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

If it’s Friday, it’s time for the Pac-12 championship game.

Fox and ESPN love having the game on Friday night, secluded from all those other conference championship contests.

But to me, it makes the game feel not ready for prime time, because it can’t make the Saturday stage. It’s also less convenient for fans, who could travel to Las Vegas on a Saturday and not worry about missing work.

The Pac-12 says the game will remain in Las Vegas through at least 2023, which is all USC needs to worry about.

  • Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said Thursday that procedural mistakes made by football referees were “unacceptable.” Where have we heard this before?
  • How many Cal and Stanford football players have announced they entered the transfer portal this week?
  • The last time USC played Utah in Las Vegas was at the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl. You might remember Utah won that game, 10-6.

But the part I always remember was near the end of the game, the USC and Utah coaches had an altercation in a pressbox elevator going down to the field. Lane Kiffin was one of the USC coaches in the elevator. The altercation started because some Utah coaches started celebrating the victory inside the cramped elevator.

  • And now for some history:
  • Since we talking 2001, here is Troy Polamalu blocking a punt by Stanford’s Eric Johnson.
  • USC photos in the Big Ten are suddenly more poignant. Here’s QB Steve Sogge as the Trojans played at Minnesota in 1968. The No. 2-ranked Trojans defeated No. 16-ranked Minnesota, 29-20.

The Golden Gophers led 10-0 before USC fought back to tie the game, 13-13, at halftime. Minnesota took a 20-13 lead with eight minutes left but O.J. Simpson scored two TDs and Ron Ayala kicked a FG. Simpson finished with four TDs.

A week later, USC returned to the Big Ten with a game at Northwestern. History really does repeat itself.

Finally, look how the fans were right down on the field at Memorial Stadium.

  • Just a note on Sogge. He set a then-national record of 2,361 passing yards as a senior at Gardena High School and led the Mohicans to the Los Angeles City Section championship. Sogge was named Los Angeles City Section Player of the Year and a Parade All-American.
  • I like to think of the 1960 USC team as the happiest team in USC history, judging by the photos. Here’s Dave Morgan, Mike McKeever and Dennis Schmidt after a 28-10 victory over Cal.

And look how happy Jim Samuel is below after a victory over Georgia the same season. Note USC wore its white jerseys for that game at the Coliseum. USC had good reason to happy in that game after intercepting four passes from Georgia QB Fran Tarkenton in a 10-3 victory.

  • The Trojans won only four games in 1960. The nonconference games were Ohio State, TCU, Georgia and Baylor. Imagine that schedule today.
  • I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have a kind word for former USC football coach Don Clark. He resigned after the 1959 season and sent a telegram to John McKay and the team wishing them luck for the season-opener against Oregon State.
  • In 1960, All-American Mike McKeever suffered a head injury against Stanford that led to emergency brain surgery for a blood clot at Cedars of Lebanon hospital. As the story mentions, there were multiple bulletins a day from the doctor updating McKeever’s condition.

It was such a big story that when USC president Norman Topping learned of the surgery, he contacted athletic director Jess Hill and sports information director Don Simonian and dispatched them to the hospital to comfort the family and handle any media duties. Hill and Simonian spent the night at the hospital with McKeever’s family.

  • In the 1960’s, you didn’t have to go to the USC ticket office to buy football tickets. You could go to Silverwood’s men’s clothing stores; Wallich’s Music City record stores; Buffom’s dept. stores; Hinshaw’s dept. stores or even the John P. Evans shoe store in Pomona.
  • The Trojan Huddle was the name of John McKay’s weekly TV show. Who could resist the “wit and wisdom” of McKay? Or the appearance of “winsome cheerleaders.”
  • Here’s how the show looked in 1960 as McKay speaks to Lee Giroux, who was also an actor.
  • Edgemar Farms was a dairy located in Santa Monica on 17th street and Santa Monica Blvd. And it’s milk was good enough for Marilyn Monroe.
  • You might think the 1950’s were the dark ages when it came to keeping football stats. But USC used to track minutes played by each player and then release it to the media/public. Here are the minutes for the 1959 season.

Right guard Al Bansavage led the Trojans in minutes with 405 in 10 games. Bansavage was one of several players brought to USC from The Citadel by assistant coach Al Davis. Bansavage skipped his senior year to sign with the Baltimore Colts.

Still feeling a hangover from the USC-UCLA game? Here’s the 1987 game, where Rodney Peete famously hit Erik Affholter for the game-winning TD catch.

  • Is there any doubt Sam Cunningham would have been able to play if he were in college today? I don’t care how high-scoring games are, who wouldn’t want a tailback like this?
  • Look at all the Christmas shoppers on Seventh and Broadway streets in Los Angeles the day after Thanksgiving in 1953. It wasn’t Black Friday but the two days after Thanksgiving were known as “Christmas Value Days.”
  • And finally, I’m going to indulge myself and run a photo of NFL tailback MacArthur Lane simply because I love the old-school face mask. And who can forget a name like MacArthur Lane?

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

  1. Scott may get the raspberry treatment from the Posters when he acts superior by lambasting us with the title of Fanboys, but at 6 a.m. this morning he put out his usual sparkling Friday edition (and indicating he must get up mighty early to do this)–

    Steve Sogge may not get the traditional accolades as a Palmer or Leinert but he was pretty good at SC and sensational at Gardena High as my Birmingham Braves barely got by him on our way to the City Championship.

    And speaking of “barely,” notice all the ladies in the ’50s and ’60s pictures wearing skirts practically to their ankles, resulting in men “barely” seeing one of their best assets, their legs, while our shy heroine Marilyn Monroe shows us another side to “barely”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. MARILYN
      BORN 1926
      MARRIED AT 15 IN 1941
      REAL NAME WAS NORMA JEAN
      AS A CHILD SHE STUTTERED BADLY
      DIED AT ONLY 36
      TO KNOW HER WAS TO LOVE HER.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. George — The most profound obituary for Marilyn was an editorial in Variety that said “Many in Hollywood mourn Marilyn’s death because they weren’t through murdering her.”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And speaking of Norma Jean, George–

        “And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind…
        Your candle burned out long before
        Your legend ever did”

        I have a friend who told me in her native Russia in the 70s and 80s when she lived there, despite U.S.-U.S.S.R. Cold War attitudes towards each other, the Russians loved Marilyn and found her so funny especially in “Some Like it Hot”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. WE CHAIRED HER THRU THE MARKETPLACE
        THE DAY SHE WON HER TOWN THE RACE.

        JOE REALLY LOVED HER
        ARTHUR NOT SO MUCH

        BUT SHE WAS LOVED BY SO MANY
        SO BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT

        Like

  2. Now it is nearly 7 a.m. and the rain is falling in L.A. whereas in Las Vegas there is but a mere 3% chance of rain, a factor in SC’s favor figuring Utah is probably better equipped to play in the rain, and a further indication that in this Amazing 2022 SC Run even the heavens seem to be siding with the Trojans

    Liked by 3 people

    1. HEY LJ
      YOU GOT TOP BILLING TODAY
      THE DOG SLEPT LATE SO COULD STAY AWAKE FOR THE GAME
      I HAVE A REAL GOOD FEELING ABOUT TONIGHT
      GO TROJANS !!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Speaking of rain….Lake Mead needs all the rain it can handle. We have struggled with drought conditions for well over a decade.

      Any chance of rain will not be a factor tonight. Allegiant is an enclosed stadium.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Lack of drinking water might get us before ‘global warming’ does, Gabby, with the fact that the water earth presently has is not enough
        to sustain over 7-Billion people at a safe and reasonable level

        Liked by 3 people

      2. With all the water restrictions we have in Clark County, the municipality continues to allow the construction of tens of thousands of homes annually……. This insanity will eventually reach a breaking point…….

        Liked by 2 people

    3. As I understand it, the stadium is fully enclosed and climate controlled so it wouldn’t matter whether is rained or not

      Like

    1. Whatever one wants to say about Scott he still outshines the rest everyday of the week….but particularly on Fridays….
      Note To Scott: The Pac 12 has championships on Friday in your honor!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wolf never said if he’s attending the game….Well, I do know, the sight of “towel wavers” has often been too much anxiety for him to handle

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s probably all for the best, Gabby. We don’t want the day marred by live shots of Scott in a bareknuckle fight with the flag wavers along the sidelines…
        #”ItAppearsThingsHaveBoiledOverBetweenWolfAndHeritageHall…”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LA Times this morning:

    “Emotions from the last-minute defeat at Utah lay bare. Players sat at their lockers in tears. But behind their puffy eyes, Dedich saw something he’d never seen in his previous four seasons at USC.

    Not sorrow or indifference in defeat, but determination.

    “It was a different mindset from this team,” Dedich said. “Some teams … they wouldn’t think about it, one loss. They’d be onto the next. But we were upset. The loss built a fire in us.”

    https://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/story/2022-12-01/usc-utah-football-pac-12-championship-game

    Liked by 4 people

      1. yes…..tackling tonight needs to be at a high level…..and contain Rising, we can’t let him pick up first downs with his legs(just Caleb) and extend drives.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Utah has been king …and they are gonna fight hard to keep their crown….
      #…ButTodayMarksAChangingOfThePac12Guard…
      #…AndBothTeamsFeelItComing…

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Good call George, I will go with Men of Troy, 41, Red Rock Utes, 27

      The game vs. the domers was never in doubt. From the kickoff, it was obvious which team was superior. Same tonight.

      BTW, what are you fellas having for the game meal? On my end, it is looking like chorizo nachos, with gaucamole, green onions, cilantro, on the side. Negroni cocktail at kickoff.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is all relative, MG. I tell my wife that green onions, guacomole, and the negroni all are part of a healthy diet.
        #SomewhereInTheGinThereAreRootExtracts
        #TheFoodPyramid

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Still sounds good…especially when compared to “pork puffs” and custard filled long johns [take it easy, tebow —I was referring to glazed donuts]…..

        Liked by 1 person

      1. “Never forego results that are good in a protracted search for results that are perfect.”
        —Richard Nixon
        #[IGuessIAccidentallyMadeYourCaseForYou]…

        Liked by 3 people

  4. My first memory of the John McKay show was on Sundays after the NFL game on NBC with Bryant Gumbel. I can still remember those flooding sansabelt slacks, white sox and spot-bilt cleats. Those were the days.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. After getting bowled over by the architecture of Bullock’s Wilshire at Christmastime, I remember telling my mother, ” this is really a high class store…”
        #Bullock’sPasadenaWasBeautifulToo….
        #[TheDrawbackOfBullock’sWestwoodWasTheSchoolNextDoor]..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have a kind word for former USC football coach Don Clark.”

    The same with Clay Helton.

    Like

      1. ….he started out as a good man …but somewhere along the line he made himself a deacon of the Church of Palos Verdes…and then he went on to appoint himself a Faith Healer who read bible passages on homemade videos….and, then, one day, he started selling snake oil …
        #…IThinkItWasTheDayHeGaveCarolTheGameBall…..

        Liked by 1 person

      1. The playoffs sound great…..but the actual act of playing perhaps Georgia is a confidence tester. Can we look respectable against them? Our D-line has me worried. If we struggle in the trenches it will be a long night

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hear ya, Gabby. Here’s the thing: even if we get NO stops, we can match them T.D. for T.D…
        #[AndWeWILLGetOneOrTwoStops]

        Like

    1. Why? SEC football involves great coaching ,never see a hellton there, and great football players. That is not going to happen , they play top defense and offense in both divisions. Bama losses were super close vs quality opponents. a 2 loss team will not be in final 4,plus a conf champ is most likely .

      Like

  6. The transfer portal is going to be crazy this year. I see USC taking…a running back, one receiver, one offensive tackle, two defensive linemen, one linebacker, one CB, one safety and one edge rusher.

    I wonder if USC actually will need to dump a few more of the current commits. If they can get more proven talent, why take 3 star high school recruits?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ahh, poor little JustMoans…did we make you cry like DTR.
      No one, and I mean no one, has more whiny babies as fans than the Bruins. I guess that is reflected by the teams they have, no backbone–just a poor-little-us mentality.

      Like

    1. Get our legal team to argue scholarship limit only applies to high school recruits —NO limit on number of players stolen, I mean persuaded to come to USC, from other schools via portal….
      #LetTheMarketDecide…
      #[It’sAWholeNewWorld,Carol]

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Great question!….. Austin Jones is listed as a true Senior, 4th-year player…but D1 football players were granted an extra year due to covid…..So he can return next season, right?

      We might have to wait and see who actually takes advantage of this…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow Gabby thanks for bringing that up, forgot all about the 1 xtra year covid rule, for eligiblity. USC can now, pay players through the NIL to keep them to stay an Xtra year and compete for Natty’s. A sleeping giant is about to erupt soon and put all of college football ball on notice. Fight on! Happy days are hear again!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. With recruiting, transfer portal, NIL, and extra covid year, hard to foresee what next year’s roster looks like. Like a typical NFL roster revamp each off-season

        Like

      3. I think the only restriction on players arriving via the portal should be …..”as many years as they want to play…”
        #ItWouldLeadToContinuity

        Like

    3. Okay, I checked it out. Teams can go over the 25 player limit this year but cannot exceed the 85 total limit. So they can replace what they have lost through players going into the portal. Anyone know where USC stands at this point?

      Liked by 1 person

    4. It doesn’t really matter. If they need a guy and they don’t have enough scholies, they will just ask one of the already committed to move on and free up a scholarship. A lot of people have a problem with that. I don’t. If a committed player wants to move on he just decommits and nobody thinks anything of it. Why shouldn’t a school have the right to decommit a player if they want him to move on?

      Like

  7. Anybody reading the Salt Lake papers, here is the latest–

    FAVORS SC:
    Utah QB Rising was hurt mentally and physically (knee) especially with his Superman-like victory over SC as evidenced by his running being cut down from over 8 per game to only 3 in each of the past 4-games, and having a poor game against Oregon

    The running back that quit was much better than the guy who replaced him, Jackson, who was recruited as a quarterback

    DISFAVORS SC:
    Utah Utes’ defense had been averaging 500 yards given up over several games including the SC game, but the Trojan game changed their mindset and the defense has only been giving up about 300 yards per game since

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Finally the game is nearly here and I liked how Wiley said this was not a revenge game, that that was not the approach the team was taking, but rather it is just another game with huge consequences for both sides, and besides, the loss to Utah did not hurt or kill the Trojans’ chances at a National Title as I despondingly thought at the time

    Like

  9. I remember the Vegas Utah game. I had tickets for Sam Boyd stadium. The Trojans played a lethargic game, having spent the night out on the town. Pete’s first bowl game with a college aged group. He never made that mistake again. The only player who looked like he was ready to play was Troy P.
    There are rumors about players trying to empty an all you can eat buffet. Utah was barely high school competition in Pete’s eyes.
    The fight in the elevator was probably due to the assistant coaches being hung over.

    Like

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