The Great Debate: Pete Carroll  

Posted by Walter

While it is absolutely a waste of time to try and argue against Carroll's numbers, great numbers does not necessarily guarantee that he is the best coach. More than anything else, Carroll has been nothing more than the beneficiary of a tremendously fortuitous situation at USC. Consider the following:

  • USC has arguably the best recruiting base in the entire country in the Southern California region. Moreover, given that UCLA hs been nothing more than mediocre since Cade McNown left town, Carroll and the Trojans basically get to pick whoever they want in the recruiting game.
  • It isn't like Carroll has built USC himself. Lest we forget that during this amazing run he has had two of the absolute best offensive coordinators in college football calling plays for him in Norm Chow and Lane Kiffin. Oh yeah, both of them are the NFL now.
  • Finally, it would be wrong for us to forget about the guy who was primarily responsible for this great USC run: Carson Palmer. Palmer's senior season at USC was arguably the greatest in school history for a QB, and basically put the Trojans back on the national scene, but more importantly the California recruiting scene. Though Palmer didn't win a national title, he was the one who got things going. Pete Carroll inherited Palmer when he came to USC, so it would be hard to give him credit for that.
Bottom line, Pete Carroll walked into a situation where even a competent coach could and should get outstanding results. The fact that the Trojans have been great under him is a credit to the program and not necessarily him. Carroll has one national title to him name, and one split national title. It's not like he has won 4 or 5 titles at USC. In fact, if he's the best coach in the country, how did he get so badly outcoached by Mack Brown in the title game loss to Texas?


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