This one from Schlabach is head scratcher.
But is it enough at schools such as Ohio State and Oklahoma, where sustained success breeds outrageous expectations? The Buckeyes and Sooners are scrutinized more than most schools. Even USC, which has produced three of the past six Heisman Trophy winners and has littered the NFL with its former players, doesn't seem to be under such a powerful microscope.
The Trojans played for at least a share of the national championship for three straight seasons from 2003-05, winning an Associated Press title the first season and a BCS title the later. But USC coach Pete Carroll wasn't heavily criticized after the Trojans lost to Texas 41-38 in the 2006 Rose Bowl, a game in which his late-game strategy might have cost his team a national championship. Most people believed the Trojans were just beaten by a great player, Texas quarterback Vince Young.
USC seemed to get a free pass even after it was upset by Stanford 24-23 last season, a stunning loss that ultimately knocked the Trojans out of the national championship race.
A Free Pass? Against Texas? Really? Did Schlabach even watch the game? Did he see the injuries we had on defense? Again the late game strategy is a no brainer He needs to read this to finally understand that SC did what they did all season.
As for Stanford...Hardly, as I wrote here.
It is clear that SC may have been living off of its laurels and that chicken appears to have come home to roost. To me it is glaring not to have hired adequate replacements to replace the assistants that that went on to other opportunities. Even more glaring is not even having all the coaching slots filled, as is the case with special teams. SC has been accused of arrogance in the past and for the most part they have either brushed it aside or backed it up on the field, but when you have numerous problems on special teams and no coach to specifically address those issues that is a recipe for disaster.
That arrogance also explains why the team seemed to take Stanford lightly in their planning for the game. They did the same thing with Idaho. Pete Carroll has always been known for his intensity and his "leave no doubt" persona so I'm surprised that the game prep for both Stanford and Idaho was taken so lightly.
SC was hardly given a free pass after that embarrassment, Schlabach needs to get out more.
As for expectations we have been pretty realistic in what we expect.
No one is expecting 13-0 every season. I'm happy with a Rose Bowl appearance every 3-4 out of 5 years because it denotes our command of the Pac-10. I am also happy if we are in the hunt for an MNC at the same time. So, while I NEVER like to lose I understand that you can't win them all. Of course we don't know every single detail that goes on in Heritage Hall, which is why we question what we are seeing. I won't blame the players for the pre-season hype and I guess you really can't blame the coaches. But seeing that Jackson has brought up the issue of talent, what I will question is with the talent level that we supposedly have, how is it that player development is not where it once was? Like was discussed earlier in regards to the offensive line. How come Turner can't seem to hang on the to the ball? How is it that Stanley Havili, as valuable and productive as he is at the FB position, still misreads routes or drops simple dump passes that kill productive drives?
What Schlabach misses is that this isn't some fluke happening at USC. SC has been in the national discussion year in and year out for the past 6 -7 years. Winning breeds excitement and increases expectations. Sure you'll get a few nuts out there but as long as Pete Carroll is recruiting top talent, scheduling and winning tough OOC games its hard not to expect consistent results.
I mean come on...
2 National Championships (played for a 3rd)
6 straight Pac-10 Titles
6 straight 11 win seasons
3 Heisman Winners
Multiple Top 5 recruiting classes
5-1 in BCS Bowls
Kind of hard not to get excited and expect great things...
Jeez get a clue!