Lets get this out of the way first...UCLA couldn't lose them all. Sooner or later they were going to win a game against USC.
Sure they should get props for winning yesterday but sooner or later it was going to happen. I mean its not like they are world beaters. Is anyone surprised that USC lost based on how this team has performed all season?
Of course this loss stings because of all the talent USC has and because Matt Barkley's career at USC is over due to injury. But the loss isn't surprising.
Remember when there were those out there that thought Kiffin was a genius because he was going to run this scholarship reduced roster like an NFL squad? I always chuckled at that. Hard to do when you only get 20 hours of practice a week because kids need to go to class. What happens when a player goes down or transfers? Its not like you can sign a player off the practice squad or trade for a player etc. etc.
When you don't hit in practice it is hard to be effective in the real game.
The more I think about it the worse things are.
We all have problems with Kiffin the head coach...but what about Kiffin the OC? Only three running plays in the third quarter with an RB that gained 7.7 YPC?
It is easy to see why Haden won't get rid of Kiffin.
Who would take the job?
Very few head coaches could come in and save next years recruiting class and if Haden fired Kiffin that would send a bad message. Top coaches are not coming here under those circumstances.
Many of us have said how great a recruiter Kiffin is but if you take away Monte and O is he that good? USC sells itself, they will always get their share of talent. The right coach will create his own perfect storm of getting talent and getting it to perform at the highest level. Pete Carroll did, it but was short lived.
Quick question...anyone think Robert Woods will stick around for a fourth year? Woods is already banged up and now that we have seen Barkley's NFL stock plummet why should Woods stay?
We all had Kiffin's back last season. It doesn't matter if he over achieved or if the team over achieved. We saw the problems then, but the team was winning and was making some noise. On the other side we all saw the problems with Monte Kiffin from the very first game. The defense has always been so-so, even when it was dumbed down. When some fans complain that the loss of one player (Wiley) as the reason for this seasons woes then it is clear you can't see the forest through the trees.
Kiffin has lost a lot of that goodwill with his off the field antics this season. I mean why make Scott Wolf a national story? We can hate Wolf all we want, but he is member of the press (no matter how bad) and he did his job in reporting an injury. The rest is just a comedy of errors, from tantrums at practice to switching jerseys to deflating footballs, it falls on Kiffin. And because of his previous antics he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt and that turns into negative publicity of the program.
Kiffin has lost the players.
Remember when Kiffin had no problem calling out Dwayne Jarrett? Where is that Kiffin? What is he afraid of? Marqise Lee is a stud, but his ball control issues have hurt this team at spots this season...yet all Kiffin has done is gush over him. There has to be balance, the carrot and stick approach might work here.
Look at these stats from yesterday...
USC out gained UCLA 513-406
Curtis McNeal had 161 yards
Rushing - SC 172 in 30 carries, UCLA 172 in 50 carries
Passing - SC 341, UCLA 234
Penalties - SC 6-51, UCLA 12-115
3rd down conversions SC 4-10, UCLA 6-15
4th down Conversions SC 0-1, UCLA 1-1
Turnovers - SC 3 for 21 points, UCLA 1 for 7 points
1 blocked punt
1 blocked field goal
1 missed field goal.
What happened to Baxter's special teams? They were pretty good last season.
Make no mistake, the NCAA's draconian sanctions are having the desired effect.
I have a hard time seeing Pat Haden enforcing any changes on Kiffin. Monte will go because Lane will stress the time for a change. But Lane won't change his ways....I now see why he wouldn't go after Norm Chow when he had the chance. That was an ominous sign.
It may get worse before it gets better...