If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column
Imagine how unhappy Lynn Swann must be that he spent this week in Los Angeles instead of wearing his green blazer as a member of the hospitality committee at the Masters.
Swann was at Augusta last week but that was for the women's tournament, which is not the same as rubbing elbows with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
He obviously finally figured out the optics of being at Augusta would be terrible. Last week, his excuse was he accompanied three USC golfers to the tournament.
Wonder if he will show up at the final USC practice/scrimmage Saturday morning at Howard Jones Field. He could probably charter a private flight to Georgia on Friday night . . . if he thought he could get away with it.
New USC president Carol Folt sent out a message Thursday that included the following passage:
"I also spoke with the coaches and Athletics Department staff, and was on the sidelines for two Trojan victories, one in women’s lacrosse and the other in men’s volleyball."
Folt's probably been to more USC games in the past month than Swann.
There was also this: "I participated in the USC Board of Trustee’s annual conference, where we discussed critical governance issues. The Trustees have high expectations and a clear grasp of our university’s strengths, opportunities, and challenges. It was a pleasure to join them in planning for our future."
That was the trustee's conference Swann did not believe he needed to attend. So he went to an autograph show.
When USC coaches moved athletic sophomore Palaie Gaoteote from middle to weakside linebacker, it was a sign they didn't want him to deal with the complex nature of the middle.
"It's much simpler," Gaoteote said of his new spot. "There's definitely a lot of thinking taken out on my part. It allows me and the other guys to play fast."
John Houston and Jordan Iosefa are now splitting time at middle linebacker. I can't imagine Houston being too thrilled playing a new spot his senior year that he is probably not the right size to play.
Speaking of USC middle linebackers, Cameron Smith worked out with the Chargers on Thursday. He is pictured below with former USC-turned-UCLA player Caleb Wilson at the workout.
If you want a bright spot in USC's baseball season, look at pitcher Connor Lunn. He was the Trojans' closer last season but USC rarely had a lead to hold this season so he was moved to the starting rotation. Lunn's responded with a 5-1 record and 2.76 ERA. He has beaten UCLA, Arizona State and Utah the past three weeks in the opening game of each three-game series.
I mentioned a couple weeks ago USC played a great schedule in 1963 and ran a picture of it on a letter from then-athletic director Jess Hill.
"That was normal for USC," said assistant coach Dave Levy. "We lost three games and thought we had a better team than in 1962."
USC won the national title in 1962. But the Trojans returned stars like quarterback Pete Beathard, running back Willie Brown and wide receiver Hal Bedsole. There was also sophomore tailback Mike Garrett, who led the team in rushing with 833 yards.
"We all felt we would be better (in 1963)," Levy said.
USC opened the season ranked No. 1 but lost to No. 3 Oklahoma, 17-12, in Game 2. The Trojans lost to No. 7 Notre Dame at South Bend, 17-14, in Game 4. And they lost at Washington, 22-7, in Game 7.
They were only 4-3 before reeling off wins against Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA to close out the season.