Can’t get enough USC football news? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.
1st & 10:
First Take… “Pete’s Over” reads the headline from Tom Friend’s piece at ESPN concerning USC’s failed attempts to recapture the magic of Pete Carroll’s reign as head coach of the Trojans.
The article explores the aftermath of Carroll’s departure with the usual “bombshells.” Anonymous sources claim the players staged a mutiny hoping to convince athletic director Mike Garrett not to hire Lane Kiffin. There’s criticism of Pat Haden’s tenure from former Trojan player Riki Ellison, who penned a lengthy treatise calling for the AD to step down. All the usual “fall of Troy” poeticism.
But there was also this gem:
“Every once in a while, the Trojans still flex their muscles on the field — such as last Saturday’s 42-24 beatdown of No. 3 Utah — but all the victory did was confuse a fan base that is still paying for the Carroll era more than five years later.”
USC is paying for the Carroll era.
This kind thinking has become far too common. It needs to stop.
If the price of two national championships, two Heisman winners, six BCS bowl wins and a win percentage of 83.6% is two failed head coaches who never once dipped below seven wins in the last five seasons, I’m willing to pay it.
Let’s not pretend that the Carroll era wasn’t the greatest time to be alive as a Trojan, perhaps ever. The failures of Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian are not Carroll’s failures.
Even the NCAA sanctions, which were levied because of infractions committed during Carroll’s time as the head coach, have been near-universally acknowledged as overly harsh — at least by those who bother to know the full story. So holding Carroll responsible for those seems harsh as well.
Even after all that, USC still has a roster loaded with talent and every ability to challenge for conference and national titles.
And let’s not pretend that finding another head coach who is capable of restoring what Carroll built shouldn’t be the Trojans’ number one priority.
USC’s sin was not in trying to relive the Carroll era. Any school administration that would look back at that run of success and say, “We definitely don’t want that again,” would be considered insane.
USC’s sin was attempting to find that magic in the wrong places, turning to Carroll assistants — both offense-oriented — rather than targeting an unaffiliated coach with Carroll’s profile — an energetic, defense-minded motivator.
So enough of this “Pete’s Over” narrative. Pete’s proteges may be over, but returning to that level should always be the goal.
And Ten USC Football News Links…
- Reign of Troy: USC revealed the proposal to renovate the Coliseum on Thursday, with $270 million worth of upgrades, particularly to seating.
- Reign of Troy: Michael Castillo counters some of the push back on the plans for the Coliseum, arguing that the upgrades are exactly what USC needs.
- Reign of Troy: We examined the five biggest things to watch for when USC takes on Cal, including the turnover battle on both sides and the Trojans’ ability to put together a streak.
- LA Times: Gary Klein explores how improved depth has helped USC manage the current injury crisis with key receivers and offensive lineman going down.
- OC Register: Michael Lev updates some of those injuries, including Steven Mitchell who is a game-time decision, and Tre Madden and Taylor McNamara who should be ready to play come Saturday.
- ESPN: The stakes are high for both quarterbacks when it comes to draft evaluations this weekend.
- USCFootball.com: Ryan Abraham asks the question — Has any quarterback in college football history had to deal with the distractions Cody Kessler has faced over his five-year USC career?
- Bleacher Report: Ben Kercheval wonders if Clay Helton can earn the Trojan head coaching job by winning out.
- LA Times: He may look like the hero right now, but Helton was a villain for the staff’s Halloween trick-or-treating last week. He went as Darth Vadar.
- Daily News: Scott Wolf breaks down USC’s potential options for the new head coach.
Stat of the Day:
Cal leads the nation in takeaways with 22 already this season.