Well, it's been about 8 months since Pete Carroll was named as the Head Football Coach at the University of Southern California. It has been well documented that his arrival was the source of much discussion and dissention among the very demanding and "starved for football success" SC faithful. As the start of Pete's first season as the Man approaches I can't help but wonder where these faithful stand. Although there is nothing etched in stone, it appears to me that most people are in one of three camps.
First, there is the group that is so disappointed in his choice and in the program in general, that they see no positives upon which they can base their hopes. After all, this is the fifth head coach since our last real run at national greatness, and this guy Carroll is an unproven commodity. These SC fans have seemingly heard it all before. We have great talent, great tradition and we are going to win it all. Well, these hardened folks will have no part of that anymore. They weren't happy with this choice, they feel our recruiting has been overated and they are convinced we can no longer run the ball, we have no real threat of greatness on the Oline and we haven't been able to score at will or stop anyone for a long time. And to make matters worse, we have a head coach who has done "bubkas" in college football.
Secondly, there is the moderate group in the middle of the road. Many fans are weary, but after all this is still The University of Southern California Football that we are talking about. Yes, maybe Carroll was not the first choice for the Head Coaching Job. Maybe the Oline has been a disappointment for the last several years. The team has surely been plagued by penalties and miscues for what seems to be the longest times. It is true that we have not been to the Rose Bowl for what seems like forever. Our last four teams have not even gone to a bowl game. However, this is a new regime, and Carroll has chosen what seems to be an excellent staff. These players have made lots of mistakes in years gone by, but they have excellent potential and perhaps, with this new staff, they will live up to their potential. Surely, these kids who were all world in high school, and can run faster than almost anyone they compete against are ready for a breakout year. This has to be better than anything we have seen in the past several years. Well, for this middle or the road group, we are about to find out reality very soon. This group is not quite guiddy about the year, but as a fan who pays attention to what others are saying, I can't help but sense that there is just a little of that self confidence that is starting to shine through once again.
Finally, there is that group who once again seems to see things through Cardinal and Gold colored glasses. Yes sir, this year will finally be the breakout year. Although many in this group may not have embraced Coach Pete Carroll to begin with, they are now firmly in his corner. It is impossible not to notice what a tremendous staff this guy has put together. His Offensive Coordinator is legendary. Norm Chow is a proven commodity and he will work his magic with USC. The Defensive Line coach and new recruiting coordinator is finally being allowed to display his aggressive tendencies and let his guys go. The new db coach actually has his kids turning their heads and looking for the ball. Players are actually being moved to positions so as to allow the best talent to be on the field. The new play book does not weigh 51.754 pounds. The head coache is approachable and the strong rumor is that the kids actually love to play for him. The offense is being designed to take advantage of these kids' talents and the D is quick, aggressive and it attacks. Ah, shucks, these folks are really going to miss that read react and let the other guys score, prevent defense of recent years. The golden armed quarterback is actually being allowed to use the many physical talents that he has. Even the tailback will finally be getting a chance to run to daylight. Yes sir, this group can smell it. The USC Football progam is back on track and to quote a well known internet poster, "Something Good is Coming". To this group, things are going to return to normal and we will be fighting for the Pac-10 Championship and maybe even the National Championship and we are not talking about the distant future here!!
So, after all this, to which group do you, the individual reader, belong? And can anyone figure to which group I belong? Actually I am not sure, but I guess I am somewhere between the second and the third with more leanings toward the third. Well, why not? This is SC Football time, I am happy right now, and at this point in time, the team is undefeated!