College Football And USC: Is It Respect, Fear Or a Little Bit Of Both?

Doug UrschelCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2009

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 14:  Carson Palmer of the University of Southern California speaks with the press after winning the 68th annual Heisman Trophy Award at The Yale Club December 14, 2002 in New York City. The USC quarterback became the first west coast player win the trophy since 1981. Palmer received 242 first-place votes winning by 233 over second place Iowa quarterback Brad Banks.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Can you believe this?  Pete Carroll hasn't yet announced who will start the first game as the Trojans new QB, but one of them is already on the watch list for the Davey  O'Brien Award.

At first you may be surprised and ask if this could be true.  However, why not?  In fact, its becoming expected for a Pete Carroll USC team.

Carson Palmer was Pete Carroll's first quarterback at USC. 

Carson would be the first to say his first few years at USC were not very productive.  Pete Carroll made that change the second he arrived at USC. 

Pete Carroll took notice of all of the talent that USC had and immediately wondered why they had been losing during the previous decade.  He knew he could make them better.

Carroll also knew he didn't want to fail.  He had been fired from his last two jobs in the NFL and didn't want that to happen again. 

Carroll had some time to think about what may have caused the two firings.  He began a personal search for ways to succeed.  He knew that if given the control of a program, he would succeed. 

Mike Garrett was the Athletic Director at USC and he gave Pete Carroll the opportunity to succeed.  Pete Carroll took that opportunity and ran with it.

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USC went six and six in Pete Carroll's first season.  The Trojans only lost one game by more than seven points and that was by 11. 

Carson Palmer immediately saw the difference that Pete Carroll made at USC and decided to return for his last year.

Palmer's decision to return was a wise one.  He was awarded the Heisman Trophy and a multi-million dollar NFL contract.

Matt Leinart followed Palmer as the quarterback for the Trojans.  Matt had yet to throw a college touchdown pass.  Many people looked at him and announced the end of Pete Carroll's short, yet successful run at USC.

The history is clear on Matt Leinart.  He threw his first touchdown pass at Auburn.  Auburn had been rated in the Top Ten when USC shut them out.

Leinart went on to become one of the most successful quarterbacks in college history.  He was the Trojan quarterback through a 34-game winning streak.

Matt Leinart became the second Heisman winning quarterback in USC history. 

Matt Cassell was the backup quarterback for Matt Leinart.  Cassell never threw a touchdown pass at USC and never started a game.

Cassell was drafted into the NFL and is currently a starting quarterback.  He has signed two multi-million dollar contracts with NFL teams.

Matt Cassell blows-up the "no plaques for second best" theory.

John David Booty followed Matt Leinart at quarterback for USC.  He thought of himself as a college backup with three years of experience.

John David Booty went on to lead the Trojans to two more PAC-10 Titles and two consecutive Rose Bowl wins.  Booty holds the record for the most touchdown passes thrown in the Rose Bowl.

A year later, the PAC-10 media were writing that it was the best time to beat USC for the PAC-10 Title.  USC was weak at quarterback.  USC had a "new guy."

The "new guy" was Mark Sanchez.  Yea, "new guy" who would lead USC to another record setting Rose Bowl game, a continuation of record setting PAC-10 Titles and consecutive NCAA records.

Sanchez had another year of eligibility, but decided to go to the NFL.  Sanchez was the New York Jets first pick and fifth pick overall.  He signed for a 50 mil, five year contract. 

Not bad for a one-year starter.  He is set to be the Jet's starting quarterback this season.

The 2009 season is approaching and the media is going hysterical.  The same questions are being zoomed from computer to computer, from one television screen  to  another.

The same old, tired sports news is being fed out of the sewer machines. The media shouts, "USC is going to lose at least four, maybe five games!"

Does anyone really believe that?  There's a better chance of Bridgit Moynahan bringing me a beer in the next two minutes than USC suddenly turning bad.

Pete Carroll has had four starters at quarterback at USC.  All four of them, plus a backup are currently in the NFL.  Three of them are starting.

Pete Carroll has had three out of four years of Heisman winners.  There were two years under Carroll, that multiple Trojans went to the Heisman Award final.

There is no coach in football with that record.  None.  Pete Carroll walks in very rare air. 

Pete Carroll created the largest anti-gang Community Network that the City of Los Angeles has ever had.  The project is called A Better LA.  

Carroll drives into some of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles to talk to gang members and non gang members alike.  He does this late at night, with only a driver with him.

He not only started A Better LA, but he supports it with his time and money.  Pete Carroll exemplifies what it means to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.  

Why would the Davey O'Brien organization place a USC quarterback, who is only challenging for the starting position on their watch list?

Is it possible that it's due to any of the things I have written in this article?  Did they do it out of respect, fear, or a little bit of both?

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