Letters: Trojans are right where they deserve to be

Baseball cartoon.
(Jim Thompson / For The Times)

Bill Plaschke is upset that the Trojans are not considered College Football Playoff candidates. Really? Although they are undefeated, they have yet to win a game from a team that has a winning season. The combined record for opponents is 7-14, and the Trojans were lucky to win three of the five. Using his logic, Bill would have a better argument for suggesting San Jose State at 6-0 should be a CFP candidate.

Mark Mallinger


Can we all stop the idea of USC qualifying for the College Football Playoff? Yes, they are 5-0, but could easily be 2-3. After watching Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson play the last couple of weeks it was so obvious how far USC is behind these programs in every important category. Those other teams show discipline, aggressiveness, and are far better coached in all areas.


Regarding discipline, the USC football team showed how classless they are by taunting the UCLA players after the game. As a 50-year USC fan I was simply disgusted at their lack of discipline and professionalism. This is a prime example of the inability of Clay Helton to properly manage his program at the level required to raise USC to the top level of college football. As long as Helton is the head coach the best USC will ever do is to compete for a very weak Pac-12 title.

Bruce Olson

A win for USC over Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday will validate that the Trojans are back on track to prominence.

Dec. 17, 2020


I found the article you published on Monday with the headline “USC sets sights on Pac-12 title – and CFP” amusing. USC is certainly a good team but please note they built their 5-0 season against teams who cumulative record — 7-14 and not one team with a winning record.

They were originally scheduled to play Alabama and Notre Dame, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 this week, but those games were canceled due to COVID. USC gave up 550 yards and 38 points to an average UCLA team. Can you imagine what the Alabama offense would score against them? 1,000 yards of offense and 70 points seems about right. So let’s temper the homer attitude of The Times and realize USC is a good, not great, team in the worst major conference in the country.

Jack Nelson
Los Angeles


In football we know the prevent defense — a.k.a. “prevent us from winning” — is used when a team is ahead with time running out. Could somebody inform the UCLA


defensive coordinator that you should not use it at the start of the third quarter, giving opposing quarterback 10 minutes in the pocket and receivers a 20-yard cushion to catch balls.

Bob Martinez


When is Chip Kelly going to pull the plug on Dorian Turnover-Robinson? His two interceptions led to two USC touchdowns and sealed the Bruins’ doom. UCLA gets accolades for this season? They are .500, are you kidding me? Did I mention that two of their wins came against the two worst teams in the Pac-12, who had a combined record of 1-8? The UCLA football bar of success is set pathetically low.

Joe Novak
La Crescenta


As a long-suffering Bruins football fan, it was once again gut-wrenching to see us lose another tough game to the hated ones across town. There were many positives, however, as we certainly have improved since last year and it seems the Chip Kelly era is finally taking hold. The up-tempo, no-huddle offense, the super-talented receivers and running backs, a much-improved quarterback and a speedy aggressive defense give me much hope for the future. Meanwhile, an upcoming sweep in basketball vs. USC should help ease the pain.

Marty Zweben
Palos Verdes Estates


UCLA has gone from bad during Chip Kelly’s first two seasons to borderline electrifying, despite COVID-19 challenges. Is more improvement coming?

Dec. 18, 2020


Thirty years ago, Todd Marinovich broke the Bruins’ hearts with a game-winning touchdown pass with 16 seconds left at the Rose Bowl. Last Saturday, Kedon Slovis breaks UCLA’s hearts with another winning touchdown pass, again with 16 seconds left, this time in an empty Rose Bowl. Not so sweet 16 for this Bruins diehard, but at least this time I didn’t have to sit in Rose Bowl traffic to get home — I was already there.

Nick Rose
Newport Coast


When USC fell behind the Bruins by 18 points in the second half, I knew the Trojans had the Bruins right where they wanted them.

Brian Robinette
Van Nuys

Critical thinking

Monday morning quarterbacking is a critical component of the sportswriter’s creed; it comes with the job. We all have biases, moreover, and I get it. Dylan Hernández doesn’t like the Chargers. Or the Clippers. While berating the former, he managed also to take a shot at the latter:

“Look at the Clippers. They now have one the best owners in professional sports, they successfully recruited Kawhi Leonard and the city still views them as losers.”


Really? Since when does Hernández or any writer speak for an entire city? He doesn’t speak for me or thousands of other Clippers fans. The Clippers will never be as popular as the Lakers, not by a longshot. But who cares? Certainly not the sellout crowds who have pulled for the team at pre-Covid games.

A true loser doesn’t just have biases but is governed by them. Naysayers like Hernández love to revel in the bad old days. For the record, the Clippers have won 452 regular-season games during the last nine seasons; the Lakers, even with their dazzling 2020 championship run, have won just 301.

Howard Rosenberg
Agoura Hills


Bill Plaschke better start looking over his shoulder. There’s a new flip-flopper in town.

Dylan Hernández, Nov. 3:

“As crazy as this sounds, as improbable as this once seemed, the Chargers are positioned to overtake the Rams as SoFi Stadium’s main attraction.”

Dylan Hernández, Dec. 14:


“The Chargers are the one-of-a-kind last-place team that is worse than their 4-9 record indicates, as a never-ending succession of on-field gaffes have threatened to turn them into football’s version of the Sterling-era Clippers.”

Robert Bruce
Long Beach


It’s unfair for Dylan Hernández to compare the Chargers to the Clippers becoming a city joke, when in fact the Chargers have had that label long before the Clippers came to town. The Clippers are still trying to achieve the court jester status of the Chargers: Get it right, Dylan.

When you leave Los Angeles after one year of existence only to return, unwanted, 56 years later, only to play in a 20,000-seat stadium, you are a joke. The Chargers have been a tragic comedy for 70 years.

Martin Manigone
Arroyo Grande

Justin Herbert’s performance in the Chargers’ overtime victory over the Raiders confirmed he is their franchise quarterback, their identity, their future, writes Helene Elliott.

Dec. 18, 2020


Maybe, given the poor record and bad PR maybe the Chargers are rethinking their move from San Diego?


M. Lynn Mout
San Diego

Very forgiving

While watching “Monday Night Football,” I noticed Kareem Hunt is back in the league with the Cleveland Browns. Mr. Goodell, why don’t you send Ray Rice an apology letter and invite him back into the league also? While you’re at it, send Ezekiel Elliott a dozen roses with a note saying, “I’m sorry, Roger.”

Money talks, and money wins, every time.

David Pietrasanta

He likes Indians

Being that my 65th birthday is tomorrow on the 20th, I can honestly say that for the past 60 years I have road the roller coaster of emotions being a diehard Cleveland Indians fan. The disappointments of losing three World Series in my lifetime, twice in Game 7, does not compare to the disgust that I had this past week when the Indians, my tribe, announced that they’ll be changing their name. Granted, the Chief Wahoo logo that may have been seen as offensive could have been changed. But what is wrong with the name Indians?

Beware Dodgers fans.There’s many people out there who are still offended when young men avoided to fight for our country and chose to be draft dodgers.

Richard Katz
Los Angeles


Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke to reporters via video to discuss players’ futures such as third baseman Justin Turner and pitcher David Price.

Dec. 17, 2020


The only reason why college football continues playing, in spite of many games being canceled due to COVID-19, can be summarized in one sentence. ESPN pays $470 million annually to broadcast the College Football Playoffs.

Wayne Muramatsu

A big hit

So glad to see the great Negro Leagues finally recognized by MLB, as MLB has been recognized by the Negro Leagues for decades.

But your headline had it backward. This was a major upgrade for MLB, not the Negro Leagues, as MLB finally caught up with reality.

Kelley Willis


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