NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > USC 2002-2008---The Dynasty that Never Was and the Failure of Integrity
June 23, 2010, 06:32 PM
We now know for sure what some of us knew all along---USC cheated its way back to "glory". Lets recap.


Petey Carroll took over in 2001. In order to understand the MAGNITUDE of USC's sudden reversal of fortune in 2002, we must examine the previous TWENTY YEARS to get perspective.

Prior to the 2003 season, the last time USC layed claim to a national title was 1978 when it won the coach's poll, a split title with Alabama (thus not consensus). They also claim a split title in 1974 when they also won the coach's poll. Neither was an AP title or consensus championship. The last consensus championship for USC was 1972 when they were 12-0. So 31 years had passed since the last consensus national title.

USC's slow descent into relative mediocrity really began under the Fat Man, John Robinson. After going undefeated (with a tie) in 1979, USC had these 3 years under the Fat Man:

1980 8-2-1
1981 9-3
1982 8-3

Not bad but now what they were used to.

Ted Tollner took over and USC went 26-20-1 over the next 4 years, a .563 win pct. He went 1-3 vs UCLA and 0-4 vs Notre Dame, their 2 biggest rivals.

Larry Smith was then hired and had a few decent years, including leading USC to a 10-0 record and #2 ranking in 1988 going into the last game vs Notre Dame in a #1 V #2 matchup for the right to play for the national championship. Notre Dame blew USC out 28-10 at SC despite Holtz benching their top 2 running backs.
Smith had a 44-25-3 record with USC, a .631 pct, but his last 3 years USC went 17-17-2, a .500 team. Smith never beat Notre Dame, going 0-6.

1990 8-4-1 (lost Hancock Bowl to Mich St)
1991 3-8
1992 6-5-1 ((lost Freedom Bowl to Fresno St)

The Freedom Bowl loss was USC's 4th bowl loss in the last 5 bowl games.

USC was now in a deep funk, so they brought the Fat Man back to try to return to glory. The Fat Man's second tenure didn't go as well.

1993 8-5
1994 8-3-1
1995 9-2-1
1996 6-6
1997 6-5

Fat Man II was 37-21-2, a .633 win pct, hardly a return to glory.
USC then turned to Paul Hackett. The Hackett era went like this:

1998 8-5 (lost Sun Bowl to TCU)
1999 6-6
2000 5-7

99-00 first consecutive non winning seasons since 1960-61.
Hackett went 19-18, leading USC to barely a .500 team.
From 1996-2001, which includes Carroll's first year, USC went 37-35, the second worst span in their history. It was the first period USC was out of the top 20 for 4 straight years.

2001 6-6 in Carroll's first year.

From 1983 through 1995, USC had 13 straight years where they did not beat Notre Dame.

Since 1990, USC thus had these seasons:

8-4-1
3-8
6-5-1
8-5
8-3-1
9-2-1
6-6
6-5
8-5
6-6
5-7
6-6
----------
79-62-4
that's a .558 winning percentage from 1990-2001. That is worse than the winning percentages of Charlie Weis, Ty Willingham and Bob Davie at Notre Dame.

(end of Part 1--continued to next post)

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