Pete Carroll spent a year out of football before accepting the USC coaching job. When Jeff Fellenzer had Carroll as a guest on his "One-on-One" Charter cable show, he asked Carroll if during that time there were any college coaching opportunities that interested him.
Carroll said he'd called North Carolina to inquire about the opening at that school, but no one called back.
Wonder if the person who was supposed to call back now realizes that he or she might have made a mistake?
Trivia time: How many former UCLA players are general managers in the NFL?
Bruin vs. Trojan: Former UCLA quarterback Matt Stevens, also the Bruins' radio commentator on XTRA, and former USC quarterback Craig Fertig were invited to square off at the Pasadena Quarterbacks Club luncheon Friday.
At last year's luncheon, Stevens took on former Trojan Petros Papadakis, his counterpart on FSN West's "Southern California Sports Report."
"This is going to be tougher," Stevens said. "I actually like Craig."
Keys to the game: Fertig and Stevens were asked by luncheon moderator Harvey Hyde what each team had to do to win today's game.
Fertig, speaking on behalf of the Trojans, said, "Give the ball to Reggie Bush." Said Stevens: "Keep the USC players from getting off the team bus."
A quick sidestep: Hyde also asked the two former quarterbacks to predict the score of today's game.
Said Fertig: "USC 34, UCLA 28. It's going to be closer than people think because UCLA has good speed."
Said Stevens: "42-38. That's the score I'm predicting. You didn't say I had to predict the winner. You just said predict the score."
A bolder prediction: Former UCLA receiver Freddie Mitchell, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, said during a guest appearance on NFL Network: "I guarantee UCLA will beat USC."
Career detour: Former Bruin basketball player Bill Walton has a new gig. Beginning tonight, the longtime Grateful Dead fan will serve as the host of a weekly three-hour rock-music program, "One More Saturday Night With Bill Walton," on Sirius Satellite Radio's Channel 17.
Asked what John Wooden might think of one of his former players doing such a show, Walton said, "We are going to start the show after Coach Wooden goes to bed so that he won't have to worry."
The show runs from 9 p.m. to midnight every Saturday.
Looking back: Only once have USC and UCLA met in football on this date, and that was in 1937. USC won, 19-13.
Trivia answer: Three: Terry Donahue, San Francisco; Floyd Reese, Tennessee, and Carl Peterson, Kansas City.
And finally: Of today's game, Donahue said, "Strange things happen in rivalry games. You never know when a John Barnes is going to show up."
Larry Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.