Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013
So, I have seen plenty of talk about how this could really hurt the rest of the Pac-12. After all, Kiffin's ineptitude is thought to have directly led to the emergence of Oregon and Stanford as national powers.

I disagree with that thought 100 percent.

Go back in time and think about the Ducks rise to prominence. It started before Kiffin brough his brand of bad coaching to USC. In fact, the only coach to bring USC the levels of success that Trojan fans expect, happened to watch a Duck quarterback run over around and through the Trojans on Halloween night in 2009 en route to the Ducks first Rose Bowl appearance in 15 years.

Pete Carroll was far from inept as the head coach of the Trojans. He brought national titles and excitement back to the Coliseum. His brashness and energy breathed life into a program that had been, at best, average, for quite a while.

And here came Chip Kelly and the Oregon program with a new system and speed to burn. Kelly stole the spotlight before Kiffin became head coach. And Kiffin kept the Trojans competitive through the first part of sanctions.

Anyone who thought that the Trojans were going to stay at the top of the Pac-12 throughout their sanctions was chasing fools gold. It simply was not possible with the level of scholarship reductions that the Trojans were hammered with.

Lane Kiffin was a lame duck the moment he accepted the job. No one. NO one could have kept that team near the top in the changing landscape of college football where depth was just as important as starting talent. Without depth, there was no way for USC to compete with Stanford and Oregon who had built powerhouse teams before sanctions hit Troy.

Pat Haden has proved just as inept, though, trying to guide the university through the morass of problems associated with excessive expectations that were misaligned with debilitating sanctions. He has mishandled at least two coaching changes in the two major sports.

Will a new coach coming to Los Angeles challenge the Ducks spot? I say no. In fact, a coach who can return the Trojans to a perennial contender status will only help Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12.

As it stands, Oregon suffers in the eyes of the national media because they play in a conference considered "weaker" than the SEC. If the Trojans can rise back to the top of the South division of the Pac-12, that will help the perception of conference strength.

As for Oregon specifically, the Ducks program is on solid ground. USC has always dominated the conference in recruiting. Their rise back to the top will still be built around the best talent in the conference. And Oregon has increased their talent level. The Ducks can recruit nationally now and that helps to limit the impact of a quality Trojan team.

Oregon will be fine. The Pac-12 will be better.

Playoffs are coming after this year. A "super-division" of football is not far behind. That only serves to help Oregon maintain their presence.

No need to fret. Oregon, contrary to the wishes of  Husky, Trojan and Beaver fans, is not going to regress simply because USC gets a better coach.

Oregon will be fine.


Post a Comment