Sunday, September 29, 2013

School in the News: USC

Leon McQuay III may have made a poor choice.
The news came out this morning that Lane Kiffin, head coach of the USC Trojans, is now . . . well . . . the ex-head coach of the USC Trojans. The Trojans lost to Arizona State on Saturday by a score of 62-41 and dropped to 3-2 on the year. It's open season on their recruits, one of whom (2014 linebacker Derik Calhoun) has already opened up his recruitment. They have just six remaining commits in the current class, and none of them had been offered by Michigan. La Jolla (CA) Country Day offensive tackle Jordan Poland talked at one time about being highly interested in Michigan, but the Wolverines haven't reciprocated that interest up to this point. And on a side note, class of 2015 quarterback David Sills - who committed to Lane Kiffin a few years ago - is the teammate of 2014 Michigan commits Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, which may be something to watch as the Wolverines search for more quarterback targets in the next class.

Transfers might be unlikely in the future, but here's a list of the current USC non-seniors who held offers from the Wolverines at one point:

WR Nelson Agholor (So.)
S Dion Bailey (RS Jr.)
S Su'a Cravens (Fr.)
RB Justin Davis (Fr.)
LB Lamar Dawson (Jr.)
WR Jordan Farmer (Jr.)
CB Chris Hawkins (Fr.)
C Cyrus Hobbi (RS So.)
LB Michael Hutchings (Fr.)
RB Ty Isaac (Fr.)
WR Marqise Lee (Jr.)
S Leon McQuay III (Fr.)
LB Jabari Ruffin (RS Fr.)
CB Joshua Shaw (RS Jr.)
DT Delvon Simmons (Jr.)
OG Jordan Simmons (RS Fr.)
TE Randall Telfer (RS Jr.)
OT Max Tuerk (So.)
OG Aundrey Walker (Jr.)


  1. So much talent there...Chances of a transfer to UM are remote, but I could see someone like Issac head back home and end up at a Big 10 school. Seems like we're set at RB but our coaches REALLY wanted Issac at one time.

    1. The coaches never really let up on recruiting Isaac, so I think they would be open to taking him if he wanted to transfer. That's probably unlikely, but you never know...

  2. I figure USC will open the checkbook for a big time hire and wants to have someone either now or the day after the end of the regular season. There are plenty of recruits who were leery of USC due to Kiffin and a top recruiter would be able to reel them in along with some recruits who committed elsewhere due to Kiffin. Similar to Meyer at OSU. Their current class is pretty terrible with no top talent but whoever they sign will be able to sell a new start and return to the 2000's USC dominance. Probably hurts Michigan's chances with Juju Smith.

    1. I wonder what type of big-name coaches are out there at this point. The name I hear most is Steve Sarkisian, but he's not a huge name. Les Miles has his thing going at LSU and I think would struggle with the media in Los Angeles. Saban is set at Alabama, and I don't see him fitting in at USC, either. Mack Brown has been shamed almost into retirement at Texas. Unless it's an out-of-work NFL coach like Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy or someone like that, I don't see a huge name going to coach at USC. I actually think Sarkisian would be a solid fit, but he wouldn't make a huge splash.

  3. I'd take ANYONE on that list ahead of Isaac. Screw him. Guy visited like 12 times and then went out west. There's NO DOUBT in my mind that the kid received an envelope and sold out.

  4. I'd take mquay and Issac speed hell yeah

  5. Considering the fact that USC will end up with a decidedly better coaching staff following this decision, I don't see anyone transferring. No one went to SC to play for Kiffin, they went to play for SC. Place sells itself and it has little to nothing to do with the snake who fell into every job he ever had.

    1. I wouldn't be so fast to say that. Shoot when we had the coaching change from RichRod to Hoke we lost D Hart - Watkins (wasn't technically committed, but he would have) - and Kris Frost. The coach these kids have for the next 3-5 years matters a lot to quite a few of them.

    2. Kiffin must at least has some positive effect on recruiting. USC obviously has a lot of strong selling points, but it has some problems too. If you look at natural advantages, I think that UCLA and USC are about the same, but USC has had better recruiting for a decade.

      I forgot about Kris Frost. We also would have had Anthony Zettel (almost certainly) and maybe Jake Fisher.

    3. Kris Frost was never committed to Michigan, either. At least not publicly. We also lost Jake Fisher, Matt Goudis, Dallas Crawford, etc. during that transition time. All of those guys could be helping Michigan right now.

  6. Magnus, what are your thoughts on this?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for firing Kiffin: I don't like him as a person or a coach. I'm not 100% sure on how he's obtained any job he's had up to this point, but people keep hiring him.

    I could rant about that for a while, but i t would really boil down to this: Can people be blaming him for the tire fire Carroll left at USC?

    USC has 55 available scholarships. That's enough to have a 2 deep on offense/defense, 5 special teams players (kicker, punter, long snapper, holder, return man) and then 6 left over. A team littered with underclassmen. Are there any coaches that could do much better with those kinds of limitations? I'm impressed with Bill O Brien - but he has been doing it with more than 55 scholarships.

    Thanks for the input,

    1. You have a good point about the scholarship reductions, but the problem for Lane is that his teams underperformed considering the talent still on the team. Regardless of the wins and loses, that team was not well coached.

    2. I'm of the same thought stream as Elmer. USC has limited scholarships, but there's a lot of top-end talent there. I do think Carroll can be blamed somewhat, but so can Kiffin. Last year's poor play down the stretch was with the help of some talented players who were still on the roster, but Kiffin just lost control of the ship. If Kiffin did well last year and got off to a 3-2 start this year, I don't think he would be in hot water. But with all the 5-star and 4-star talent on that team, I think they should have done better than losing 7 of their last 11 games.