Monday, January 11, 2010

Chalk It Up

Pete Carroll is officially becoming the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. This makes me 1 for 1 on predictions made on this blog. Booya. This obviously means I should test my luck and make more predictions, so here we go:

1- USC stands for University of Scandal Coming.

As I said earlier, Pete Carroll leaving USC guarantees the NCAA is going to drop the hammer on the football program. Given the number of times Pete Carroll scorned NFL teams in favor of remaining at SC, the best reason to make a jump now is that something is wrong at USC. It's not like the Seattle gig is something special, at least more so than the Falcons or Dolphins. Although Carroll says the Seattle offer was "too good to pass up," it's not like the offer was that much better than what was on the table in the past.

Plus, there is more evidence piling up that the NCAA is about to come down on USC. In particular, rumor has it that USC apparently asked for some self-imposed sanctions on its football program that were rejected by the NCAA. That really only happens if the NCAA doesn't think those sanctions are hard enough and wants to investigate more itself. Also some are questioning the harsh sanctions SC put on their basketball program (no postseason play), arguing maybe they are a way to deflect criticism of the more popular and lucrative football program. It's also not like there haven't been rumors about SC for a while now-- including hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly given to Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight driving a Land Rover that didn't belong to him.

It seems like it's all coming to a headway...and I predict some kind of sanctions against the USC football program.

2- Pete Carroll Doesn't Lead Seattle to the Promised Land.

Pete Carroll is an excellent college coach, but I doubt he can lead a team to a Super Bowl. He did take the Patriots to the playoffs twice-- but came up short each time. Bill Belichick took that same Pats team and won a Super Bowl a year after Carroll left. It's never all the coach in a situation like that and Belichick is pretty damn good, but it just illustrates Carroll wasn't in the category of coaches that can lead a very capable team to the Big Game. That's a pretty strong indictment.

The reason is simple- as Tony Dungy said, Pete Carroll has the perfect attitude to reach 19 year old kids, but not to reach 26 year old millionaires. Being a nice guy with an upbeat personality can motivate college kids, but isn't the best attitude for controlling some of the ego-inflated players in the NFL. Carroll is a player's coach and being a player's coach in the NFL is dangerous when you are dealing with players like Brandon Marshall, Terrell Owens, and Deangelo Hall who think they run the show and want all the attention, fame, and fortune. No amount of Will Ferrell visits and singing "Lean on Me" will get guys like that into shape. The charisma, stunts, and "keep it loose" attitude generally don't work in the NFL.

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