The college football gods have determined that the 88th edition of what we once declared to be “The Hood vs. The ‘Wood” — USC (5-5, 4-4) taking it upon themselves to go to the Rose Bowl and have an extended tailgate with UCLA (2-8, 2-5) – shall begin at 12:30 p.m., and be televised by Fox (KTTV-Channel 11). While not officially the “can’t miss” game of Week 12 — these are the most combined losses for the two teams coming into this game in the series history — it certainly comes very early in the calendar year that we can remember for one of the nation’s top rivalry contests. For the record, only four other times has this been played on a Nov. 17 (2012 at the Rose Bowl won by UCLA 38-28; 2001 at the Coliseum won by USC 27-0; 1990 at the Rose Bowl won by USC 45-42 and 1984 at the Rose Bowl won by UCLA 29-10).
* More blither-blather: USC leads the all-time series with 47 wins, 37 losses and seven ties, even after vacating wins in 2004 and 2005.
USC has also won the last three in row, including 28-23 at the Coliseum last Nov. 18 when Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen decided to participate against each other.
* As far as anniversaries go:
* This is the 10th anniversary of USC’s 28-7 win at the Coliseum in 2008. No. 5 USC (11-1, 8-1) clinched the Pac 12 title as Mark Sanchez threw for 269 yards and two scores, while Joe McKnight ran for 99 yards and a 12-yard second-quarter TD against UCLA (4-8, 3-6) under first-year coach Rick Neuheisel, who, at the time, said the Bruins were going to monopolize the town. How’d that turn out? The other significant thing: For the first time in 26 years, both teams wore dark home jerseys.
* This is the 20th anniversary of UCLA’s 34-17 win at the Rose Bowl in 1998. The No. 3 Bruins (10-0, 8-0 in the Pac-10) under Bob Toledo won their eighth in a row over the Trojans (7-4, 5-3) as freshman DeShaun Foster scored all four touchdowns. His 65-yard TD came two plays after USC freshman Carson Palmer led a drive to close to within four. This was also UCLA’s 20th win overall, but two weeks after this, they had a make-up game at Miami and absorbed a 49-45 loss to ruin any national title hopes, and then lost to Wisconsin 38-31 in the Rose Bowl.
* This is the 25th anniversary of UCLA’s 27-21 win at the Coliseum in 1993. The headline in the New York Times read: “3 Yards From Rose Bowl, U.S.C. Throws It Away.” The reference was to USC quarterback Rob Johnson trying to score a go-ahead touchdown, failing twice on running plays and a pass to tight end Tyler Cashman was picked off by UCLA’s Marvin Goodwin in the end zone with 50 seconds left in front of 93,458 at the Rose Bowl. USC had just seven yards rushing for John Robinson while UCLA (8-3, 6-2) had 243 yards on the ground for Terry Donahue to take a 17-0 halftime lead. “This is a changing world,” said Donahue. “The Berlin Wall has come down and now UCLA has won with the Rose Bowl on the line.” Then UCLA lost to Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. USC (7-5, 6-2) went on to beat Utah in the Freedom Bowl in Anaheim.
* This is the 30th anniversary of USC’s 31-22 win at the Rose Bowl in 1988. The lead by Rick Telander in Sports Illustrated for this one:
“Chicken pox, whooping cough, measles, mumps,
Fumigate, inoculate, Bruin chumps!”
It continued: “This is L.A, baby and you get drama any way you can.”
They still call this “The Measles Game” as USC quarterback Rodney Peete was diagnosed with the contagious diseases the week before and played anyway against Troy Aikman and the Bruins in what is considered among the top games in the rivalry history. “What Troy Did To Troy” was one way the L.A. Times headlined this one as Aikman, leading the nation in pass efficiency, had three passes picked off in the final 20 minutes after building a 13-0 third-quarter advantage. He had just 11 of 26 completions for 171 yards. Peete was 23 of 35 for 304 yards and two fourth-quarter scores. No. 2 USC improved to 10-0 (8-0 Pac-10) before its meeting with No. 1 Notre Dame the next week (a 27-10 loss) and a loss to Michigan in the Rose Bowl. No 6 UCLA, an 8-plus point favorite, were 9-2 (6-2) and went to the Cotton Bowl, defeating Arkansas. Peete and Aikman finished second and third in the Heisman voting behind Barry Sanders.
* This is the 50th anniversary of No. 1 USC’s 28-16 win over UCLA at the Coliseum in 1968. It was John McKay’s ninth season, and O.J. Simpson’s Heisman Trophy year that led to a Trojans team ranked No. 1 coming in. After this, USC tied Notre Dame 21-21 the week later, then lost to No. 1 Ohio State 27-16 in the Rose Bowl to finish No. 4 in the final rankings. In Tommy Prothro’s fourth season, the Bruins finished 3-7, 2-4 in the Pac-8, losing seven of its last eight.
* This is the 60th anniversary of a 15-15 tie at the Coliseum in 1958.
Track star Luther Hayes’ 74 yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 6:50 to play, plus a two-point conversion, deadlocked this game for the Trojans. USC finished 4-5-1 and 4-2-1 in the PCC under Don Clark. Halfback Don Buford led the team in rushing before he would go onto play pro baseball. UCLA finished the season 3-6-1 (2-4-1 in the PCC) as Bill Barnes finished as the head coach, with George Dickerson leading the team for the first three games.
* This is the 75th anniversary of USC’s 20-0 and 26-13 wins over UCLA in 1943: In the midst of World War II, the four-team Pacific Coast Conference crowned the Trojans as the winners with an 8-2 overall mark, 5-0 in conference play, with two of the wins over the Bruins to open and close the season. The Trojans stuck to a West Coast schedule and played teams like Saint Mary’s Pre-Flight, San Diego Navy and March Field (the Army’s Air Force based in Riverside). Coach Jeff Cravath took the team, ranked as high as No. 4 in early November, to a 29-0 win over No. 12 Washington in the Rose Bowl. It was a terrible year for UCLA coach Babe Horrell as the Bruins finished 1-8 overall and 0-4 in the PCC.
* This is the 80th anniversary of USC’s 42-7 win in 1938: The Trojans won the 10-team Pacific Coast Conference with a 9-2 overall mark, 6-1 in the league after tying Cal. In Howard Jones’ 14th season, USC followed up with tie win over UCLA by shutting out No. 1 Notre Dame 13-0 at the Coliseum and, ranked No. 7, toppled No. 3 Duke 7-3 in the Rose Bowl. USC outscored its opponents 172-65. The Bruins (7-4-1, 4-3-1) under William Spaulding played three more games after this USC encounter and made their first appearance in a bowl game – a 32-7 win over Hawaii in the Jan. 2, 1939 contest known as the Poi Bowl.
Also in Week 12:
In the Pac-12 on Saturday:
Utah at Colorado, 10:30 a.m., Pac 12 Network
Oregon State at Washington, 1:30 p.m., Pac 12 Network
Stanford at Cal, 4:30 p.m., Pac 12 Network
Arizona at Washington State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Arizona State at Oregon, 7:30 p.m., Pac 12 Network
Elsewhere on Saturday:
The Citadel at Alabama, 9 a.m., SEC Network
Ohio State at Maryland, 9 a.m., Channel 7
Michigan State at Nebraska, 9 a.m., Channel 11
Syracuse at Notre Dame, 11:30 a.m., Channel 4
West Virginia at Oklahoma State, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7
Indiana at Michigan, 1 p.m., FS1
Cincinnati at UCF, 5 p.m., Channel 7
Iowa State at Texas, 5 p.m., Longhorn Network
San Diego State at Fresno State, 7:30 p.m., CBSSN
The life of a local college basketball team. Week 2 of the season finds Loyola Marymount having to travel to Montego Bay, Jamaica to participate in two games during the Jamaica Classic — against Georgetown on Friday at 5 p.m., then vs. Ohio on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., both scheduled for CBSSN.
Wait a sec: Georgetown is coached by Patrick Ewing. Who is from Jamaica. Seems like the Lions aren’t going to get much of a break from the locals.
Rival Pepperdine, whose game against Cal State Northridge was postponed because of the fires in Week 1, also gets a nice trip — to Nassau in the Bahamas, for the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase Tournament. They open against Towson (Friday, 5 p.m.) and opponents/times to be determined for games on Saturday and Sunday.
The rest of the local schedule:
* UCLA vs. Saint Francis (PA), Pauley Pavilion, Friday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Part of the Las Vegas Invitational that goes vs. Michigan State, North Carolina or Texas next week)
* USC vs. Stetson, Galen Center, Wednesday at 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network
* Long Beach State at Arizona State, Monday at 6 p.m., and at Mississippi State, Friday at 6 p.m., SEC Network
* Cal State Northridge at LMU, Galen Center, Tuesday at 6 p.m., and vs. Portland at the Matadome, Saturday at 7 p.m.
* Pepperdine at Northern Colorado, Tuesday at 6 p.m.
If we may be so bold to declare the most watchable game of NFL Week 11 isn’t happening until Monday night, Nov. 19 – the 9-1 Rams’ trip to Mexico City to take on 9-1 Kansas City. Instead, the only L.A. offering will be the 7-2 Chargers, with a 5-1 mark in the division and winners of six in a row, playing host to 3-6 Denver, with a 1-5 mark in the division and losers of two straight, at the StubHub Center (Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Channel 2).
To finish up Week 10:
* N.Y. Giants at San Francisco, Monday at 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Also in Week 11:
* Green Bay at Seattle, Thursday at 5:20 p.m., Channel 11/NFL Network
* Philadelphia at New Orleans, Sunday at 1:25 p.m., Channel 11
* Minnesota at Chicago, Sunday at 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
Bye weeks: Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, N.Y. Jets and San Francisco.
The Golden State Warriors’ first of several trips to L.A. happens Monday when the Clippers are picked to play host (7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket). No surprise the defending NBA champs have posted a 11-2 record out the gate, and Steph Curry leads the league with a 29.5 points-per-game average, with Kevin Durant fifth at 26.9. The Warriors also lead the NBA with 121.9 points a game and a 41.9 percent from 3-point range. Who’s second? The Clippers, at 39.6 percent, which may help explain why they’re second to the Warriors in the Pacific Division. Network-wise, TNT has decided to grab the Clippers’ Staples Center Game against San Antonio (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.). The Clippers week ends on Saturday at Brooklyn (3 p.m., Prime Ticket).
The Lakers meanwhile go national with another encounter against Portland (at Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet) before going to Orlando (Saturday at 4 p.m., SSN) and dropping in on Miami (Sunday at 3 p.m., SSN).
A recent story posted on ESPN.com claims that NHL players are going cuckoo for coconut water. The most popular is COCO5, made by some company in Chicago. “About three or four years ago, they started putting it in the fridges in our locker room,” Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. “I knew there were a lot of benefits to it, I like the taste to it, so I started drinking it more. Gatorade is mainly for the games for me. It’s on the bench, and it’s good when you’re sweating a lot, but I know it’s a lot of sugar, so I try to stay away from it when I can.” And then there’s response from the Kings’ Drew Doughty: “Guys try to pick up on these things all the time. nd then they become fads. This might just be a fad. Gatorade has always been around, so I just drink that.”
Perhaps Doughty won’t be stocking up on the coconut water when the Kings visit Chicago this week (Friday, 5:30 p.m., FSW).
The rest of the week for the Kings:
* At Staples Center vs. Toronto, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., FSW
* At Nashville, Saturday at 5 p.m., FSW
The week for the Ducks:
* At Honda Center vs. Nashville, FSW
* At Vegas, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., NBCSN
* At Honda Center vs. Toronto, Friday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
* NASCAR ends its season with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead in Miami, Sunday at 11:30 a.m., Channel 4