USC has always had a desire to live a little bit in the past. We are not as bad as ND about it, but tradition and heritage are a big part of the university's identity, especially when it comes to Football. When McKay left the next two coaches were his assistants. In fact, in the course of Trojan history a whopping 2 coaches have had no connection to the USC coaching tree. Carroll and Larry Smith. Heck we even brought Robinson back for an encore. There will always be the drive and desire to try to recapture the past, whether it was Carroll's sunny upbeat practices, or McKay's boozy pressers at Julies. Sadly, you can't go backward. Julies is a parking garage, and if they let fans come to practice we will be summarily executed by the NCAA.
Instead, I propose we all move forward. Lets try to remember the good things about Kiffin's tenure. The defeat of UCLA 50-0, Beating ND in south bend, Kiffin wearing that silly beanie when defeating Oregon at Autzen, but most of all lets close the book on the last 4 years. I hope that these last 8 games of the season can serve as a celebration of all things Trojan. Lets welcome a hardworking assistant who bleeds cardinal and gold, and see if our boys can't ruin someone's season. If they lose -- oh well, but maybe, just maybe, if the stars align they can pick off Stanford or UCLA, or surprise ND. No more booing or gnashing of teeth, that battle is over and there's no point in continuing its acrimony.
As we move forward I hope that the Athletic department will also embrace a new beginning. Haden impressed me today. He was decisive, and it was very clear that Football is a priority. In addition he showed that he harbored the same concerns that many of us have shared since the season opener against Hawaii. I hope that Haden takes this focus into the coaching search and looks beyond the obvious easy choices and finds someone who could be really great. USC needs someone who will respect traditions, but bring some life to the program. New ideas, and a new way of doing things are crucial. The Kiffin era, like the Robinson II era, always seemed to me an exercise in nostalgia, a collective wish that maybe things could be like they were, but that's impossible. The future is there for the taking, if only we have the courage to seize it.