Thursday, September 04, 2008

Norm Chow is Dead to Me

No, not really; I'm just formally disowning him. I harbor no ill will toward Norm Chow and I wish him happiness, but not luck or success when it comes to his new job (which he obviously does not need). Chow is no longer a Trojan. He is a Bruin, so he is now the enemy.

Therefore, you will no longer see me pining after his masterful play-calling. Chow has been gone almost as many years as he was originally with the Trojans. Objectively speaking, there has been no drop-off in offensive production over the last two seasons compared to 2002-2004, Chow's last three years with the Trojans. Refer to USC Trojan Football Analysis for evidence of that assertion. Art of Troy has convinced me that the decreased level of scoring over the last two seasons is actually the result of less opportunistic defensive play, especially in terms of turnovers and direct scoring by the defense.

I obviously have a lot of respect for Chow. He is a fantastic coach and he's getting a lot of well-deserved love from pundits after UCLA's upset of Tennessee. I still believe we would have between one and three more national titles (2005-2007) if he had stayed, but that has to do with better play-calling at critical moments in crucial games, and everyone knows hindsight is 20-20.

If UCLA's new coaching staff helps revive a real rivalry between USC and UCLA, that would be a good thing. However, UCLA first has a lot of work to do on the field. They are off to a good start in 2008, but it's way too early to pass judgment on the success or failure of the new Bruin regime. Pete Carroll went 6-6 his first year at USC with Chow and DeWayne Walker on his staff. It will be interesting to compare Rick Neuheisel's first year at UCLA with Carroll's first year at USC.

L.A. Times background info on Chow to UCLA here (my first draft of this post was back in January).

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