Why Pete Carroll is Leaving USC (Updated 1-11)

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Why Pete Carroll is Leaving USC (Updated 1-11)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

As your humble correspondent, I have to say I did not believe the rumors yesterday that Pete Carroll would consider leaving  at  this point in his storied USC career.  We are USC fans and were looking for a Pete Carroll buy-in to our plan to dump the BCS and demand a college football playoff.  However, with Carroll Gone, we need to evaluate why this would happen

It didn't appear to us that he would consider leaving at this point.

So why we didn't think it was happening? 

· USC was clearly retooling for next year with the intention of being right back at the top.

· Carroll stood behind Matt Barkley and if he knew he was leaving, he would have tried to win at all cost and USC had two pretty good backups.

· Pete Carroll owns the second biggest market in the country.  Other than Kobe Bryant, Pete Carroll is the rock star in Los Angeles.

· Carroll's foundation, A Better L.A., is making a big dent with inner city gangs and Carroll was doing a great job at raising awareness.

· Carroll clearly appeared to enjoy sticking it to UCLA with that touchdown near the end of the game to give them a 28-7 lead.  How does Neuheisel feel now that he will never be able to stick it back to Carroll?

· Carroll had complete control of the program and embraced the challenges of an upwardly mobile staff and players who were leaving early to compete in the NFL.

· USC was the NFL team in L.A. and Carroll had enjoyed rock star coverage in a big market that was unequaled.

· USC owns Southern California in recruiting and is positioned to be on top for the foreseeable future.

. USC is the Rock star of Southern California with the exception of that team with Kobe.

Upon further review, it is clear that there were several signals that if they were observed could have prepared all of us for what is clearly about to happen. 

Why it did happen!

.  He clearly got an offer he could not refuse!  Forget about the money.  It's all about the challenge for Pete!

· Pete Carroll has been frustrated with the way college football determines a true champion. They don't! Carroll has been a big proponent of a playoff. Check out our solution!

· Pete has expressed frustration time and time again about the NCAA's iron-fist oversight over college football, which is outdated and irresponsible.

· Carroll has an incredible sense of timing and was very aware that the average great coach has a run of eight to 10 years.  Then they become more and more irrelevant.  There were signs this year that his players and coaches were beginning to tune him out.

· Carroll was supportive but at the same time frustrated his assistants were moving on at such a high rate. Recruiting becomes much more difficult when there is an open coaching carousel.

· Carroll's grip on L.A. was beginning to loosen.  Rick Neuheisel is quickly narrowing  the gap between UCLA and USC.  Pete Carroll loves being the king of Los Angeles and that was beginning to change.

· The threat of NCAA hangs over the football program.  Could the Reggie Bush issue have legs?  We think so.  Could the NCAA be ready to lower the boom?  Maybe! Would Pete Carroll be willing to lead a team on probation? No!

· The L.A. Times is a rag that can only get readers when it picks on the big boys. The Times and USC have always had a love/hate relationship.  USC loves the coverage it gets when they are winning.  The Times loves to snoop around and "out' the Joe McKnights of the world and hammer Carroll to get readers they desperately need!.Carroll has been clearly unhappy with the USC administration over this issue!

· If you think that Carroll would bolt the second biggest media market in the country where he is the story for more money, complete control, less chance of assistants leaving, and less scrutiny, then you are apparently correct.

Stay tuned because we should know by Sunday or Monday at the latest.  You don't fire a coach with millions left on his contract for this opportunity unless the Seahawks knew something in advance.  Opportunities like this come up quick and coaches move quickly. 

There is no question that Carroll's "rah-rah" style fits perfect with L.A. and college football.  He is frustrated that the NCAA produces no real champion and he knows he's had a great run and now may be the best time to leave. 

As a fan of USC for 43 years I had the privilege of watching the last home game of the great John McKay.  I attended the Arizona game in December as well which did indeed turn out to be Pete's last game.  Until Pete Carroll, McKay was miles ahead of most other USC coaches. 

Carroll has narrowed that gap considerably.

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