Skip to content

Pete Carroll forced to focus on 2010

Hopefully we won’t get washed out by a raging sea of Mountain Dew, but we’re off to venture into the frenetic head of Pete Carroll.

Could it be that the confident coach who endlessly preaches his “Win Forever” philosophy is really focused on winning next year? Is he actually capable of rational thought and making concessions of any sort? Could this be why Carroll has anointed true freshman Matt Barkley to be his starting quarterback this season?

Yup.

USC’s schedule is brutal, especially on the road. In Week 2 the Trojans play at Ohio State. Oh sure, they’ll walk into the Horseshoe with their usual sweatsuit swagger, but their demeanor upon leaving could be the polar opposite.

Five weeks later, USC visits South Bend to face Notre Dame . . . and if you believe some of the older folks amongst us, the Irish are back.

Even the Pac-10 portion of the schedule is rough. USC’s chief challengers, California and Oregon, have the luxury of home-field advantage over the Trojans this year.

Could it be that Carroll knows the hurdles might be set too high in 2009? Is that why he campaigned so darn hard to keep Mark Sanchez in school for a fifth year?

Without an experienced signalcaller, did he feel that an early season visit to Columbus would mark the end to his team’s annual national title aspirations? If so, that explains his selfish behavior at the press conference Sanchez called to announce that he was going pro.

So, now if things don’t go well — which at USC means you go 10-2 or 9-3 and claim just a share of your eighth consecutive Pac-10 title — Carroll has the ready-made excuse of having had a raw rookie at quarterback.

Much has been made of Barkley being named the starter over Aaron Corp, who is entering his third year at USC, and rightfully so. The timing of the announcement, a couple days before a mock game, was odd. Carroll’s statement: “He’s the starting quarterback at USC — it’s not a one-game deal,” was odder.

However, the fact of the matter is that the uber-talented Barkley was going to overtake Corp at some point this season. That was a given, especially since the schedule is as unforgiving as the people who surround the Trojan program. So, Carroll was probably thinking, “Why not now? … Corp can be the next Matt Cassel.”

That way the freshman won’t be a freshman for long, gaining valuable experience with each and every interception.

Then, this time next year — when the national landscape won’t be inhabited by any Tebows, Bradfords or McCoys — USC, with seasoned Barkley at the controls, will be ready to do something really special (something it hasn’t done since 2004). The Trojans’ 2010 schedule certainly is aligned with the stars.

USC opens the campaign with a Thursday night game at Hawai’i (the Trojans have already made plans to celebrate their blowout victory by continuing their stay on Oahu for a full day before flying out on Saturday). The 2010 non-conference schedule also includes hosting Virginia and a visit to Minnesota. And, of course, the Trojans take their turn, welcoming Notre Dame, Cal and Oregon to the fortress that is the Coliseum.

It’s a far cry from what USC is faced with this year . . . and Pete Carroll knows it.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, USC Trojans
Respond to “Pete Carroll forced to focus on 2010”
  1. Hail2ThaRedskins says: Aug 31, 2009 5:14 PM

    I will politely say you are a moron. This is a top5 rated team in the nation! They are rated that high because regardless of who plays quarterback (and any of the 3 USC has could start today at 90% of th eprograms in this country – was a starter in the SEC a few years ago with a 9-0 record as starter) thsi team is loaded with talent at all other positions! It is absurd to think a coach would tank a season with a top5 ranking! Did you bother to consider the fact that Taylor Mays returned to win a NC when he was a consensus top10 pick in this past draft? Furthermore, since Pete Carroll is the one who named a true freshmen the starter (when he had other options) he would be blasted by everybody at the end of the season if Trojans don’t win a BCS bowl (at a minimum).
    So it is absolutely insane to suggest he would tank this season and look forward to next. He has never done it in the past (with less talented teams), why would he do it now? Not to mention the effect on recruiting if a coach were to tabk a season to look forward to the next.
    I just hope when the Trojans leave Ohio State after whopping them just as soundly as they did last year in LA, you are man to post a article saying that Pete Carroll knew all along what he was doing and that you had no clue what you were talking about when you wrote this article.
    (and by the way if the Trojans lose a game because of Matt Barkley I assure you that Corp or Mustain will replace him) Now that I think about it – another reason your post is so silly is that Corp will be returning next season. If he is the better QB of the two, then the best way to prepare for next season would be to play him this season. No matter which you are looking to succeed in 2009 or 2010 you would start your best QB since both will be returning!!!!

  2. Doug says: Sep 1, 2009 12:32 AM

    USC has acknowled for days that Wright’s being ineligible is a good thing for the DB’s.
    Now the starting group from last year can all play.
    Wright had never been a regular starter and hurt himself in the Ohio State game last year. He never played after the OSU game.
    Unlike some schools, USC is loaded at DB.
    Unlike some schools, USC requires academic as well as athletic standards be maintained.
    Unbelievable jealousy by people.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!