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

Scott Wolf

This is the season under COVID-19 and no fans but does anyone feel any buzz about USC training camp or impending start to the season?

Some fans tell me they fully intend to watch the games on TV but there's also a healthy amount who say they could care less at this point.

I suspect that will change once the season actually starts but it might be a good thing fans are barred. The crowd shots at the Coliseum could be embarrassing given the fan apathy.

  • Coaches are notoriously cautious. But a friend I know spoke to a USC football coach last week who said, "I really think we can go 7-0. We should go 7-0."

That's a big statement. And I tend to agree given the schedule.

  • Arizona State wide receiver Geordon Porter's parents went to USC.
  • Arizona State offensive coordinator Zak Hill on playing USC in Game 1: “I love that we’re jumping right into it."
  • Does anyone care the Holiday Bowl is taking a year off? It's one of the worst stadiums in the country and has included USC three times in the past six years. It needs a rest.
  • When does Jake Garcia transfer to a sixth school?
  • The Big Ten starts playing football tonight (Illinois at Wisconsin), two weeks before the Pac-12.

But here is what I like: The Big Ten has already announced the start times for its Week 2 games on Oct. 30-31. None of that six-day window stuff the Pac-12 employs where you never know when teams will play until the Sunday before the next weekend's games.

  • Sad news: Bill Beasley, who worked in game management at USC since 1974, recently passed away. Beasley might have attended more USC sporting events than anyone because I can't remember going to games (football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, etc.) without seeing him.

More importantly, he was one of the nicest guys you could meet, always happy and happy to be at a USC game. "He was the best," a USC coach told me. "He was always good to everyone."

You can't replace guys like this.


And now for some history:

  • I'm in awe that the Daily Trojan could produce this illustration in 1957. This is for Pitt center Charley Brueckman.
  • Remember last week when I mentioned the USC ticket office used to gladly release ticket sales information under legendary manager John Morley? Well, in 1973, USC said it had 50,000 season-ticket holders. What do you think that answer would be today?
  • I spoke to an 88-year-old graduate of USC on Thursday:

"I remember going to Julie's (restaurant) in the late 50's and seeing (former USC assistant coach) Al Davis diagramming plays on cocktail napkins. And President (Norman) Topping was there every night too.

"You just expected to see people there. On Thursday nights, all the students would go and there'd be a long line to get in.

"This was before John McKay, but he held court there every night too after he got promoted to head coach, sometimes with Topping, summoning coaches or media or athletic dept. employees to his booth if he wanted to talk to them."

  • This has nothing to do with USC but it's still a story I like: Former major-league pitcher Joe Niekro was invited to a friend's sixth wedding.

Niekro sent a note to the friend saying, "Sorry, I can't make it but I promise to be at the next one."

Comments (6)
No. 1-4

Thanks, Scott. Great historical notes. They warm my heart. The tradition is the best. They do say history repeats itself. Maybe the good will come back to USC football --someday post Helton.

Michael Guarino
Michael Guarino

Let's be honest. Haden, Swann, Folt...and Helton.... have damaged USC football more than covid. But --with this year's team and coordinators ---we could be back in a big way.....


Already thin in 2020 at the WR spots.
I think we all had high hopes for both of the McLains.....