What is USC’s culture?

It's been a while since I was here on my old stomping grounds here at CC, but this post doesn't fit well with Twitter.

For the past couple of years we have heard that USC only wants to hire a head football coach who gets USC’s culture or "the USC way".

But what is that culture?

First a little history....

Removing the Pete Carroll years from the discussion, the only culture you can point to are the McKay years. John Robinson was on McKay’s staff, so I guess that’s a bit of a continuation, but other than that it’s been a mishmash of crap.

Larry Smith was close, but even he didn’t live up to expectations.

The Carroll years during CFB’s exposure explosion with platforms like ESPN, message boards, SB Nation etc. spoiled the USC faithful. Suddenly, that success was what USC was about. It was expected. Pete Carroll brought a style that is hard if ever to replicate. That style came with its own issues, issues which partly resulted in horrible NCAA sanctions that have to this day set the program back years.

Mike Garrett hired Lane Kiffin (and Coach O) to try and save a recruiting class while also trying to reignite the Pete Carroll culture in the face of the NCAA’s crippling sanctions. Based on Kiffin’s stints with the Raiders and then with the Tennessee Volunteers, where Kiffin regularly poked the eyes of SEC "royalty", it was seen as an intriguing and yet an antagonistic hire at best.

USC ultimately fired Mike Garrett, partly because of how he dealt with NCAA and partly because his schtic didn’t fit the "NEW" USC in their quest to be the NEW Stanford while looking for lenience by the NCAA in USC's appeal of said sanctions.

The "hiring' of Pat Haden was a cheap attempt to go back to the McKay years, but as many easily saw Haden had already turned into a BOT stooge, after years of being a Notre Dame stooge announcer. Haden was not AD material and it showed like his action on the sidelines during the Stanford game in 2014, Haden tried to save his baby that day.

Haden was seen as white knight in dealing with the NCAA by setting "new standards" of compliance. Haden firing Kiffin was inevitable because Kiffin wasn’t Haden’s guy and Kiffin's schtic also grew old. So Haden hires another PC retread in Sarkisian who had his own issues which Haden chose to ignore. Passing on the opportunity to hire Chris Petersen is still the biggest head scratcher out there.

What culture was Sarkisian supposed to represent? Pete Carroll’s?

The Sarkisian situation is well known, so there is no need to discuss it further. That gets us to Helton...we see where that is currently at.

Thus endth the history lesson.

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So, back to the original question...what culture is USC attempting or looking to replicate? This team isn’t coached like the McKay years and this team sure as hell doesn’t play like the McKay years. Sure the game has changed but not the drive to be successful.

USC's "culture" is a mirage. Its been sewn together with the good from USC's past while ignoring the many failures that have been documented. Heck, USC lucked into getting Pete Carroll. That move was initially mocked until PC started winning. It was dumb luck that lead to a tremendous run...never to be repeated anytime soon.

Pete Carroll isn't walking through that door. Neither is Nick Saban.

Whomever the AD or the University President is, it will take thinking outside the box to get USC back on a track to be competitive. Clay Helton and his joke of a staff ain't it.

I am not sure that USC will ever be as competitive as the Carroll years or have the drive to even try to be as competitive as you see in the top tier SEC or top tier Big-10.

USC has a long way to go....

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors.

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