The best thing about this week is the Caleb Williams saga is finally over.
It’s always subjective to rank quarterbacks but if I had to rank them I would say Williams is in the top 2 with Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.
That is going to erase a lot of shortcomings next season. So will an easy schedule.
But the defense will have to improve for USC to become a significantly better team and not just a flat-track bully in the Pac-12.
- This is the thing that gets me: USC needs to believe in itself more. Andy Enfield refuses to put together a tough schedule because he doesn’t believe his teams can win those games. And when the 2022 football schedule was put together a few years ago, there was no belief in scheduling the best. Rice? Fresno State?
- Coach Bohn likes to talk about “intensity of interest.” Well, let’s get more intensity of interest when scheduling football and basketball games.
- New defensive line coach Shaun Nua said this about defensive end Korey Foreman: “He has all the talent in the world. He’s going to be pushed if he wants to be pushed. It’s time for him to shine. Coach (Roy) Manning and myself will get everything out of him.” Good luck!
- New offensive line coach Josh Henson on Virginia transfer Bobby Haskins: “He’s obviously going to be an integral part of our line next year.”
- USC wide receiver Michael Jackson wore No. 13 last season. What are the odds he gives that up to new QB Caleb Williams?
- Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi, who was almost hired by USC when Steve Sarkisian became head coach, took a shot at Lincoln Riley this week. Lupoi was an assistant at Alabama in 2018 when the Crimson Tide faced Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff.
“He had a guy named Kyler Murray, really good player. It was 28-0 in the (second) quarter. But he did get close, you’re right,” Lupoi said.
- USC announced track star Allyson Felix will be the commencement speaker in May. Felix graduated from USC but never competed for the Trojans.
- USC defensive lineman Maninoa Tufono officially entered the transfer portal. He wasn’t even with the team last season. A source told me started an altercation with a USC assistant during a spring practice last year.
- And now for some history:
- The above photo features the legendary Betty White with Los Angeles Angels first baseman Steve Bilko in 1957. The photo was taken at Wrigley Field, which was just two miles from USC before being demolished in 1969.
Bilko was a local celebrity in the 1950’s and perhaps the most popular player before the Dodgers moved to L.A. He won three straight Pacific Coast League MVP awards and home-run titles from 1954-57. The TV show “Sgt. Bilko” was supposedly named after him.
- Every USC coach since Lane Kiffin says they will hire the best coaching staff in America. Lincoln Riley did too.
How many of his guys will become head coaches? Let see if they can beat the 1959 USC staff.
Then there was backfield coach “Johnny McKay,” who was named USC coach after this season, replacing Don Clark. Need it be mentioned how he won four national titles?
Freshman coach Marv Goux became the most inspirational and beloved USC assistant coach in school history.
Backfield and ends coach Al Davis became the owner of the Raiders.
Line coach Ray George had already been head coach at Texas A&M, where he beat coaching legends Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma) and Bear Bryant (Kentucky).
Line coach Mel Hein was a USC assistant coach from 1951-65. He was NFL MVP as a center in 1938 and made the NFL’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams. He is in the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames.
Backfield coach Jim Sears was a former USC All-American and won the Voit Trophy (top player on the West Coast). The Trojans went 8-2 in 1959.
- This is the first coaching staff in Cal State Fullerton history in 1970. USC connections? Of course. The head coach is former USC assistant Dick Coury (center with cap). The quarterbacks coach was Bill Redell (first row, far right) who was a QB at USC before he transferred to Occidental. Redell went on to play in the Canadian Football League and won CIF titles as head coach at Crespi and Oaks Christian.
Coury was the head coach at Mater Dei when John McKay hired him as defensive coordinator in 1966. He stayed at USC for three seasons and the Trojans won the conference title every season.
Coury left to become an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers but regretted the move.
“After a couple of months, John McKay contacted me and said, ‘I know you hate to move, and there’s a new coaching opportunity at Cal State Fullerton, and I can get you an interview,’ ” Coury said in a 2008 interview.
- I came across an article from Los Angeles magazine on the Rams in the 1970’s that had this excerpt on when Pat Haden was a rookie in 1976 and named the starting QB over James Harris.
“We found out that (head coach) Chuck (Knox) had been told by (team owner) Carroll (Rosenbloom) that he wanted Haden to start,” wide receiver Harold Jackson said. “We go to Minnesota for the (NFC) championship game. We were down on about the one-inch yard line. We had a quarterback sneak, and they stood Pat Haden straight up in the air, almost.
“We felt like if Harris had been in the ball game — big old guy — he could have gotten the ball in the end zone, and we would have won. We tried a field goal; Minnesota blocked it and took it back 90 yards.”