Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Stable?

THE STABLE. That's the name that was given to USC's collection of H.S. All-American tailbacks. The Stable performed well in the season opener against Virginia where they amassed over 200 yards rushing and all but Broderick Green found the endzone. The Stable was put on the shelf in the Ohio St. game in favor of the McKnight Show. Where McKnight carried the ball 12 times for 105 yards against the Buckeyes. And now, after a disappointing loss last Thursday in Corvallis, I wonder if Carroll's philosophy behind the Stable can actually work.

I'm going to make the assumption that this concept was devised as a method of managing egos. You have six former H.S. All-American tailbacks, all of which were ranked near the top of their respective classes, they all believe they are the best at their position and they all want the ball. Now there's nothing wrong with this mentality. In fact, this is exactly the type of player Carroll recruits. If you don't think you're the best at your position and that you can beat out any other player, then Carroll wont even consider offering you a scholarship. This should be Carroll's guiding principle in formulating the game plan as well.

The week leading up to a game, whichever two tailbacks execute the game plan the best will play on Saturday. Its as simple as that. True competition. Carroll cannot simply say he wants players to compete, and not reward those competitors for "Winning." Its not a true competition if there's nothing at stake. If the coaches are going to try to get everyone carries on gameday anyway.

Let's look back at the Oregon St. game. Stafon and Gable were the two most productive backs in that game, each averaging over 6 yards a carry. If each of those two backs had carried the ball 15 times we would have had 2 100 yard rushers, not to mention a few rushing touchdowns. Giving each back 15 carries would also allow them to get into a rhythm. You cant expect to hit very many home runs if you're only given one at bat.

So enough with the managing egos philosophy. Only the best should play. And those on the bench can either choose to work harder, get better, and wait for their opportunity or transfer.

Fight On!

Beat the Ducks!

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