Maybe Last Chris Petersen-USC Nugget Cont.

Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times

Ken Lambert/The Seattle Timesb

I mentioned earlier in the week that Ed Orgeron was blue collar and Pat Haden white collar as a way to sum up why Orgeron was not seriously considered for the USC job. A source tells me this could also be what made Chris Petersen a poor “fit.”

Imagine what Petersen, a Northwest guy, would have in common: Fishing? Not likely. Haden is a golfer.

“It’s really interesting with the USC thing,” Petersen told the Idaho Statesman. “I don’t know what they felt, and it’s hard to describe what I felt — it just didn’t feel like it was totally the right thing. But when I spoke to these guys, it did. I know a little bit more about this program just because of some of the connections that I have over here. I felt like I knew it better than the other one. So I felt like I knew what I was getting myself into more.”

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  • Spedjones

    It’s funny to think SC, which is only the 4th best California school in the PAC 12 from an academic standpoint, thinks it is too high-brow for a guy like Petersen.

    • FightON

      I like how you think UCLA is better academically than USC – especially with the problems the UC system is facing. Why are all your researchers coming here then?

      • Spedjones

        Now now, let’s not be silly. UCLA over USC, and that’s not in doubt. To the extent SC is able to lure profs away, it’s ONLY about throwing money at them. Just like Pat tries to do with all of our coaches.

        But to make a point – find me ONE current ranking that shows USC ahead of UCLA. For every one you can find, I’ll post 4 that have UCLA well ahead.

        • B-rad

          Oh brother. US News and World Report is the set of rankings that people seem to care about and it has UCLA and USC tied at 23. Both schools are good; do you really need a ranking system to tell you that? It’s just a matter of opinion. There may be some departments that are stronger at one University versus the other, but overall, they’re both pretty good schools. In terms of factual data, the enrolled USC students seem to have a little higher SAT scores than enrolled UCLA students, but here’s a newsflash. The kids enrolled at both universities tend to be fairly bright. And, while you’re googling all the rankings that you can find to settle the debate, perhaps you could also find all of the rankings that show that snickers are clearly better than twix bars. Because, if you need a chocolate bar, and you get the wrong one, yikes!

          • ProbationU

            You have to learn to be more obnoxious and use less actual reasoning if you want to be taken seriously on this blog.

          • rusoviet

            Oh and who exactly is this reply intended for?

          • Spedjones

            For whom is this reply intended?

          • Spedjones

            I said show me one where SC is ahead. Just one. You can’t. All you can do is pretend the one SC does best in is the one everybody cares about. Way to hammer home my point! WOTT!

            Like I said, sc is only the 4th best CA school in the PAC, so why the high horse? Too good for Coach Pete? Hardly.

          • B-rad

            US News is the only one I’ve ever heard cited, so that’s what I looked up. Why not use the rankings that matter to people? By the way, I only look at the AP, Coaches, and Harris polls for football too. It doesn’t mean that I think they are valid (again, just based on opinions); but they do seem to matter. More than some “expert” rankings, I’m more interested in behavior (just as I’m interested more in what happens on the field than rankings). In spite of the fact that UCLA is much less expensive, USC still manages to enroll students with higher SAT scores than UCLA. Are SAT scores valid? Sort of; they’re hardly definitive. But, you would think that the folks with the higher SAT scores would go to the school that is half the cost of the other if the education was superior too. To me, it seems like folks are voting with their feet. If UCLA is so great, why can’t they get better students than USC? So, if there are other rankings out there that say UCLA is best, go ahead and savor it. But the “smarter” kids are choosing USC.

            Back to the chocolate analogy–I do like snickers better than twix, but if twix is half price, I’m tempted. I don’t blame kids for going to UCLA (or buying twix bars if they’re on sale); UCLA is a good school too. I don’t think it’s as good as USC, but arguing back and forth about something that cannot be definitively resolved is just silly.

            As for your strawperson argument that my logic indicates That CSUN is the same as USC and Caltech? Exactly, how does my logic lead to that conclusion? I simply said that both USC and UCLA are both good schools–I didn’t say that all universities are equal. I have no idea where CSUN is ranked, but it’s not anywhere near USC and UCLA. Comparing CSUN to USC or UCLA is like comparing Snickers with an Almond Joy. Sure, there are a few people that may like an Almond joy, but Snickers (I’m just guessing) far outsells Almond Joy. Again, people vote with their behavior.

            Hopefully, both UCLA and USC are doing well. I’m financially supporting both: USC by choice (voluntary donations and past tuition); UCLA by fiat. The government steals my hard earned resources, gives to poor old UCLA, and what does UCLA have to show for it? Students who are almost as qualified as USC students? Yipee! Congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment. If you went to UCLA and you think it’s a great school, that’s great. I’m happy for you. But rather than being an a$$, I’d rather you just said “Thank you” for supplementing your tuition and went on your way. Clearly, other’s think USC is worth the larger investment. I wonder why?

          • Spedjones

            I tell you what – Wolfie’s filter won’t let me post links, but you can see how UCLA and USC stack up by going to: ucla (dot) edu/pdf/ucla-rankings-oct-2013 (dot) pdf

            Like I said, UCLA is one of the most respected academic institutions in the WORLD. SC, well, is NOT.

          • WEB_Dupree

            Until I started reading this blog, I had never heard anyone associated with UCLA talk about the place like it was the Yale of the western U.S. When I was in grad school at UCLA, none of us were under any such illusions. We knew that we were attending a school that was seen as less “elite” than Stanford and Berkeley, and about on par with USC. Of course, when comparing individual programs, one school or the other may come out on top. If I knew a young person who had been accepted to both schools, I would tell him or her to go to whichever one will result in less student loan debt.

          • B-rad

            LOL–The UCLA pdf shows the US News rankings on the first page–I guess UCLA also knows which rankings seem to matter to people. The washington monthly rankings? I’m impressed with the rankings that they gave to UCLA. Except, well, they ranked UC San Diego and UC Riverside #1 and #2. Wow, Harvard might as well just quit. (Did UCLA really mean to suggest that it’s vastly inferior to UCSD and UCR?). The London’s Times? Oh, well, if those guys with the cool British accent like UCLA, well then, yes, UCLA must be money. But keep looking for validation. The students with the better scores keep coming to USC. USC has the most international students of any university in the country (I think), so the world wide reputation is hardly lacking. Look, you can look at my previous posts. I’m not disrespecting UCLA. Again, it’s a good university. USC is a great school too (in my opinion better than UCLA). But, regardless of whether you are pro USC or pro UCLA, this idea that one of the universities (USC or UCLA) is academically awesome and the other one is academically terrible is just silly. Oh, and again, you’re welcome for my forced contributions to your tuition.

    • radioman

      USC has higher SAT scores, the enrolling students are only below stanford in the pac 12

  • snarfy

    Scott, your blog is my go-to source for news about Chris Peterson and Lane Kiffin. Keep it up chief!

  • why are trOXans so desperate to depict this as Southern Cal NOT wanting Petersen? who they trying to kid???

    Petersen thought about the DMV entrance to campus, the scandals, the urine odor……he never took Southern Cal seriously!! (neither did Saban, Gruden, Sumlin etc etc)

    but Petersen knocked three people down running to the fax machine to accept the Huskies offer…..and Saban’s agent has been talking to Texas for weeks!!! the agent wouldn’t even take Hadden’s call!!! ’nuff said.

    • FightON

      DMV entrance to campus? Lulz. Have you ever actually driven on Expo? Cruising in that way you normally do doesn’t count.

    • snarfy

      Bucket, you’re right! The process has revealed native flaws in USC as an institution that national championship winning coaches, Heisman Trophy winners, and dozens of All-Americans somehow missed over the decades!

      Sweeeeeeet scooopin Bucket! A-wwwoooooooo!!!!!

      • Jethro G Sabbath

        But did you notice how he misspelled Haden? Probably the most crushing part of his post.

        • so what’s your new handle gonna be? Jezro D. Sabbath?

      • stop snarfing all over me, bully, i’m just doing my best every day.

        you DO know what happens to people to mess with Cadre, don’t you??

        • snarfy

          Do they get bullied?

  • Jack B

    Petersen will do well at UW, better than he would have at USC. The truth is, Petersen isn’t a fit at USC. He hates too much attention and attention is what you get 24/7 in L.A. At least both parties met and figured out Petersen was wrong for the job. If he were right for the job, he’d be at USC right now. So, why all the crying about somebody who figured to be happier and do better at UW? Good luck to the Huskies. There are no guarantees UW got the right man for that job either. No more patsies to play the majority of the year. The Pac-12 is now officially a meat-grinder.

    • FightON

      This. I cannot reiterate enough how important attention is at USC. Someone mentioned a cocktail party and that is exactly what is expected. Heck, half of what a professor’s job is is to schmooze with other professors. This is fairly typical in academia anyways (well, at least, at some schools), but it is especially true of USC. It is all about who you know. Welcome to LA.

      I got mocked by the trolls for saying someone chose USC over Harvard, but if you are going to spend your entire life in LA, then you need the LA connections. That’s where all of my job opportunities came from.

      UW seems like a more quaint, woodsy life.

      • Mark Stevens

        It isn’t quaint, more like lifeless concrete. I live 50 mile north of Seattle in the woods. Rather be here with the wild life, than Seattle’s :”wildlife”

        • FightON

          Admittedly, I’m not familiar with Seattle as I’ve been there only a few times. Though, I do know people who sound like they are in similar situations – they live outside of Seattle in more woodsy, quaint areas.

          I don’t mean quaint in a condescending way, I mean it in a far away from corporate jungle sort of way.

          Comparatively speaking, Seattle seems different than LA. I think it would be harder to have an away from the big city feel in Los Angeles. You certainly won’t find that in MB, where many of the coaches live (which is far more about appearances than people think). Maybe somewhere in the valley – La Canada, or something.

          • Mark Stevens

            I knew you were being nice with quaint. Outside Seattle, Like Edmonds, that’s quaint. Small customer friendly stores, view of the ocean. Seattle in areas feels like one huge innner city. souless and dangerous.
            We had a Seahawk leave a well know bar, beat senseless, than the attacker went down the street and killed a gang member.

    • sureshot32

      Disagree wholeheartedly. Petersen would do well wherever he went (maybe not so much in the South).
      I’ve been watching him for years and I’ve never gotten the impression that he hates attention. Read the ESPN Pac-12 blog on his news conference and see if there’s even a hint of him shying from the moment (there’s not).

      Saying that if Petersen was right for the job, he’d be at USC is mullarky too. Does that mean Kiffin was right for USC because he ended up here? No, Petersen was right for it – Haden just felt more comfortable going with someone he knew.

    • Mark Stevens

      USC needs another Carrol. After a Hawks game Pete glows under the lights! Helps winning a lot!!!

    • Goatboy Kiffin

      CP doesn’t need attention … like attention wh*re SUckisian does

  • WEB_Dupree

    Wolf’s “classism” theory may be true for all I know, but sometimes personalities don’t mesh for reasons that have nothing to do with sinister “-isms”. I went to a big public high school in Indiana. Most of us were middle class, and most of us lived in the very same neighborhood. Nonetheless, there were plenty of people there I would never want to work for, work with, or employ. Sometimes a bad fit is just a bad fit. It looks like we’ll never know whether Petersen would have been a good fit at USC, but why must his feelings or Haden’s feelings be some sort of scandal?
    By the way — how does Wolf know that Petersen doesn’t golf?

    • snarfy

      He doesn’t know that Peterson doesn’t golf. What he does know is that it fits his preconceived narrative, so therefore it’s okay to write.

      • WEB_Dupree

        “Given Haden’s well-known taste for the finest French cheeses, how could he hire an uncouth Velveeta man like Petersen?”

  • FightON

    Wait…those kids are spelling out “Petersen” and not “Pete” as in Carroll, right? Because that would be sort of humiliating.

    • Golden Trojan

      Either way, way to stay classy Huskies.

  • Fred Sampson

    It sounds like Chris Petersen’s interview was just to appease People, and Pat Haden made up his mind prior. Haden won’t be the Athletic Director when his house of cards starts to crumble in the next few years so he’s not concerned about feeling the raft. He clearly stated that he promised the President of USC that he will stay on as AD through the probation period, and that will be over after next season.

  • tostevinUSC

    We all know Haden went with his gut. This means he had heartburn after the Cheesecake factory and Orgeron was out. Petersen likes potatoes and doesn’t get heartburn. Sarkisian, who carries tums in his pocket, getting heartburn from coaching in the Pacific Northwest was the only relief.

  • B.Miller

    Hey Wolf..
    WHO CARES! The decision has been made.. Petersen is a Northwest guy and that’s where he wanted to stay.. GET OVER IT!

  • sureshot32

    My gut tells me that Haden met with Petersen and decided not to hire him. Whether he gave Petersen the vibe that he wasn’t interested in hiring him or not, I don’t know. But I’d be willing to bet that if Haden had gone up to Boise with a one-track mind geared towards hiring Chris Petersen, Petersen would have signed on the dotted line.
    And I’m not buying anything about Petersen being a northwest guy who hates golf. Dude was born and raised in the Sacramento area (roughly where I’m from) where it’s regularly 100+ in the summer. He’s a California kid who happened to do some coaching up in Eugene and Boise. To suggest Chris Petersen couldn’t adapt to Los Angeles is purely speculative and borderline foolish.

    • Mark Stevens

      Good point sureshot. Petersen played football UoC Davis, he’s from Yuba and… two time coach of the year. Boise finished in the top five three of his eight years there. Those ae Saban numbers.

  • sureshot32

    After reading Petersen’s remarks, I’m even more convinced of this: Petersen didn’t feel it was the right situation because Haden didn’t want to hire him. It’s like going on a date with a girl who’s not really into you (Bucket can relate). No matter how much you like the girl, if she’s not giving you that vibe, you’re gonna know it.

    I hope for Haden’s sake that Sark turns out to be one of the best coaches in the country, because he just passed up on the one I think is the absolute best.

  • B-rad

    SW, thanks for the Education. I didn’t realize that all folks from Idaho are blue collar (blue turf = blue collar?). No one in Idaho is sophisticated enough to play Golf. Good thing Petersen didn’t bring his multi-million dollar contract to Los Angeles, he’d just sit in the back yard of his Beverly Hills home trying to catch fish in his cement pond.

  • rusoviet

    No one seems to be commenting on the fact that the 4th estate is till fixated on why Petersen wasn’t offered the job at USC – that is what is telling here.

    Others on sports radio made note that Petersen seemed to be very uncomfortable dealing with the media and as to the remark that Haden is ‘upper crust’ and not comfortable with someone deemed lower level that’s pure nonsense;. If that were the case Haden would have selected Petersen – he’s far more the ‘upper crust’ based on his demeanor and appearance than Steve Sarkisian is – HADEN lived in John McKay’s home for over 3 years as a high school student – John McKay is not was not ‘upper crust’ – he was everyman to everyman and could deal with everyman but I’d say the one thing Haden was looking for was someone who saw the goals for the program and wouldn’t let his emotions dominate him (Orgeron sadly lost it and Petersen would be overwhelmed with the LA and national media,

    It’s as simple as that – frankly what conference member in the MWC was Boise State’s rival? ID? No! NV? No! Who? There wasn’t any because the conference doesn’t lend itself to that – I’d hate to see how Petersen would have reacted against Notre Dame and UCLA year after year – shades of Larry Smith. He’s a perfect fit for WA just as Larry Smith was for AZ and Tulane – USC is a whole different league of its own.

    • Spedjones

      I hear Petersen has to bring his Boise team with him to UW and will only be allowed to recruit 1-3 star kids forever. So yeah, your post makes perfect sense.