For the first part in the series USC Will Not Finish Atop the Pac-10 in 2010, click here .
In the first part of the series you heard the first reason why USC will not win the Pac-10: The schedule. I predicted USC would go 9-4, losing to Washington, Stanford, Oregon State, and Oregon.
Now I'll talk about why I think they'll lose said games: A bad head coach, and a lack of talent.
First off, the coaching. Lane Kiffin is a terrible head coach. He did some good things as USC's receivers coach and offensive coordinator. But it was all downhill from there.
He had multiple arguments and "false" accusations thrown at him during his year and some at Oakland...that was an ugly time period. But then he went back to college ball at Tennessee, and didn't fare well there either. After such high expectations all he did was break rules, cry about Urban Meyer, and put up a losing season.
So then USC takes him back, no doubt feeling sympathetic and wanting to "bring him home again" as one person put it.
Bad luck just seems to follow Lane Kiffin wherever he goes. Almost right off the bat Kiffin was in trouble for picking up a recruit at the airport with a limousine. Then of course there's the infamous scholarship offer to 13 year old David Sills. Also illegal.
So far he's 12-21 as a head coach, and has committed a whole heap of violations...all in three years.
Now people may praise his recruiting abilities. USC didn't lose too many people when Pete Carroll left, right? Yes, true, but is it really Kiffin doing the recruiting?
In other words...the brand is selling itself. USC is one of the most popular colleges in the nation, especially when it comes to football. Nearly every kid in the western states has a dream of playing for USC.
Pete Carroll has made USC a household name. Kiffin doesn't need to do anything to enhance that reputation. He could dehance it, though. I think he could ruin that reputation really fast, given his past. And if he does, USC will lose a significant amount of recruits.
As I said in my last article, Kiffin may keep his record running of losing three head coaching jobs in three years. If he doesn't deliver a bowl-worthy season, I'd can him.
He's proved himself to be a bad coach, and hasn't shown us any reason why he should be trusted with a head coaching job. Most likely he'll just commit several recruiting violations and then turn into an assistant coach at a high school somewhere. I just hope it isn't my high school.
Now we come to the third point: a lack of talent on this year's Trojan squad.
USC without a lack of talent?! It must be a typo!!
Well, no, it isn't. They only have 11 returning starters, and some of them just aren't that good. Matt Barkley will most likely end up as an eventual star quarterback. However, only one year of experience, and it's the worst one of Carroll's career? I'm not convinced yet.
Then there's FB Stanley Havili...he's got some skill for sure. He'll be a major part of the offense. The running game should be above average with senior duo Allen Bradford and CJ Gable.
The hole here is in the receivers. This is the first year I can remember for a long time when the Trojans haven't had at least one dynamic, stand out, All American receiver ready to be the go to guy.
Ronald Johnson is most likely to be that guy this year...but he's certainly no All-American.
On defense the front seven look pretty good, minus the defensive tackle. All three projected starters on linebackers are returners. But it's an entirely new cast in the secondary. Completely new. That doesn't look good...and will no doubt be taken advantage of time and time again.
The two weaknesses will be the receiving game, and the secondary. They're obvious and will be easy to exploit. I would actually have USC losing more, but the schedule is so weak they're already guaranteed six wins (out-of-conference games, Washington State, Arizona State).
Combining the huge holes on the team, their terrible head coach, and you have four losses, same as last year. Don't get your hopes up too high Trojan fans. You can pat yourselves on the back and tell sob stories about how the sanctions "aren't fair," but at the end of the day it doesn't matter.
The point is USC will stay out of the Pac-10 throne once again.