There have been several mottos used by college football programs over the years, including “Leave No Doubt!” by USC during the Pete Carroll years. Unfortunately, the new motto used too often by Steve Sarkisian the past couple of years has been “This Loss is on Me!” How many more times do we need to hear this before a change is made?
His Trojans were again out-coached, out-muscled and outclassed by a decidedly heavy underdog — at home, no less. So how many more episodes of “Sark Tank” must we endure before it is finally canceled?
This is what happens when a university makes its top priority hiring a coach with strong ties to the university over hiring the best coach for the job.
Unfortunately for USC fans, their only hope might be if Pat Haden announces he stands behind Steve Sarkisian 150%.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Bruins flunk test
Darn, according to Coach Mora, if our guys didn’t actually have to attend classes we might have won against Arizona State. The obstacles faced by a college coach burnishing his resume are indeed perverse.
Could one imagine Woody Hayes or Bo Schembechler or John McKay using the start of classes and midterm exams as a reason for losing a game? Jim “Midterm Exam” Mora has just raised the bar for all-time excuses. Imagine the impact that final exams will have on the team’s performance!
So Jim Mora is upset because Thursday night college games interfere with academics.
I would have thought by now he would have figured out that the Pac-12 cares little for academics and even less for the paying fans who support the teams.
Palos Verdes Estates
Well, it must be October. After a perfect 4-0 September and coming off a big road win the UCLA football team (again) moved far into the top 10 and received serious national attention. Then in front of a huge home crowd as a big favorite they (again) inexplicably came out flat, as if they only needed to show up to win, and they were thoroughly outplayed and soundly defeated. As my father-in-law used to say, how many times must something happen to you before something occurs to you?
In 2005, Karl Dorrell had the Bruins ranked seventh in the nation, believed the hype, and proceeded to get embarrassed 52-14 against Arizona, ensuring UCLA a place in the 2005 Sun Bowl. Last Saturday night, Jim Mora had the Bruins ranked seventh, believed the hype, and proceeded to get embarrassed by Arizona State, 38-23, possibly ensuring UCLA a place in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl.
We gave you 80,000 blue-clad crazies on an early October evening ready to go wild for your close-up. Where were you? And what exactly has changed in the last 10 years?
No Red October
Boy, I hate it when the California of Anaheim Los Angeles Disneyland Angels miss the playoffs!
Bill Dwyre’s article on the Angels missed the point. Sure, it’s a crazy game, and fans know that at least once a year, a team will come back for many runs in the ninth or something similar. It happens. But a team is supposed to hang its hat on a game in which they let a 5-1 lead disappear?
This, when the very next day, they got beat 9-2, making the so-called rallying cry nothing but a whimper. Also, remember the crushing losses to Houston and Oakland at home in September? They can look to those games as just two examples of finishing one game out.
I just spoke with Warren Spahn, Robin Roberts, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, and am waiting to hear from John Lackey and Zack Greinke, but assume they will all agree: Pitch-count Mike Scioscia has finally channeled Gene Mauch and beer-discount Arte Moreno will never win a World Series until Scioscia goes.
Bruce N. Miller
Playa del Rey
CC Sabathia checks himself into rehab two days prior to the Yankees wild-card playoff game against the Astros. Announcers paint a picture of Sabathia as being both a hero and a stand-up guy. ... a true family man. Josh Hamilton relapses and comes forward to admit an error in judgment, and he’s run out of town. I don’t see the difference between the two cases. Note to Arte Moreno: Will you please explain it to me?
Blue hot seat
Bill Plaschke [Oct. 7] again overlooks the obvious in claiming that Don Mattingly “will be managing for his job” in the playoffs.
The real focus should, instead, be on the back of Andrew Friedman, who assembled one of the most inept, dysfunctional and unreliable bullpens in the majors.
Let’s face it: No manager could win or be secure with such a motley crew. And hotshot Friedman is solely to blame. He — not Mattingly — should be held responsible when (not if) predictably lousy relief pitching forces yet another early Dodgers exit from the playoffs.
Leave it to Bill Plaschke to add even more pressure on Don Mattingly. In reality, the success of the Dodgers against the Mets will have little to do with Mattingly and everything to do with how his team performs on the field. Don will not be batting or throwing any pitches. Whatever the outcome of the Dodgers in the playoffs, I want Mattingly to keep his job. I think I’m in the majority on this.
New game plan
The last time Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes played the triangle it was on the basketball court.
Gary H. Miller
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