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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Bruins Are Brushing Up on Their Lullabies

November 22, 2003|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Keith Jackson, who'll be announcing the Ohio State-Michigan game today, was asked during a conference call with reporters earlier this week about UCLA-USC.

"I think USC would have to take a nap to lose that game," said Mr. College Football.

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Trivia time: Heard on KSPN: Who was the USC quarterback who handed off to O.J. Simpson in the 1967 USC-UCLA game?

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One tactic: Former UCLA quarterback Matt Stevens, who appeared with Fox Sports Net counterpart and former USC running back Petros Papadakis at Friday's Pasadena Quarterbacks Club luncheon, was asked, "How do you stop USC?"

"Create a roadblock on Figueroa," Stevens said.

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A time for prayer: Tom Joyce delivers entertaining invocations in rhyme at the Pasadena luncheons, and Friday's included this passage:

"The Bruins are praying for a victory, if you please;

"Williams and Leinart have done more than the Pope to bring the UCLA fans to their knees."

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A real dye-hard: Of Papadakis' dyed hair, which is blue on one side, red on the other and gold in the middle, Stevens said, "He looks like a snow cone."

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Sack attack: Papadakis got in a few shots at UCLA, including: "UCLA has allowed more sacks than any team in Pac-10 history, well, this year anyway. USC leads the Pac-10 in sacks. How do you think those numbers are going to go?"

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Self-effacing shot: Papadakis was captain of one of the worst football teams in USC history -- 5-7 in 2000. "I have a legacy of failure, and I'm proud of it," he said.

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Don't bother Bo: Former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, on the same conference call as Jackson this week, was asked where he will watch the Buckeye-Wolverine game.

"I have a little cubby hole in the press box," he said. "I try to keep as many people as possible out of there. There are too many people in the press box who think it is a social event."

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Bo doesn't know: Schembechler, on USC dropping in the BCS standings: "I don't know how you beat somebody by 45 points -- I don't care who they are -- and then you drop a notch."

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A trusting sort: Schembechler said he once told Bear Bryant he didn't have a contract when he was coaching at Michigan, that he would just get one-year appointment letters.

"Bear told me, 'You're the dumbest coach I've ever met.' "

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Self-evaluation: Schembechler, asked to compare himself with current Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr, said, "Lloyd is a lot less volatile, and a nicer guy."

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Trivia answer: Toby Page.

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And finally: Loren Matthews, executive vice president of programming for ABC Sports, on all the controversy surrounding the BCS standings: "When you're in the television business, controversy is not necessarily a bad thing. Just spell ABC right."

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Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.

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