Do Scholarship Reductions Matter?

If that is the unspoken reason for USC’s problems, then how is it the football program could afford to have a five-star offensive linemen (Zach Banner) play on the scout team this week?

And if it is so relevant, where is safety Leon McQuay or tailback Ty Isaac? At the end of the day, it seems a flimsy excuse.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email
  • Independent_George

    They matter late in the season and in a long, grinding game when energy and injuries and depth become an issue.

    They will matter in attracting a new coach, because it depends on how many players jump ship next year.

    It did not matter for the WSU and Hawaii game, they will not matter next weet against BC, and depending on how the next two games play out, they may not matter during conference play because the team will be so demoralized they could field 100 players and still get rocked. Doesn’t matter if 67 or 85 scholarship players don’t believe and don’t care.

    • Ben Factor

      IG, you are on the money. Kiffin could be proactive and step down as OC, stating that he thinks more collaboration would be a good idea at this point, and that he believes he must involve himself deeper in the OL and special teams coaching. Fans and players would think he had been reborn, and confidence might turn around. But he won’t do that. It’s not in his psychology, and in all likelihood, he will pay dearly for that shortcoming.

      • TrojanFan

        IMO, he needs to turn the offense over to a true OC, including PLAY-CALLING!

        • Helen

          The #1 solution to USC’s problems – now Haden go make it happen cuz Kiffin has too much pride to admit failure.

          • TrojanFan

            Helen is on FIRE!…..you go girl!

            Bunco is for the “gray hair’s”

    • gotroy22

      Exactly. The rah rahs keep making excuses for Kiffin. Grambling just fired Doug Williams after two games yet Pat Haden won’t admit he made a terrible mistake and fire Kiffin.

      • Independent_George

        I am not making excuses for Haden but he didn’t hire Kiffin. And don’t start with the Board of Trustees stuff, that means Eli Broad and Jamie McCourt are just as liable for Kiffin as Haden.

        Fact remains is that the great Pete Carroll left USC flat-footed in mid-January, after the December hiring season, without a minimally qualified replacement. His coordinators in 2009 were Jeremy Bates and Rocky Seto. Enoguh said.

        So Garrett had to scramble. If reports are correct, Kiffin was choice number four or five (after del Rio, Fisher, Sarkisian and one or two others said no).

        But there is some doubt that USC can attract a program changing head coach with the sanctions and the after effect. Bascially the thought AMONG SOME (not all, but some) is that with sanctions, Peterson, Patterson, et al. are coming this for 2014 because of sanctions. What the Athletic Department doesn’t want to do is fire Kiffin then have to gamble with another “Kiffin” type — young and ambitious but unproved — or settle for a John Robinson type — an old coaching-lifer hack.

        You can gamble with the B-Ball team (Enfield). But not the football team, because that is the ship that floats all other sports.

        Fire Kiffin now. It won’t hurt the team this year. But what about in three of four years after you whiffed on Franlkin or Fitzgerald or Strong and you have to settle for some old lifer Big 12 coordinator. Then you start process over again — all while Oregon and Stanford and UCLA and ASU and Washington consolidate.

        If you fire Kiffin now, you had better be 150% sure you have a replacement lined up.

        • TrojanFan

          Let’s not forget, Pete was choice four or five.

          • Stu Azole

            as was Mora at UCLA. Unless SC hires a Saban type, there’s no guarantee a big name will be any better than a lesser name.

          • TrojanFan

            wrong blog!

          • Independent_George

            At the time was a “who’s who” of college football: Mike Bellotti, Dennis Erickson, Mike Riley (Garrett’s prennial first choice) and Barry Alvarez.

            Garrett’s choice in late Janaury after the college hiring season ended: Fisher (pipe-dream he was/is never going to coach college), DelRio (because cutting yourself with an ax the locker room means HE IS TOUGH), Sarkisian (wow, you beat an overrated Boise State team. Call when you beat Oregon or Stanford and win a bowl game) then Kiffin. Not excatly prime coaching pickin’s.

          • TrojanFan

            But he had the experience, USC,NFL,SEC…the pedigree was there!…..Any hire would of been a gamble

      • TrojanFan

        Dude, you got your banana hammock all twisted, relax!……Throw back a cold one!

  • Ben Factor

    Of course scholarships matter. Does Scott think that Kiffin is sitting a bunch of 2013 All-America players, because of Kiffin’s secret strategy to ruin his own career? Please….

    I read somewhere that around 65% of scholarship players pan out in a meaningful way in college. I also recall reading comments by Kiffin that he couldn’t afford to miss on even one of USC’s 15 scholarships, so he did extra due diligence. The goal of “never missing” was unachievable, so I don’t know why he said that. In the realm of the possible, the outcome of extra due diligence was that perhaps 70-75% of USC’s scholarship players would pan out in college. It was never going to be 100%.

    Banner, Simmons, Di Poalo, Hobbi, and Walker were all 4-star or 5-star players. Remember their names. When their USC careers are over, count up how many games each of them started.

    I’m not putting any of them down, nor am I saying that one or all may not eventually be stars. However, in 2013, even though the OL is not performing that well, I highly doubt that starting these players would make it perform better. How many times has Summers stated that he wants to put his best five players on the field? Does Scott think he’s lying or incompetent? Please…

    • Helen

      Nicely stated. In addition, games are won on the practice field and if you don’t have good players to practice against then you won’t be ready for game conditions. I wish Scottie knew something about football so he could write about it responsibly.

      • gotroy22

        Games are won on the practice field? You really are a mensa.

        • TrojanFan

          Relax, it’s just a game!

        • Helen

          That was Pete Carroll’s philosophy – perhaps you’ve heard of him?

        • Tom Oday

          At practice is where the scholie reductions hurt? That is why Banner was working with the scout team.

        • Ben Factor

          I’m pretty scathing about Kiffin. AND scholarships matter.

          Kiffin may not hold the ideal cards, but he certainly plays them poorly.

    • Booyakasha

      I don’t know if we would have gotten them if we had 85 scholarships, but the effects of the Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy commitments to Stanford are beginning to show up.

  • Dodger_Dog

    Scholarship limits mattering doesn’t fit Wolife’s preconceived narrative.
    Nevermind that in addition to the good points made above it also means
    that underclassmen end up playing before they
    are as physically mature as we might like. There is a reason that Brian
    Kelly, after losing the NC, said the big difference between ND and Alabama was
    depth, and that they really needed about 10 more players in their
    program–and that is with a full contingent of scholarship players.

    • TrojanFan

      Wolfman is clueless, he’s never played organized football…….and video games don’t count!

      • ted

        you played organized football?? High school? college?

        • TrojanFan

          From Pop Warner through college!

          • ted

            what college?

          • TrojanFan

            Allen Hancock / Cal Poly SLO

          • Trojan Hoarse

            Cal Poly Mustangs!…..nice!…The home of esteemed alums John Madden and Ozzie Smith, among others….

    • Trojan Hoarse

      Physically mature AND emotionally mature, as well……

  • Tom Oday

    Wolf…ask other HC this question. Find out who lies and who is honest.

    • TrojanFan

      He gets all his info second-hand off the internet.

  • Treats for your chin

    Scott, did you take any math classes at SC? In addition to being shut down by every girl and the one goat that one time you snuck into the 9-0, do you harbor this much hatred for your Alma mater because you were not only scoffed so badly but failed in math? Of course the scholarship reductions matter, if they didn’t every school would take less to save the money. I loathe Kiffin, scholarships do matter, but that is not the reason for the gong show that is SC football. We all know that. I think since you like to be opposite of everyone else, and all the other reporters are bashing SC, why don’t you try to find some small positive somewhere? Hey, i noticed no footballs were deflated so far, do a nice write up on the student managers handling that this season. Or how about a nice story about a boy who made it into the 9-o and finally scored with the goat or robust young lady left at 1:45 am?

    • Helen

      You mean like the LA Times story on USC defense being ranked #1 based on statistical categories rather than a closet voodoo ranking that Wolfbag quotes? Who would have thought at the end of last year USC’s defense would be ranked #1 in the nation??

      • TrojanFan

        Helen is on FIRE!….you go girl!

  • WEB_Dupree

    Here is the real truth. During Kiffin’s sojourn with the Raiders, scientists from Cal or Stanford (or Cal AND Stanford working together!) kidnapped Kiffin and programmed and brainwashed him “Manchurian Candidate”-style, so that when (not if!) he took the reins at USC, his programming would activate. “Must tank program… Must tank program…” Now what we need to do is deprogram Kiff — somebody call a Scientologist!

    • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

      if you’re right, then his “handlers” must have some word or Phrase that serves a a “trigger” for Kiff to carry out his dastardly deeds! maybe it’s the words “Scott Wolf” that send him into the catatonic “must tank program” state!!

      OMG, that’s the exact expression Kiff has on the sidelines during games!!

      • WEB_Dupree

        I think it’s triggered by marching band music. Picture Kiffin strapped in a chair with his eyelids pried open like in “Clockwork Orange,” but instead of Beethoven, they make him listen to “Tusk” over and over.

  • Stu Azole

    haha, seems like just yesterday that we heard “our 75 are better than your 85″ from all you SC wonks. Turns out your 75 are really, really bad.

    • Bill

      How quickly they forget! Go ahead, blame it on the scholarship restrictions. Better yet, blame it on Bush and keep Kiffin even longer!
      KEEP ON KIFFIN ON!

      • TrojanFan

        Hey Bill, does the new breakfast platter come with hash browns?

    • Tom Oday

      When the guy came up with that handle…it was true. It isn’t now. Some idiot at UCLA went and hired some coach that started Hundley at QB, switched Barr to LB, built a team that believes in themselves, etc., etc. Those two players have elevated the play of everyone around them.

  • darnelldean

    I believe what Scott is trying to say is that scholarships don’t matter when you play schools like Washington State (no offense) in your home opener.

  • Evil Robot

    Bringing up Leon McQuay only points out how much the scholarship limitations impact the team. If you look at the safety depth chart, there are two true freshmen then zero redshirt freshmen, sophomores, redshirt sophomores or juniors on scholarship. True freshmen rarely make significant contributions and you are trying to argue that scholarship numbers don’t matter by expecting the only two young guys at the position to be ready right away.

  • TrojanFan

    Hey wolfman, why no love for the defense? They are currently tied for first in the NCAA with 5.5 sacks per game and rushing defense with an average of 15 yards per game and tied for third in the NCAA with 6 total interceptions over the first two games.

    • Stu Azole

      I’m guessing it’s because they’ve played two of the worst offenses in CFB. That’s right, both in the bottom 5. You keep hanging your hat on that though.

      • TrojanFan

        Dude, did you put any thought into that post. Think about it and get back with me, I’ll help you out

    • ted

      Ok, love the defense! They are number 1! Whoop di doo! With Kiffin and all the other problems. Southern Cal still sucks as a football team.

      With this vaunted defense you speak of, southern cal struggles to beat a bad Hawaii team and loses to a mediocre WSU!

      • TrojanFan

        Lack of third down conversions has been a big issue this season. We need to move the chains and get in some rhythm. If the passing game improves this team will win games.

        • ThaiMex

          YOU ARE INCREDIBLY STUPID!
          but fit Un!!!!

    • Bill

      The ironic thing is that Hawaii and Washington State are just ahead of the SuC offense! Isn’t Lame Kitten supposed to be an offensive genius? So much so, that they chased Norm Chow out of town!

      • TrojanFan

        Please define your “agenda”

  • Fred Sampson

    That Scholarship Reductions excuse would only come into play if the Trojans played Alabama every week, last weeks loss to Washington State is a perfect example of how weak of an excuse that is from Lane Kiffin, because USC’s 4 and 5 star 65 Man roster is much better then Washington St. 85 Man roster which consist mostly of other Pac 12 Schools left overs. The thing that concerns me the most is the fact that Pat Haden uses that excuse also, which leads me to believe he has no clue as to how a program is run. That is ALARMING in it’s self !!!! Wow

  • Trojan Hoarse

    Wolf is a “flimsy excuse” for a sports writer…….

  • ted

    Same crap different day from all the blind homers…give it a rest already

    • TrojanFan

      Practice what you preach!

      Troll a ruin blog, they love your type

  • ted

    Kiffin is terrible.
    OL is terrible
    QBs are terrible
    DBs are suspect
    DL can’t create pressure

    There are positives in other areas of the team but the above deficiencies can’t be trumped even if southern cal had the best of everything else.

    Scott Wolf will continue to point out the facts that are painfully obvious.

    Like him or not…there is no denying the truth.

    • Magic Beauty

      The DL can’t creat pressure? And yet they are #1 in the country in Sacks and #2 in Tackles for Loss. The DB’s are suspect? And yet they are #3 in the country in Interceptions. Sounds like you and Wolfie get your “facts” from the same places.

      • ted

        Its the linebackers that create all the sacks…DL, when not supported with the blitzs can’t create pressure…and DBs are getting beat deep just that hawaii and wsu qbs were terrible themselves to find them. WATCH THE GAME!

        Good QB will exploit the holes left by the blitzing LBs. A team with a good OL will give the opposing QBs time to exploit the DBs that are step or two behind receivers on double moves. Watch the games…hawaii and wsu!

        Trojanfan…if you did play football on any level, you know that stunting and blitzing by nature creates weakness in the defense.

        • TrojanFan

          Your lack of football IQ is screaming at us…….quit before you lose all respectability

        • Magic Beauty

          Oh I see. It doesnt matter that the Defense has 6 Interceptions in two games, you saw a receiver open in a game so the secondary is suspect. Because receivers never get open on a good secondary.

          And now the Linebackers are creating all of the sacks, even though we run a 5-2, with George Uko having 3 sacks, Leonard Williams having 2 sacks, Morgan Breslin having two sacks, and Devon Kennard having 1.5 sacks. Those are all considered DLineman in the 5-2 you know. WATCH THE GAME.

          And you can guestimate all you want about how “a good team” will exploit holes. The fact is, you said the DL cant get pressure, despite creating the most sacks in the country and the secondary is suspect, despite having the 3rd most INTs in the country. So you can look into the future all you want, but based on what we knows as FACTS today, you are out of your mind.

          • ted

            You mean the 3-4 called 5-2…because they bring “5″ on most passing situations…. leaving 2 linebackers and 4 DBs to account for 6 eligible offensive players. Its same as a 3-4 where the outside backers are always blitzing. watch and see…

        • Ben Factor

          Every style of defense has its weaknesses. I think USC is doing a good job with the kind of talent it has.

          Plus, the ends are getting some sacks, even though the system is designed to give more of the sacks to the outside LBs.

          Not disputing that the CB weaknesses will be better exploited than in the last two games. That system demands good cover corners.

    • TrojanFan

      “DL can’t create pressure”

      What the fuc are you talking about?
      Try watching the game when you are sober, take the beer goggles off!

  • ThaiMex

    TWENTY ONE (21) POST’s by The village idiot on this one thread alone! That’s gotta be some sort of RECORD! With this kind of redundant retarded inept posting, the kid will ZOOM past 4,000 sooner than any of us would like.
    A great big Torgan “SHOUT OUT” to all my torgan buddies out there.
    fit UN torgans!

    • TrojanFan

      Bad case of penis envy!

      Dr T Bone is offering all AARP members a free cranium scan, jump on it!