Tuesday, October 17, 2006

USC Bye Week: Bruins in Need

Heading into our mid-season bye, this should be a fun and interesting week for USC Football. We are 6-0 and No. 2 in the season’s first BCS ranking. (Again, let’s breathe and let go of the angst for a week.) Even better, our two primary rivals play each other in South Bend, which allows us to kill two birds with one stone as we size them up.

Taking a look across town, we see the wagons are circling in Westwood … or maybe those are buzzards. Either way, poor Karl Dorrell is like a dead man walking according bruin nation. It is very sad …

Trust me. I’m not getting soft or complacent after seven straight wins versus ugla. (Remember, as much as we’d like to forget, we need one more W to even up the snowman ugla put on us from ’91 to ’98.) USC must keep its proverbial foot firmly on the bruin jugular, with force.

But the thing is we might enjoy the dominance more if there was some sign of life, maybe just a twitch, to let us know they still feel the pain. Right now it seems like baby blue is all numb and dumb.

A bruin nation “guest blogger” calling himself Bruin Blue wrote a 2,000-word essay – sort of like a Jerry Maguire manifesto – about ugla’s state of affairs. If you have a minute to waste, it’s amusing to read. There isn’t much in it that we don’t already know: Dorrell is not a great coach, ugla A.D. Dan Guerrero (right) is content with mediocrity, and bruin nation has no real commitment to football.

But the bruin diatribe does confirm that while ugla may be able to identify its problems, it has absolutely no clue how to fix them. bruin nation will have to be extremely lucky in order to even sniff the heights USC Football has achieved and seems poised to sustain. I mean extremely lucky … like winning the PowerBall lottery lucky. We know this because Mike Garrett actually won the lottery for us nearly six years ago.

ugla is so pathetically inept I couldn’t help but give them some condescending advice with a comment on Bruin Blue’s post*:
Almost there ...

As a slightly more than casual observer of UCLA football from a different perspective, I must commend Bruin Blue for a very nice piece. Seriously.

It's all about commitment and priorities, and it is obvious even to outsiders that having a "nice" football program is the extent of the priority for UCLA. Bruin Blue captures that aspect of the program very well.

However, in describing "the second part of the equation," this post only proves further a key element of the first part. Bruin Nation, let alone Dan Guerrero, wouldn't know a top-flight coach if one was standing in front of you ... unless he was wearing cardinal and gold on the opposite sideline.

Make no mistake, knowledgeable USC fans realize and readily admit that hiring Pete Carroll was pure Mike Garrett luck. But, look at a couple of programs that have attempted to imitate the Carroll model, and you'll see at least two schools that are doing better than the Bruins. Try Wannstedt/Pitt and Callahan/Nebraska.

Forget about hot college assistants. Those are too iffy. For every Stoops, Tedford and Meyer, there's Zook, Koetter and Chuck Long.

Forget about Tom O'Brien, for crissakes! Listen to yourself say "competed with the best, and come off very well ..." Sounds like Terry Donahue to me.

Butch Davis a "better person" than Carroll? Get real.

If you want a guy who won't be out-coached by someone like Pete Carroll or Charlie Weis, you gotta go where they learned to coach. You gotta go where recruits have automatic respect for someone who can get them to the next level. You gotta go to the League.

So, who fits this bill? Who won't be intimidated in the film room and on the recruiting trail by anyone? Who's available after being the scapegoat for a completely messed up situation in the NFL?

Steve Mariucci. Tell Guerrero to give him a call. You can probably get him for $1.5 million, plus incentives. Seriously, it would be the best choice the Bruins could make, if you could make that kind of commitment. Unfortunately for Bruin Nation, that's a big IF.
Of course, we know the “if” is not an “if,” but more like a “no way.” Again, the odds of winning the lottery are so very minute, and Guerrero isn’t even willing to buy a ticket. Simply put, lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Other than telling the “gutty little bruins” to stand in the middle of an open field holding a 1-iron in the air during the next thunderstorm, I can’t think of anything else to tell them.

Fight On!

* I know it’s at least a little obnoxious to quote myself on my own blog, but what the hell. It’s a bye week.


Jason said...

Carroll wasn't exactly what I would consider a 'sure thing' when he was hired by USC. He was practically untouchable in the NFL, and was generally regarded as having squandered a lot of talent that Parcells had left in his wake in New England.

Yes, it was a shrewd move by USC, but try and least be a little honest here. Carroll was not Urban Meyer or Charlie Weiss material when he was hired by USC. Not even close.

Pete Carroll was choice #3 for the Trojans.

Choice #1 in 2001? That was...uh...Dennis Erickson. Choice #2 was Mike Belotti, who said no thanks.

Displaced Trojan said...


Please read more closely. I know my posts have gotten a little long lately, but give it a shot. I state three times that USC was lucky to hire Carroll:

1) "... Mike Garrett actually won the lottery for us nearly six years ago [when Carroll was hired].

2) "Make no mistake, knowledgeable USC fans realize and readily admit that hiring Pete Carroll was pure Mike Garrett luck."

3) "Simply put, lightning [i.e. hiring Carroll] doesn’t strike twice."

Again, I feel like a dork quoting myself, but I don't know how to make it more clear. Anyone, including Mike Garrett, who says they thought we would enjoy this level of success when Carroll was hired is not telling the truth.

The fact is, USC is very, very lucky to have Carroll.

Thanks for your comment, but please ready more carefully next time. Take care.