How Did USC Get To This Point?

About 13 months ago, USC was ranked No. 1 in the preseason and had the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class. Eighteen games later, USC is 10-8 and every time I go on an out-of-town radio show I get asked if the Trojans can reclaim L.A. from UCLA?

This is why I believed a coaching change made sense after last season. The warning signs were all there and nothing really changed this season. Now USC has to delay everything one December later to right the program.

This will be the biggest decision Pat Haden makes as athletic director. And it will not be easy. Many candidates are not slam dunks. So Haden will be under more scrutiny than ever. Firing Lane Kiffin was easy compared to Haden’s next move.

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  • Jack B

    Haden has now given USC at least a couple of months to nail down a coach by December. Orgeron can coach the USC bowl game if he wants and they get in one. That’s the key – a two month search which could stretch to three. No rush job.

    A search last year would have been a quickee deal that wouldn’t have really started until Dec, or even Jan if the termination decision wasn’t made until after the bowl disaster. Chinese fire drill.

    Thirteen months ago, USC was ranked #1 and didn’t even deserve a #25 rank. It was a bogus, uninformed rank all along, so your starting point in reality moved on you big-time. USC really got to this point by hiring Kiffin (super rush job) in the first place.

    Haden carefully thought this out. When he decided, he wasted no time. I like it. Now he can really deliberate with his next move. The program needs to settle down anyway.

    Should be very interesting.

    • steveg

      Peterson from TCU?

      • ProbationU

        That’s Gary Patterson. Excellent defensive coach. Would need a good OC. The one this Bruin would not like to see at SC is Art Briles of Baylor. I’m guessing he ends up at Texas, but between Sumlin, Patterson and Briles, there are some excellent coaches in Texas.

        Also, there has been an influx of talent in the PAC and the league is a lot different than when Carroll came along. It will be more difficult to climb that mountain this time for SC. It’s still SC, but Oregon, Stanford, Washington and a UCLA program on the rise are going to provide better competition than they did when Carroll came along.

  • Golden Trojan

    Wolf it is due to scholie limits and a caretaker coach. We only have to look at Alabama to see how it can go. UA had scholie limits from 02-04, went 10-3. 4-9, 6-6 under Francione, Mike Price (stripper gate) and Mike Shula. 05-07 they had their wins vacated, but had a record of 10-2, 6-7 7-6 with Saban taking over from Shula in 07. With Saban they went 12-2 in 08 and 14-0 in 09 and BCS Champs. Under Kiffin we went 8-5, 10-2, 7-6, 3-2 so far. ’13 still will have scholie limits then we will be on the way back in ’14. A couple more mediocre seasons then look out. Alabama had a lot of pain before their current success.

    • marvgoux1

      Wrong. We were loaded with talent, a 4 year starter senior quarterback, two outstanding receivers and the preseason #1 last year and scholarship limits had NOTHING to do with Kiffin’s poor coaching and us going 7-6 and losing the Sun Bowl.

  • Cheap seats

    I agree there are no slam dunks — especially with USC expectations.

    Contrast that with what everyone is already calling a success cross town with Jim Mora. I suspect it’s so different with UCLA, that even if Mora were to lose to both Stanford and Oregon this year and lose the PAC-12 championship again, he’d still be considered a good coach.

    Do the same over here and you’d be on the hot seat.

    • LamontRaymond

      Agreed. In Southern California, if you haven’t won a national championship, you haven’t done anything. UCLA hasn’t done anything.

    • ThaiMex

      When’s the last time…..has it EVER happened…SUCks beating both Stanford and Oregon…and going to the Championship Game?
      Didn’t think so.
      fit UN Yesterday U!


        still bragging about backing in to the championship game 2 years ago right after being demoralized 50-0?

        • ThaiMex

          Shut “U Stupid Cheaters” out 39-0 in 1950! What’s your point? How’s the view from down there in LAST PLACE?
          fit UN!

          • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

            Oh my. There’s still a lot of football to be played there buddy. The difference between USC and fucla is that USC is Rose Bowl or bust, where as fucla is all about “Pac12 South Champs!”. We know we’re bad this season, but for some reason, fucla thinks they’re good, when they’re really the 3rd or 4th best IN THE CONFERENCE

          • ThaiMex

            Well…we agree on ONE THING…You SUCk this season…and last season, and will suck NEXT SEASON as well. 39-0 or 50-0, they’re both history, but #1 to UN still seems VERY FRESH! Looks like the “UN” part is something that is going to stick around for seasons to come. 5 & 8….sure sounds GREAT!

          • marvgoux1

            Wrong. Anything less than a national title is bust at USC. At fucla making the Rose Bowl is their ultimate goal.

          • Jethro G Sabbath

            You had to dig all the way back to 1950 and it still doesn’t have the perfect symmetry of 50-0.
            How much research did you put into that one?

          • steveg

            You could probably describe it better than we could, you have spent a great deal more time there.

      • Cheap seats

        How did the surveillance camera happen to get your photo while on campus today?

        Stay away from the dorms, Bucket!

  • TrojanConquest

    Of course Kiffin should have been pulled off the bus after the Sun Bowl. But having a head start now, plus only one more year of scholarship reductions instead of two, will position SC to get the best coach. And SC has 19 scholarships since they didn’t use all the schorships available. They absolutely have to hire someone between the last regular season game and the bowls, and the sooner the better. They need this worked out, going through the agent of the coach, and sign him within a week of the regular season ending. Of course if Orgeron goes 8-0, or 7-1, then hire him.

    • marvgoux1

      A head start? We wasted 10 months.

      • TrojanConquest

        Again, I wanted him fired last year. But having 2 years left on the sanctions would have excluded many coaches from considering the job. Now we have until December to get this done before all the other positions become open.

  • Dr. Paul

    What characters make for a good head coach? The same ones that make for a good team. Ronald Reagan made an astute observation, “It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the
    credit”. In other words, the old adage that there is no “I” in “Team”, something LK will never understand. Steve Jobs was asked why he did not commission “marketing” studies. His answer, “Why? Apple customers do not
    know what they want until we show it to them!”
    Exactly the attitude that made Chip Kelly successful at Oregon.
    I personally want a head coach with integrity,
    enthusiasm and an earned self-esteem that allows him to surround himself with the best staff he can muster and then turn them loose to do their jobs. John McKay and Pete Carroll excelled in recognizing talent, both on the field and on the sidelines, and recruiting them
    to USC. Ed Orgeron has demonstrated his
    ability to recruit top talent to USC and has done a lot of the “right” things in his first week as head coach. If he
    is given the authority keep or replace staff as he sees fit, I think ha may be exactly what this Doctor ordered when he called for LK’s head.

  • rusoviet

    Haden well understands the pressure he is under – it is what made him blanched when Chancellor Nikias first approached him with this job.

    You wouldn’t trade places with Haden anymore than those two morons Joe Blow and Paul Hackett but I;ll say this unlike those two humps we know who you are and we also know who Pat Haden is – a man with a huge weight on his shoulder’s and will be pilloried by all if he chooses the wrong candidate.

    Love to see him take a chance with that 50+ HC from ND St. Craig Bohl.

    BTW for you ‘Joe Blow’ how’s your mentor Garrett doing at OK A&M? Oh yeah for you Paul Hackett – gotta stop switching btwn. Joe Blow and Paul ok?…..

    Go Irish – if you lose two weeks hence you clowns will be drinking your poteen and crying like banshees waiting for the wee folk to take you to your lair of abyss ridden justice you Hibernian-Nigerians so deserve…(circa 1970) “Look Seamus we need to get some of those big black boyos that USC recruits in here, now!” “I agree Fr. McManus but the lot of them are stinkin’ ‘prods”!” “Matters not me lad bring them in else we’ll never beat the Trojans again!”

    Beat AZ and make the drunks understand we’re coming!

  • realtrojan

    Don’t mean to sound overly blunt and simplistic, but the program wasn’t to flourish with Kiffin as HC. He was never a winner prior to his tenure at USC — he had failed both with Raiders and Tennessee. There’s one thing that still makes me scratch my head, though. How did he beat fUCLA by the score “50-0” two seasons ago. Was the USC team that year that good or the fUCLA team that bad? But as we all know it rather well, it’s NORMAL for fUCLA to be bad. REALLY bad. So in other words, it’s highly ABNORMAL for them not to suck, and history proves it. lol.

  • titleixsports