Why Pete Carroll Made The Smart Move To Leave USC

Ty HodgesContributor IJanuary 11, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 26: Head coach Pete Carroll of the USC Trojans celebrates after defeating the Boston College Eagles during the 2009 Emerald Bowl at AT&T Park on December 26, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It's no secret the USC had to pump the brakes this past season having their worst season since Pete Carroll's first year with the team. 

Pete Carroll turned USC football around, and believe it or not, they weren't always a powerhouse.  It has become apparent though that the PAC-10 has caught up to USC in terms of athleticism. 

Two to three years ago, USC was the unchallenged champion of the PAC-10, but this year they finished in very unfamiliar territory—fifth place.  They played in a bowl before January for the first time in a long time. 

Then a bombshell hit Trojan nation—The Seahawks announced that Pete Carroll would be their next head coach.

The news of Carroll leaving came just weeks after USC topped ACC mid-range team Boston College in the Emerald Bowl. 

The question is: Did Pete make the right decision?

The answer is: Yes.

Perhaps Carroll realized that USC couldn't keep up this dominance forever.  He is correct on this.  While USC has great recruits year in and year out, the rest of the PAC-10 has caught up and has starting stealing recruits away from the former giant. 

Not only that, but the PAC-10 no longer locks up these recruits from the West Coast to the likes of the SEC and Big-12, and even some WAC/MWC teams. 

Pete Carroll used to be the edge for USC with his prowess of coaching, but since then,  the coaching in the PAC-10 has increased drastically.  Steve Sarkisian at Washington, Chip Kelly at Oregon and Mike Stoops at Arizona have all put the pressure on Pete Carroll at USC in terms of strategizing and formulating game plans.

The fact of the matter is that Carroll made the right move transitioning back into the NFL.  USC is on the decline.  They may not be on the decline for very long, but why would a coach of his caliber not leave the program while on the decline for a coaching job in the NFL?

The answer is he wouldn't.  Pete Carroll is a fantastic coach and the timing is simply right for him to make his transition back into the NFL.  The Seahawks are looking to clean house and Pete Carroll is a West Coast kind of guy.  The timing is perfect for Carroll—the same can't be said for USC.

With recruits de-committing from USC in the wake of Carroll leaving, the state of USC football is up in the air.  The program will rebound, don't get me wrong.  The time it will take to rebound is the question. 

USC football has taken a big hit in these past couple of weeks, and only time will tell whether or not they will be able to move past Carroll's leaving.

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