Carroll, Kiffin, McGwire and more

School has started again. College football is over. Thus, it is a lot easier for me to spend my weekends studying. staying organized — in other words, what I should be doing.

Ah, but so much has happened since the last time I posted. And I’m not talking about Media Theory, Historical Research or the two classes I’m teaching. I’m talking about Pete Carroll leaving USC. Lane Kiffin leaving Tennessee, and Mark McGwire leaving out the whole truth.

Pete Carroll at his introductory news conference at Seahawks headquarters. / Seattle Tiems photo

I was truly stunned Carroll left USC. The NFL rumors have swirled every offseason, so what was different? Maybe it was the Seattle Seahawks’ offer. Maybe it was the need for a new challenge. Maybe, but I doubt it. Call me a skeptic, or a non-believer, but I think Carroll’s move was mitigated by the looming NCAA investigation. With Reggie Bush’s civil case inching forward and USC’s self-imposed punishments overthe O.J. Mayo debacle still hanging overhead, USC is about to face — pardon the term — a serious shitstorm.

Junior running back Joe McKnight driving around in “his girlfriend’s” Escalade couldn’t have made the comfort level in L.A. partifularly high, either.

So, Carroll bolted for the Seahawks. It’s a no-lose situation for Carroll. He does well, he sheds the tag of a mediocre NFL coach and makes us all forget the college-to-pro failures of Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Dennis Erickson and Butch Davis, makes more money and is a hero in Seattle. He fails, he goes back to high-paying, sweet gig in the college ranks.

I like Carroll. From a reporter’s perspective, he’s a dream to work with. He’s interesting, smart, a great motivator and speaker. But I think, since he is in a no-lose situation, it may be the Seahawks that are in the most precarious position. Carroll’s strengths are in evaluating talent, motivating, recruiting, selling, and directing a defense. They aren’t, necessarily, in being a CEO, which NFL coaches must do. The Seahawks are trying to replace a legend (Mike Holmgren), but seem to be putting a square peg into a circular hole. Carroll has a giant ego; I’d say Holmgren didn’t. They got a defensive guy; Holmgren built his team with his offense. Carroll is a rah-rah guy; the Seahawks have been amazingly business-like — something has just dissolved into “flatness” over the last couple years.

The thing is, though, is that Carroll wasn’t a terrible NFL coach. He had a mediocre overall record, but he only had one losing season. I, for one, am pulling for him.

Lane Kiffin did a number on Tennessee, but USC has always been where his heart is. / Getty Images

Now, what the heck was USC thinking in drumming up Carroll’s replacement?

Lane Kiffin, an arrogant kid with no proven coaching ability and a family name, who has parlayed a co-offensive coordinatorship into millions. Give the guy credit.

I think he’ll end up in an NCAA infraction-mired mess. The man can clearly recruit (with the help of Orgeron, of course), and his dad’s a defensive genius, but after my abyssmal bowl picking record, I’m just going to say that I’m quite anxious to see how this tenure turns out. REAAALY anxious.

Lastly, before I sign off for the night, Mark McGwire’s confession was muffled by his ego. Performance-enhancing drugs enhance performance. McGwire was right to own up to using steroids and HGH, but he is delusional to think they didn’t enhance his ability to hit home runs. Carlton Fisk was absolutely right and simply said it best.

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One response to “Carroll, Kiffin, McGwire and more

  1. “Call me a skeptic, or a non-believer, but I think Carroll’s move was mitigated by the looming NCAA investigation. ”

    You mean “motivated,” or “instigated” or, “provoked,” or “caused.” He’s getting while the getting is good. Cowardly abandoning a ship he sank, he is escaping the consequences of his malfeasance and ethically challenged stewardship. Why you choose to “like” such as him is a mystery.

    Your intuition about Kiffin strikes me as accurate and that could prove disastrous to a program already on probation. This is assuming there IS a program. The Bush violations occurred within the 5 year window following USC’s last probation. Troy is burning and in this repeat of history, the Trojan Horse that destroyed it from within is Pete Carroll.

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