The Brutal Truth About Coach O

This is getting ridiculous.

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I haven’t felt a need to directly address (a portion of) our fanbase since the sanctions came down and students were literally flooding social media with depressing messages about “there’s always the Lakers” and other related sanctions-depression minutia.

I haven’t felt the need because since we formalized Arrogant Nation, we started embracing a culture of taking hits and laughing at them. Tyler Durden taking a beating in Fight Club and spitting blood on his assailant to make his point. That’s been us since sanctions. That’s why we embraced Kiffin (and we were right to do so). That’s why we punk GameDay whenever it’s in town. That’s why we are at our best when we are defying the odds. It’s this behavior that separates us from all of the Pac 12. The way we go about it is what separates us from the SEC, where old men who couldn’t even get into Auburn (as unbelievable as that sounds) will spend the rest of their lives caring less about their grandchildren being born than that one magical day they won the Iron Bowl on a missed FG and ended up… In the Sugar Bowl? Losing to Missouri the next week? Who cares.

We branded our arrogance in a really, really fun way that is organic to us. Win or lose, beer pong strokes, the best looking cheerleaders in the world, playing in an Olympic stadium. This is a proud tradition. This is a psychosis, but one we’re medicated for. It’s a focused freak out. Ask anyone who spotted me on Trousdale and poured bourbon.

People are starting campaigns on twitter to send Coach O thank you cards. Seriously a hashtag (#cardsforcoachO) that sounds more like a charity event than sending a former coach a card. All the talk of players crying about him leaving. And all of our fans actually retweeting things like this so the whole world can see.

Let’s separate the business from the pleasure here, folks. Every player on this team, every single one since Paul Dee pointed his fat, now-dead finger at us deserves thank you cards. They could have left, they could have phoned it in. Cody Kessler deserves your love, but I remember when he was being turned on in a rotation with turning on Wittek in the beginning of the season.

The players deserve unconditional love because they are playing for the glory of the school. Coaches are a different story and if you don’t get that, I am sorry to tell you it was your parents that put a dollar under your pillow when you lost a tooth.

Who is Coach O?

Coach O is a great line coach, recruiter and motivator. He is an iconic presence at USC for his roles in two periods of USC football history. He speaks like a chubby, drunk James Carville and that is endearing. He is a player’s coach that players love. He is someone I will always remember fondly.

He is also 16-30 as a head coach including this year. Any other human being with that record would be laughed out of the building as a HC candidate at USC. He lost to both of our rivals. He was a 4th and holy-shit-he-caught-it from a 5-3 record and there being zero conversation about his coaching potential at all.

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Coach O left his highly paid assistant role less than a decade ago when a personal business decision lead him to take over at Ole Miss, where he failed. If Kiffin failed, Coach O wasn’t even on the sidelines. Yeah, Coach O has the love, yells “fight on” in interviews and isn’t a total dickhead like Kiffin. But Kiffin has a winning record as a college coach. He was 7-6 in his first year at Tennessee.

So anyone thinking Coach O was a reasonable choice, he wasn’t. Anyone who thinks he learned enough to be a “USC caliber” hire didn’t want the second half against UCLA where Mora kept doing the same thing because we made zero adjustments. The “motivation” factor didn’t matter much in that game, did it? I mean, this is a lot of positive sentiment around a Coach leading a team capable of beating Stanford, but allowing UCLA to flat out beat us up in an anomaly of football history.

And about Stanford. Stanford and USC decided they were going to stand in the middle of the ring and punch each other. There’s no creativity to their offense and I’ll take our horses over theirs any day. That was a great win, I’ll remember Coach O fondly for it, but Stanford does one thing and does it well. The rest of the Pac 12 powers and big teams nationally do more. UCLA did more all over the field at the Coliseum.

Check yourself, guys. Coach O is the best assistant coach, recruiter, spit-when-you-talker ever and I really was hoping he honored his word about staying on (and being made the highest paid assistant in CFB) if the right coach was hired. But he didn’t.

And Sark was the right hire.

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We need to get 4 recruits in by 12/15. Sark is already recruiting them and the only quality candidate that could get this job done in this amount of time, because USC fans do not tolerate losing seasons. This was the right hire. It wasn’t sexy. But it was right. And if it doesn’t work, it can be corrected and if it does, I can’t wait to see everyone pretending they said I told you so.

We need a “THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING” moment here. Sark is the new caesar. Form a phalanx, Praetorians.

I want to address everything so bear with me.

Many have said that the players crying when Coach O left means we owe him something. He was a player’s coach. Of course they are sad. They just went through a traumatic time. But did any of you see Speed with 17 time Academy Award winner Keanu Reeves? Relationships built under pressure situations don’t work. Kiffin. And eventually, O. They were crying because they’ve been through a lot, not because they made half time adjustments and beat UCLA.

Coach O himself said he knew he lost the job when he lost to UCLA. He is leaving because he wants to be a head coach. He currently doesn’t have a job. Anyone feel like the best way to interview for an HC job would have been to tell the players I’m gonna stick around and coach you in the bowl and show the nation I can keep them motivated? I mean, I get the sense there are some colleges that might respect that. Especially the ones that would hire Coach O, ones that aren’t our rivals. Or in our class.

Instead, he peaced out and is going to spend that time interviewing in the board room, not on the field. Neuheisel coached out UCLA while Mora hit the recruiting trail. O could have done the same while Sark locked up the mid year recruits.

But he didn’t, because this is a business and he knows it. I want Trojan fans to know that too. This is the second time he’s left USC to pursue an HC job. I believe he loves USC. But stop kidding yourself that he loved us so much he’d do anything. He didn’t. Money wasn’t enough.  He wanted to be the man. I respect that. But other than “thanks for helping salvage a season”, we’re good.

We’re not here to reward people for salvaging seasons. We need to prepare to be off sanctions and compete at the highest level with the best possible staff and a full deck of players. Sark is ready to do this and while he isn’t sexy as a pick, I really do think it was a wise one. And as Coach O showed, nothing is forever. We can course correct again, but we were inches away from Coach O being a lame duck. I think he is leaving because he has delusions of grandeur and I think some (getting quieter daily) of Trojan Nation have the same affectation via their affection for Coach O.

I just want to make sure Arrogant Nation isn’t in that group. It’s the Sark era now. I’m going to be on board from day one because come September, he’ll be on the field with the headset.

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He was pretty much Carroll’s heir apparent until everyone’s favorite Mike Garrett told him no. He was offered the job before Kiffin. He had the smarts not to take the Raider’s HC job. He’s developed some of SC’s best quarterbacks, in fact, most of them. You don’t have to be thrilled yet, he has to prove himself. But you should be intrigued. Don’t let anyone tell you he had the weapons at UW that he will have here.

Pay your fond farewells to Coach O. Now let’s get back to business. This is football and it’s a business for everyone but the players. And if it’s the players you love, do them a solid and get behind their new head coach. We don’t need to be fighting our fans and the NCAA at the same time. The two front war doesn’t work.

Ask Germany.

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71 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, USC Football

71 Responses to The Brutal Truth About Coach O

  1. Kate

    I use a wheelchair, but that just got a standing ovation from me. Well said. Fight On and Go Trojans!

  2. Curtis

    Excellent read Zack, once the Coach O emotional residue wears off, I think people will come around to support Sark. I was bummed when it was announced, but now I’m getting excited again. FTFO!

  3. Travis

    Great post Zach. Incredibly frank to the point where people might view it as harsh, but I think pretty spot on. Like most people, when I first heard the news my mentality was more of a “Sark? That’s the best we could do?” But the more I’ve thought about it the more I like it. You know the mans offense can point up points, and he is finally going to have a powerhouse defense.
    As far as recruiting goes, it’s no longer… “Hey leave super awesome
    California and come hang out in rainy Seattle” (yes I know that’s an exaggeration/oversimplification) but rather “come to the coolest school in the country with awesome weather, incredible looking women, great academics and a football tradition that can’t be rivaled by anyone in the pac12″

    Only time will tell if Sark is really the man, but there is nothing to do now but support the players in getting their 10th win of the season and rally behind Sark for 2014.

    Fight On!

  4. Wig4usc

    Thanks much for the “tough love” article. I was terribly bummed to see Coach O go. I wanted to “trade up” if we weren’t hiring O, I didn’t think Sark was a trade up. But whether I’ve changed my mind or not, fact is, he’s our guy. And if we’re fans, we get over it and lend our support. I disagree on one point, this is a business too for our players. They learned that the hard way this season. I applaud all those young men for their commitment and poise under adversity. That team has made me more proud to be a Trojan than any other, which is saying a lot! I needed a few days, I’m ready no, Fight On!✌️

    • HeliGeorge

      Wig, I think Zac’s reference to business is that coaches can come and go, its a career, its pay for play, its the business of football (look at the Nebraska coach). Players are not paid, it is not a business for them. Their passion is not correlated to the number of 0′s on their paycheck. Their accountability is not tied to bowl games or bonuses or rivalry wins. Yes you can make an argument that its business for the players, but not like it is for the coaches. If you think its not a business, then try offering them $0 for doing the same job, see what they say. Plenty of players (probably in the neighborhood of 40 or 50) are footing their own bill, they are literally getting zero compensation to play football. That isn’t business, that is dedication.

  5. Zach: Much respect. I come to you when I want a clear-headed take on SC. And you’ve nailed it again. I think Sark will turn out to be a sneaky good hire. He’ll be helped by the “low expectations” of him. We shall see.

    Fight On!

    • Trojan Enz

      BCS Guru: I think he will be afforded the same mulligan as Kiffin got and Coach O for that matter. As long as ‘SC is under sanctions, the coach will be able to use that as a defense. 2015 will be the first year with a full deck of scholarship players, but those players may not hit the lineup for 1 to 2 years after that (unless pressed into service sooner). That could be a potential “Gimme” for 2 to 3 years maybe. Anyway, like others have said I wasn’t overwhelmed by the choice, but it is starting to feel right. No matter what The Sark does it will be a huge improvement over Lane “The Dick” Kiffin.
      FIGHT ON

  6. Matt

    You are spot on. Thank you for sharing this. Coach O is a person I would love to have a few beers with, not necessarily one I want to lead our team during the next five years.

  7. JB'sWorld

    I just don’t get how people can say “this is a bad hire!” I’ve even seen “Fire Haden!” How do you possible know how Sark is going to do against Fresno next fall, let alone 3 years from now? It’s insane.

    You don’t pick the most accomplished candidate (especially if he’s never done it outside of Idaho and got his clock cleaned by UW this year) and you don’t hire the most deserving candidate, as much as that seems harsh (and I’ll give the haters that; coach O deserved a shot). You hire the guy who you, in your USC trustee, national champion QB, and Rhodes Scholar mind, think has the experience and skills to do the job the best for the foreseeable future. Period. That guy is Sark.

    100% agree with you on this one Zack.

  8. ldytrjn

    The only thing I disagree with is the notion of Coach O staying through the bowl game. Because of all the emotions it would’ve made this whole transition that much harder, especially with a win. Rip the bandaid off, man. Let everyone mourn early so we can move on.

    • admin

      I mean, if he can’t get through that, he won’t get through a year… but i hear you for sure.

      • ldytrjn

        Just to clarify it’s not his emotions so much as the fans and some of the players. He’s bigger than life. Everyone loves him. So here comes Sark trying to win the team/fans over, meanwhile Coach O is still up in there being all loveable and junk – there are going to be some fans fighting it anyway but give them a bowl win? It’d be like wrestling a bone away from a rabid hyena.

        I think it’s better for everyone involved to get used to him not being here before King Sark fully establishes his court.

  9. Teri Paul

    Thanks. I really needed that pep talk. Feeling better already. Fight On!!!

  10. Scott

    I personally think they should of gone with Franklin form Vandy but that’s my opinion. Too bad that Kevin Sumlin and Chris Petersen dropped out as they would of both been better then Sark also. How would you compare Franklin to Sark?

    • admin

      I like Franklin, but he’s making the most of his situation, I don’t know that he’s the kind of recruiter we need. Like his half time pep talks tho.

  11. ldytrjn

    Also I think much of the outrage is based on the shitty PR around this from the beginning. It was all whispers and hearsay with any official announcements coming waaaaaay late. Allowed for a lot of flailing arms and conclusion-jumping.

  12. Asterisks!

    Asterisks!

    That’s what your championships get for all your cheating.

    Arrogant Nation … at Inferior School.

    Asterisks!

    • admin

      did you really just say “at Inferior School”?

      Please tell me you are an old timey LSU fan. I need an early holiday present.

    • HeliGeorge

      I think UCLA has an asterisk on 2011 after begging the NCAA to play, Georgia Tech does as well.

      I believe Johnny Fooseball also does. So does Penn State, Ohio State, Miami…

  13. Michael

    A very well put article. Living out in Oklahoma where pretty much everyone hates me, they are still sore over a certain lopsided game a few years back. My co workers were quick to get my reaction to the hiring of Coach Sark over Coach O. My reply to them? Two really great things and one kind good thing happened for our Trojans. 1. Kiffen was shit canned (Great) 2. Coach O took the reins (kinda good, overshadowed by ucla loss) 3. Hiring Coach Sark to replace Coach O (great) Although it could be deemed painful to the players (traumatic probably a better word) It was showing the nation that the program is taking the necessary steps to heal itself for the return to national prominence. I caught hell from the ou fans out here during the sanctions. Every USC loss was rubbed in my face, but now they are clamming up. And with Sarks hire their taunts have become very quiet. I hope Coach Sark can lead our beloved Trojans back onto the national stage with such veracity that it will silence these dirt burgler fans and seal their mouths shut with the horse shit that is left behind their precious my little pony sooner schooner.

  14. Kamran H.

    No matter who we select, it is time to stick with a choice. When all is said and done, the football program that is known for it’s tradition will have spent the better part of a decade dealing with it’s own identity issues. How easily can you recruit a 4 year player when he can’t be guaranteed the leader who influenced his decision will still be there when he is a senior?

    You made some great points about the character of the outgoing coaches based on the way they exited, and frankly it does not fit the identity that we once had. Whether it be Sark, or anyone else, we need to end the era of a great program plagued with uncertainty and inconsistency.

  15. Troy_East

    Zach your post was spot on. Sometimes in life we all need a slap in the face to get back to reality. Your post accomplished that. Thank you sir may I have another. I was a full supporter of Coach O and was extremely disappointed how things went down. Pat Haden did not do right by him and at the very least he deserved that for the job he did righting this ship. That being said I think we all would have been disappointed in three years at the job he might have done as HC. Coach O is a great positional coach, top notch recruiter and a master motivator but that is only going to get you so far without the X’s and O’s. For Coach O, it was only going to work with the very best coordinators and those don’t grow on trees. It is time for the Trojan family to put away the Kleenex and get 100% behind Coach Sark this program like we all know how and continue to Fight On.

  16. Mike

    Great article. I was afraid if we beat UCLA Coach O would have been hired as I felt he wasn’t right for the job.

    Welcome home Sark.

    Fight On!

  17. Guest

    Nice article with some good points. Except I find it hard to bash the love of football, history, and traditions that can be found in the SEC, especially when compared to our “Arrogant Nation,” which for some reason so many people here seem to value.

    • admin

      there’s some tongue in cheek to arrogant nation. there’s something else in the SEC.

      • Guest

        I understand, but there’s also no denying that there’s a very real and tangible culture at SC which promotes arrogance and diminishes the values of humility and respect. Even it might not be initially intended.

  18. Gizmo

    Great read. Please e-mail me if you need a proofreader. I am an English teacher, and as much as your typos don’t bother me they are easy fodder for dicks across town to say “don’t they teach you how to write at USC?” Then again, an arrogant person would tell those people to fuck off I guess.

    I’m excited about Sark, but I want to ask a question… If Coach O wasn’t calling any plays (he had two great coordinators), then was he responsible for half-time adjustments? It seems to me that, like JoePa and Bobby Bowden in their senior stages, Coach O as HC was only needed to do the things he’s good at: recruit, fire people up and be a figurehead of sorts. So what’s the knock on him?

    Anyway, I’ve moved on. Also, I have always wondered this, as many of you have: “How the hell did we get slammed so hard by the NCAA when the violations committed by other schools (Ohio State, Auburn, Miami) were so much more egregious? I heard Mark Willard talk about it on the radio today at lunch. Turns out, it was Mike Garrett. He was such a dick to the NCAA (who are, of course, a bunch of dicks) that he almost urged them to throw the book at SC. Had he been more cooperative, our sanctions wouldn’t have been so severe. I hadn’t really heard it put that way before. Thoughts?

    Fight on. Go Sark. Go to the NFL, Hundley,

    • admin

      Garrett is an easy target, it didn’t help, but when Paul Dee was conducting the case and he had a closet filled with skeletons, it didn’t matter much at all.

    • ldytrjn

      Garrett is an easy scapegoat. It wouldn’t have mattered if we cooperated – there are quotes floating around that the ncaa and those in charge of our investigation/sentencing were hellbent on shutting us down. They saw the atmosphere and celebrities on our sideline and thought it an unfair advantage. They saw us dismantling team after team, division after division, and feared the future full of ass-whuppings that was coming.

      After a 4yr investigation the only additional thing they found was a coach letting a player use their office phone to make less than 10min call. They falsified evidence and ruined a dude’s career just to get us.

      It was a witch hunt and to think otherwise is naive.

  19. Manny

    I agree I was very surprised Coach O didn’t stay for the bowl game if he REALLY cared about the kids he would have stayed

  20. Balzac Hertz

    Never picked you for THIS much of a company man. I agree that Orgeron wasn’t the answer, but to put him down to defend this abomination of a clueless, tone deaf hire is ridiculous.

    Here’s the “brutal truth” about the man whose hire you are spinning:

    has as 8-19 road record
    Has 13 losses of over 20 points in 5 years (5 in the last 2 years, not early)
    3 game losing streaks in PAC 12 EVERY YEAR as head coach
    At least 4 losses in PAC 12 EVERY YEAR
    8-19 record versus ranked teams (3-12 the last 3 season, brutal)
    3-25 when trailing at halftime.

    Sark clawed UW back to mediocrity, and then has stalled there. NOT the home run hire we were promised.

    • admin

      I mean, it’s hard to be called a company man by the alias Balzac Hertz, but hey…

      This isn’t company man. Still waiting to hear what available coach was a better hire and a deeply compelling case, because unless we’re bringing a Saban over, no one was playing with the kind of talent they’d have here.

      I’m not defending Sark, he has to hit the field and prove his worth, but he’s the coach. O isn’t. That’s what the article is about. Sark was as good a call as anyone that wanted the job. It’s a fine choice and we’ll see.

      But thanks for the googlage.

      • SC BOOSTER

        I’ll defend Sark. Are you kidding? He lost to Ore, Stanford, ASU and fucla. His 3 game losing streak was to the first three mentioned. Say what you want, but UW does not same that same talent as the four teams Sark lost too. It hasn’t since the 90s. Sark has taken that program from the toilet and was marching it to the top. Not only can he coach, he can raise money! Do you really think that new stadium, which is state of the art, would have happened without him? I don’t. I agree, it’s not sexy, but in 3 years, you’ll all be on board. I remember HATING the PC hire. Boy was I wrong. Hopefully all the Negative Nellies will be as well. FIGHT ON!

        PS – O was an idiot to leave a $90 PER MONTH job.

  21. J

    Wasn’t aware that Sark and coach O were the only two options. Apparently for Pat Haden and the brain trust at HH they were.

    Sark is the 8th best coach in the PAC. Does he really inspire confidence standing on the sidelines?

  22. Pingback: The Brutal Truth About Coach O | Lost Angeles | Life...Camera...ACTION!!!

  23. Gnossos

    I raise my glass of Basil Haydens to Coach Sark, the Bearfighter & Arrogant Nation.

  24. Rranger

    First off, great post…..sensible and positive in moving forward.

    I however, am still so ambivalent about all this…..in the letting go of CEO and hiring of Sark, it just screams out for needing MORE EXPLANATION. I’m not critical, but would love for some details to creep out.

    I am ready to jump on board with Sark, but need closure as I just cant figure out why he represents such an upgrade from CEO.

    First, the problem with LK, besides his personality…was that he tried to do too much. CEO got it: be the face of the program, provide a direction, recruit your ass off and get out of the way of your highly paid assistants. Yes, someone took the second half off [or maybe more] in the UCLA game…I get that. BUT, and this is a big but, how is Sark better?

    Sark is a great guy, affable, smart, hard working…etc. People talk about him developing QBs, well do we want our head coach being a QB coach? If it’s the criteria above, it seems like CEO was a better fit and also would have had the added benefit to pick ANY O coordinator to shift our offense and also all the time over the holiday to work with our kids to develop them and bring in the players needed to fill the losses…….now it just seems like we are starting from scratch. Again, the pros/cons list seems to favor O…unless it was based purely on beating ND and UCLA.

    Again, welcome Sark and Fight on….but hoping for some closure to come out in the next few days….. R

  25. Mark MG Zamora

    BRAVO! You made me stop and think … THANK YOU! We are indebted to Coach O and he will always have a special place in USC history and in our hearts for rescuing the Trojans from disaster. But you are correct right down the line. It is time to stop being emotion and get practical. It is time we shift our weight and our support behind Coach Sark and unite as Trojans always have and always will … to FIGHT ON!

  26. Trojaneen

    I’m a die-hard SC alumnus and I love Coach O, but I knew that he wouldn’t be a good head coach at SC. The job requires far more than enthusiasm. For example, our coach has to be on the speaking circuit, in front of very wealthy donors, in the off season. This is a side of the job that most people don’t recognize. Would Coach O have been effective? I don’t think so. The head coach has to be “on” 100% of the time, and I couldn’t see him embracing that aspect of the position.

    As the season progressed, I saw the dilemma Haden would face. Coach O was gaining Trojan sentimentality, which would have been a nightmare to deflect if we beat UCLA. It would have been tough to contend with emotion laden Coach O supporters even if the game was close. As painful as it is to say, I was glad that our defeat was sound. The team appeared ill-prepared and unable to make adjustments. It was clear that coaching was a problem, and that probably tempered some of the inevitable outcry over his departure.

    Thank you for your well thought perspective. Coach O will always have a special place in my heart, along with Pete and Matt Barkley, but I am firmly on the Sark bandwagon. The bottom line is Pat Haden is a proven business and athletic genius. I am not. I trust his judgment and love for USC. Fight On!!!

  27. Kathy Dunkin

    Brilliantly written and dead on! It was difficult to watch that game on Saturday and more difficult to read all of the “comments” on Facebook. I am a USC grad; I have been going to the games since I was 5-years old. Here is my post on FB:

    I have been watching the comments about our new Head Coach at USC. Yesterday, I said that: “I’m Happy.” – and I am. I do not discount what Coach O did when he stepped in for the last 2 months of the season.

    However, it was interesting to listen to Dan Patrick this morning and garner some perspective. Coach O was interviewing for the job during these past 2 months and although he did an amazing job… bringing the entire “family” together, he lost to ND and to UCLA. The emotion that he brought should not be the basis to “hire.” At the end of the day, College Football is a tremendous business and coaches come and go. I have seen many since my first game at the Coliseum when I was 5-years old. McKay, Robinson, Tollner, Hackett, Smith…Kiffin was horrid and Coach O stepped in and made us relevant again; however, a school like USC cannot hire on emotion, we need to look at 5 years ahead. Pat Haden chose a Coach that is relevant in Southern California (with a great recruiting coach on staff), a Coach that is nothing, nothing, like Kiffin, and a Coach that should have been the hire after Pete. He is dynamic, smart and most of the current players know him. I get that it was not a “sexy” choice, but neither was Pete Carroll! As my sister said yesterday…time will tell. No one jumped on the band wagon with Pete until his 2nd year and we all saw what happened after that…FIGHT ON!

  28. Gil Marin

    The Brutal Truth about this article, shallow, shallow, shallow, should of trashed it.

  29. Steve

    I think you saying that Coach Sark is recruiting the four early enrollees that need to be in by 12/15 is a bit misleading. Three of those four are already committed and have been rock solid for a while. Lobendan, Poland and Ausitn have been considered very solid commits. He DOES need to find one more, and keep those three committed but barring a completely weird hire it seems that those three would have honored their commitments.

    • admin

      It’s one piece of the puzzle, but the new coach also needs to be running on the rest of the year and prepping for Pac 12 play. Sark is the right guy, no matter how sexy or not sexy it is.

      I am not saying he’s the best choice out of every coach on earth, but Harbaugh isn’t coming to USC and the choices we had either didn’t want it or frankly, I had far more questions about.

      It’s a wait and see.

  30. Rick D.

    Good column, probably needed to be written on some level. But Steve Sarkisian was no more the “right” hire than potentially a dozen other candidates. We are 5 years removed from the end of an Alabama-like dynasty, and all we can pull is a coach who was wearing out his welcome at a 2nd tier school?

    I’m new to your site, but have you shown any Sarkisian enthusiasm prior to this week? Because he had previously been mentioned as a candidate – and considering he’s so “right” – certainly you did at some point? I’ll go back and check.

    So you’re put off by the outpouring by fans and players and letters of support?! Sure it’s ridiculous – they’re fans. Fans have weeped over dying trees in Auburn, weeped during fight songs and have written letters en masse for a century to race horses not only alive, but dead.

    So Ed Orgeron has tits and doesn’t fit your image of a pseudo-intellectual coach. Oh well. He won with a team that no one, including you presumably, suggested we could win with as recently as Oct 1. He had a team playing with repeat intensity like we hadn’t seen since at least 2010. And while belittling his (almost 5-3) record, you selectively ommitted any mention of unprecedented depth issues. Certainly it’s commonplace to have only 39 healthy players on Oct 20th, or to beat a ranked team with only 2 subs on D, so go ahead and give me examples of all the other teams that do that. Or better yet, just one example. One?

    Yet in spite of all that, he won. Winning is the priority here. Tits and all.

    • admin

      You need to read back.

      This isn’t about Sark at all. I don’t think there was a clear better candidate out there and frankly, part of that is that we’re still under scholarship penalty.

      I’m not even put off. I’m just making a point that O was not going to be the guy, he’s a known quantity and six wins don’t change that for me any more than Kiffin being 1 year removed from an 11 win season meant to anyone.

      • Rick D.

        Not about Sark except for you making a strong (and admittedly decent) defense of him, dubbing him “right”.

        Not for a second do I think O is the guy either. So hold off. We’re buying a head coach, not a t-shirt.

    • admin

      And that repeat intensity didn’t show up against our rivals, especially UCLA, which was as conservatively coached as a Neuheisel game.

      • Rick D.

        Still you ignore depth, considering we couldn’t fill out a simple two-deep at several points this season! Good chance we were DOA at season’s end.

        Good thing this blog wasn’t around in 2001 when we looked even worse against Utah in the Vegas Bowl (Troy P aside).

  31. Adam

    I liked Sark as an offensive coordinator and am behind him 100% now that he has the job, but I think you owe Coach O a little more credit than this article allows him. When you write things like “He was a 4th and holy-shit-he-caught-it from a 5-3 record” it’s just as dumb as the people who say he was “a couple of missed field goals away from being 6-1”. Who cares? He did catch it. They did beat a top ten team. And the field goals did miss, and they did lose to Notre Dame.

    I have a lot of faith in Sark and am excited about his potential, but he had an 8-4 season with all four losses in conference and no big wins (Boise State was ranked when they beat them but proved to be over rated in pre-season rankings). Even if you attribute Kiffin’s losses to Coach O he has the same record this year and a signature win to boot so I fully understand why he would be pissed that Sark was his replacement. However much you downplay salvaging this season, that was no small task and while he wasn’t perfect Coach O did an amazing job bringing this team back from the brink of a disastrous season.

    I’m not crying that Coach O didn’t get the job but I can’t blame him for taking off when they went with another risky choice. Maybe Coach O could have continued his success next year or maybe UCLA was a sign of things to come. But all that matter’s now is how Sark will do next year. “THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING”.

  32. tommy

    what the fuck has Sarkisian done to prove he deserves the job? his team at UW was mediocre. Haden had a whole season to find a replacement…did he even interview anybody? This is going to be a pale shadow of Carroll just like with Kiffin. Pat Haden needs to go ASAP.

    • HeliGeorge

      Why is the first reaction to fire someone?

      Zack, may I be your “anger translator” for a second? Haden didn’t fuck up. I can say that because we still do not know how this choice will play out. Hold the fuck on, and support your fucking team. You are acting like a crybaby Bruin, or worse yet and as Zack pointed out, one of those whiners from Tennessee when Kiffin bailed on them (after that showing, he made the right decision).

  33. Bored to Death

    Dear author:

    Do you always use this many words to say so little? I’m very sorry I stumbled across this blog… the viewpoint isn’t wrong, it’s just completely uninformative/juvenile. Truly, my 8-year old could have written with more insight.

    Thankfully, Alexa rankings suggest that not too many people are wasting there time here…that’s a relief.

    Sorry I stumbled across this site…won’t return. Meanwhile, can I please have the last 5 minutes of my life back?

    • doc faustus

      BTD,

      Just so you know, reading this blog may have somehow karmically helped you avoid being crushed by an oncoming meteorite … so yes, author, please return him to five minutes ago ~

      Thx!

  34. Sam

    Fantastic piece. I do not imagine that a single person who thinks that we should have named Coach O as HC (and there are a lot of them) would still believe so after reading this. You are an exceptional persuasive writer.

  35. Mark Ferris

    1st of all, r u from Planet Earth?, Cuz your verbage sucks…2nd of all,, of ALL the big name coaches out there????….Sark is the Man?? Come on, dude, Trojan (arrogant nation)ha is riding a wave under the big ‘O’, and like a stupid Patrick Haden, u pull the rug out???? Idiots…

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