More On That Second-Half USC Stat

A reader said to me yesterday that Lane Kiffin being 0-11 in games where USC fell behind by 7+ points in the second half was “typical” of most coaches. I don’t think so.

So I looked at how two coaches did last season in similar circumstances. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez won games where he trailed USC by 15 points and Nevada by 17 in the second half.

Even better, Stanford coach David Shaw won five games. Stanford trailed USC by 7 points; Arizona by 14, Oregon State by 9, Oregon by 7 and UCLA by 7. And the Cardinal won all of those games.

So being 0-11 does not seem like the norm.

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  • Charlie Bucket

    OHHHHHHHH!!!!! wolfman laying down the LAW!!!!

    you are AAAAAAAAAAAALL outta BUBBLE GUM again, wolfman!!!

    TESTIFY, wolfman, TESTIFY!!!

    • TrojanFan

      Isn’t about time for your daily Metamucil and Geritol supplements

    • Trojan Hoarse

      One theory is that the word “testify” was derived from the ancient Roman custom of men holding their testicles with their right hands before giving testimony in court…….it now seems to make perfect sense when Bucket mindlessly blurts out TESTIFY!. ….

  • WEB_Dupree

    Two examples — well, I guess that settles it. It’s like Nate Silver has taken over this blog.

    • Independent_George

      That is unfair to Nate Silver. He uses large sample sizes and is generally right.

      Scott takes cherry picks evidence from miniscule sample sizes, strips them entirely of context and purpose, then presents them as irrefutable facts, and is very often wrong.

      • WEB_Dupree

        I was just being sarcastic. Looks like we agree.

      • gotroy22

        Rahrah_George writes volumes boring even the most devoted SC fan and then makes excuses when the stats don’t fit his preconceived notion that Lane Kiffin is the next John McKay.

  • Independent_George

    I grant you that on Shaw. He is the best coach in the Pac-12, one of the three best coaches in college football, no matter what Stewie Mandel writes. In fact, I would only rank Saban as a better head coach. I doubt Les Miles or Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops could do at Stanford what Shaw did last year.

    (Did he even rank Shaw as a top ten college coach? I don’t read SI)

    But Rich Rod will win games where he trails by 7+ points because his offenses are hyper. And he will lose games when leading by 14 at the half because his defenses suck. If you want to be a permanent 7-5 to 9-3 team in the Pac-12, then hire Rich Rod as your coach. If the planets align, Rich Rod might get Arizona to Rose Bowl or a BCS bowl every five years to seven years, but you will not be a consistent Rose Bowl contender with his turnstyle defense. Michigan learned that.

    But why judge Shaw and Rich Rod for one year and Kiffin over his entire college career as an HC? Kiffin was 0-2 last year when trailing by 7 or more points at the half, but don’t forget he was down 17 to UCLA at the end of the first quarter and 11 to Oregon. USC scored 28 points the next three quarters at UCLA and 48 against Oregon. USC was down 14-0 after two series at Utah and won by 10. Coming back doesn’t seem to be a problem as much as holding on or making stops on defense.

    And where are you getting 0-11? He is 0-6 at USC when down by 7 or more that half, and 0-2 last year. Who cares what he did at Tennesse or the Raiders? 0-6 is not good, but in the 2011 ASU game, where USC was down 12 at the half and UP 22-21 at the end of three. USC also came back from down 10 after the 1st Q in the 2012 Arizona game to lead at the half, only to lose. Seems more like a Monte problem than a Lane problem. And Lane fixed the Monte problem, allegedly.

    Granted, it is a Lane problem in that he is the head coach and he handed over the defense entirely to his father. He needs to be more involved on both sides of the ball. He can’t be an OC in a head coaches hat. It didn’t work out for Charlie Weiss and it will not work out for Lane.

    But note that in 2005 USC was 5-0 when down by 7 or more that the half. Take away that season (and Matt Leniart’s entire USC career), and USC under Pete Carroll is 0-9 when down 7+ at the half, and allegedly Pete Carroll was the MASTER of the second half adjustment. Pete’s genius was in not getting down 7+ at the half because he understood that unless you are lucky (Shaw last year, USC in 2005) or have a hyper-spread gimmick offense and a turnstyle defense (Rich Rod) the norm will be to lose many, many more times when down 7+ at the half.

    So that second half stat you cite is entirely forgetable.

    What is not forgetable, and something you alluded to when Kiffin was hired, is whether the Team really believes in Kiffin, and the only way to figure out whether they do is to see whether the re-group or tank after a tough loss. They seemed to regroup in 2011 after the ASU lose and the Stanford heartbreaker, but they seemed to tank in 2010 after the Stanford lose and in 2012 after the Arizona loss. It is his team this year, not Monte to blame. So I guess we will see.

    • gotroy22

      You have more excuses than Carter has liver pills.

      • TrojanFan

        Save some for bucket! They might wake up his liver bile…LOL!

        “When you feel sour and sunk, and the world looks punk . . . Take a Carter’s Little Liver Pill.”

      • Independent_George

        Carter has pills?

        My grandmother used to say that!

        Paul, is that you?

        Slow over at CC? How is the wheelchair, you crippled, bitter idiot!

        • TrojanFan

          LOL!!!

        • gotroy22

          So did mine you idiot. Your rah rah excuses for Kiffin are the lamest. Did you get through school thinking writing more would bore the teacher to death and she’d give you a C?

          • TrojanFan

            Hey gotroy, what exactly is chapping your a$$?

            Did your cheerios also get contaminated?

          • gotroy22

            You must be used to people calling you a bitter idiot.

          • TrojanFan

            Please don’t confuse me with your own quality traits!

    • Ben Factor

      Ind. George, I think that was a well argued comment, and very enjoyable to read. Hope to read more of your thoughts.

      • gotroy22

        More of his thoughts are the operative words. Rahrah_Georgie suffers from diarrhea of the keyboard.

        • Independent_George

          Anyone with the reading comprehension of a first grader understands that I was not or am not making excuses for Kiffin. I think Kiffin is over his head in coaching at USC, and it is not a place for learning on the job.

          I was just pointing out that Scott’s made-up stat is not only meaningless, it was factually wrong. Buckett, of all people, is correct in pointing out the the better metric is 4th quarter comebacks. Kiffin doesn’t exactly shine in this area. Nor did Barkley, for that matter. How are Kiffin teams when holding a lead of more than a field goal heading into the fourth quarter? When behind more than a field goal? Most teams most of the time lose when down by more than a touchdown at the half.

          I am sorry I use words to present arguments and ideas. I understand, Paul, that reading lots of “words” keeps you from trolling on Newsbusters or cashing your disability checks.

          • TrojanFan

            Bucket was twisting the facts. He can’t make a piece of $hlt smell like a rose. No matter how much perfume he pour on it!

          • gotroy22

            Who is Paul? You and your rah rah idiot pals are now stalking me? What losers you are.

          • TrojanFan

            Take the hint and bail out, idiot!

  • B.Miller

    WHO CARES! We all know your feelings and thoughts on Lane Kiffin..

    • TrojanFan

      EXACTLY!…..He loves to grind the ax every day

      • Independent_George

        He will never forgive Kiffin for banning him.

        • gotroy22

          Would you?

          • TrojanFan

            Is your whole life nothing but a half empty glass?

          • gotroy22

            Is your whole life promoting mediocrity?

          • TrojanFan

            In contrast to being a Debbie Downer….LOL!

    • L’Angelo Misterioso

      He’s just pointing out what a crappy coach Kiffin is and will always be. Ready for that bubble screen to open the game at Hawaii?

      • B.Miller

        We all know.. We dont have to read about it every week do we?
        Can we get some interesting news..
        Injury updates?

        • gotroy22

          Players are getting injured during the offseason on their skateboards?

    • gotroy22

      You do. You’re responding to him.

  • Rsmtrojanfan

    I spent about 10 minutes looking up the results for UCLA and Oregon State from last year….UCLA lost every game (5) when they trailed at halftime and won every game where they led at halftime….same with Oregon State (3 losses, all when trailing at halftime). Seems to me the exception Stanford….

  • Charlie Bucket

    the halftime statistic is somewhat misleading. so what if one team is leading 9-7 at halftime??

    the NFL measures 4th Qtr comebacks for a reason. take Hundley for example. he calmly led Bruins to a game winning score on last possession of 4th Qtr w/ 1:30 secs left against AZ St. We won.

    same week against AZ, Pious Passer got one last possession against AZ, 1 min left, didn’t make it to mid field. you lost.

    Hundley is a winner. Pious Passer…..well, he is what he is.

    • TrojanFan

      Wrong blog!!!!…put your stale jockstrap on if you’re looking for some support

    • rusoviet

      Het tap33t3 you still haven’t answered TrojanFan =- just more of your inane drivel

  • rusoviet

    What is missing this year but very evident last year is Monte Kiffin – that remark Lane made to Monte as OR began another drive after USC took a lead was telling “…can’t you stop this?”