The Grim Reaper very active in the sports world the last day or so . . .
Notes from the Golden Orange
EppsNet Archive: USC
This would be a better video without Fallon but you take the bad with the good and Fight On!
I lost track of the number of headlines I saw this week regarding how USC (3-3) could possibly be a 3.5-point favorite over undefeated and third-ranked Utah (6-0).
It’s weird that no one in sports journalism seems to understand what a point spread really is.
It’s not a prediction. It’s not a scientific analysis. It’s a gambling mechanism. The only purpose of a point spread is to distribute the betting equally on both teams so the bookmaker can pay the winners with the losers’ money.
USC is a 3.5-point favorite for one reason and one reason only and that is because there are more people willing to bet on USC than there are people willing to bet on Utah, so a carrot is offered in the form of 3.5 points to induce more bettors to put their money on the Utes.
Substitute any other team . . . Team X is a betting favorite because more people want to bet on Team X than on Team X’s opponent.
“Team X is a betting favorite” is not the same thing as “Vegas thinks X is the better team.” Vegas has no opinion on who has the better team. That’s why point spreads fluctuate, sometimes by a lot. If too much money comes in on Team X, the point spreads changes to be more favorable to X’s opponent.
Cal hasn’t fielded a roller hockey team since 2011 but the boys (and one girl), including our kid, got a team together this season, rejoined the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League, and they’re playing their first tournament this weekend, with games against UC Santa Cruz, USC, UC Irvine and UC San Diego.
No scholarships and you pay for your own unis and travel expenses.
Also featuring the USC Marching Band horn section . . .
I’m sad. As a lifelong Laker fan, I kind of feel like I knew the guy. He bought the Lakers in 1979, which means he was younger than I am today, and now he’s dead at the age of 80. I feel old.
Dr. Buss was a USC alum. Fight on.
R.I.P. Jerry Buss
Sorry to spoil Reggie Miller Jersey Retirement Night at the new Pauley Pavilion, but you should know better than to schedule these things against the Men of Troy.
We’re up here in Berkeley for Parents Weekend. I was saying since we arrived that this looks like a winnable game for Cal and couldn’t find one person — student or parent — to agree with me. Cal was 1-4, UCLA was 4-1.
Cal fans are conditioned for disappointment. I’m a USC guy and USC fans were the same way in the pre-Pete Carroll era. Fans showed up for games not to cheer on the team but to bemoan another disappointing performance.
This is a nice wakeup call for the Bruins. Despite their record and ranking coming into the game, they’re not very good.
What is this simpleton Rick Neuheisel doing as a studio analyst on the Pac-12 Network? How many Pac-12 football programs has Rick Neuheisel destroyed?
Let’s review . . .
You wouldn’t know it from watching them lose at home today to Colorado State, but the University of Colorado was an elite program, a national championship winner, when Neuheisel inherited the program from Bill McCartney. Colorado football has never recovered from Rick Neuheisel.
Washington Husky football, thanks to Steve Sarkisian, is just starting to recover from Rick Neuheisel.
I can’t say that Neuheisel wrecked the UCLA football program because there wasn’t much to wreck, but he was at least as bad and probably worse than his abysmal predecessor, Karl Dorrell. Neuheisel’s last game at the helm was a 50-0 dismantling by USC, the worst loss in the rivalry in 70 years.
Neuheisel is a stupido. He looks stupid. He sounds stupid. He’s killing my enjoyment of the games and he’s killing the credibility of the network.
Cal opened their new stadium with a 31-24 loss to Nevada. The Bears looked sloppy, more like a high school team.
That said, time to switch over to Fox and watch some REAL football at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum as the top-ranked Men of Troy take care of some Unfinished Business!
Penn State announced that its uniforms will feature player names on the back of its jerseys for the first time in school history. Once the Nittany Lions run out on the field this weekend, USC football will be the only FBS school never to have had surnames on the back of its jerseys.
By being traditional, USC football has become unique…
We don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey because there is no name on the back of the jersey.
We only have numbers so our moms can recognize us from the stands.
USC baseball alum Bill “Spaceman” Lee, age 65, pitched a complete-game 9-4 victory for the San Rafael Pacifics of the independent North American League Thursday night, to become the oldest pitcher to win a professional game.
Lee already held that record anyway, having won a Can-Am League game in 2010 at age 63.
The notable thing here is that for some reason, professional pitchers in their prime can no longer do what a 65-year-old man can do, and that is to pitch a complete game.
If you’re too young to remember Bill Lee, he was a major league pitcher from 1969 to 1982, primarily with the Boston Red Sox. He is regarded as one of the game’s all-time colorful characters. (If you’re wondering whether that reputation is deserved, Baseball Almanac has compiled some Lee quotes for your perusal.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82 – Cosmic Log
I’m sorry to hear this. For people my age, NASA and the space program were such an important part of our childhood. We’d wake up any hour of the day or night to watch launches and splashdowns.
Astronauts were as famous as pro athletes and rock stars . . .actually, they were more famous than athletes. Being a pro athlete in the 1960s wasn’t what it is today.
It would be nice if I could let this go without mentioning that Armstrong was a graduate of the University of Southern California, but I can’t.
R.I.P. Neil Armstrong
It’s move-in weekend at UC Berkeley, the world’s greatest university . . .
How many schools even have Nobel Laureates on the faculty? Of those that do, how many of them teach small classes for freshmen and sophomores?
Ivy League schools, with the exception of Harvard, are coasting on their reputations. When’s the last time you heard of an enterpreneur from Dartmouth or Brown or Yale?
Stanford is great in engineering and business but limited in other areas. Also, top professors at private schools would rather piss on a spark plug than traffic with undergrads.
That said, the University of Southern California football season starts Sept. 1 against Hawaii. The Men of Troy!
FIGHT ON FOR OLD ‘SC! OUR MEN FIGHT ON TO VICTORY!
I feel a personal connection with events in the Middle East.
- Mohamed Morsi Is Elected President of Egypt (mashable.com)
Oakland Raiders sign Matt Leinart to back up Carson Palmer
Deja vu! Here’s a picture of Matt Leinart backing up Carson Palmer 10 years ago.
Backing up both of these guys was Matt Cassel (#10), who has so far had a better NFL career than Leinart, despite a college career in which he threw zero touchdown passes and never started a game.
I don’t know who the other two kids are. The coaches are current Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian and current Hawaii head coach Norm Chow.
Junior Seau Dead in Apparent Suicide
Seau was a legend in San Diego, where he lived and played most of his career. He was also a legendary member of the USC Trojan Family.
The number 55 is now synonymous at USC with great Trojan linebackers, but Seau was the player who made the number famous. It has since been worn by Willie McGinest, Chris Claiborne and Keith Rivers and is only assigned at the head coach’s discretion.
This picture was taken just a couple of weeks ago at the USC Spring Football game. He doesn’t look like someone ready to end his own life, but you never really know what someone’s life looks like from the inside.