Monday, January 18, 2010

USC Football Toes Line with Talent, Trouble

What a tumultuous week for the Trojans football program. First Pete Carroll left the team after a spectacular nine-year career to lead the Seattle Seahawks. The timing couldn't have been worse for the Trojans. On the field they recently limped to a 9-4 record for the season, which is the worst finish since Carroll's first year in Cardinal and Gold back in 2001. A slew of underclassmen (Stafon Johnson, Everson Griffen, Joe McKnight) were already leaving the program and incoming recruits were left wondering what the hell was happening. And of course, there was the little problem with Joe McKnight's SUV situation and the looming sanctions for the football program regarding Reggie Bush and a general lack of institutional control.

USC quickly nabbed former USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin from Tennessee to lead the team. Lane brings with him an unimpressive record at the Oakland Raiders and Vols as well as a reputation for minor recruiting violations and running his mouth. But he's also only 34 (the youngest head coach in FBS Subdivision) and brings an All-Star coaching staff led by his father Monte Kiffin and recruiting coordinator (and former USC assistant coach) Ed Orgeron.

It appears the Trojans will retain most of its players and swagger. By making this hire Mike Garrett is clearly enamored with prolonging the Carroll era with one of Pete's disciples. Carroll amassed a 97-19 record but also earned a reputation for running a loose program.

Lane Kiffin represents the price of winning in college football. He's a rainbow and a rainy day.

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