USC Morning Buzz: It’s Time For The Friday Notes Column


In today’s column, Cameron Smith’s future; some more all-time opponent best-marks that Clancy Pendergast’s surrendered this season; does San Diego State deserve consideration for the state championship and a simple question: Would a USC-Ohio State Fiesta Bowl be competitive?

Wolf: Would USC-Ohio State be a competitive bowl game?

120 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: It’s Time For The Friday Notes Column

  1. So blogger, who wins the Apple Cup? Let’s have your well thought out research and insight on that game. “Best marks” against the Trojans this year is way weak sauce, as usual. And yes, a USC-Ohio State game would be very competitive. USC kills the Big 10.

  2. I would never give anything to the big10 and especially Ohio St, but we should be able to say it would be a very competitive game, if only we knew what USC team was going to show up. So my response is who knows.

  3. I mean no disrespect, but tomorrow we’ll see how much Bama and tOSU go under center and run with a fullback. And Belichick and Pete Carroll dont go under center much at all. I’d love to see the i-formation come back, but how many teams even run it anymore?
    To me when we would be able to run the i-formation would be in a couple of years if the o-line class comes in as hoped for. Then it won’t matter what we run because we’ll be imposing our will on opponents again.

    • We won’t run an I, not as a base offense. Maybe in “here it comes” short yardage stuff. I do hope we run more power sets though. I know it won’t happen, but the Broncos cut Mike McCoy. He would be a great get. if Tee goes, throw some money at a big time play caller like McCoy. Either way, I think we will be fine. This staff is building depth and stockpiling talent. Fight on!!!

      • I think the I-formation is pretty much done, except situationally. Although, when you run that power offense it can be a beautiful thing. Agree, with the quality depth being built, as I mentioned last night, there is real possibility of this next class being something special.
        Just win baby!

  4. Rather doubt USC would dominate OH St. as noted by F Sampson. Helton looks good because of the calibre of athletes currently playing for USC. Not saying USC would not prevail but wonder how much better would this year been had the staff addressed the ‘little’ things that, collectively, accrue and become the personality of the team.
    Scott has said the following but it bears hearing again.
    The mismatched uniforms is telling – no one from Helton on down, thought to ‘see’ that as a lack of respect for the school let alone team members who were correctly attired. The antics by Jones incurring personal fouls/penalties not once but many times – that too seeps into how those who ‘play by the rules’ can’t help but wonder ‘why’?
    Lack of a solid game plan when on the <3 yd line for a 1st down or, in particular, a 'TD' constantly relied on a shotgun formation netting nothing.
    Special teams coaching.
    In fairness the team is 10 – 2 as are many other programs nationwide but yes I believe too many 'sense' something is missing in 2017. There is still a big target on our back 'but' no one fears us anymore.

    • Hope you trip went well. Truthfully, we’re we feared three years ago, four, I don’t think so. That comes back over time as the team continues to win. Remembering back to the Wash. St loss in the Kessler/Wittek fiasco or even more evidently so against Wash. in Petersen ‘s debut in the Coli as just examples. I’m against even mentioning that team across town that beat us three yrs straight. And while I respect all your opinions, including fans whose are different than mine, don’t you think it’s a bit disingenuous to put all that on socks?
      There is no excuse for the young man’s immaturity and undisciplined play at this point and many including myself find it offensive to say the least and certainly substandard. But your contention that we beat Penn St and nd last year with more and better athletes, I think runs a bit hollow. And certainly if we should play and or beat OSU or any other national power, they would certainly have the same talent level and to be frank, their talent would be greater at the sr and rs jr levels.
      Would I like it better if we scored every time we were inside the five, heck yes. But the record these coaches have put together must be given some credence.

      • Just to play devils advocate, just imagine what that record would be if the coaches were good.

        • You mean with a guy like harbaugh? Or Meyer? I can go into detail but we’d probably end up agreeing to disagree. I remember the great urban didn’t even win his conference and then was shut out in his last game last yr.
          I have no preference for any coach, neither current nor potential, I’m just a fan of the Trojans and who coaches them matters not one iota to me, I’ll still be a fan as I’ve been sconce the early sixties.
          The true question for those d demanding immediate change, is who would come? Especially after you fire a coach that’s 10-2 or possibly 12-2, after a 10 win season, and then get to deal with the likes of our cynical blogger or some of the others who push dissenting opinion just to make money without any true insight.
          Who do you really think would come. I remember why and how PC got hired and what most said at that time.

          • You are absolutely right, and I have said the same thing before, who would come after firing a coach with Heltons record. Just playing devils advocate with you, and I don’t want Helton fired, I want him to have all the quality help they can get. A few assistant changes that we have all hashed out would make a big difference in the team we see week to week.

          • While I challenge people on facts, and I do so on both sides of the debate, I prefer not to talk about the specifics of the coaching staff during the season. Others have another opinion on that and it’s what makes the world go round.
            But I will say that it seems the hire by Helton of Deland McCullough was a great one that positively impacted that position group. At least on the surface. We just never truly know what goes on in a locker room or in meetings.

          • I’m still thinking about the hiring of PC, and the prior search and how nobody wanted the job, what’s the difference now?

        • steveg, IMO, considering. it’s impossible to improve on Jan 1, 2017 Rose Bowl. No more cry baby, steveg, climb on the Trojan Helton Bandwagon and enjoy the ride !!!

      • Well let’s see what happens next Friday – home crowd for the tribe coming off that 2nd half beat down of the phony irish

    • I would like to ask you a question if I may, and only because I truly value your opinion.

      What is or should be the mission statement of the athletic dept. at a university such as ours? And if it’s changed when was it that change occurred?

    • No, ruski. Clay Helton’s Trojans, last year and this year, are Respected , even Feared, by the NCAA Division One Football community. Since 100% of your post criticizes Helton’s Trojans, you would be destroyed in a legitimate Debate. So far this year, Helton’s Offensive Line, QB, Running backs, the entire Defensive Squad, played well coached, intense, fist in your mouth winning football, defeating no less than 10 Division One Opponents. Your post means everything to the countless Trolls on SW’s Blog. Ruski, turning oneself around is easy. Just it give your best.

  5. Nice job pointing out that USC has played the nation’s 7th most difficult schedule and has beaten 5 teams in the FPI top 40. Ohio State is at 31. Miami is 19th. Again, confirmation bias aka lazy and irresponsible journalism……

    • Ohio State was destroyed by an unranked Iowa Team. SC didn’t lose to an unranked team all year. In fact, it only lost to a couple of top 5 teams when they played them.

    • CONFIRMATION BIAS…Bingo!……That’s exactly what you call it.. How can someone be some negative towards their alma mater. If anything, you would sense a little home-cooking.

  6. I thought you didn’t like looking at statistics. You can read them any way you want. Pete’s teams would often give up a lot of yards, but make plays in the red zone when it counted. Like SC did against UCLA twice last week!

    • Well, if Wolf were a “stats guy” he would have to justify why Urban Meyer’s teams “rarely self destruct”, despite being 121st in the country in penalties, while Helton needs to “coach harder” because SC averages .2 yards per game more penalties than OSU. There’s also those tricky 4 interceptions thrown in their 31 point loss to 6-5 Iowa.

      He also never listens to Colin Cowherd.

      Clown Blog.

      • Is he mad because Colin spent Thanksgiving with Ryan Abraham of insider Troy rather than with Scott of inside SoCal?

        • I think he’s still upset that his pick for the SC gig, Mike Riley, got fired after going 19-18 at Nebraska… but I could be wrong since Wolf isn’t a “stats guy”.

          • That and his man crush jimmie boy harbaugh is floundering in Michigan.
            Oh, what’s a man to do?

          • Harbaugh grates on me, but he can coach. I wouldn’t bury him just yet. MI is loaded for bear next year and they aren’t exactly bottom feeders this year. It is baffling that he hasn’t been able to develop a solid QB yet/.

          • Granted he recruits well, but answer me this, when was his last conference championship? Pac12 or otherwise.

          • I think if he had stayed at Stanford he would had one or 2 Pac-12 championships. Good counter point though

          • He is a very colorful guy and granted garners much media attention, but the hype, at least to me is empty of results. But again, he’s fun to watch!

          • Harbaugh is a victim of his own success & the hype –anything less than full blown domination is looked upon as failure. Saban has set the bar so high that everyone else pales in comparison and quality coaches & teams are being dismissed ( figuratively & literally) as failures when they don’t get to the NC game. Saban has impacted the SEC to the point that being in contention and 10 & 2 isn’t enough. Granted their may be a few extenuating circumstances at FL; but McElwain won 2 SEC East titles in his first two years and was shown the door. hell, Meyer is getting heat in Columbus. But all of these Power 5 coaches know what the deal is when they sign up—& they get paid the big $ for their efforts.

          • Word was earlier this week that Michigan was trying to sign him to a lifetime contract. Do I think he’s worth it? No. Nonetheless they do get paid. I just always thought he was espn darling and so there in lies his true talent. But winning a title, even a conference title has eluded him. So I will think he’s over rated until he wins b10 or at least beatytOSU.

          • Ya floundering Michigan … 8-4 with a 3rd team qb on a rebuild year … Gomer will go 4-8 with his 1teamer qb next year while Harbaugh builds a monster

          • Says goat boy. When did he ever win a conference championship? You discount all our injuries and then let him off.
            Look I get it didn’t like kif or sark big deal, their gone, let it go. It’s a bad look.

          • Sorry, business call.
            How many years has harbaugh even there getting top ten talent and now you cover for him and say he’s rebuilding. But Helton you won’t give a chance. Harbaugh hasn’t won crud and when Helton wins next week, he’ll have MORE conference championships than harbaugh.

            What’s the old saying about the sins of the father. Just try and be fair.

      • Exactly! “Clown Blog”

        I’m hoping the National Enquirer makes an offer he can’t pass up,……wishful thinking on my part

  7. LOL, “Ohio state typically doesn’t self-destruct”. I guess Iowa just has more superior athletes than Ohio State. Ohio state vs Oklahoma just wasn’t a fair match up even though the rankings were similar? And while it may not be fair on my part to the current OSU team to bring up the Clemson debacle in the playoff last year (when the playoff committee stuck their necks out for a non conference champion), Urban Meyer is in great danger of getting the reputation of a coach who is now getting less performance from his teams than one would expect from the talent. Hmmm . . . sounds like Urban Meyer has more in common (in the last two years) with Helton than scooter realizes.

    What would be the outcome of a USC vs OSU Fiesta Bowl? I don’t have a clue. I would hope for a great repeat of the Rose Bowl from last year, but a blow out would not be surprising. Which team gets blown out? No idea. Each team has talent and each team has looked shockingly helpless at least once (usc vs ND and OSU vs Iowa). For USC, get healthy in the trenches by New Years and the team could really take off.

  8. Death, taxes, Thanksgiving leftovers and Friday rehash by Wolf are all things I count on.
    So I guess I will rehash a bit myself. First Ohio State, the mother of all rose bowl rivalries for USC. They do self destruct I was at a rose bowl, having been given a ticket to the game for carrying a banner in the parade, where the Trojans stifled the bean nuts for the entire game. The only reason it looked close was the refs. In fact that was the game where I learned my one song, “play fair refs.”
    Second Ucla didn’t hang tough with USC, the lopsided officiating kept them in it. Just compare 4th down attempts by the two teams. Ucla made theirs largely in part due to the WWF moves employed by the Ucla line. USC didn’t make theirs due to a pass interference call. Watching the play in question, you see a Ucla defender holding the receiver until the receiver disengaged and went back for a catch. The Ucla player made first contact and was clearly holding well beyond the line of scrimmage but the refs called interference on the USC player(wtf).
    Third 10 wins including the other schools in the state is a good thing there is no “state championship,” do Helton was just being silly for Scott’s column.
    I guess you can add my harping on the refs to the death and taxes thing because I saw it in all the games this year.

  9. Such insight, so many new takes and thoughts in the Friday notes that I can barely process it.

  10. Scott once again proves himself the Gore Vidal of sports journalism. If the Rosen material doesn’t cause controversy, maybe the San Diego State material will……. and if neither generate outrage, there’s always the Ohio State stuff —-and if all the above isn’t working, throw in the closeness of the USC/UCLA game or Helton’s puerile announcement that USC has been given the State Championship Trophy in a secret ceremony.

    • It speaks to the state of journalism in this country. It isn’t about honest or insightful reporting it is how to generate controversy. Doesn’t matter if it is relevant or fair, put it lot there because if you’re wrong there is 0 accountability for it. SW is teeinke and an editor should be talking w him about his job, but it’s no better at Wash Post, NYT, LAT, etc.

        • You have an unique ability to observe and understand, it’s refreshing.
          I’m glad you’re part of the Trojan family

          • Ditto, Gabby. I never expected to find so many smart, fun people in one place. Kinda the opposite of Thanksgiving with the in-laws.

          • We’re not related are we, I think we have the same in laws!

            During dessert last night my sil was mentioning how much my brother likes cake. Now of course he’s my younger brother, and I guess she doesn’t realize I e known him longer than she, oops off on a tangent again. Anyway, she tells me it’s why he loves to go to weddings.. so I told her I already knew that. I said it was the reason he married her. Then out of the blue she gets all upset like I said something wrong. WTH?

          • Pudly, my dear friend, what you’ve described sounds like a scene from “Roman Holiday” compared to what yours truly endured yesterday.

          • I know (or “I no” —as Ed would say). To tell you the truth, I would prefer two and half rooster pizzas in a row to what I put up with yesterday. [What do you say when someone tells you that “The Black Hole” was the best movie they ever saw]?

          • Well my mil starts every conversation with “if you were smart”, which is funny since she dropped out of high school..

          • I don’t think family get togethers are really the best way for everybody to spend the holidays. Personally, I always feel like Jerry Lewis taped to a chair listening to Sandra Bernhard sing “Come Rain or Come Shine” in “The King of Comedy.”

          • My father-in-law has a distaste for turkey,we do prime rib. Which is great because I’m not a big fan of turkey. It’s the good thing about their four day stays

          • I’ve changed it up many times for Thanksgiving, and although turkey is ok by me I’m more a stuffing type guy for some reason. Seems like turkey is turkey, but stuffing or dressing can be quite different. Usually my family will make multiple proteins, so as to create more confusion and mayhem.

  11. What is USC’s record against THEE Ohio State since the 1974 Rose Bowl Loss? We own their sorry A.

  12. Pitt scores w/ under 2 mins in the 3rd qtr, 17-7.

    Go panthers, another ACC power losing to an unranked team.

    • It’s really really hard to win every game. The blogger seems to think that all you have to do is be USC and it should automatically happen. Today’s game is more proof. Miami may end up winning, but college kids sometimes lose focus or momentum and lose games they shouldn’t. That is why I am excited for our guys this year, we are finding ways to win. Fight on.

      • Many here fit the narrative to suit their needs. Miami has won most games by a very close margin, many times coming from behind, and the commentators described it as a strength being able to overcome your adversaries. Here, it is frowned upon. Miami’s sos is lower than ours.
        I just love SC Football and I don’t care how we win as long as they manage, and to be frank, I’ve stayed a fan through many years they haven’t, it’s not easy.

        • Me too. Went to my first game when I was 6 years old. Been a fan for over 35 years. Seen good and bad. This year is undoubtedly good. And as you know, I like Clay as well and believe he will be a really good coach for a long time. It’s not easy to do what he has done the last two years.

          • I don’t care to comment on the coaches during the season, I’ll leave that to those so inclined as long as the facts they use are correct. There are many here with agendas, and admittedly I’m one. Mine is the team.

  13. This staff could be NFL bound, can’t imagine the Cleveland Browns wouldn’t be interested in Helton and his stellar staff !

    • Have you considered institutionalization? Heard they’ve got a Black Friday special, just for the likes of you.

  14. Wolfman, Ohio State vs. Stanford/WSU would be competitive in the traditional sense of a close game… Ohio State vs. southern cal would be competitive in a unique sense as OSU 2nd team would be competitive in it’s success against southern cal as the OSU 1st team.

    We will likely never know since southern cal will be going to the fight hunger chicken bowl after getting their butts handed to them by anyone representing the Pac-12 North!

  15. Scooping Scooter, can he help himself from posting about Pitt’s upset win against Miami and how Miami beat ND big and ND beat USC big so how bad is USC? Let’s hear it Negative Nelly

  16. Scooter, more importantly, will Usc allow you to report on the team by going with them or will u have to report from ur secrecy location which is ur basement?

  17. A lot can happen. I wouldn’t give up hope on the playoffs. Michigan bears Ohio state, Ohio state beats Wisconsin. Committee would take sc over one loss wisconzin. Miami lost. South Carolina beats Clemson, and Clemson beats Miami. Would committee take hotter 2 loss sc over 2 loss Clemson. Tcu beats Oklahoma, would committee take sc over 2 loss big 12 team?. Off course notredame would have to loose to Stanford, and Alabama would have to beat auburn, so you only have one sec team

  18. Gomer vs Urbie with 3 weeks to prepare … well wait Gomer doesn’t prepare during breaks

  19. Scott’s a typical example of the reason John McKay hated the USC alumni: A bunch of sad sacks.

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