I love Pete Carroll but he got his comeuppance on Saturday. Judging from the picture above that had to a be a long walk back to the locker room...
SC fans had better buckle up. Because of the last 7 seasons of dominance, EVERYONE is going to be lining up to take their shots at us after this loss. I saw it with the comments of the Stanford players on the sidelines, I saw it with Harbaugh's comments after the game and I saw it with that clown Tim Brando on CBS. We will see it with others. On TV and in print.
What many SC Fans are feeling right now is how many of our competitors felt after SC trounced them over the years. It happens and now it is our turn. We will get through it...
Now for some hard observations... I am going to try to look at the bright side as best as I can but that will hard. After what we saw today, it is going to be tough to look at anything in a positive light...
I honestly think PC has lost this team. I did not see a lot of heart out there today. I honestly wonder if they actually buy into what he is selling. A meltdown like the one we are witnessing this season could have some tough ramifications...mostly in regards to recruiting. Recruits see the type of effort out there today and have to wonder WTF. That is not the SC I know.
There will be many that will now critique and criticize everything perceived wrong with this team. From play-calling to the coaches on staff, from pre-game preparations to the effort of the players on the field. Everything will be under the microscope. That might not be a bad thing.
Many of these players will be back next year...and right or wrong probably many of the coaches. Pete Carroll will get his fair share of recruits but I doubt he will achieve the level of success that he saw just a couple of years ago. I think the big knock on Pete Carroll that has really taken root is that with all that talent he always loses the game he should not. If SC lost in Columbus but won out this season, I think many fans would have accepted that. The ‘Shoe is a tough place to play but the other losses the past 3 seasons who we should not have lost have made many fans scratch their heads.
There were some flashes of some nice things out there today. However, it was hardly consistent. Maybe this is the wake up call Pete Carroll needs; he has been living off the Reggie and Matt years without getting back to that plateau. It wasn't just today... there have been a number of things over the past few seasons that a number of people have complained about. There have been some great games that he and his team(s) have given us over the years but it is clear this year that he really mishandled a number of things.
I would like to think that this sort of adversity is just the thing Pete Carroll needs. It is a new feeling for him getting dominated like this twice in a season. How will he respond?
I pretty much kept quiet but it is time to reexamine that.
Pete Carroll has set the bar high so it all lies with him.
The question is simple...is Pete Carroll as hungry as he was after the 2001 season? Does he have the desire and drive to get back where SC once was?
I am not talking about or going to go down the road of pining for Norm Chow. That ship has sailed, and those of you still pine for those days need to let it go...Continuing to pine for something that is NEVER coming back diminishes your credibility. There are plenty of other things to examine.
A more valid complaint is that if PC was going to go in a different direction on offense then he should have went with a little more experience. Kiffin and Sark were serviceable but that was because there was a lot of talent and a lot spillover from those MNC years. Pete also needs to get out of the way of the offense...he is a defensive guy. I understand that he will want to know what is going on with the offense. So, set some parameters but let the offensive coaches you hire do their thing. If you do not trust Jeremy Bates or John Morton then why hire or promote them?
I think it is safe to say that USC fans are tired of hearing how many players Pete Carroll puts in the NFL. There is no reason why some of this talent cannot get over the hump while at USC. It is a nice after thought but not if those players are not going to produce before going after the riches of the NFL.
We all marveled at all the running backs we have had but the way they have been utilized never let one RB become dominant. It actually telegraphed some of our play calling and some will say that goes back all the way to NOT having Bush in the game on 4th & 2. PC's love affair with Joe McKnight early on hurt the development of some of the other backs. The coaches constantly force fed McKnight when he was not ready. There was no reason not use him sparingly...He was never going to be a Reggie Bush clone. He doesn't have the size or speed and certainly not the hands. McKnight got a pass on his inability to hang onto the ball that other backs did not get. I think that affects development. It also affects attitude. There was no carrot and stick. Sure, McKnight made some great runs and this year he finally hit his stride but SC needed another Thunder & Lightning combo and because PC wanted too much of a good thing he neglected developing that type of combo.
The Defense for as dominant as it once was has not developed the fundamentals. Tackling is still sub par; wrapping opposing players up is non-existent. Yes, Pete Carroll has made some adjustments the past few weeks but the team is not playing with fire.
I could probably go on all night...
Change is needed; I am one of those fans who will always look for the positive in just about anything the program puts in front of me.
For the most part Pete Carroll has given us some great seasons...the run could not last forever. But if PC is going to get back to that level he is going to have make some changes...on and off the field...from coaches to play calling, from recruiting to player development. It all has to be on the table. Pete needs to have some serious introspection. Finishing the season with two wins is not going to be enough. The team needs to regain its fire.
How they do that right now is anyone's guess...