Yeah, so I’ve been slacking in the football department lately. The past few weeks have been slightly eventful and I sure as heck wasn’t talking about the Super Bowl. National Signing Day, Pat Haden’s announced retirement, even the NFL combine were each more individually interesting than that six turnover AFL-NFL championship game. Maybe it’s because I’m bitter that the Seahawks didn’t make it three straight appearances to the “Big Game” (which, incidentally, makes me think of Cal vs. Stanford more than anything). Okay, that’s really just my opinion. Either way, you get a USC football info dump.
We’ll go one by one on each topic. I’ll make it brief because who has the attention span for long posts? I sure don’t!
A highly ranked recruiting class to be sure. It’s a slight dip from what we’re used to, but hey, given the circumstances, I’ll take it.
They got some people for positions of need and tied for highest star ranking on Scout.com (not that stars are that accruate of predictors of sucess).
We got Jack Jones!!! Now we won’t even need to pipe music through the speakers during practice.
It’s been quite a ride for Pat Haden since he entered as the athletic directory in 2010. He had been a trustee of the university basically from when I was born until stepping down to take the AD role. Since then the football team has been:
If you looked purely at records, you might believe they languished a bit under Haden’s watch, but in reality, it was something worse: wasted potential. In virtually every game, the Trojans had a shot (or more) of beating their opponent. Sometimes they would follow through and win. Other times they would fall comically short.Haden can’t and shouldn’t take all the blame for it.
He’s made a lot of decisions that left people scratching their heads. Some have left people outraged.
None of them were made within a vacuum. He answers to the president, board of trustees, the Pac-12 conference, and, yes, even the NCAA. No, I’m not being an apologist. I’m just saying not to be unduly harsh on him. We are looking at all of this in hindsight and without pressure. Yes, he’s made bad decisions, but those shouldn’t completely define him. It would take some combination of naivety or patent dishonesty to make his decisions out to be so single-faceted.
His administration should be remembered for exactly what it is: a mixed legacy.
I’ll talk about it after the USC Pro Day so I can lump it all together. Try not to feel too cheated.