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Lucky to Have Him

Pete Carroll is a force to be reckoned with.

Any self-respecting USC fan knows that Mike Garrett got lucky when he hired Pete Carroll to take over for Paul Hackett. Who would know what it would lead to? I was certainly shocked as I hade been here on the east coast during his time with the Jets and the Patriots. Pete wasn't popular here in NYC and I here he wasn't popular in New England. Like I said we lucked out and our luck has been the frustration of many others across the football landscape.

But now that we have had him for a while and we have seen what he has created, along with the help of those he hired in prominent coaching positions, you still have to marvel at the job he has done. Even when we are frustrated at bad losses or missed calls by the coaching staff there is certain solace that Trojans fans can feel because Pete Carroll has got us to the promised land before and I see no reason while he won't get us there again.

Pete Carroll is different breed of cat. He is still a kid at heart and every bit a competitor like the kids he coaches. He may be loose on discipline in the eyes if some but those who complain are the critics who would kill to have him coaching their program. His enthusiasm is infectious and a good many players have flocked to him because they want to experience that success.

Football coaches are hard-ass barkers with scowls on their faces and poly-blend shorts pulled up high. Great football coaches run boot camps. They break your will and slowly, if they deem you worthy, piece you back together in their image. They put the fear of God in you, humiliate you, lord over you from a distance, just waiting for you to screw things up so they can bring the hammer down. They're edgy. Paranoid. Surly on principle.

But this isn't that coach.

The season was all laid out before it began. A Heisman-candidate senior quarterback, an embarrassment of riches at running back, and the fastest, hardest-hitting linebacking corps in the country. Wins were there for the taking. Dominance was a given. The season was can't-miss, a mere prelude to a title game.

But this isn't that season.

You think of Pete Carroll as the golden boy, the guy with the surfboard under his arm and the party at Will Ferrell's on his docket. He's laid-back. He's short on discipline and long on confidence. He's the man USC boosters love to love and the man LSU boosters love to hate.

But this isn't that Pete Carroll.

No one has been more successful at selling that winning attitude than Pete Carroll. Yes, the only one that really comes close is Urban Meyer, but the Urbanator is located in a more closed society down there in Gainsville so while he may be king in the swamp it doesn't compare to the ritz and glitz that is L.A.

It hasn't been easy this season with all the high expectations that were put on this team and there have been some legitimate criticisms. So while there is some frustration right now is there really anyone else you would rather have? I could care less what our critics think, while they wallow in another season of mediocrity with no 100% confirmation that there will be a change USC and Pete Carroll just keep chugging along.

Yes, we were lucky to get him, but then it is better to be lucky than good.