In Pete Carroll We Trust: Why USC's Dynasty Isn't Dead

Amy Lamare@GridironGoddessSenior Analyst INovember 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the USC Trojans works during warmups for the game with the Washington State Cougars on September 23, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 27-6.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Hello Football Fiends!

Did you know Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh is a giant flaming stinking pile of isht? You didn’t? Well, now you do, and trust me, I’ll remind you again and again.

Look, I give the guy all the credit in the world for the coaching job he’s done at Stanford over the past three seasons. Stanford is a difficult program to get to succeed what with the school’s pesky academic requirements, yet Harbaugh took a 1-11 team and three seasons later had them pull off back-to-back upsets of top 10 ranked teams. Impressive.

However, the man needs a giant personality transplant. What a nasty piece of work he is. He seems to have a giant chip on his shoulder where USC football and Pete Carroll are concerned.

Well, his sh*t talking, rudeness, and mocking will be tolerated no longer. The USC Mafia will call him out, and He. Will. Pay.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s address all these ridiculous “The Fall of Troy: The Dynasty is Dead” statements the press has been screaming from their pulpits.

People. Let’s get real. USC has the talent, it has the depth, it has Pete Carroll. After seven years at the top of the Pac-10 pile, and with coaching attrition the likes of which no other major collegiate program has (a whole post dedicated to that will go up this week), Carroll’s Trojans were due a rebuilding year.

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Three losses is not the end of the freaking world, folks. Nor is it the end of the elite status of USC football. Let’s take a look at what Carroll has accomplished in his years at USC:

2001: 6-6-0 (5-3-0 Pac-10) Loss in the Las Vegas Bowl to the University of Utah, Not Ranked

2002: 11-2 (7-1 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champs, finished the season No. 4, Carson Palmer Heisman, beat Iowa in the Orange Bowl, lost to Kansas State and Washington State

2003: 12-1 (7-1 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, AP National Champions, beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, finished season ranked No. 1 AP No. 2 BCS, only loss was to Cal by three in triple overtime

2004: 13-0 (8-0 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, AP and BCS National Champions, Matt Leinart Heisman, beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl for the BCS Nat’l Championship, wire to wire AP No. 1

2005: 12-1 (8-0 Pac 10) Pac-10 Champions, Reggie Bush Heisman, played Texas in the Rose Bowl for National Championship and lost, end season ranked No. 2, only loss of season to Texas in Nat’l Championship game

2006: 11-2 (7-2 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, finished season No. 4, lost to Oregon State and UCLA

2007: 11-2 (7-2 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, beat Illinois in the Rose Bowl, finished season ranked No. 2 in the Coaches' Poll, No. 3 in the AP, lost to Stanford and Oregon

2008: 12-1 (8-1 Pac-10) Pac-10 Champions, beat Penn State in the Rose Bowl, finished season ranked No. 2 in the Coaches' Poll and No. 3 in the AP, lost to Oregon State

Folks, those are some pretty consistent numbers. So we have three losses so far this season—so what?

Consider the case of the University of Florida football program. Urban Meyer took over the Gator football program at the start of the 2005 season. They went 9-3. The following year, in 2006, Florida won the SEC and the BCS National Championship game.

Then 2007 rolled around, and the Gators lost four games. They lost to Auburn, LSU, Georgia, and Michigan (in the Capital One Bowl) and ended the season ranked No. 13. Tim Tebow won his Heisman that year.

Did anyone cry “end of an era,” “the dynasty is over” back then? Hell no.

In fact, for years after the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Seminoles started dropping off the national radar, they were also still given the benefit of the doubt. Words like rebuilding and phrases like “a down year” were bandied about. The media stressed the rich recruiting in the state of Florida and stated that the Gators (or Hurricanes or ‘Noles depending on the year) would be back.

So why not cut USC some of that same slack, folks? We’ve got a true freshman at QB who has a bad habit of throwing balls into coverage. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator who has shown some of the worst play calling in FBS football. Our defense is...bizarrely slow and out of position most of the time. We’ve got discipline and chemistry problems. Sometimes those things take a season to work out.

Sure, that hasn’t really happened in the Pete Carroll era of USC football yet—but let’s face it, all those John David Booty-led teams, while successful, didn’t really set the world on fire. Matt Barkley will mature, and with that maturity he will become a stronger player, and USC will rise to the top of the Pac-10 and BCS once again.

And you know what? It’s just one season. So stop rubbing your hands together in glee celebrating USC’s fall from grace. While many streaks do die this year (seven straight Pac-10 championships, seven straight BCS bowls, seven straight 11-win seasons, etc), this is no cause for true alarm. Carroll and the Men of Troy will work the kinks out.

When they do, boy, I wouldn’t want to be Jim Harbaugh or the Stanford Cardinal. The complete lack of class they showed on Saturday will be paid back to them. You can’t keep USC down for long, especially not with Big Balls Pete at the helm.


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