See the picture above? Those were good times. It seems like only two weeks ago. In fact, it was only two weeks ago when the USC Trojans beat the Penn State Nittany Lions senseless at the Rose Bowl.
Coach Pete Carroll was beside himself. He was thrilled about the opportunity to say that once again that USC is the best team in college football.
Carroll was extremely happy with the way his quarterback, Mark Sanchez, went all kinds of crazy with an impressive performance worthy of a ready to roll performance in the NFL.
After Sanchez completed 28 of 35 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns, the rumor mill started grinding on whether or not the junior would jump ship and join the NFL or stay behind and give the Trojans a great shot of a national title in 2009.
The same questions were mulling over other underclassman quarterbacks that had outstanding seasons: Florida's Tim Tebow, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Texas's Colt McCoy.
All three of them decided to stay, which easily makes the Florida Gators, Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns favored for a chance at the National Championship.
On the very last day of underclassmen to enter the NFL Draft in April, one question was left unanswered. Is Sanchez coming back or not?
While the Detroit Lions celebrated on the possibility of getting the 6'3", 225 pounder with a solid arm, one person got a bit sour.
Thursday afternoon, Carroll and Sanchez each addressed the media on Sanchez's decision.
Sanchez seemed to be all smiles about the fact that he's about to get paid. Carroll, on the other hand, seemed frustrated.
In fact, it got so bad that when they made the transition for Sanchez to talk to the media, Carroll walked past him and did not acknowledge him.
I found that to be very painful.
Usually a coach is there for his players and stand by them no matter what decision they decide to make.
Seeing Sanchez pretty much saying "Peace out!" was like a kick in the crotch for Carroll. It may be because when Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart had an opportunity to leave early, they decided to come back and when Sanchez leaving Carroll probably thinks his team is useless.
I sure hope not.
There's always going to be transition in college football. Players come and go. Some go early and in my opinion I have no problem with Sanchez joining the draft. I believe that he is ready to roll.
Carroll is too good of a coach to be so bitter about one quarterback leaving the game. Everyone knows that the Trojans always make good of their quarterback situations.
John David Booty faired well after Leinart left so why can't the same be said for Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain who will be fighting for the starting quarterback spot now that Sanchez is gone.
Is Carroll really going to be that lost without him? It sure certainly seemed like that. Shoot, he should be proud, Sanchez will graduate in the spring with his degree in Communications.
Doesn't every coach want their players to get a good education?
As much as I think Carroll is one of the sickest coaches in college football history, I thought he was disrespectful to his, now, former quarterback.
Sanchez thought really hard about this decision and it was an adult decision in which he thought would be best for himself, and I can't get mad at that.
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