out of coaches to choose from. So perhaps it is a good time to change the subject.

    Comedy, anybody up for a little comedy– you know comedy, right!?– or back in the day when we used to laugh more.

    Well, I was going through my library of 3-years of notes I kept in dealing with Allen Wallace on his blog. I discovered there was some comedy fodder there. Allen makes comedy because he is so serious. He is the perfect straight-man. I will drop in pieces once-in-a-while.

    And I am not going to sue the guy, that was a bluff, I just wanted Allen to have a Turkey on me


    1. I deposited a post on that blog yesterday. It seems whenever I am first to post, the whole thing gets ignored. The bottom post doesn’t stand a chance.


  8. I know, I know, Mikey, but boys will be boys. Just havin’ a little fun, no malice intended.

    And I was planning on dropping the subject now. Just another bluff on my part.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. BTW, MG,R-U-OK, or if you are still around, it is interesting (for me at least) the use of ‘you’ or ‘your’. I sometimes intentionally slip in a ‘you’ instead of the grammatically correct ‘your’ because it is more personal, and it fits my philosophy of oneness, that we’re all in this together i.e. ‘we are you.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John –I’m making, like, 10 mistakes a day (a result of talking to in-laws who I don’t even want in the house while typing)….


      1. John,
        As a lawyer you know even statements made in jest can later be used against you in the event of an unforeseen “situation” …


      1. Regarding the “unforeseen circumstances” comment above, I will take my chances and will applaud the prosecutor who can nail me.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have ZERO sources so fully qualified to give my opinion.
    1. Rapidly Escalating Salaries in College Football will entice NFL Coaches (Head or Coordinators) not interested in the past.
    2. Bohn will not make this decision in a silo. He is soliciting input from many and will rely on the Time Honored “Safety In Numbers” Consensus Decision to CYA.
    3. The Consensus will be someone with an NFL Defensive Background. This was the M.O. of McKay & Carroll at USC and in the NFL. Legion of Boom is recent, but anyone else remember the Tampa Bay Defense in 1979?
    4. If the above is accurate, there is a Short List of Candidates. Former Trojans Kris Richard and Jack Del Rio come to mind.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We’re all doing it —but you’re the FIRST to admit our “lists of favorites” are based on ignorance of anything actually going on…..


  11. Tomorrow is senior day at the coliseum and I’m thinking about going, just to see what discounts they’ll have. I’ll bet I can get a half price 2021 “Beat the Bruins” pin to go with my “U Clowns Lost Again” and U Can’t Learn Anything” pins. Maybe I’ll pick up a jersey with Bru McCoy’s name on it. The only kink in my plan is getting good seats. I hear scalpers are not happy around the coliseum these days. That and getting the last train back to Rialto can be tricky. Do I need an immunization card or just look healthy?
    I might be wrong about the whole senior day thing. My wife told me if it’s Senior’s day it must be Seniorita’s night.


  12. lots of analysts have talked about Iowa St coach for more than a yr or 2…as an observer for 7 decades of SC football with never any source…I knew hellton was a loser, is a loser,and there is a better time coming.


  13. USC vs. San Diego St. game is on at 8:30pm not 6pm. It will be shown on ESPN 2.

    Mike Bohn, will you be at the Anaheim Convention Center tonight to support the team. Perhaps, tonight is the night you finally offer Andy Enfield, a well deserved extension at raise.

    Please review the USC basektball history which is laughable until Andy Enfield arrived.

    Open the checkbook tonight Mike before it is too late on Enfield.


  14. Man, not much going on, sports are a bore right now, so you ever write a little nonsense in your spare time?– Here is my version of nonsense:

    I write comedy, although I am the only who finds it funny. Except my wife. Psychologist Carol King-Wolcott, the prettiest girl I ever saw and one who laughs more than anyone I know. My friends seek out Carol to try out their own personal material. And they always are rewarded with her response of a least a sweet chuckle, if not a belly laugh. This girl is good for the ego. And good for the Walter Mitty in me who thinks he is the next Don Rickles.

    One more thing about Dr King–
    Carol is the nicest person I know but don’t ever cross her, you will be sorry. She calls it the wild-wolf or panther side to her personality; and this side is only aroused when a person is extremely rude to her. She is then transformed into the panther, her cat-eyes not just sizing up her next prey, but piercing right through them, computing which part of their anatomy she will go-for first.

    Any of you like that?

    Oh well, when it is all ‘said and done,’ it is better ‘to do than to say.’– What’s he say?

    Man, I have too much time on my hands, I better get back to work.


  15. Often when asked what somebody wants in something new, there answer reveals everything that was missing in the something old that’s being replaced. Case and point, Nick Fig’s answer about what he wants in a new coach:

    “I just want somebody that holds everyone to the same standard,” Figueroa told reporters, according to 247Sports.

    “So just universal accountability. Somebody who values that tradition here and understands how to honor that and whether it be bringing certain things back or just honoring tradition, like some other schools do. And I think lastly, just someone who’s a born-bred winner. Someone who wants to compete in every facet of everything they’re doing, recruiting, on the field, in their family life, I just want pure competitors. So I think we have those guys around but the more of those guys you can get around the better.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I guess Campbell wouldn’t be the worst pick(a universe ahead of Helton) but if they can’t get anyone better then I would, at least look at Kalen DeBoers from Fresno State and Jonathan Smith from Oregon State.


    1. SC is one of the best coaching jobs in the country. Yet, apparently this USC administration has given SC a bad reputation. A lot of coaches just seem to think that they won’t get the support of the administration if they come to SC. With all the advantages that SC has, they should not be having a hard time finding a great coach. Not only is SC sitting right smack dab on top of one of the biggest talent markets in the country, they have tradition, great weather, outstanding academics, the glitter of a big city and they are in the weakest conference in power 5 football. They don’t have to play any Alabamas, Ohio States or Oklahomas. They should not be struggling to find an outstanding HC.


  17. One has to believe that BYU will have a ton of fans tomorrow night at the Coliseum since this is their big game of the year other than Utah.. It would not surprise me if BYU has more fans in the Coliseum than USC which should again show the nation how far USC football has slipped in recent years.

    I will be also surprised if the USC team plays a decent gam since it appears most of the coaches have their bags packed, and very anxious to get the season over with.

    Is Slovis not suiting up for this game also? I have not heard an injury update, but I would be shocked if he does not transfer at the end of the season.

    I can tell you this hiring Matt Campbell is not the big bang hire they need to get people to start attending games again.


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