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USC Football News and Notes 11/4

A good leader always supports his subordinates publicly. He may critique or criticize in private but a good leader never lets that out into the public realm.

Not that it is very surprising, but Pete Carroll fell on his sword in taking blame for the Oregon loss.There was certainly plenty of blame to go around. But in the end with Pete Carroll being captain of the ship it ultimately falls at his feet. It was his game plan he delegated it but in the end the players were not able to grasp it.

I did find this observation interesting... (emphasis added)

Carroll said he overloaded the Trojans' defense with adjustments to Oregon's offense and it inhibited the players from being themselves during Saturday's 47-20 debacle.

"We asked them to do too much and played like garbage," Carroll said. "They were trying to do too many things and didn't play freed up. We schemed too hard.

"That's totally my mistake. That's the greatest coaches' challenge. How much is enough? This one I messed it up."

Pete Carroll has to stay within the talent he has on the team. The linebackers are still young and are no where close to being like the four that left. I think they have the potential to better but they are not there yet. The D line is progressing nicely but they still need some work.

I think the most telling part of the defense is the secondary...I read elsewhere that we basically have four safeties back there and that he doesn't have confidence in any of them to stay with opposing receivers man-to-man. I think there might be a little truth to that, Pete Carroll is playing these guys off the ball so that they keep the plays in front of them. He has always stated that he doesn't want to give up the big play so it would appear that he is adjusting his scheme so that doesn't happen. Keep the play in front of them and attack the ball.

So maybe PC tried to finesse it, it happens, we move on...

But in moving forward PC is going to go with what he knows, the routine will not change...

While there’s a weird feeling floating around inside the walls of Heritage Hall, inside the locker room and inside the players’ heads, the approach is business as usual.

"It can’t be any different," Jeff Byers said. "It is weird, but it’s not like you take your approach any different…

"We’re not going to try harder. That’s not Coach Carroll’s philosophy."

While it might not sound right that USC isn’t planning on "trying" harder after getting viciously dismantled last Saturday in Eugene, Ore., it’s really the only approach. Deviating from the plans and philosophies that have gotten USC this far would be a rash decision that could have dire consequences.

I think going with what you know is the first step in getting back on track. Pete Carroll's routine has paid off big dividends in the past so of course he is going to stick with it. I would agree that trying harder is not the answer but working smarter works the kinks out.

I get a kick out of Uncle Bill's latest offering.

At a time when Carroll's coaching staff should be fostering his philosophy through the sense of stability that comes with nearly a decade of success, its most important voices are either too new or too unsteady.

At a time when the coaching staff should be building on the philosophies that led to consecutive national championships in 2003 and 2004, well, the heart of that group is gone.

Seven coaches gone, to be exact.

Call it the Curse of Chow.

The unnecessary departure of offensive coordinator Norm Chow after the 2004 championship led to an all-star coaching stampede out the Heritage Hall doors.

Offensive gurus Chow, Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, gone.

Lineman touchstones Ed Orgeron and Tim Davis, gone.

Heart and soul guys Nick Holt and Kennedy Pola, gone.

They weren't thrown out, they walked out, to better jobs or different scenery, but their departures left a hole in the heart of this program that has not won a national title since.

Five years later, Carroll is left with a new and ever-changing staff that lacks either the experience or security to challenge the boss.

And there it is...I think Plaschke misses the point that success has its price.

Pete has done so well that some of the coaches mentioned have gone onto bigger and better things. Kiffin, Sarkisian and Coach O went on to head coaching gigs. I know Coach O didn't fare well but he is still a hot commodity for his fire and recruiting prowess.

How is that a bad thing?

Pete Carroll is not a dictator...he cannot force anyone to stay. That these coaches "weren't thrown out, they walked out" shows that PC gives his assistants the spring board to get to the next level. The results haven't always been pretty but new head coaches never get jobs with all the pieces in place they have to build their own program. New head coaches are untested and unproven so why would any established program that may be ready to make a title run hand the keys over to an unknown commodity?

Does this alleged revolving door hurt the team? Hard to say...because USC has had such unprecedented success there really isn't a way to measure it consistently. No other program has accomplished what SC has under Pete Carroll. Mack Brown has kept many of his assistants for a number of years and he only has ONE MNC to his name so I am not sure how keeping your assistants in place is the end all be all. It is not like these guys stayed one season and moved on. Pretty much all of them stayed a minimum of three years...I don't know if you can ask much more of that out of an assistant in this day in age. Some want to run their own shops, others want to spring board to the NFL. That is fine, regardless Pete Carroll gives these guys a chance to to stake their own claim...

Moving on...

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Here are some links...

Pete Carroll's presser - CBS College Sports

USC's Galippo: Trojans 'couldn't find the ball' - Pac-10 - ESPN

USC football: Trojans won’t lose again this season - USC -

Ripsit Blog - Injury report

USC's special teams anything but - LA Daily News

Carroll: Pac-10 is catching up to USC -