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And then there was One...

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Brandon Carswell was cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse yesterday leaving only Broderick Green as the only USC not yet cleared.

From Wolfs blog:

Freshman wide receiver Brandon Carswell was certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse on Tuesday, leaving only tailback Broderick Green as the lone player without clearinghouse approval. If Green is not approved by Thursday, USC will drop his classes in order to avoid losing a year of eligibility in case he does not receive NCAA approval.

As I have said before you can never have a enough talent and Green has shown us some interesting things in training camp. Having him available will give SC another round to load in the chamber. It will be disappointing if he doesn't get cleared but not the end of the world. More important it once again shows that you can never have enough talent.

Following that theme there is an interesting article in the Daily News this morning asking just that question.

You can't help but wonder if the program would be better off with a few less star players and a few more role players.

There's quality depth, and then there's quality overkill, and the upheaval of guys bailing on the program.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of USC's five-year, 59-6 rampage has been just how rare player defections have been. Even as this and that Mr.All-World Super Prep found himself marginalized.

I have issues with this article but I want to back track with a personal story to set up where I am going. About 15 years ago I started working with a guy who was tops at evaluating talent and finding ways to use a persons strengths and abilities to succeed while minimizing their weaknesses. The central theme of his tutelage was that you are only as good as your last sale and that you need to always find ways to adapt within the business in order to succeed. You always have a down year here or there but the key is always being able to keep you overall "chart" on a steady incline not peeks and valley's.

I was also taught that it is far better to be in the middle of the upper third of the sales organization than always at the top. You will always be noticed for solid work and the pressure to continually succeed when you are right at the top won't be there to slow you down. Guys who constantly perform are going to get noticed and their roles and responsibilities increased, guys who have flashes of brilliance but with an over all impression of average production may not always be the go to guy.

5 years ago I was part of an organization that full of rock stars we won award after award and when you sat in a sales meeting you could look around and say that there weren't many organizations in our business that could move product the way this group could. Sure, we had some guys who were less than stellar but while we had a lot of guys always finishing near the top individually the group as a whole was always in the top third of the entire organization. Then 3 years ago it blew up...violently. Egos had a lot to do with it but in the end the branch manager lost all control because he couldn't manage expectations and he played favorite with some of his team instead spreading out resources proportionally based on performance.

Pete Carroll is doing that here, effectively managing his resources, you have a bunch of rock stars but only based on what they did at a lower lever (high school). The stakes are much higher at SC.

I found this comment the most telling:

Is it possible for a team to have too much talent?

Seems preposterous on its face, and Pete Carroll said so.

"That's crazy," USC's football coach said Tuesday. "No. No. That's crazy."

Then posing as his own interlocutor, he said, "How good do you want to be?" "We only want to be this good." And then he walked away, apparently satisfied he had put the question to rest.

I don't care how many stars there are next to your name if you want to succeed at SC you have to fit in and that means you have to compete. Sometimes that means you have to switch positions or go from offense to defense.

How about this:

You can't help but wonder if the program would be better off with a few less star players and a few more role players.

There's quality depth, and then there's quality overkill, and the upheaval of guys bailing on the program.

That may be, but these guys didn't have to commit either. They could have gone elsewhere but they chose to take their chances at USC.

I understand part of that last quote, but plenty of 4/5 star talent have learned to be role players and then gone on to have solid careers. Reading this article makes me feel like the karma gods are going to punish SC because of their ability to attract top talent, as if there isn't going to be anything left for anyone else. Please, this wild run we have been on has proven that you can have you cake and eat it too. It will not last forever so I trust Pete Carroll to do what he feels is best. He certainly won't waste the talent that he amassed unlike the other coach from across town. We may not have won the big one the last couple of years but we have been a lot closer than most especially that 2nd rate football program in Westwood.