The NCAA released its academic-progress reports today and USC is football is just 10th among Pac-12 schools with a multi-year score of 948. That is seven points better than last year when the Trojans ranked 11th. For the blog commenters (of course), UCLA is No. 3 at 975.
But if you take only the single-year APR scores, USC actually bested UCLA, 963-958. Full scores after the jump:
Here’s a photo of USC captains Tim Tolman (left field) and Doug Stokke (shortstop) hold the NCAA championship trophy next to Coach Rod Dedeaux after the Trojans’ 10-3 victory over Arizona State in 1978. Stokke set a USC-record for career hits (189) in the game. It was Dedeaux’s final title at USC. Pitcher Bill Bordley held ASU to six hits in nearly 8 innings. Pitcher Rod Boxberger was named Most Outstanding Player and made the all-tournament team with Stokke, Tolman, first baseman Dave Hostetler and center fielder John Wells. Photo courtesy Omaha Wordl Herald.
Former USC tight end Bryce Dixon, who is no longer enrolled, has yet to request his release from the football program to transfer to another school. At this point, he still must sit out a year and schools need permission from USC to contact him.
Florida freshman tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe has reportedly left the program and will transfer to USC. He is the older brother of wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, who recently committed to USC.
Daniel was the first commitment of new Florida coach Jim McElwain and enrolled early. He was a three-star recruit for the Class of 2015. And given USC’s shortage of tight ends, had a much better chance of playing than at Florida.
Time for our next edition of coaching roulette, where we highlight a USC coaching staff of the past. Why? Because it is fashionable for USC coaches (like Lane Kiffin, etc.) to say they hired the best staff in America (which they did not). And who will become a head coach one day like some of the assistants below?
Let’s check with 1972: There was Ray George, who was an actual member of the Thundering Herd teams of 1937-39 and one of the greatest linemen in USC history. He played on the 1938 team that upset top-ranked Notre Dame and previously unbeaten and unscored-upon Duke in the 1939 Rose Bowl. He later became the head coach at Texas A&M and beat coaching legends Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma), Red Sanders (UCLA) and Bear Bryant (Kentucky).
Then there was wide receivers coach Wayne Fontes, who was the Detroit Lions head coach from 1988-96. He is the only Lions coach to lead the team to the NFC championship game (1991) and he drafted Hall of Fame tailback Barry Sanders over some objections.
Offensive coordinator John Robinson succeeded John McKay at USC, where he won a national title, and also coached the Los Angeles Rams, where he reached two NFC title games.
We now have our second over/under season-victory total for USC and UCLA and it’s not much different than last week. The sportsbook 5Dimes lists USC at 8.5 and UCLA at 9.5. So we seem to have a split between the initial sportsbooks and preseason college magazinez/Danny Kanell. Or this is some lack of faith in coaching?
You can bet the USC women’s golf team is talking about the format change the NCAA made this year to the championship. The Trojans were first after four rounds, which in the past would mean they won the title. But the top 8 teams now go to match play and in the semifinals, Stanford defeated USC 3 and 2.
ESPN analyst Danny Kanell picks USC No. 3 in his preseason top-four poll. This is the same person who said after the Josh Shaw incident last August that it was a chance for UCLA to take over in recruiting.
“I think this is a huge opportunity for UCLA to take a firm grasp of that city in recruiting, in the state there, and really taking over as a powerhouse in the state. There is so much talent on the West Coast,” Kanell said.
You can make a case that Gus Williams (1972-75) was the most successful player in USC history. An All-American in 1975 (which by itself puts him above many better-known players), Williams then enjoyed a stellar pro career, scoring 14,093 points and averaging 17.1 points per game (by comparison Paul Westphal scored 12,809 points and averaged 15.6). Williams led the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1979 NBA title and averaged 28.6 points in the NBA Finals. He was a first-team All-NBA pick in 1982. His No. 1 jersey is retired by the Sonics.