The Pac-12 farewell tour continues Saturday as USC plays what could be its final game at Arizona Stadium.
In 2012, Arizona defeated USC, 39-36, in Tucson. Those Trojans were ranked 10th and 6-1 overall. USC is 6-1 again and ranked No. 10 again in 2022.
Am I predicting an upset? Uh, no.
- Arizona defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen isn’t the only ex-USC assistant on the Wildcats’ staff. Brennan Carroll is the offensive coordinator and DeWayne Walker is the defensive backs coach. Carroll and Walker are former Pete Carroll assistants. Arizona defensive line coach Ricky Hunley was a graduate assistant at USC from 1992-93.
- This is something that won’t happen in the Big Ten: USC flies an hour to Tucson to play Arizona, then plays three games at the Coliseum and a road game at the Rose Bowl vs. UCLA to finish the season.
- USC baseball received a commitment Thursday from Hiro Wyatt, a pitcher/infielder from Westport, Conn.
- Oregon coach Dana Altman had the best quote at Pac-12 men’s basketball media day on the departure of USC and UCLA.
“Since I’ve been in the league, USC hasn’t won the conference title or the tournament. UCLA maybe won one tournament, one league title. Arizona’s been up there. We’ve won 4 conference titles. So our basketball league is going to survive.”
There is no way USC and UCLA basketball coaches are happy about joining the Big Ten. Maybe that’s who George Kliavkoff talks to.
- And now for some history:
- Former USC tailback Allen Carter was honored at his high school, Bonita in La Verne, on Thursday night for the school’s Homecoming game.
Carter rushed for 4,388 yards 70 TD’s at Bonita. During his junior year in 1970, he was the state champion in the 100-meter dash. During his USC career, he rushed for 1,100 yards in just 184 carries.
Believe it or not, I’ve spoken to USC coaches and players from that time who say Carter was the best tailback on the team. He was the starting tailback on the great 1972 team until he suffered leg injuries.
- Don’t think I will ever pass up a chance to show Marv Goux and the Trojans taking the field in 1974.
Roll call from left: Rob Hertel (6); Jim Lucas (40); Pat Morris (63); Dale Logie (54); J.K. McKay (25) and Eugene Lawryk (54). The obscured number could be Allen Carter, Bernard Tarver or Joe Shipp.
- It’s Charles White vs. Alabama in 1978 as the Trojans upset No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide, 24-14.
- You know why I’m posting this photo of John McKay and Anthony Davis? Because this was when McKay sported the rare “Univ. of So. Calif. Football” jacket. Not USC. Not Southern Cal. Not SC.
- When the stars come out for USC, they really come out.
Take the fall of 1959, for example. Here is singer Bobby Darin at a football rally in September, 1959. This was a month after Darin released, “Mack the Knife,” which was No. 1 for eight weeks and earned Darin two Grammys for Record of the Year and Best New Artist. A month after visiting USC, Darin released “Beyond the Sea” which was another huge hit. The previous year, he released “Splish, Splash” so Darin couldn’t have been hotter than when he came to USC.
By the way, the chimp in the photo was an unofficial mascot at the time.
- Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at USC in Bovard Auditorium on Nov. 2, 1959. This may be at the USC Law School, where he met with students that day. On the left is political consultant Joe Cerrell, who graduated from USC in 1957, became friends with Kennedy and invited him to campus. Cerrell also taught at USC for 15 years.
- Here is legendary director Alfred Hitchcock speaking at halftime of a USC game in 1959, where he urged female graduates to attend the Alumnae Day Picnic. Hitchcock is speaking at the USC-Baylor game on Nov. 14, 1959, a week before Homecoming vs. UCLA. So you had Kennedy at USC on Nov. 2 and Hitchcock there on Nov. 14.
- Also in the late 1950’s, Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio attended a USC game with his former wife, world-famous actress Marilyn Monroe. The pair sat in a VIP section of the Coliseum. At halftime, ABC-TV wanted to interview DiMaggio so he came into the pressbox and went to the broadcast booth. He was not joined by Monroe.
- Here’s a 1953 photo of the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in West L.A. The 6,000-seat venue was a home to USC basketball games during this period. The Pan-Pacific closed in 1972 and burned down in 1989. The entrance gates at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim are modeled after the Pan-Pacific’s facade.
- And here is a 1954 USC-Stanford game inside the Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Notice fans placed their coats on the wooden barrier that surrounded the court.
- The Sports Arena could be a vibrant place during the 1974-75 basketball season as the Trojans defeated LSU, Oklahoma State, Utah, Nevada, Vanderbilt, New Mexico, Villanova and Furman before some good crowds at the arena. Andy Enfield is breaking out in hives thinking about that home schedule.
- USC used to have a family-feel to it at one time, like in 1954, when legendary ticket office manager John Morley would pull double-duty and also serve as an advisor to the El Rodeo yearbook. Why? Because he was the yearbook editor in 1932 and cared deeply about it and loved USC. A foreign concept, I know.
- I’ve written frequently about the Olympic Auditorium and if you live in Orange County, the Regal Irvine Spectrum will show the well-received documentary “18th & Grand” on the venerable venue Saturday night at 7 p.m. It’s always better to see a film like this in a theater instead of watching it on TV or YouTube.
- Here’s what the Egyptian theater in Hollywood looked like in 1979 when it showed the sci-fi classic, “Alien.”
- Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate on the set of the film, “Don’t Make Waves” in Malibu, during the the movie’s famous trampoline scene on Sept. 5, 1966.