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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: THE BOWL GAMES : BROTHER VS. BROTHER : Ex-Trojan Tody Smith and Ex-Spartan Bubba Have a Few Scores to Settle Going Into the Rose Bowl Game

December 27, 1987|MAL FLORENCE | Times Staff Writer

There is no rivalry quite as fierce, emotional and even amusing as one that pits brother against brother.

Such a rivalry is simmering now. It's not a physical confrontation because the brothers, Bubba and Tody Smith, don't play football any more.

They did, though, make an indelible imprint on the game--Bubba as a famed defensive linemen for Michigan State and the Baltimore Colts and Tody as a member of USC's "Wild Bunch," the defensive renegades of the late '60s.

Now they're into their own endeavors. Bubba's celebrity status was sustained with other renowned former pro football players on Lite Beer television commercials and he is still pursuing a productive acting career.

Tody, who played for the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers after he left USC, is a partner with Gary Kleinman, a company that manages all aspects of Bubba's career.

As the younger brother, Tody followed Bubba to Michigan State before transferring to USC. His loyalty is unquestionably with the Trojans.

So brotherly love is on hold now. For one week they'll be adversaries.

USC will play Michigan State in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, but the game is already heating up in Tody's office in Hollywood.

It still rankles Bubba that he was on a team that suffered one of the most shocking losses in Roe Bowl history, UCLA's 14-12 upset victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Michigan State in 1966.

Tody says that USC would have beaten Michigan State last September instead of losing (27-13) if it hadn't turned the ball over five times. He also reminds Bubba that USC is a 3-point favorite now and the Pacific 10 has won 16 of the last 18 games against the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl.

Bubba: "That's because they have these kids coming down from Michigan to Hollywood."

Tody: "They're staying in Newport Beach."

Bubba: "Newport Beach is Hollywood to them. California is Hollywood to them. It was the same way when we came out here.

"When we came to the Rose Bowl, we went to Disneyland, Lawry's and all that stuff. I couldn't handle Disneyland.

"You know, I'm going down in a submarine and seeing little fake fishes go by. I'm out there trying to concentrate on a football game.

"Then, you go around on a train in Disneyland and Indians were popping up. I'm thinking 'Why do we have to stay out here for this bleep?' I'm ready to go back to the hotel.

"Then, they put us in a monastery about a week before game. I said, why are we here? We were practicing twice a day and this was supposed to be our vacation.

"And that year I thought we had already won the national championship. That's the first year that the Associated Press waited until after the bowl games for another poll."

Michigan State had beaten UCLA, 13-3, at the outset of the 1965 season, setting up a rematch similar to Friday's game.

Was overconfidence a factor in the upset?

Bubba: "That didn't come into play. We knew that they couldn't block us. Can you imagine Donahue blocking me?"

Terry Donahue, UCLA's football coach, was recognized as the original gutty little Bruin as an undersized lineman in the 1966 Rose Bowl game.

Bubba: "He was the original gutty little thing that you could flip off with a forearm. He pulled to block and I wasn't paying any attention to him. What could he do?"

(For the record, Donahue was a defensive lineman in that game, but who is going to correct Bubba when he's on a roll).

"The only person I knew who was going to being playing hard for UCLA was Mel Farr. I knew that he would be playing over his head. We played against each other in high school in Beaumont (Tex.)

Tody: "The greatest game I've ever seen in my life was a game between Charlton Pollard where my father coached and Hebert where Mel Farr played. They were the black high schools in Beaumont."

Bubba: "I wanted to go to UCLA with Mel but Tommy Prothro (UCLA's coach) didn't think I was good enough.

"Mel called me one summer when I was at Michigan State and before I signed my letter of intent. He said, 'Hey man, I'm out at Dodger Stadium and I'm going out on Bing's (Crosby) yacht tomorrow.' I got so crazy. I had to get to California."

OK, but let's get back to the Rose Bowl game. Other than Disneyland, are there other reasons for the Pac-10's domination of the Big 10 in recent years?

Bubba: "Integration. Stop and think. I want to legitimize this. When we came out here most of the black ball players on the team were from Texas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. All of the good black players they used to get out of South are staying home now.

"Bear Bryant would tell our coach, Duffy Daugherty, about a black player who could really play even though Bryant couldn't recruit him. Then Duffy would go down south and get the kid."

Tody: "Bubba has a point and I was on a USC team in 1970 that changed the recruiting pattern in the South. We played Alabama in Birmingham in an opening game.

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