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If misery loves company, Texas and USC are perfect partners

Notre Dame v USC Getty Images

Hard to believe but not all that long ago Texas and USC were on top of the college football world, before the SEC started flexing conference muscle to the tune of seven consecutive BCS national championships. The 2006 BCS Championship Game was the last one not to involve a team from the SEC and instead featured USC and Texas trading blows until the clock ran out to determine the BCS champion. Little did we know, this would be the last time either was seen as a legitimate championship contender. Sure, Texas played for a BCS title a few years ago against Alabama and USC was a trendy preseason pick last year, but anyone who may have caught a glimpse of either team on Saturday may have been fooled if they did not know any better.

USC could not even muster 200 yards of offense at home against Washington State in a 10-7 loss to the Cougars. College football usually sees fans sing in unison along with the marching band performing the team’s fight song, but USC’s final moments were serenaded by a chorus of chants to pursue a coaching change.

BYU has a strong history for passing the football but on Saturday it was the ground game that led to Texas making some drastic changes on the defensive coaching staff. Texas allowed 550 rushing yards to BYU on Saturday and on Sunday the team removed Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator. The best option to take over as defensive coordinator? None other than Greg Robinson, the very same defensive coordinator who led Michigan’s worst defenses in school history.

It is no wonder that USA Today ranks Texas and USC on top of The Misery Index, which measures the reactions of fan bases around the country and takes in to account the most recent performances, expectations and future of the program. Given the belief that Texas and USC should be programs that achieve greatness with relative ease (Texas has top-notch financial support and USC is in Los Angeles). The Longhorns and Trojans are followed by another program coming off a rough weekend outing, Florida. The Gators moved the ball well and the defense locked down on Miami but turnovers proved too costly for the Gators to be able to afford in the road loss.

There is still plenty of football to be played this season, and conference championships are still a possibility for Texas, USC and Florida. One loss is not enough to completely derail a season, but don’t tell that to the fans still recovering from a rough weekend. They need more time to get over things like this. This is what being a fan is all about.

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12 Responses to “If misery loves company, Texas and USC are perfect partners”
  1. billmead1976 says: Sep 8, 2013 7:35 PM

    Given the perceived (or real) talent disparity between USC – WSU and UT – BYU, any logical mind would think throw away the playbook and just let the boys play.

    A team of 4 – 5 star recruits vs. 1-2 star recruits. Shaking my head.

  2. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 8, 2013 7:38 PM

    Both teams need new coaches. Both teams have great fan bases, boosters, and histories.

    Recruiting for USC with so many scholarships lost is difficult, a situation that Texas does not have to face. Texas recruits among the best high school players in the nation each year to have Coach Mack Brown and his staff coach them into mediocrity.

    It may take a few years for USC to get out from the NCAA penalty before they can improve greatly. Texas may be able to improve greatly upon the hiring of a new head coach. Of course, USC needs a new coach also.

  3. floridacock says: Sep 8, 2013 7:38 PM

    Maybe Kiffen can get a job pumping gas for Alshon Jeffrey?

  4. fahmundamahbalsaq says: Sep 8, 2013 7:49 PM

    Who’s that lurking in the bushes….. Bobby Petrino.

  5. gatorprof says: Sep 8, 2013 8:38 PM

    Happiest guy in football because this keeps him out of the national press…Will Muschamp.

  6. normtide says: Sep 8, 2013 8:55 PM

    It takes more then just talent. That’s why all programs rise and fall. Its a combo of talent, coaching, attitude/confidence, and fit.

    USC has tons of talent, but the coaching isn’t there. That game plan is stale. Also, I’m not sure the talent fits each other. When you recruit only by number of stars, you get athletes that don’t really compliment each other.

    Texas is failing in the evaluation process. Also, not tackling is 100% a lack of coaching issue. Brown has become a CEO, and that makes him unable to make quick fixes.

    Florida just needs to decide what they are offense. Since the start of last season, I have to idea what it is they want to do. Jack of all trades, master of none.

  7. minibull says: Sep 9, 2013 9:12 AM

    Not a big Kiffen or Brown fan, but who out there would be their replacements? I think getting a person who is a top coach, top recruiter, and has ties to the school isn’t going to work for either. Does USC forgive Petrino’s past and get him? Does Texas throw $15-$20 million a year at Saban?

  8. tgaustin says: Sep 9, 2013 9:42 AM

    They were supposed to be grooming Major to eventually take over the program…not sure he is the right fit anymore. Mack has done wonders for the University and has run this program the right way since his inception…however, the time has come for a change and it kills me to type this. The team looks slow and soft and under-coached. Major’s offense was almost as bad as the defense under Manny “No” D! Petrino wouldn’t pass the grade with the UT boosters…so I’m not sure who you would put in Mack’s place if he were to “step” down??

    The Saban rumors are funny to me, although nobody would complain if that happened…and it’s not like he hasn’t done it before:-) I can only imagine the $$$ that would be spoken of if that were to happen??

    Watching that game on Saturday night was tough to say the least…the team plays with no heart and just look SLOW! I just don’t know anymore…the worst part of it all is that Mack Brown really is one of the good guys in this sport(one in which there aren’t too many left), but the time has come. This weeks game against Ole Miss will be interesting to say the least. Hook Em’!

  9. noaxetogrind says: Sep 9, 2013 10:14 AM

    Unless there are major turn arounds at USC & Texas its appearing both Mack & Lane are done. Lane because he is awful hard to like, the AD did not hire him and how can a USC team not have 200 yards of offense against WSU. Mack because quite frankly, has anybody done less with more? He has survived this long because he is the polar opposite of Lane, generally well liked. However Texas with all of their natural advantages….money, recruiting base and tradition is the greatest under performer in college football right now. Florida is intriguing. You watch that game Saturday and you can see why the NFL people are raving about UF’s defensive talent. What a paradox though, the best defensive team in the country with a smash mouth pedestrian offense. If it was a street fight I would take UF over anybody, in a football game, not so quick. Doubtful Muschamp is in trouble but UF is not like Texas, if they stumble around this year with all that talent Jeremy Foley will have no choice. Florida is a high risk high reward job. You will get what you need but you better contend for the National Championship every 3 to 4 years or you are going to be gone, in all of their sports.

  10. 13datsyuk13 says: Sep 9, 2013 10:41 AM

    People toss Sabans name around for the Texas job. It’s not like Alabama is hurting for money and I’m sure Alabama would easily win a bidding war.

  11. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 9, 2013 12:42 PM

    I doubt Saban would change to Texas unless he just likes the challenge to take a team from where they are now to the championship game. There are probably not too many challenges in football left to Saban, but it would take some things I don’t know to get Saban from Alabama to Texas.

    Alabama is not hurting for money, but do some research first when you state “Alabama would easily win a bidding war.”

    Forbes reports:

    Texas:

    103,813684 revenue
    25,896,203 expenses

    Alabama:

    81,993,762 revenue
    36,918,963 expenses

    Texas has more revenue and less expenses than Alabama, so they would likely win a bidding war, but once you are making $6 million a year, it no big incentive to be making $10 million a year. It would take intangibles to convince Mrs. Terry Saban to move to Austin.

  12. Anoesis says: Sep 9, 2013 1:29 PM

    “When you recruit only by number of stars, you get athletes that don’t really compliment each other.” – normtide

    Every school makes an attempt to recruit the best possible player at every position. Some of the best are not pursued due to mitigating circumstances, such as the recruit being in a position to say he won’t play for anybody but X. Assuming recruiting teams pay much attention to someone else’s idea of who is a four- or five-star player and who isn’t is a mistake. And how about all the big-name recruits lately who’ve proven to have much less on the ball regarding anything outside of football?

    Often a school doesn’t get all the recruits it covets (not even mighty Alabama) and that may or may not create holes in certain areas. These gaps in talent can cause issues that might make it appear a team isn’t gelling. That doesn’t mean the players don’t get along or don’t have a high degree of camaraderie. USC has been in a position for several years now of trying to maximize the scholarships it has available. It doesn’t take much to poke a few holes in any coach’s plans when trying to operate with such a handicap, especially one of Kiffin’s apparent shortcomings.

    USC has recruited well, particularly with the scholarship restrictions imposed upon them. Getting those players to work well together is all on the coaching staff. I simply can’t see very many examples of highly motivated players who are unable to find ways to compliment each other. Any player successful enough in high school to warrant a scholarship at a major university football power has already mastered many team concepts.

    If nothing changes at either school you can expect similar results for the rest of the season. Both USC and Texas have stuck with coaches who aren’t turning things around. Instead they both have found ways to turn good recruiting classes into mediocre has-beens.

    Pat Haden at USC needs to immediately find a replacement for Kiffin. Most of those kids have stopped playing for him. Kiffin is like a politician: Excellent at running for office (recruiting) and lousy at executing said office (coaching).

    A high-profile replacement is not needed. Former AD Mike Garrett got lucky with Pete Carroll, so no reason Haden can’t do even better at finding an up-and-coming coach who can handle the L.A. zoo.

    “…(C)onference championships are still a possibility for Texas, USC and Florida.” Despite the sorry-but-you’re-fucked pat on the back, Texas and USC aren’t likely to have winning seasons, let alone any chance at a CC. I wouldn’t put Florida in that category for at least another week or two.

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