I often read elsewhere that USC has underachieved in not winning an MNC since Norm Chow left at the end of the 2004 season.
Well, yeah ok so we haven't won one so what's the point? Chow didn't win them all by himself, one of the criticisms of Chow is that he either doesn't like to recruit or that he isn't very effective at it.
The talent that has been amassed at USC over the past coupe of years may not have developed to what we saw in 2002, 03 and 04 but can anyone honestly tell me that had Chow stayed that we would have beat Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl? In that game we were absolutely decimated on defense going up against a QB that could single-handedly win a game with his own sheer will. Would Norm Chow prevent Reggie Bush from lateraling the ball, which turned into a fumble. When SC came roaring back in the 2nd half I don't recall Chow calling the plays from his home where ever that was.
Can anyone explain to me what Chow did to recruit the talent that he was able to coach and develop? As mentioned above, Chow doesn't like to recruit and Carroll does, so what Carroll brought in talent (Leinart) Chow was able to develop. It was a symbiotic relationship but at some point all relationships end. Ego has a lot to do with these sorts of relationships falling apart as Wolf explains here.
"I think they wouldn't mind if (Chow) left," said an associate of Carroll and Chow. "I think it's about ego and maybe they are tired of Norm. They don't need him anymore."
Now, to be fair, Chow could also be aloof and paranoid at times and his quiet demeanor is not the type of personality Carroll seems to prefer on his coaching staff.
This may not have been handled correctly but divorces never are. This was a classic clash of the titans, no pun intended.
I like Chow and respect him for all of his accomplishments but lets not get carried away. Any self respecting UCS fan would be nuts not to be concerned about what Chow could potentially do across town, no whistling by the graveyard here but there are no givens in life. I would agree that the USC offense has clearly shown a difference in stewardship since Chow left. But what makes some shake their heads is seeing what possibly could have been. Carroll did not replace Chow with someone special but instead he replaced Chow with his godson and then another 30-something in Sark. So until Sark proves himself with several full seasons of similar work to Chow, Carroll is rightly going to take some heat for what happened.
Like it or not folks it Pete Carroll's show and he gets to pick who he wants to be on his staff. That doesn't mean that Carroll makes the right hires but to this point SC is still in the national discussion 3 years after Chow left. Norm Chow was a valuable piece to the programs rise but he wasn't irreplaceable, no one is. Of course had he stayed there is a good chance that SC could have had 4 MNC's but like I said there are no guarantees.
So to me the question is simple do I think Chow will a strong impact on the future of ucla football? Yes I do but if Chow is so invaluable what will it say if ucla doesn't win an MNC in say 3-4 years? Does that mean that Chow is overrated? Or does it mean that he's lost his touch. You live by the sword and you die by the sword. Our friends from across town seem to think that that Chow is the magic bullet toward relevancy, that's an awful lot of pressure and expectation to place on one person, especially without a lot of talent in cupboard.
Slick Rick has yet to prove that he can win with his own players, he is an average recruiter at best which is why it was so important to keep Walker as he is the one who opened up the inner-city to ucla. Chow is a name that will bring instant recognition and credibility we all agree on that but it will take his best work to get ucla to the promised-land.