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Mail Bag!!

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I do not do this often, but I found this email interesting for a few reasons...

A "reader" writes...

Your article is way to harsh on the program and Pete etc. Did you forget that last year we were 12 – 1, Pac 10 Camps and Rose Bowl Champs and finished the year ranked number 2 in the coaches. This team lacks the players due to huge numbers of injuries, is very young and has had to face the best Pac 10 I can remember. Even a great coach such as Pete will have to go through the rebuilding years.

You mentioned Coach McKay. Let me remind you that he had to do the same thing. Remember, and I was there, we went 6 – 4 in 1970 and 71 and lost to Stanford both years. And then we came back with the 72 team that went undefeated, won the Rose Bowl and the National Championship. Coach McKay also had the same experience with his first great team in 1962.

You seem to lack perspective on what it takes to win in major college football. I would suggest you show some additional patience and understanding.

Ah yes, the old timer perspective...

Gee, live in the past much?

As usual, the full story is never told.

You'll have to forgive my tone seeing the writer feels he can be unreasonably condescending...(wags finger)

The writer makes some fair points but he misses the boat at the cause of my frustrtaion.

I can handle getting dumptrucked in our last two losses. I can accept the argument of youth, depth, injuries and players leaving for the NFL. I understand that we played 6 of our first 9 on the road, that is a daunting task for even the most experienced teams. And yes, I have seen our record over the past few years...it is tremendous! No one has really accomplished as much as Pete Carroll has...

But.

What I cannot accept, what I will not accept is this...

The score -- and the 27-0 tally in the fourth quarter -- didn't show it, but the Trojans continued to fight even when the game became unrealistically out of reach. Coaches and players were passionately encouraging each other on the sidelines, especially when the mountain got steeper to climb in the second half. Pleas of "keep fighting!" and "bring your heart!" rang on the sideline throughout the game. And it was that never-say-die attitude and unwillingness to relent that Carroll lauded in the locker room after the loss.

It is one of my personal pet peeves...I hate getting BS'd. I hate it when people try impose an ignorant thought process on me when the whole world saw something different.

Go shovel that shit somewhere else.

Pete may not have wrote it but he certainly endorsed it.

Did the writer of the above email not see how lost the defense looked last Saturday? Did he not see how ineffective Matt Barkley was in the second half?

Why was that?

Hmmm...maybe coaching?

That was not a Pete Carroll coached team as we are used to seeing. So, PC held it together with smoke and mirrors until the whole dam broke, it happens and many of us accept that. But then don't throw out propaganda that the team did not quit in the 4th quarter when all evidence pointed to the contrary. I understand that PC can't throw players under the bus but don't throw that shit out there either...he was better off not saying anything and moving on.

That is why I wrote what I wrote. Pete Carroll has built up a lot of equity in the program but some of his moves make me scratch my head...particularly in the area of coaching.

The writer makes a lot of great points but he NEVER mentioned coaching...that is where a lot of this mess lies.

I can accept rebuilding, I can accept off years, I can accept injuries...but USC is NOT on the job training for guys that have ZERO track record in the college game. I could care less what these guys did in the NFL...college level football is a whole different ball game. You need to nurture and develop these 18-22 year-old kids. This is not their full time job...being a student is (regardless of what we think about the whole student-athlete mantra). You think Rocky Seto is a big time DC? I supported Seto's promotion because I knew Pete Carroll was the one that really pulled the strings but not if PC is going to spend a majority of his time with the offense.

I find it interestingly convenient that the writer did not mention that when he chose to chastise me...

Again, I think the writer makes some fair points but it is clear that he hasn't read CC long enough to know where I am coming from. He focuses only on a quick snapshot in time...I think most here will agree that I am the biggest PC honk out there. I have given him the benefit of a doubt in MANY area's and I make no apologies for it, but no one gets a free pass forever.

As for me being harsh...I can respect this persons opinion on me being unrealistic. I am not saying Pete Carroll should be fired and I am not pining for the "old" days of Chow and Coach O etc. etc.

But the 2009 season was doomed when Mark Sanchez went to the NFL. Good for him and we wished him luck and moved on but you could tell by Pete's reaction that he was looking out for his interests as well, not just Mark's as was the claim.

Fair or not the fan base, bandwagoners and old timers alike, have gotten a taste of this high level of success to the point that many are frustrated that with all the "talent" on the team that the best we can do is the Rose Bowl. We all agree that the BCS system sucks and is stacked against the west coast schools. But it is a fair question...why the losses to OSU in 2006 and 2008? Why the loss to ucla in 2006 and then the Stanford bombshell in 2007? With all that "talent"?

I get it. Losses to inferior teams happen and very few teams ever go undefeated on their way to an MNC.

But if it is not the talent then I think it is fair to ask the questions of his coaching hires over the past few years. The writer wants use his first hand experience of USC in the 70's and 80's so let me throw some first hand east coast experience his way. Pete Carroll is still reviled both in NYC and Boston because of his time with the Jets and the Pats. The term that comes up most with PC here in NYC is Micro Manager.

Think we are seeing this now?

Pete wants his hands on everything but because he has hired young inexperienced assistants in key positions it doesn't take a PhD to see that he might be over extended a bit. I don't disagree about injuries and youth/depth but every team has some level of this problem, you can't use it as a crutch forever. I mean what about all this 4 & 5 star talent? If they misread some of the talent fine but they didn't misread all the talent did they?

These guys just are not being coached up.

I also have a hard time using the excuse of a freshman QB over and over. It was, for whatever reason, PC's call and that is fine. But Barkley, as much as I love him as our starter, has not progressed under Bates tutelage. In fact some say that Barkley has shown his true colors as an INT machine like he was in HS. Pete really went outside the box on this decision.

I could have lived with Corp or Mustain as the starter to give Barkley a year to adjust but Pete hitched his wagon up to Barkley so he has to make it work. I don't think anyone would have been upset if he had not given Barkley the starting job while letting him grow and adjust. If the team struggled like we are seeing now then so be it. Looking back on it, when combined with all the injuries and youth/depth issues, had Pete went the Mustain/Corp route the fans may have been a lot more understanding of this "drop-off" instead we were force fed just how great Barkley is. He will be great but the expectations for this season are just too high.

Maybe Pete bit off more than he could chew this season...it is an opinion, it doesn't mean I am right but the evidence seems to point that way. This is not a Pete Carroll coached team like we are used to seeing.

Sorry for the rant. The writer chose to chastise me in a condescending tone without telling the whole story...I hate that...selective memory can be a bad thing.