Sark After Dark

So Steve Sarkisian got a little crunk on the big Salute to Troy night for the USC Football Program. According to several sources, he was fumbling around, used foul language and insulted other programs, particularly Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA (nice).  This became dreadfully apparent after he showcased his inner frat boy while screaming “Fight the Fuck On,” into the podium mic right in front of the baby boomer big time donors.  Once his three sheets to the wind state became brazenly evident, Pat Haden immediately escorted him off the stage and began scolding him behind closed doors.  Thanks Dad.

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The only real sources from that night is a 5 second video clip from some random, a few tweets here and there and straight word of mouth…like the good old days.

LA Times Sports columnist Bill Plaschke released a quite alarming video stressing the issue that USC really needs to be concerned about coach Steve Sarkisian’s behavior at the Salute to Troy event.

It’s almost as if he is rooting for some sort of immediate termination.  Sarkisian released a statement claiming that he mixed prescription medicine with alcohol, mind you that this alcohol was completely free all night and most likely the best money can buy.  Any intelligent individual would have to agree that his behavior was irresponsible, childish and wrong, especially because he is the head football coach, one of the highest positions of authority on campus, some may even argue even in the Pac-12 Conference.

Im-Cool-gifSo Plaschke’s reactionary video draws up some important points but I think his response was more so fueled by that “shocking” gossip chatter that many nowadays consider actual news. The guy is going through a messy divorce and decided to throw back a few free drinks.  Who wouldn’t do the same? The only difference is that this guy had to go up and make a speech in front of hundreds of people, the same people who have very deep pockets, pockets that would like to be lightened by generous donations and such.  Plaschke has every right to say what he thinks and feels, that’s why the LA times pays him.  However, this Plaschke response seems a bit exaggerated, placing emphasis on buzz worthy words like “problems,” “humiliation,” and of course, the cliche “this is your wake-up call.”  Did Sarkisian even need a wake-up call in the first place?   How his players look at him is not the problem at all Plaschke, if anything his players are applauding this type of behavior because they can relate first-hand, “Hey, coach gettin’ turnt up!”

Turnt01Funny because a year ago, Plaschke was singing his praises…

Funny how things can change over the span of 1 year, 1 incident no less.

Sarkisian has a lot of responsibilities that he must be held to on and off the field.  This unfortunate event couldn’t have come at a worse time for USC.  This is the first year USC is off NCAA probation.  The Class of 2015 is the first full recruiting class USC has been able to put together for the first time in four years.  This is still USC’s year, their time to rise and shine despite Sarkisian’s antics.  Don’t ride off a team just because their coach got drunk.  I bet you anything Les Miles does this shit all the time.  Then again, that is the sacred SEC and this is the menial Pac-12, standards could be a bit skewed.

EDSBS-Les-Miles-ClapI don’t think a formal punishment is necessary.  I think the shame and embarrassment alone will suffice for now until the season even starts.  Sarkisian knows what he has to do this season to shut people up: WIN.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-4762-1388429483-17One thing is still certain though.  He is still better than Kiffin.

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Blame it on the ButtFace

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Ouch LA Times. ouch.  Hope Lane Kiffin doesn’t read the paper because his approval rating has dropped lower than Taylor Swift’s panties.  I mean this was a ridiculous long time coming, just take a look at THE worst season a college football team has EVER seen.  If you think Manti Te’o’s dating skills are tragic, take a look at USC.

Lane Kiffin

2012 has been the worst year USC football has ever seen.  Where to begin….?  Well I think it all started in New York at Met Life Stadium.  SC was expected to slaughter a not so great Syracuse football team at least by a couple of touchdowns.  No, SC only won by 13…..in retrospect in should have been a lot more to a Big East Team whose previous season record was a measly 5-7.  I wish this was the only and last ::Sigh:: this Trojan fan would have for a season that started off so promising, ranked #1 in the country.

football-money   After opening last football season ranked #1, the Trojans sank to an unbelievably embarrassing 7-6 record under the not so great tutelage of Coach Lane Kiffin.  Is he to blame?  At this point int time…….yes….yes he can…..and should for many MANY reasons.  Even USC Athletic Director Pat Haden knows that football program’s derailed state of affairs, especially when all the hatred and blame is being pointed directly at Kiffin’s visor wearing head.  Asked to describe the state of USC athletics, Haden says, “The sky is not falling, in spite of what some people read and think and write.”  I get it, there is more to collegiate sports than football, but may I ask…..which sport brings in the most revenue?  Which sport brings in the most publicity?  Which sport increases freshman enrollment?  la-sp-pat-haden-usc-20130122-001

Luckily for our Trojan fan sake, Haden acknowledges receiving a steady stream of negative letters, emails and Twitter messages. He says his car was recently keyed off campus — “I don’t know if that is a result of this,” he says, laughing.  Yes, laugh it up Haden. Luckily for you, USC is located in South Central, one of safest hoods in Los Angeles.  Didn’t the University just instill a 9pm curfew?  You crazy college kids you.

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Despite the influx of hate, Haden has continuously said he supports Kiffin 100% and has no reason why Kiffin shouldn’t be the football coach.  UGH, do we have to do the math for you Haden?!

In September, an innocent reporter was banned from practice after he accurately reported that a player underwent surgery. GOOD GOD say it ain’t so!! Kiffin also abruptly bolted from a post-practice news conference when asked about a player returning from injury. Beyond random.  Why don’t you just make SC look like a bunch of ADHD Space Cadets who can’t handle the media.  Sadly, this was only the beginning.

In October, a USC quarterback was instructed by coaches to wear another player’s jersey number on special teams in the first half against Colorado, and then played later in the game in his usual number. Brilliant strategy… thanks Napoleon!  In November, the Pac-12 Conference fined USC $25,000 after it was discovered that a student manager intentionally deflated USC footballs before a game against Oregon. Now why would he do that?  The season ended with the embarrassing Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech, punctuated by news stories last week that portrayed a heated post game locker-room scene.  I dunno if it was soo much heated towards each other or heated towards a certain khaki wearing individual who hides behind play cards.

 

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Yes, USC is still hurtin’ for certain from the harsh (harshest!) NCAA sanctions thanks to running back Reggie Bush.  But come on, you can’t even compare this season to last season, 2011 where the Trojans went 10-2.  Maybe the penalties are sinking in with loss of scholarships and recruits but DUDE, resulting in theses immature and stupid antics leaving the team so frustrated that they decide to West Side Story it out in the Locker Room?  Unacceptable.

“We need to earn our fans’ respect back,” Haden says, “and the only way you can do that is win.”  I sure hope so buddy.  Is that all Kiffin needs to do to keep his job?  “I’m not answering that question,” Haden says, adding, “Sometimes when you’re calling plays . . . you don’t sense maybe the whole team. So I think he has to really sense the whole team and feel and have the relationship with the whole team….”  First of all, grammar!  Second, isn’t that covered in Freshman course PSY 101, building any sort of relationship requires a connection with trust and honesty?  Kiffin is so distant from his team he can’t even call GOOD plays, are you kidding me?  Didn’t you watch the Notre Game?   Yes Lane, let’s run the ball on 3rd down because it worked out so well the other 432 times you did it!   ” Secondly, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff, Lane,’ Haden blabs on.  “Don’t worry about injury reporting at practice and whatever other things we kind of trip ourselves up on — jersey numbers and things.”  Hmmmmmm so what you mean is don’t learn from your mistakes?  That’s great parenting right there.  You Kiffin, do NOT get a time out even though you broke some rules….who cares right?  If you are in calling the shots for LA’s most popular football team, the closest thing we have to the NFL, you can get away with anything.  Everybody knows that.  Haden you are starting to border line MORON.

Notre Dame v USC

Lucky for us, somebody is optimistic about next year.  “I’m a paid optimist,” he says, “and I think we’ve got a great opportunity to rebound and have a terrific season next year.”  That’s right, your PAID.  Shit, if I was paid to think like you I would.  But lets put ourselves in Haden’s position.  What if the Trojans DO in fact have a great season, receive a great recruiting class, compete for the Pac-12 Conference title game and have one of their players nominated for the Heisman.  That all sounds fantastic but still will never change the fact that the 2012 season was one of the most depressing and darkest times that any college football program has ever seen.  EVER.  Kudos to Kiffin for making USC football season the laughing-stock of the entire NCAA.  No other team in college football history has been ranked #1 in the preseason, had a Heisman frontrunner and fallen so low to depths of complete shit.

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Hey, I want to be a paid optimist.  Say Haden, where can I sign up?

No Joy in TrojanLand

Well here is to another loss for the once no.1 ranked USC Trojans.  At least it was against an incredibly talented opponent who is competing for the BCS National Championship.  But it’s hard to take a loss to same Oregon team the Trojans beat last year, an Oregon team that has all same star power and potential the Trojans have.  So what the hell is going on?

Could it be the khaki wearing white visor head let’s hide behind my laminated play card Kiffin?  Could it be the Trojans head coach who is messing up what should have been a stellar season?  Is it fair to just blame one guy?  Hell no, but it’s easier and takes away the pain of a failure…..well…just for a bit anyways.

The Trojans have become a three loss disaster, plagued with mounting penalties and shame.  The team set historic lows with Oregon last week for both years (730) and points (62) allowed.  And after one of the ugliest nights the Coliseum has ever seen, USC has fallen to fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference, ranked behind city rival UCLA in the BCS and appear destined for the Holiday Bowl.   The Bruins!?!?!?  The Holiday Bowl??!?!  OMG, WTF happened to this team?!

Sports Illustrated Magazine asked Kiffin how much of the blame should be placed on him and the coaching staff, Kiffin reluctantly responded saying, “All of it.”  GOOD.  Because it is.  No DUH.  The team’s performance hasn’t matched the talent all season.  It is such an embarrassment.  It really feels like a riches to rags story.

To be fair Kiffin has had to deal with harsh NCAA violations coming into the job, which includes a two-year bowl ban and 30 scholarships revoked for the next three years.  Hmmm, funny.  This is the first season the scholarship restrictions kicked in.  A sign?  Thank GOD Kiffin recognizes the talent running through his program, “”With the players that we have, we should not be 6-3,” Kiffin said on his Sunday conference call with USC beat writers. “There’s only one person for that to fall on — that’s me as the head coach.”

Maybe Kiffin wasn’t the best choice for USC.  Just look at his track record, it ain’t so swell with a career record 36-31.   The Raiders fired him and Tennessee University named their sewage system after he bailed on the Vols football program to head back to sunny SoCal.  He was only at Tennessee for one season!  Kiffin is 0-3 against Stanford, one of the most inexcusable defeats this year. The Trojans also lost to an Arizona State team last season that fired its coach and earlier this season fell to an Arizona squad that UCLA beat 66-10 on Saturday.  The BRUINS again!?!?!

Quarterback Matt Barkley doesn’t seem to be improving and his NFL draft stock is going nowhere but down.  SC’s defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin (Lane Kiffin’s old man) is just soo beyond bad there are no words to describe it.  Apparently the old man gets paid $1.5 million a year.  Good GOD.  That money is better earned by the water boy than him.  The Gatorade bins and water cups are always filled promptly, the defense on the other hand would be lucky to finish a game with the glass half full.

Funny to think that Kiffin voted his team no.1 in the preseason coaches poll has now fallen to no. 21.  Apparently Kiffin’s childish and immature antics that defined his tenure at Tennessee have returned.  Already he has lied about participating in the coaches poll vote in the preseason, pulled off jersey changes to trick the Colorado Buffalos and banned a local beat writer for reporting injuries…..hmmm what would that be called?  Oh yeah! Honest Reporting!

Sad to think Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian, head coach at Washington, were both the Golden Boys under Pete Carroll.  Now look at them.  Stevie if flying high at Washington and Kiffin is a hot SoCal mess.  Kiffin has a 3-8 record against ranked college football opponents.  Is it too much to ask how Kiffin got to USC in the first place?  Was our football program that desperate to scramble and find a coach?

Kiffin can recruit, no doubt about it but, sad to say, it just doesn’t match his actual coaching abilities.  The Trojans clearly don’t lack talent.  They just lack discipline.  Just count how many penalties the team has already accumulated.  They lead the nation by a landslide, averaging at least 10 penalties a game.  It’s pathetic.   Some say Kiffin cares more about appearance and style than substance.  Maybe he doesn’t have the patience or maturity to be head coach.

Things will most likely get worse next year for the Trojans before they get better.  USC has two more seasons with a loss of 10 scholarship players.  Should SC get rid of Kiffin?  Not yet.  They can’t.  Who else is out there?  I say give the visor wearing khaki loving coach another year.  See if he can salvage what is left of USC football pride.  I mean, can next year get any worse?

Next year won’t be worse than this year because the expectations won’t nearly be as high.  The Trojans are not going to start the season as no.1, HELL, they might not even be ranked in the top 25.  And they shouldn’t, they don’t deserve it, which might be a good thing.  Starting off the season with low expectations might be the best thing to ever happen to the Trojans.  If you’re at the bottom there is nowhere to go but UP right?  I think it will help the players grow, learn from their mistakes and become a team that doesn’t rest on the glamour, the hype, the so-called “style” that Kiffin is supposedly accustomed to.  The real question is: Can the team do it without Kiffin? Better yet: Does the team want to do it without Kiffin?

With his previous coaching jobs producing failed seasons, Kiffin keeps on surprising us by landing better jobs despite never accomplishing much.  After this travesty of a season, will Kiffin still land a better job than USC head coach?  Better yet, will Kiffin ever get USC out of this disgustingly embarrassing mess?  It seems very unlikely that Kiffin will ever see the light of day.    Well, at least not while he is hiding behind that play card.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/pete_thamel/11/05/lane-kiffin/index.html#ixzz2BU4xfEka

Take a splash in the Pacific :)

The most wonderful time of year is upon us……..COLLEGE FOOTBALL baby!

Aside from the awesomeness that is USC, there are four new coaches in the Pac-12 Conference.  Four teams who will debuting not just a new coach but a new team, a new work ethic, a new collegiate football culture.  Not the exact time and place these teams would have liked to be at in their athletic career, but hey!  better make the best of it.

Rich Rodriguez (or RiRo as I like to call him) is at Arizona, Todd Graham at Arizona State, Mike Leach at Washington State, and of course….Jim Mora at FUCLA.  Apparently these fab four our pocketing a lot more money these days than their predecessors.  Big time hires means Big time money, which can only mean Big time season!

 

 

 

With that being said, the expectations are running purdy darn high for these Pac 12 teams.  We all know SC is going to dominate the conference along with those pesky but damn good-looking Ducks, but that leaves the 10 remaining teams with the difficult challenge to fulfill those high expectations and ACTUALLY compete.  That is either going to make the 2012 season a yawn for those SEC bandwagon fans on the other side of the country or an absolute BLASTY for those west coasters who want to see if these new coaches will put their money where their mouth is.

So how do these coaches deal with all these high expectations?  They call it “Re-Building.”  The word “re-building” just sounds safer   and sounder than “conference domination” or “we are here to win!”  Winning is the obvious but a new coach isn’t going to come in and expect the team to win the conference let alone every game.

Arizona State’s coach is either the most delusional about the issue or just a smart guy who knows how to win over his team:

 

 

 

“We’re in some big-time recruiting battles right now,” Graham said. “Kids want to go to a big-time program. I’m just being honest. If I sit here and say, ‘Well, you know, it’s just going to take time.’ I don’t think they want to hear that. And I really don’t think that’s the reality of it. It’s just not in my mindset to approach things that way. I just believe you can get what you expect. Is it going to be easy? No. Are we going to face a lot of adversity? Yes. Can we win a championship this first year? Yes we can. That’s what our mission is going to be.”

This relentless optimism can get obnoxious but can also be what is giving a football team the energy and attitude they need to make it to practice everyday and suit up for the big games.  Any athletic team needs focus, discipline and dedication, ultimately relying on their coaches for that push.  Will these four new coaches reach the promise land?  Well, definitely not in their first season…..but let us hope for the best and encourage these coaches to make the Pac-12 the most competitive conference in college football 🙂  Just to shut up that pesky SEC conference.