Back to the questions!
I am a follower of another Pac-10 team but have followed the Trojans more closely the fast few years in addition to reading your blog. As an outside observer, my question is this – if you believe that USC needs superior talent because the coaching is not far and away better than any other team in the conference, how did Pete Carroll build the program into dominance? Obviously he got good players along the way, but as the top-notch assistants have left, has there been a noticeable schematic change leading to the current conservative game-planning? After all, USC built their reputation during this decade on aggression and competition. Thanks.
A: USC changed its offense when Norm Chow left and relied less on short passes that utilized the fullbacks and tailbacks. The offense is more pro-style now, which relies more on conventional routes to the wide receivers. That is successful when you have superior talent.
But more than any offensive or staff chanes, the simple fact is Pete Carroll built the program on the back of outstanding recruits. In the past few years, it’s been difficult for USC to recruit a top-notch tailback because there was a glut of six-to-eight tailbacks (none really outstanding) that scared off potential recruits. The same happened at other positions. If Reggie Bush were a high school senior a couple years ago, he might have gone elsewhere thinking playing time would be an issue.