Friday, January 8, 2010


The insanity is reaching new levels:

Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora has been fired, the first coach in team history to be let go after one season, and league sources say longtime USC coach Pete Carroll is being targeted as Mora's replacement.

A prominent USC source close to the athletic department said Friday that Carroll joining the Seahawks was "going down."

Said another source close to Carroll: "You're about to see a big headline that shakes up the major college football world," in reference to the Seahawks development.
Yeah, I'd say that would shake up the college football world. And didn't we just go through this?
If I'd have asked you yesterday to come up with the most shocking story possible in the world of college football, where would "Urban Meyer resigns" have ranked? First? Second? I can't think of anything else more shocking or with more potential ramifications, with the possible exception of Pete Carroll stepping down at USC.
How silly of me to think that Urban Meyer's retirement would be the most shocking news of the offseason. Everyone will say that Carroll's trying to escape L.A. before USC gets hit with the NCAA hammer, but I'm not sure that's the only factor. Are penalties likely? Yes, at some point. But he's also done just about everything he can do at USC and has hit a little bit of a lull; I think it's entirely possible that he's just looking for a new challenge. He probably wouldn't mind making $7 million a year, either.

For the record, Carroll's time in the NFL wasn't nearly the disaster people often make it out to be. He was 6-10 in his one season with the Jets (1994) and then 10-6, 9-7 and 8-8 with New England from 1997-99. He led the Patriots to an AFC East title in '97 and was 1-2 in the playoffs. He was fired with a career record of 33-31. That's not spectacular by any means, but it's certainly not bad.

I'm not here to talk about his NFL prospects, though. What I care about is the effect his departure would have on USC and college football as a whole. If he takes the job, it could represent an extreme shift in power and have a domino effect on coaches throughout the country. I have to imagine that Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian would be on the short list of candidates; Mike Riley and Jim Harbaugh would probably get a look too. There might not be a better job in college football right now than USC, so it'd be a step up for just about anybody. There are also a ton of high-end recruits who could be left up in the air, which would be devastating for USC (and awesome for everybody else) with less than a month before national signing day.

I'm not gonna spend all night speculating -- it's still possible that the deal could fall through, making all of this moot -- but wow. Alabama's national title is already old news.

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