USC Football and the Tale of Two Managers

08/20/12 3:33 PM

The college football season is less than two weeks away and many experts are saying that USC has a solid chance to dethrone the top SEC team for the Bowl Championship Series. The Trojans are coming off a post season ban for breaking NCAA rules concerning former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

USC before the violations was the only team in the nation who could match up physically and athletically with the top teams in the SEC. This was because then Coach Pete Carroll built USC like a professional team. He understood that you needed star quality depth at many positions and especially along the offensive and defensive lines. Many conferences send quality skill position players to the NFL but the big difference is the SEC has players at those positions two and three deep on the depth charts.

After Pete Carroll left USC to go to the Seattle Seahawks Lane Kiffin was named head coach. A lot of experts questioned this move because of his than stellar stints with the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Volunteers. Kiffin, was an assistant under Pete Caroll at USC and he understood how to build a powerhouse. It did not hurt that his father Monte was a longtime defensive coordinator in NFL. Despite being hit with some serious scholarship limitations by the NCAA Kiffin has built a team worthy of being called BCS title capable. The scholarship reductions have left USC a little short in the depth department but if they can stay healthy the Trojans can race through their 2012 schedule undefeated. If they can do this they will play in the BCS title game and they will have more than enough talent to beat the best the SEC or the nation has to offer in a one game situation.

There are two interesting off season managerial situations brewing in Cincinnati and Boston. Dusty Baker has the Cincinnati Reds in first place in the National League Central. Baker whose contract expires at the end of season has not been extended and some are saying that he will not be extended. Reds GM Walt Jocketty was GM with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1994 to 2007 and some baseball experts are thinking that he will try to bring now retired manager Tony La Russa out of retirement to manage the Reds in 2013. In Boston, new manager Bobby Valentine is in big trouble. In less than a full season he has alienated most of the clubhouse and the owner and GM had to meet with the team to abort a rumored full scale mutiny. Valentine’s managerial style is abrasive and it has worked with the laid back Red Sox team. He will be fired at the end of the season and a replacement will be brought in.  The ironic thing is Dusty Baker is being talked about as the possible replacement for Valentine. Baker’s managerial style fits Boston’s clubhouse perfectly.

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