Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden, glib as ever, danced expertly around one of USC's pet peeves this week--or was he needling?
"I'm excited about playing out there at Southern Cal--excuse me, Southern California," Bowden said. "Southern California has such a great tradition, and stacks up there with Notre Dame as two of the greatest names in college football."
Bowden must have read the USC media guide closely. A boldfaced headline on Page 3 reads, "IT'S NOT 'SOUTHERN CAL,' " and urges the media to use USC, Southern California, So. California, Troy or Trojans--anything but Southern Cal.
Interesting that Bowden mentioned Notre Dame, by the way. Bowden called Lou Holtz to ask about USC and Pacific 10 officiating.
"We're pretty good friends," Bowden said.
Holtz lost his final game as coach last season to USC, 27-20, but didn't lose to the Trojans in his 10 previous seasons at Notre Dame.
USC tailback Delon Washington wants people to remember who the Trojans are.
"SC is always good," Washington said. "People should be intimidated by us, really."
Antoine Harris will start at tight end for USC, becoming the the first freshman to start at that position for the Trojans in more than 50 years. Complete records have been kept only since the end of World War II.
Harris, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder from Loyola High, took advantage of the practice time he got with Junior Rickman hobbled by a thigh injury, and might have pushed Rickman aside permanently.
Harris isn't to be confused with another USC player of almost the same name: walk-on cornerback Antoinne Harris, a sophomore.
This is the first meeting between USC and Florida State. . . . USC defensive linemen Marc Matock and Lawrence Larry held off challenges from Aaron Williams and Sultan Abdul-Malik for starting assignments.