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What's at Stake

I was chatting with DC Trojan last night about not being able to adequately post some things up over the last few days as I tie up some loose ends before some things I have coming up next week. And while I have no problem multi-tasking I said I just didn't feel like posting another story calling Sarkisian an idiot or questioning all the issues that currently plague this team. I am certainly not giving up on this team but I have pretty much said my piece and now we will see how the coaching staff gets the team ready to play today.

Today's game has a lot more riding on it than just where SC will be playing in the post season. A loss today will demand some serious questions that will demand some serious adjustments in the off-season. For the most part Pete Carroll has had a free pass in how the team has been run and developed. A loss today changes that.

As I have said numerous times I was not buying to the preseason hype in regards to this team as a whole. I definitely thought the defense would be the stars of the show but without a dominant running back or go to, game tested receivers it was a little hard for me to swallow all that was being shoveled by some in the MSM.

The lack of player development has been the issue that has plagued this team the last two years. A lot has been made out the lack of take-a-ways but to me that is more a product of not having a quick strike offense that forced our opponents to try and play catch-up. I am more concerned about over pursuing on defense, the lack of discipline that has caused too many penalties on both sides of the ball and the terrible tackling that continues to let opposing players get extra yardage that ultimately keeps drives alive.

Steve Sarkisian and by extension Pete Carroll have been roundly criticized for the conservative play calling in regards to Mark Sanchez; that to me is telling because John David Booty has not progressed enough from last year to get Sanchez the time he needs to comfortable with the playbook. That lack of continuing development is attributed to two things, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. I am not going to pine for the Chow years but Pete Carroll's not hiring an adequate replacement for him clearly has been where this team has suffered on offense. USC is not on the job training and to me both Kiffin last year, and Sarkisian this year have not been up to the task to develop the talent that was at their disposal. Their job was easy in 2005, said for that pesky 4th and 2 against Texas. With the talent they were given, their lack of depth in the play calling and the lack of development of the offense showed in our losses to Oregon St. and ucla. They aren't the only ones, I still chaff at Pat Ruel not developing the O Line in regards to their lack of understanding line calls and such and the receivers clearly are not ready for prime time on a consistent basis.

I will be a little tongue-in-cheek here but I’m not really surprised that Sarkisian is having problems getting things going, I mean anyone who went WASTE, I mean West Torrance High has serious issues in my book. Having graduated from rival South Torrance High it’s hard for me to ever give credit to anyone who went West High.

Sarkisian was part of the perfectly executed Notre Dame moment but now has the lead role in designing the USC offense with Kiffin coaching the Oakland Raiders. Sarkisian, who turned down the Raiders job, has been hailed as one of the brightest young minds in football, but if you ask a certain segment of the fans, he wouldn't be brought in to lead the offense at West Torrance High or El Camino College, where he starred at quarterback.

That was cemented later in the Oregon game, when quarterback Mark Sanchez was asked to pass on second-and-1 at the Oregon 29-yard-line.

That’s for damn sure, maybe Sarkisian spent too much time going to F600 club meetings instead of reading the playbook. Those who know the South High - West High rivalry you will understand the F600 reference.

So a lot is on today, its not all doom and gloom but there is an 800lb gorilla in the room and it needs to be addressed.