Sunday, September 29, 2013

Who Can Revive USC's Crumbling Dynasty?

Lane Kiffin's inevitable firing came soon after USC's latest debacle, a 62-41 drubbing by Arizona State in the desert. The Trojans had never given up that many points in a game until last season, and now they've done it twice in the last 10 games.

Firing Kiffin was the easy part for USC athletic director Pat Haden, now comes the hard part: Whom would he hire to right the ship after it began taking on water because of both the NCAA sanctions and Kiffin's lackluster leadership? To understand Haden's predicament, we must examine how the Trojans fell into the abyss from such dizzying heights in just a few short years.

In the first decade of the 2000s, USC was inarguably the most successful program in college football. It won back-to-back national championships and just barely missed a three-peat. It went to a still-record seven straight BCS bowl games, winning six. It never lost more than two games in a season over a seven-year stretch and never finished lower than fourth in the final AP poll.

A quick review of the Trojans between 2002-2008, the Pete Carroll era without his first and final years at Troy:


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