College coaches must win -- or else!!

When you'e a college football coach, you win -- or else. The "or else" can be unpleasant -- the inevitable dismissal as head coach and the hunt for a new job, which seldom, if ever, is as good as the one you had.

So you do what you have to in order to win. When he took over as head football coach at USC, Pete Carroll became quickly aware that he did not have the personnel to win consistently. So, during his first few years with the Trojans, Carroll did what he didn't want to do. He went to the junior-college ranks for quick fixes.

In 2002, Carroll brought on four JC players, followed by two in 2003 and four in 2004. That's 10 over a three-year period. But once his program was established, Carroll took the preferred route -- the recruitment of high school players who would be around for development for at least three years, and, in some cases, five.

From 2005 through 2008 -- four recruiting classes -- Carroll brought in only one JC player. That's right -- there were two recruiting classes without a JC input.; In 2009, the USC coach brought in two.

There may be reasons rather than choice for Carroll cutting back on JC recruiting. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has implemented tighter controls over instant eligibility for JC students who transfer to four-year schools..

Those restrictions don't seem to have affected Oregon and Oregon State. For those who wonder how those two Northwest schools have been able to give USC so much trouble on the football field the past few seasons, look to junior-college recruiting for the answer.

Research has revealed that Oregon and Oregon State have each brought in 37 JC players from 2002 through 2009, and many have quickly filled holes in offensive and defensive lines for the Ducks and Beavers.

As mentioned earlier, you do what you have to do, and the Oregon and Oregon State coaches have done it.

But don't look for Pete Carroll to follow suit. The system he's been employing is working very well.


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