SHELBURNE: With swagger gone, USC is facing identity crisis

Full story: LA Daily News

Two weeks ago, the Trojans were stunned. Glassy eyed, slack-jawed and stunned. At what Oregon had done to them, at the way Oregon had done it to them, at how far they had fallen.
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Joseph

Westminster, CA

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#1
Nov 14, 2009
 
1st?

They'll get it back. 7 years is a long time to remain that dominant in any sport. Especially one where your players can only stay around for 4 years max. Losing quality coaches doesn't help either.
cmc

Los Angeles, CA

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#2
Nov 14, 2009
 
USC richly deserves Stanford's 2-point attempt after recently trying to steal our top recruit who had already verbally committed. Not to mention the innumerable insults thrown our way in the past. I have trouble feeling sorry for U$C.
RESPIRATO

Long Beach, CA

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#3
Nov 15, 2009
 
the defense has quit........
TONY FROM EAST L A

Costa Mesa, CA

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#4
Nov 15, 2009
 
that taylor guy is really a dirty player, did you see the hit on that stanford guy when he crossed the goal line?
R U Serious

Bellflower, CA

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#5
Nov 15, 2009
 
TONY FROM EAST L A wrote:
that taylor guy is really a dirty player, did you see the hit on that stanford guy when he crossed the goal line?
Taylor Mays is sustaining the most physical damage with the late hits and he will wind up breaking his back or neck before long.
RESPIRATO

Long Beach, CA

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#6
Nov 15, 2009
 
R U Serious wrote:
<quoted text>
Taylor Mays is sustaining the most physical damage with the late hits and he will wind up breaking his back or neck before long.
ACTUALLY TAYLOR IS PLAYING IT SAFE EVER SINCE HE HURT HIS KNEE AT OHIO STATE HES BEEN VERY CAREFUL....REMEMBER HES A TOP 5 DRAFT PICK...THAT TRANSLATES TO SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS....LOOKS LIKE THE EMERALD OR POINSETTA BOWL IF THE TROJANS ARE LUCKY......PETE'S NEVER HAD A TEAM QUIT ON HIM TIL NOW....WHAT DROOVE IT OUT OF THEM ??????
Trojan Fan

United States

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#7
Nov 15, 2009
 
The identity crisis is Carroll's love of Barkley and not pulling a struggling quarterback to provide a spark and leadership.
Spike

San Jose, CA

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#8
Nov 15, 2009
 
HA HA HA, poor USC. Everyone hated on Spike when apparently I was the only one who saw the writing on the wall after the OSU game and said it was over, but alas not only is it over, but all you Trojans will forever look back as this season as the season that so many school records were set. I esp like yesterdays 'most points given up at a home game.'

Gotta love the arrogance in the quote 'we get have all the best recruits, we are USC, we are supposed to win all our games'. An you wonder why everyone hates on SC. Funny thing, maybe when you get all the best recruits year after year after year, it becomes a little like inbreeding and you have being come the conference idiots. That or maybe SC just plain suc.ks. With that said, good luck in the Cheerios Bowl, no National Championship for you this year!
Donovan in Alhambra

Alhambra, CA

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#9
Nov 15, 2009
 
1(of)2

ONE WORD comes to mind when attempting to describe and explain USC's loss to Stanford yesterday and earlier to Oregon: HUBRIS

Scott Wolf wrote: "Carroll's options were limited Saturday because he either coaches a really bad team or his team is badly coached."

Could it not be a combination of both? Pete Carroll certainly did not inherit any of the current USC Trojans. These are ALL His Players. Did Coach Carroll and His Staff not evaluate, recruit, and put on the field every single one of them? Upon further review, the players are 'just kids' either teens or young men barely entering their 20's, but what excuse do the coaches have?

Is not the greater burden and RESPONSIBILTY for getting the kids in the 'right' frame of mind, game planning, play calling, and overall solid preparation...on The Coaches...and no one else? Is this not simply what coaches are SUPPOSED to do? What they are paid the big bucks to do?

At any level in organized sports, and especially at a Big Boy college program like USC, the buck stops with the coaches -- and ultimately at the desk of the Head Coach: Pete Carroll.

Hubris is Pete Carroll thinking that an outcome such as yesterday's could never happen, even while he was hemorrhaging assistant coaching talent on both sides of the ball. No. The stage for such losses was being set, and things started to unravel, when Pete Carroll began losing (or firing) talented assistants over the years. Perhaps the biggest loss being that of Norm Chow, arguably the Greatest Offensive Coordinator in college football history.

The list of players Coach Chow has developed reads like a Who's Who of Quarterbacks: Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Philip Rivers, Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart. The last three also joining the distinguished fraternity of past Heisman Trophy winners. In 23 seasons as an offensive coordinator, Norm Chow has coached 8 of the top 14 career passing-efficiency leaders, and 13 quarterbacks who rank among the top 30 in NCAA history for single-season passing yardage. Think true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley has potential? Just imagine what heights he could have reached under the tutelage of Coach Chow. Pity that fans of the USC Trojans football team will probably never know. Sources suggest that Carroll was jealous of Chow's successes, and did not appreciate that most of the credit for the offensive juggernaut that USC had become was given to Norm Chow, while he was purported to be only 'in charge' of the defense. The record shows what has happened in the years since then.

Hubris is Pete Carroll thinking that he alone, or he with a few junior (i.e. young and inexperienced) assistants who bow down and genuflect in his presence, could easily manage the coaching duties on both sides of the ball.
Donovan in Alhambra

Alhambra, CA

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#10
Nov 15, 2009
 
2(of)2
It has now become a sad (for Trojans fans) historical FACT that USC has never won another national championship after Norm Chow was unceremoniously kicked to the curb by Pete Carroll. Coach Chow, with his impressive resume and credentials, was dumped in favor of two younger assistants: Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. And where are Kiffin and Sarkisian now? Both have moved on. Net loss: USC.
And, what about that vaunted defense, which has seemingly always been Pete Carroll's calling card? Gave up 47 points to Oregon, and 55 points (55!!!) to Stanford. The 55 points being THE MOST EVER SCORED BY A USC OPPONENT in all-time history. There are no words. It simply boggles the mind.
The loss of last year's linebacking corp certainly has hurt the defense, however, this is USC. With their deep stockpile of talent, The Trojans are supposed to be 're-loading' and never 're-building' during the Pete Carroll era...remember? After yesterday, it is apparent, that this myth has been soundly debunked. If Pete Carroll wants to receive the lion's share of the credit for the successes, he must be willing to accept an equal share of the blame for the failures. It has now become clear that a micro-managing Coach Carroll cannot possibly 'do it all' by himself with minimal help from his assistants. There is a reason why assistant coaches in the SEC earn as much as head coaches in other conferences.
Perhaps the loss of defensive coordinator, Nick Holt, who left for the University of Washington (recruited by Sarkisian when Steve left for the head coaching job at UW) has had more impact than anyone could have anticipated. Under Holt, the USC defense was ranked first nationally in scoring defense and second in total defense. Perhaps if the Trojans still had Norm Chow's experienced and steady hand to guide the offense, Pete Carroll could have devoted more time to helping the defense compensate for Nick's departure, not to mention the loss of their stout linebacking corp of Maualuga, Cushing, Matthews, and Maiava.
Offense. Defense. Special Teams. A table needs at least three legs to stand solidly. If any one leg is shorter (weaker) than the other two, it places a greater burden on the other two, and the table becomes unbalanced. It may still stand for a time, but this is not a blueprint for long term success. Players graduate and leave a program every year. The same does not have to be true (nor should it) with assistant coaches.
Hubris. Fatal flaw.
No one coach (not even Pete Carroll) can do it all OR be it all by himself. The USC Trojans football team needs to not only recruit and stockpile the best high school talent, they need to hire top-notch assistant coaches to mold those young men and develop them into the best football players they can be. At the heart of the matter, is a matter of the heart, Coach Carroll needs to search his own to examine what painful lessons he learned from yesterdays' historic loss to Stanford.
Donovan in Alhambra
Bill R

Ocean Park, WA

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#11
Nov 15, 2009
 
Donovan in Alhambra wrote:
1(of)2
ONE WORD comes to mind when attempting to describe and explain USC's loss to Stanford yesterday and earlier to Oregon: HUBRIS
Scott Wolf wrote: "Carroll's options were limited Saturday because he either coaches a really bad team or his team is badly coached."
Could it not be a combination of both? Pete Carroll certainly did not inherit any of the current USC Trojans. These are ALL His Players. Did Coach Carroll and His Staff not evaluate, recruit, and put on the field every single one of them? Upon further review, the players are 'just kids' either teens or young men barely entering their 20's, but what excuse do the coaches have?
Is not the greater burden and RESPONSIBILTY for getting the kids in the 'right' frame of mind, game planning, play calling, and overall solid preparation...on The Coaches...and no one else? Is this not simply what coaches are SUPPOSED to do? What they are paid the big bucks to do?
At any level in organized sports, and especially at a Big Boy college program like USC, the buck stops with the coaches -- and ultimately at the desk of the Head Coach: Pete Carroll.
Hubris is Pete Carroll thinking that an outcome such as yesterday's could never happen, even while he was hemorrhaging assistant coaching talent on both sides of the ball. No. The stage for such losses was being set, and things started to unravel, when Pete Carroll began losing (or firing) talented assistants over the years. Perhaps the biggest loss being that of Norm Chow, arguably the Greatest Offensive Coordinator in college football history.
The list of players Coach Chow has developed reads like a Who's Who of Quarterbacks: Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Philip Rivers, Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart. The last three also joining the distinguished fraternity of past Heisman Trophy winners. In 23 seasons as an offensive coordinator, Norm Chow has coached 8 of the top 14 career passing-efficiency leaders, and 13 quarterbacks who rank among the top 30 in NCAA history for single-season passing yardage. Think true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley has potential? Just imagine what heights he could have reached under the tutelage of Coach Chow. Pity that fans of the USC Trojans football team will probably never know. Sources suggest that Carroll was jealous of Chow's successes, and did not appreciate that most of the credit for the offensive juggernaut that USC had become was given to Norm Chow, while he was purported to be only 'in charge' of the defense. The record shows what has happened in the years since then.
Hubris is Pete Carroll thinking that he alone, or he with a few junior (i.e. young and inexperienced) assistants who bow down and genuflect in his presence, could easily manage the coaching duties on both sides of the ball.
Your comments on Chow may be correct, but your logic is flawed
when you assume that Chow would be content to ever remain under
Carroll or anyone else at USC. With football coaches getting
the pay packages at leading universities today to expect a
school ... even USC ... to furnish a similar pay package for
one assistant doesn't make any sense at all.
rich

Warrior, AL

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#12
Nov 15, 2009
 
Hard to have pity
Bill R

Ocean Park, WA

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#13
Nov 15, 2009
 
Though it is tempting and even enjoyable to
celebrate the demise of a so-called dynasty,
even one that has been so ridden with ego and
arrogance as USC's, what is being overlooked is
that other PAC-10 teams have improved in
significant ways. East Coast bias in the
ranking system has difficulty acknowledging
this. As evidence I'd submit that USC's being
ranked significantly higher than Oregon ...
after Oregon lost to Stanford by less than 10
points just a week later.

It never seemed to occur to those voting that
maybe, just maybe, Stanford had a darn good
team. Given the USC bias the assumption was
that Oregon's win over USC was a fluke, so
Oregon was punished but even MORE significantly
for their loss.

Even more significantly, even after defeating a
Top 10 team in the polls (Oregon), Stanford
STILL couldn't be for in the Top 25 2 days
later.

The East Coast voters don't see it because they
are in bed after the weekly masturbation over
the SEC and don't even WATCH PAC-10 games, and
over 60% of those who vote in the polls are in
the East. Its not entirely their fault, as
the network executives give preference to USC
over any other PAC-10 school. Its about money,
as always, given the viewership of Southern
California vs. Northern California, Arizona, or
the Pacific Northwest.
Bill R

Ocean Park, WA

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#15
Nov 15, 2009
 
rich wrote:
Hard to have pity
I lost any ability to pity USC after watching
USC beat up on any and everyone, with Carroll
leaving his starters in and running up the
score when they were ahead by 30 points in the
4th quarter. I laughed my a$$ off when a
friend of mine complained about Oregon beating
up on USC two weeks ago, as he just assumed the
privilege of poor sportsmanship and classlessness
belong to USC. He complained about Stanford last
night as well.

When Carroll was beating up on lesser teams his
response was to spout off about how it was the
responsibility of the lesser team to stop his
offense rather than change the play calling or
put in the second or even third team. Now his
fans have this sudden awareness of how sickening
and humiliating it is to watch your team get
drubbed mercilessly and give us the California
whine about fairness .... or deflecting their
miserable performance in 2009 by puffing about
their 7 years of "dynasty."

Laughable.
Jack

Simi Valley, CA

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#16
Nov 15, 2009
 
What we saw yesterday at the Coliseum was the fruition of a season of mistrust between coaches and players. Talent can make up for this for only a short time, but sooner or later you will be exposed because of mistrust. This MISTRUST began with PC fawing over two players, Joe McKnight and Matt Barkley. Granted, McKnight has had a solid year and he is doing a much better job of protecting the ball and running hard, but as a number of players have observed, there is one set of rules for him and another set for others. The same goes in the Aaron Corp/Matt Barkley QB situation, why was it that PC was hell bent on Barkley playing as a true freshman, when logic says that there is no way a true freshman can come into a BCS conference and LEAD a team to a title? As one of the above posts stated; maybe PC really believes that he can do this with substandard assistant coaches because he is PC.
Somehow, someway PC has lost the formula for what has made SC successful over the last seven years. He needs a COMPLETE overhaul of his coaching staff, because there is too much talent on that team to be getting blown out like they did against Oregon and Stanford. That goes back to coaching plain and simple. Whether PC actually acknowledges this and makes some changes remains to be seen. If he doesn't, SC could be in for another long year next year.
ProdigalBruin

Lake Forest, CA

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#17
Nov 15, 2009
 
The luster is off the turd!

PB
Hometown Fan

United States

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#18
Nov 15, 2009
 
The Fall of Troy will hopefully clear out all the bandwagoners and the TRUE fans will emerge.

Did you see the Coliseum yesterday during the 4th quarter? Empty, with only the true fans remaining (and the bandwagoners on their way home - thinking of what team to hop onto next). Pretty sad....

I guess the USC gear I've been seeing out there these last few years won't be out as much.

Nothing WORSE than bandwagoners. Maybe they should trade in their colors for the most dominant sports program in the nation ....

...that's right - UCLA.

Go Bruins!(bandwagoners not welcome!)

Go Bruins!
PaulM

Los Angeles, CA

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#19
Nov 15, 2009
 
It has slowly been coming ever since Chow/Davis departure and inbred replacements. Some of us warned then, few listened.
Trojan Fan

United States

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#20
Nov 15, 2009
 
We need to prepare another starting quarterback. How about an option QB. Things can't get worse. Carroll don't be stubborn-give it a try. We need a spark. Go SC!
Bill R

Ocean Park, WA

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#21
Nov 15, 2009
 
Hometown Fan wrote:
The Fall of Troy will hopefully clear out all the bandwagoners and the TRUE fans will emerge.
Did you see the Coliseum yesterday during the 4th quarter? Empty, with only the true fans remaining (and the bandwagoners on their way home - thinking of what team to hop onto next). Pretty sad....
I guess the USC gear I've been seeing out there these last few years won't be out as much.
Nothing WORSE than bandwagoners. Maybe they should trade in their colors for the most dominant sports program in the nation ....
...that's right - UCLA.
Go Bruins!(bandwagoners not welcome!)
Go Bruins!
Sorry, but I've lived in L.A. and the place is too jaded and
full of itself to hang in there with anything less than
championships on a regular basis .... regardless of the sport
or level of competition.

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