A Dark Sark Day

New Southern California football head coach Steve Sarkisian pauses for a moment during a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. USC hired Sarkisian away from Washington on Monday, bringing back the former Trojans offensive coordinator to his native Los Angeles area and the storied program where he thrived as Pete Carroll's assistant. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

So I was just about to write-up a post about the dismal Sarkisian situation this Monday morning, and as it turns out, he was fired in a matter of hours, right after lunchtime PST to be exact.¬† Didn’t know it could get any worse ūüėõ

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This is definitely one of the darkest times USC football has ever faced. The head football coach has become persona non grata on campus, go figure.  Reggie can now plan his celebrated return, Bush pushing it back to Heritage Hall.

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The issue of Sark being a drunk shouldn’t really come as a surprise to us SC fans, let alone Pat Haden.¬† Apparently the Washington Huskies, his previous coaching job before taking on SC, were well aware of his addiction and some players even took to their Twitter to LOL about the situation.

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Fox Sports even reported several additional incidents that involved Sark and the bottle. Among the reported incidents:

‚ÄĘ One former Huskies player claims he “smelled alcohol” on Sarkisian at team meetings “one or two” times;

‚ÄĘ Another ex-Huskie said that in 2009, Sarkisian sometimes arrived at meetings “smelling like booze” and with his “eyes all red”;

‚ÄĘ Two other former Huskies said Sarkisian and other coaches regularly drank alcohol in their offices;

‚ÄĘ Several receipts obtained by the Times¬†show hefty tabs for alcohol paid for in Sarkisian’s name.

So how was Pat Haden not aware of ANY of this?  How was this guy even hired?

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This unfortunate incident sadly exposes a gaping issue that is bigger than crunk Sarkisian, which could be an even more detrimental to the program.¬† As University Athletic Director, Pat Haden is responsible for managing all athletic programs and hiring those sufficient enough to run said programs.¬† Haden is 0 for 2 with the football program. ¬†He didn’t hire Lane Kiffin, but he did drag that along quite nicely. The white visor-wearing douche was a complete disgrace.¬† Coach O was the only savior that graced the football program’s presence finishing the regular season on a high note and he was an interim! Promptly after the season ended, Haden dismissed him in order to make room for Jose Cuervo.¬† Coach O was so distraught by Haden’s decision that he didn’t even stay to coach the team in the Las Vegas Bowl.

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Now this a fun trip down memory lane, remember when Haden and Sarkisian got in trouble? On September 8, 2014 he and USC football coach Steve Sarkisian were reprimanded by Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott for attempting “to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest” during the September 6 game with Stanford. Haden was fined $25,000.¬† Yea that was fun…..

Haden’s employee vetting almost reminds me of a certain under-qualified Vice Presidential candidate…….

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Pat Haden must be under some serious fire, putting him in the HOT seat.¬† I mean ridiculously HOT, the HOT that is only found in HELL, HOT.¬† The man has only been Athletic Director for roughly 5 years.¬† I understand that the deistic legacy of Pete Carroll still runs deep within the program and forever will be until the man gets a gold statue on campus, but that doesn’t mean we need to try and desperately hang on to every individual that had some sort of connection to the winning program.¬† I know it may be hard to digest, but USC needs to start fresh and try and establish a new order.

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I know it’s scary to go out and try something new guys, but in the long run you will be respected for it even if you falter for a short while.¬† But then again this is College Football we’re talking about, the one athletic program that is so highly coveted that some universities’ entire endowment is given just to the football program.¬† Clearly our priorities are in line.

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All we can do in the interim is hope that Sarkisian seeks out the proper rehabilitation treatment to help him alleviate his alcohol addiction.  AND for Haden to get a clue

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He Has Risen

The Resurrection is real people.¬† And no, I am not talking about Easter.¬† But if you put it that way, this may be an Easter of sorts….an Easter for one.

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Tim Tebow is gracing the NFL with his holy presence yet again. I don’t know about you, but frankly, I am quite excited about this revival.

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Throwing the words “resurrection” and “revival” could be a bit of a stretch, but hey, who am I to hate on one of Jesus’s football disciples? Granted Tebow never went to Notre Dame, but I am sure he has a poster of “Touchdown Jesus” pasted up on one of his walls next to his Florida Gator crucifix.

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Just like Jesus, Tebow has seen and experience adversity in his days. The NFL maliciously swallowed and spit out Tebow 2 years ago, leaving him nothing except his unrelenting faith in GOD and in the good graces of the almighty SEC Network.

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The comeback of Tebow is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited. And to top it off,¬†I couldn’t think of a better city to open up their loving arms¬†and embrace the God Squader like a brother than Philadelphia. ¬†Although the Philadelphia Eagles already have a so-called “quarterback,” Tebow could be the perfect accessory to Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense.

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Will Tebow get any action? Who the hell knows. He only signed a 1 year contract agreement. As a die-hard USC Trojan fan, you would think I would be rooting for the ladder. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I am fully pulling for Matty Barkley to dazzle the City of Brotherly Love with his cannon of an arm and Little Rascal smile. Also pulling for Mark Sanchez to fully recover from his butt fumble concussion and come to realize that retirement would be more of a favor to the entire sports world than just himself.

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But you have to admit, there is just something about Tebow that is unrelentingly charming. Setting aside his “Don’t Get an Abortion Because I Was Almost One” SuperBowl commercial, Tebow has a great attitude on his shoulders, a contiguously positive attitude that many could and should envy. Can’t hate a guy for trying and trying and trying and trying to make his dreams come true.

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Rooting against Tebow is¬†like rooting for Moses to drown in the Red Sea or for Joseph to never find that Technicolor Dreamcoat. No…..that’s just wrong.

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And the best part of all? Tebow-ing will be making it’s comeback with a vengeance…..in PRETZEL FORM.

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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

A Big Fat Trojan Sigh

The USC Trojans this season has been anything but exciting.  This was a team ranked #1 at the end of August, defying all the odds, overcoming their  severe sanctions some still consider an unfair NCAA punishment, thanks to Mr. Reggie Bush.  With their 2 year sanction lifted they have (had?) a chance to compete for a national championship, which in turn has caught the attention of College Football, especially the all-mighty winning SEC.

Quarterback Matt Barkley made a huge announcement last December deciding to stay his senior year and play with no-longer-in-the-dog-house Trojans. ¬†Huge billboards were erected throughout the LA area, even Bruin territory Westwood, displaying a picture of Barkley standing behind a microphone podium at that same December announcement press conference ¬†with the confident declaration spelling out, “We Play to Finish.” Before the season even started, all of college football land was buzzing over Barkley winning the coveted Heisman Trophy. ¬†He had a tremendous Junior year season, why not dream a little?

The Trojans started off the season so promising, full of hope and new beginnings. ¬†Now that we are in the second half of the season, the Trojans aren’t looking to play for a national championship, aren’t looking to win a Heisman, aren’t even looking to dazzle fans nor intimidate other teams with their fully equipped and talented offense. ¬†Lane Kiffin and his Trojans are just looking to win the next game.

USC has been playing like they are asleep to say the least. ¬†As a die-hard Trojan fan who lives and breathes college football there is only one question: Who to blame? ¬†I know, I know that is the easiest way to place the problem on someone else, to look to someone for answers but maybe, JUST maybe, there is no one to blame. ¬†But hey, that wouldn’t be the style of this blog fools.

 

Case and point: the head coach. Is it just me or has Lane Kiffin been really screwy this season? ¬†Aside from him bolting away from reporters and failing to comment on injured players, his coaching is questionable. ¬†Relying far too much on the running game which only turned out ok in the Cal game, rushing for over 200 yards (the best of the season thus far), rather than using his killer offense: Matt Barkley’s arm, receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Lee. Wasn’t this visor wearing blondie a championship winning Offensive Coach?! What gives??

I am not trying to downplay the run game, I have nothing but love for Venice Gondo Curtis McNeal as well as Penn state transer Silas Redd who has proven himself to be a BEAST. ¬† But Kiffin seems to have been persistently “protecting” Barkley, not calling any long pass plays and instead opting to call the same run plays, thus not giving the opposing D lineman a chance to sack SC’s beloved prize possession. ¬†Wouldn’t that prize possession seem more like a prize with a Heisman Kiffin? ¬†Wouldn’t be too shabby :/ ¬† ¬†Kiffin’s focus is now just on winning, ¬†he doesn’t care by how much or with what strategy….just as long as we win. ¬†Now that to me doesn’t sound like a championship worthy team.

You can totally get Kiffin’s “winning” drift after the Washington game. ¬†“Yeah, we played conservative once we got a lead like that, but we said it all along, it’s not about anybody’s numbers, or Heisman, or anything like that,” said Kiffin. ¬†” It was about the best thing to win the game. Obviously, I want to pass the ball, but I’m happy with the win,” he said. “It was not a glamorous win, but our ground game was here, our defense was on fire, it was a team win.” ¬†This is not a #1 ranked football team….oh wait #10. ¬†Kiffin just sounds like he is sucking the fun and passion out of the game, not calling the hail mary passes or trick plays. ¬†I miss Pete ūüė¶

Don’t you miss Pete, marching up and down the field like he owns the place. ¬†And then there is little white visor Kiffin, hiding behind his lamanated play card. ¬†Hey the guy is clearly trying his best but his best isn’t working. ¬†It’s not only the fans that are frustrated but the players as well.

There is definitely some miscommunication going on between the coaching staff and players. ¬†The role of Barkley as a quarterback is disappearing. ¬†Did any of you watch last week’s game against the Washington Huskies? ¬†Kiffin sidelined his best offensive weapons for more than half the football game. ¬†WTF dude. ¬†“My take on it is, it was terrible for our offense, with all the weapons we have,” said receiver Robert Woods afterward, his voice trailing as his eyes dropped. ¬†After Barkley was sacked in the second half….Kiffin decided DUNZO, FIN, NADA, Nope, nobody touching my QB or am I putting him in danger. ¬†“There were a few really long situations on third down, and the last thing I wanted to do in this environment was sit there and drop back and let these guys rush us and let the quarterback get hit,” Kiffin said. “Going back to that Stanford game … there’s some times that I was getting Matt hit in those same situations and I made sure I didn’t do that today.”

What game is this again….? ¬†Oh that’s right, FOOTBALL. ¬†I think you are going to get hit a few times when playing the most violent sport in America. ¬†Good GOD Kiffin. ¬†Do you wear that white visor every game to protect you from those sunlight beams containing crazy?! ¬†Yea, I didn’t think so. ¬†Barkley obviously doesn’t feel the same. ¬†“I’ve never heard that from him,” he said, the surprise showing clearly in his voice. “I can take any hit. That’s surprising.” ¬†UGH. ¬†Punch me in the face. ¬†Barkley isn’t hurt Kiffin, CLEARLY. ¬†Play the guy who stayed his senior season with the intention of blowing everybody else out of the water. ¬†Why have such a great offense last year and not have one this year? ¬†You have all you need no?

Kiffin just doesn’t make sense to me. ¬†It is good that they are winning but they aren’t winning they way we all thought they would, the way they deserve. ¬†It may sound a bit bitchy but just winning sometimes isn’t good enough. ¬†It’s not good enough for a team that was once ranked #1. ¬† They should be on the same level as Oregon, defeating teams by 30 points+. ¬†But sadly no, there will be no joy in TrojanLand with Kiffin calling the shots ūüė¶ There is still hope that the Trojans will finish strong and I know they will. ¬†Maybe strong enough for Kiffin, but not strong enough for the rest of us.

 

Kiffin go bye bye

Lane Kiffin is one weird dude.

USC head coach Kiffin abruptly ended a post practice news conference on the field after he was asked by a reporter about an injured player. ¬†After answering one question (a total of 30 seconds) he said, “I gotta go,” almost seeming displeased to answer the questions, and then he bolted off the field. ¬† Literally…..jogging away. ¬†What gives Kiffy?

Here, you can check out the real awkward Lane Kiffin moment yourself: usc-coach-lane-kiffin-ends-news-conference-reporter-asks-injured-player

Apparently there is some sort of ridiculous policy with USC, requesting that the media who have the chance to make it practice¬†¬†“not report on strategy or injuries that are observed during the course of watching that practice or result from that practice.” ¬†Wtf? ¬†That’s what the media does, report on what matters….and injuries on athletic teams, especially teams who are (were?) supposedly championship bound. ¬†Sorry SC, but that policy is ridiculously absurd. ¬†You can’t hide injured players in Narnia for long….you know injuries do heal.

The USC Trojans are definitely under a media microscope ever since their 21-14 loss to Stanford last Saturday, quite the Pac-12 upset….and this is only GAME 3?!

A chunk of everybody’s dream in SoCal evaporated after that loss, winning a national championship and Barkley taking home the coveted Heisman trophy. ¬†Barkley is still talking to the press admirably and swallowing his “shame” from last week, because let’s face it….it wasn’t pretty¬†for the guy, completing only 20 of his 41 passes ¬†for 254 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. ¬†Yea, that is still a slow soothing pain just typing that ūüė¶

Hopefully Barkley’s dismal performance will ignite a fire for him and the Trojans who take on the Cal Bears Saturday at the Coliseum. ¬†If you have to lose, better to lose to a ranked conference team early in the season rather than later, where it seems to count more.

Can he kiss Heisman goodbye? ¬†It’s hard to say. ¬†It is so early in the season that he and the Trojans can rally and win every game the rest of the season with Barkley throwing 6 touchdown passes. ¬†Considering their somewhat difficult schedule as well as the “oh holy” conference that is the SEC, SC is headed towards some troubled waters.

The Cal game will determine whether the Trojans can rally. ¬†Also, to see if Kiffin can give the running game a break and call some effective pass plays, for freaking ONCE in a game. ¬†Good God was that ever frustrating. ¬†Maybe that was the looming question that haunts him, praying and hoping the press don’t ask him the embarrassing question about the Trojans total running game ¬†against Stanford, a whopping 26 yards. ¬†No wonder he darted for the door. ¬†At least he left the media before munching on some Coliseum¬†grass……oh wait.